Tanga Market / Kokura Castle



Tanga Market has served as Kitakyushu’s pantry since way back. The 180 m-long arcade is lined with over 100 old and new shops selling fresh seafood, local cuisine and other food items. When you enter the market, which is a collection of old row houses and barracks, it’s as if you’ve stepped back in time. Visitors are sure to enjoy the old-fashioned liquor stores with standing bar space, sushi and udon shops where you can grab a quick bite, shops selling fish cakes and more.

If you walk about 10 minutes from Tanga Market, Kokura Castle will come into view. Located downtown near many commercial facilities, the castle was originally built in 1602, and the current castle keep was rebuilt in 1959. There are displays on history and culture inside the castle, and the observation deck on the fifth floor affords a panoramic view of the Kokura townscape. The stone walls are also worth checking out as they were made entirely with natural boulders instead of quarried stone. At the adjacent Kokura Castle Japanese Garden, you can enjoy viewing the garden from a refurbished feudal lord’s residence and try your hand at tea ceremony. Come spring, the area around Kokura Castle is popular among local residents for viewing cherry blossoms.