Kitsuki is known as a “castle sandwich town”, as it is made up of a central commercial district with a samurai district on either side (containing old samurai residences that are open to the public). It is also known as a “slope town” due to its beautiful steep slopes, and is sometimes referred to as “Little Kyoto” because of its traditional atmosphere, helped by its lack of visible power lines and modern signs. Kitsuki is also a castle town known for having Japan’s smallest castle, “Kitsuki-jo”! Besides the castle, the ~17,000 person town is famous for its green tea, “Kitsuki-cha” and the “Kitsuki mikan” (a citrus fruit similar to a tangerine) as well as the horseshoe crab (scary little critters). It’s a perfect town for a day-trip!
JET LIFE IN KITSUKI
Kitsuki city currently has 4 JETs - one SHS servicing Kitsuki High School and a SHS in Usa City, three ES/JHS (one has 1 JHS and 4 ES, the other has 1 JHS and 3 ES, and the last JET has 1 JHS and 3 ES). We all have private un-subsidized housing, typically the JETs in the area have decent sized apartments, but some have rented entire houses on the outskirts of town (for the same price as apts.)! We all have cars, because it’s impossible without them due to the buses being inconvenient (and near impossible) to use, so we all drive to our schools.
The good news is, we have a train station! It is serviced by all JR Kyuushu trains, and SOME Sonic lines (be careful). The bad news is, the train station is not close walking distance to…anything. Except a Lawson. But, you can hop on the local bus from the station and go right to the main street with City Hall, or to the Bus Terminal which is by the Tourist Center. You can also call a cab and ask for “shiyakusho“ (City Hall) or the “kankō sentā” (Tourist Center). Both are near the main part of town. There are also buses that go from Oita Airport, Fukuoka Airport and Shimonoseki Port.