Akizuki (秋月) is a small town in Asakura city, in the south part of Fukuoka prefecture and just near the Oita prefecture. The town is one of the numerous Japanese castle towns, but one of the oldest ones. Akizuki 's main sightseeing spot is the ruins of its old castle.
The town is also called "Kyushu's little Kyoto or "Chikuzen's little Kyoto". Each year, around 500,000 curious come to admire cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.
A bit of history.
In the 14th century, the Akizuki clan (秋月氏) is established in the prefecture of Chikuzen (筑前国, the former prefecture located instead Fukuoka for nearly 200 years when it tooks the power and gouvern the prefecture until the end of 1§th century. Then, they built a castle.
At the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Akizuki clan rebelled against the government in power, blaming them the too rapid westernization of the country. They lose their fight, their castle was destroyed in 1871 and the ruins abandoned.
Akizuki is far away. From Hakata station, the journey takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Unfortunately the crowd was impressive. The road was so crowded that the bus didn't move and we finally got off and walked until we reached the village (we arrived a lot earlier than if we would stay on the bus). Even in the village, roads were crowded and so were the parkings. Because of that, instead of taking our time to look at the beautiful old houses, we had to be careful to not be pushed on the side by a car. But we had a nice reward because the leaves were really beautiful, sometimes offering us an enchanting sight of pretty red leaves swept by the sun, sometimes we could walk on a beautiful carpet of yellow ginkgo leaves where we would like to play in, like kids.
The castle ruins are mainly located within the Akizuki junior hight school so it is not accessible to people. However, we can admire two ancient gates : Kuromon (黒門) and Nagayamon (長屋門), which is the only one in its original location. There is also a bridge and some walls. Right next to the castle there is the Suiyo shrine (垂裕神社) and a little further, the Nissho-in temple (日照院).
To enter the castle we pass by a long pedestrian street lined with cherry trees and a lot of traditional souvenir and food shops (ice cream, rice cakes (mochi) and cakes ).
I really liked the megane-bashi, à l'entrée du village (200 years old) and the apples and nashi (pears) picking places. I would like to do that once. Maybe next year ?
|Akizuki's junior High School which seems to be hunted at night !|
- Ride the Kagoshima line (to Kurume) and get off at Kiyama (22 minutes, 460 yens).
- At Kiyama, change for the Amatetsu Amagi line until the final station: Amagi (Amatetsu) (27 minutes, 360 yens).
- In front of the station, take the bus and get off at the 14th stop called"Megane-bashi" (目鏡橋) (20 minutes, 320 yens).
From Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin) station:
- Ride the Nishitetsu Tenjin-Omuta line and get off at Miyanojin (38 minutes by express train).
- At Miyanojin, change for the Nishitetsu Amagi line until the final station: Amagi (Nishitetsu ) station (38 minutes, 790 yens).
- In front of the station, take the bus and get off at the 13th stop called "Megane-bashi" (目鏡橋) (18 minutes, 320 yens).
On high season weekends (cherry blossom and autumn leaves period), it is really crowded so I don't recommand you to come by car. There is only one road to access Akizuki and you will wait a lot. It takes quite some time in train too but it will be a bit faster.
Curries (chicken, pork, seafood or curry of the day) come with salad and, you have to choose, with a bean cookie or a yoghurt with homemade jam. Menus are a lot more hearty come with a soup and a second sort of curry.
TSUKI TO KAME
Adress : 614, Akizuki, Asakura City, Fukuoka
Prices : start from 850 JPY
Opening Hours : 12PM to 8PM on weekdays and 11Am to 4 PM on weekends and national holidays.
Weekly day off on Thursdays.