Saga Prefecture, sandwiched between the bordering prefectures of Fukuoka and Nagasaki, is an excellent base for your travels to the northern area of Kyushu. Your portal for exploration is Saga Airport, which is a hub offering fantastic access to the region. Officially named the Kyushu-Saga International Airport, it offers domestic service to Haneda and Narita, as well as international flights to Asian destinations including Seoul, Shanghai, Xi’an and Taipei.
Despite its convenient positioning for visiting other locales, don’t hop away so fast: Saga Prefecture is very much a worthy destination in its own right. Whether it’s for a weekend getaway, a business trip, a short excursion or a long holiday, you’ll want to linger and explore all that this alluring prefecture has to offer. An approximate 90-minute drive from the airport, Karatsu is home to cultural amenities and activities such as Karatsu Castle, Karatsu ceramic wares and an Olle trekking course. In Ureshino, think long and languid soaks in onsen (hot springs) baths and cycling through tea fields. In Arita, explore some of the country’s finest pottery and enjoy the freshest in seafood and beef (just to scratch the surface of the numerous local attractions). For further details and sample itineraries, see the special destination section featuring Saga Prefecture.
The airport is also presently strengthening measures against new coronavirus infection. In addition to standard requirements for the use of masks and disinfectant sprays inside the airport facility, all airlines are required to utilize enhanced air filters and circulation techniques. In addition, there are several convenient methods for reaching different areas of the prefecture from the airport while avoiding the three C’s (crowded, closed and close-contact spaces).
There are five major rental companies offering their services at the rental car terminal next to the airport. Keep an eye out for special deals on compact cars – outside the busy periods of Golden Week, Obon and New Year – that can be as low as ¥1,000 per car for the first 24 hours (¥2,000 for solo travelers). Find out more at www.pref.saga.lg.jp.e.zg.hp.transer.com/airport/kiji00312799. In addition, a limousine taxi provides service to various local destinations (sagaap-limousinetaxi.com) and there is a bus service with access to Saga railway station (www.bus.saga.saga.jp).
After your adventure has finished, arrive early for your return flight so that you’ll have time to take advantage of the airport’s amenities. Visit the observation deck for sweeping views of the Ariake Sea, pick up omiyage (souvenirs) from any of the airport’s shops featuring an array of traditional local food and goods, and visit “saga no gara,” the airport’s premium lounge, which was renovated last November.
The lounge showcases the prefecture’s artisanship, including exhibitions of Arita porcelain wares, displays of artworks incorporating local scenery and walls crafted from materials including pottery stone and clay, as well as glass shards from broken bottles of Saga sake. Entry to the lounge costs ¥1,100 for adults, and ¥550 for children aged 3-12 (those under age 3 are free). With its inviting atmosphere, the lounge is the perfect space to begin contemplating your next visit.
Kyushu-Saga International Airport
Address: 9476-187 Kawasoemachi Oaza Inuido, Saga
- ana.co.jp/en/jp/ (departure from Haneda – ANA)
- en.ch.com (departure from Narita – Spring Airlines)
*Flights might be reduced or canceled due to Covid-19