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You are in: Outside Fk: Karatsu: Places To Go: Takashima Island





Takashima Island
Type: Islands | Short Trips


Island in Karatsu Bay with "lucky" Shrine...


Information by Nick May

If you've been to Karatsu Castle you will know Takashima as that funny "volcano cone" shaped thing in Karatsu Bay that looks like it is planning to audition for the "Dr Bad's Secret Base!" role in the next Bond/Austin Powers movie. (If an island can be said to lurk, Takashima lurks.)

The shrine is alleged (not least by the shrine authorities, natch!) to bring luck in the "Takarakuji" (the lottery).

This is apparently down to that most efficacious and well known of causal agents, a slight similarity of the reading of the characters in the shrine name and those for "takarakuji". Most people on the boat over with us made a direct and somewhat unedifying bee-line (ouch! - elbows ladies!) for this fount of lottery luck.

Or at least, as direct as they could - as one leaves the boat one is funnelled through a series of little streets besides which young women stand holding pricy souveniers for purchase.

While it is nice that the island has a gimmick that helps make it economically viable, going to pray to the gods to make you stinking rich is a BIT tacky. (As a sidenote, the whole island, including near the shrine, is full of black cats. A consequence of inter-breeding presumably, but not terribly auspicious as the little buggers dart backwards and forwards across one's path!)

Our advice - skip the lucky shrine and wander up the path to the shrine beyond. From there you can go on a very pleasant walk right around the island or even climb the hill, which would give rather lovely views of the whole Karatsu bay area. The little village is pleasantly old and rustic, most of the island picturesque, the air clean and peaceful.

In summer you could cheerfully spend a day, if you took a picnic. But an hour is fine too. There are several shops and coffee-shops. No sandy beaches, so swimming is out.






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First published Wed Oct 01, 2003
    Updated Wed Oct 01, 2003


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