Traditional architecture

Takeo Onsen Tower Gate

In the center of Takeo City in western Saga Prefecture stands a majestic red tower gate. Pass through the two-story gate to reach the Takeo Onsen hot spring resort, which boasts a long history of around 1,300 years. The spring water is known for its excellent qualities in beautifying the skin thanks to its moisturizing effect. While staying in the resort, try different types of public bathhouses, including Motoyu, Japan's oldest wooden public bath, and Tonosamayu, a bath specifically created for feudal lords.

The iconic Tower Gate, built in 1915 through joinery and without the use of nails, was designed by Tatsuno Kingo (1854-1919), the father of Japan's modern architecture, who also designed the Bank of Japan building and the Tokyo Station building. Across from the tower is the Takeo Onsen Shinkan building designed by Tatsuno to match the design of the gate.

Tatsuno designed this tower gate at almost the same time he designed the Tokyo Station building. On the domed ceiling of the station building are eight animals from the Chinese zodiac, including a tiger and a monkey. The remaining four animals are placed on the ceiling of the second floor of the Tower Gate. Nobody knows if this was an example of Tatsuno's sense of humor, his belief in feng shui or something else altogether. Perhaps you need to visit both Tokyo and Saga to figure out the mystery for yourself.

Map of Japan. Saga located southwest of Tokyo

The illuminated Takeo Onsen Tower Gate looks even more glorious at night. (National Important Cultural Property)

Reasons to choose ANA

  • Tokyo



    • Approximately 2 hours

Saga, Fukuoka and Kitakyushu airports employ a multi-airport system.