Castle Town Karatsu

Hirotaka TerasawaShima, who became the first lord of the Karatsu clan in 1593, built Karatsu Castle over six years from 1601. At the same time as the construction of the castle, he started to maintain the castle town.

It is stated in the Matsuura ju huudoki (10 topography of Matsuura),
There are 12 machi(town) for 10000koku(koku is Japanese unit.The amount of rice production measured in koku was the metric by which the magnitude of a feudal domain was evaluated).
These 12machi are Katana machi,Komeya machi,Gofuku machi,Uoya machi,Honmachi,Ooishi machi,Konya machi,Naka Machi,Kiwata machi,Zaimoku machi,Kyo machi,Yaoya machi.

In the middle of feudal government,the fedual load maintenance the town by Choda liver,west side is the inner town(Hon machi,Gofuku machi,Naka machi,Kiwata machi,Kyo machi,Katana machi,Komeya machi,Konya machi,Hirano machi,Shin machi,Yaoya machi),and east side is the outer town(Zaimoku machi,Ooishi machi,Shioya machi,Higasiura machi,Uoya machi). And also Egawa machi was added to the group,these town was called ‘’Karatsu 17cho’’.
Hirotaka taxied even residential land in rural areas, but exempted the townspeople and craftsmen in the castle town due to the development of the castle town, and economic activities were protected.
The town of Karatsu, which was blessed with a harbor in this way, gradually became more and more commerce, and in the middle of the Edo period, the culture of merchants and craftsmen flourished, eventually creating a luxurious festival called "Karatsu kunchi".

The beginning of Gofuku machi

Gofuku machi was created at the time of the construction of Karatsu castle.There is one of theory that the Gofuku machi was named with the wish of becoming a town lined with kimono shops. .It occupies the most important location for the castle town.

Early19th century,one of record shows there are one Kumigashira(officer),one fish shop,one shipping agent,four sake shops,one koji(yeast)shop, one pharmacy, a pawn shop, and a temple in Gofuku machi.
Since then, Gofuku machi has developed into a commercial center in Karatsu.


In1890,the railway between Saga and Karatsu was opened,and the shopping street in front of Karasu station was further developed.
In1972,Karatsu became a city from a town,and began to make efforts to become a tourist city from around that time.After those efforts,many tourists came to visit Karatsu.The arcade construction was carried out in 1964,and it became the current figure of Gofuku machi where you can enjoy shopping without worrying about weather.