Located just 7 miles from the Ariake Sea in the Kanzaki District, you will find the town of Yoshinogari. The town dates back to before 400 BC, the time when the Yayoi culture flourished in Japan. The Yayoi period followed the Jomon period (400 BC – 300 AD), and spanned approximately 700 years. The archaeological site has been continuously excavated by a number of different agencies since 1986. It was designated as a “Special National Historic Site” in 1991 due to the quality of artifacts unearthed there and its significance to Japanese prehistory. The Yoshinogari Historical Park was created in 1992.
Dozens of pit dwellings, elevated store houses and over 2,000 tombs were unearthed at the Yoshinogari Historical Park. It is considered to be the largest and most important Yayoi period site in Japan. The settlements are believed to have been some of the largest moat encircled villages of their time and are speculated to have been the seat of one of the earliest forms of state government found in Japan. Today, the ancient villages have been reconstructed for tourists and some even contain mannequins used to reenact various duties and ceremonies associated with that period in history.
The park spans over 117 hectares and is divided into three main sections. The Entrance Zone houses a mini-theater, restaurant and souvenir shop. Here visitors can participate in hands-on activities such as stone carving and building a fire with a bow-drill. The Moat-Encircled Zone or Minami Naikaku at the center of the park is one of the most important areas. Enclosed by defensive walls and moats, the Yayoi period rulers governed the village from this location. Another important enclosed settlement called Kita Naikaku is located just a short distance north and contains a large shrine and dwellings used for ancient ceremonies. Finally, the Ancient Field Zone, which spans approximately 20 hectares provides a space for various recreational activities such as picnics, etc.
The park is currently developing a fourth area, which it plans to call the Ancient Forest Zone. When completed, this area will recreate the forest habitat of ancient Yayoi.
Park hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (January 1 to May 31 and September 1 to December 30) and 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (June 1 to August 31). Admission is ¥400 for adults and ¥80 for children over 6 years of age.
Address: 842-0035 SAGA-KEN KANZAKI-GUN Yoshinogari-machi TADE 1843
Web page: http://www.yoshinogari.jp/en/