Visiting Karatsu by train from Fukuoka, we expected to see pottery shops, but instead got a unique look at a traditional Japanese home owned by a (very) rich family from early in the 20th century.
We didn't know at the time, but the decorations are clearly modelled on those of the Nijo-Jo in Kyoto – a World Heritage site.
This is a special place, where the owner sought to create a high-quality building in the stye of the old Shoguns. Perhaps as a coal baron he saw himself as a new shogun - but he certainly had style and the money to realise his dream. In its day, this would have been the grandest house in Karatsu, filled with exquisite painted cedar panels, delicate carved woodwork, and a private No theatre.
Visitors are taken through by a local guide who proudly pointed out special or unique aspects of the building. Not much is said about the owner, but it is due to his vision that we can see such an architectural gem.
Lovingly preserved and a highlight of our visit.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.