Return to Nagasaki Prefecture

Goto (五島市 Goto-shi?). Lying just west of Kyushu, near the cusp of the East China Sea, is the Goto Archipelago.

With the exception of Okinawa in the south, the Goto island chain is the westernmost point in Japan. Because of its position, the Gotos was the last strategic port for incursions and invasions into Korea. The ocean around the chain was the site of many maritime battles in offensive and defensive maneuvers against Korea and China.

Unlike the rest of Japan, Christianity flourished here throughout the Tokugawa Shogunate because of its distance from the mainland. However, Christians living here applied a “Buddhist face” to their religious worship to discourage being reported to authorities for persecution. These Christians became known as the “Hidden Christians” and are responsible for building Japan’s oldest churches. Goto City, the largest within the island chain, is located on the southernmost island called Fukue. In elder days it served as the seat of power for Lord Goto, whose castle existed on this island. The impressive remains of his castle are incorporated today in the structure of Goto City High School. Visitors are able to walk freely inside.

The islands are now known for having different world-famous triathlons and marathons. People from all over the world come to Fukue and Shinkamigoto to participate in the Iron Man and Monster Man Triathlons, respectively.

Every island in the chain is nationally known as a nature preserve with an abundance of fish for fishermen and wild game. Most local restaurants resort to the local methods of fishing for their stocks in the morning to sell exotic dishes at night, something that rarely happens with the commercialization on the mainland. The islands are also heavily populated with wild deer. Shinkamigoto is the only island in the entire chain to be populated with dangerous wild boar.

Until about fifty years ago, the Gotos was a major player in the national (and international) whaling industry. Since then however, international restrictions have brought an end to the whaling boom, and the collapse of local fisheries has drained the wealth from small fishing communities. The current economy relies heavily on the production of specialty goods, such as Goto udon, tofu, kankoro mochi, and camellia oil, as well as on summer tourism, small businesses, and subsidies from the prefectural and national governments.

In the northern tip of the island chain lies the Ojika, Uku, and Nozaki islands; the Forgotten Islands of the North. Ojika is an island of about 3,000 incredibly friendly and welcoming residents. It is located just south of Uku, the northernmost Goto island. Ojika is famous in Nagasaki prefecture for its tomatoes and eggs and has some of the best seafood you will ever eat. Ojika is also famous for the international music festival it hosts each year. In the spring artists from all over the world gather in Ojika to teach workshops and give concerts for about 2 weeks.


  • Every island has its own bus and taxi services. Because of their sizes, Uku, Ojika, and Naru islands can easily be traversed by either walking or cycling. It’s recommended to use Fukue and Shinkamigoto’s bus services, because both islands are bigger in size.

Getting inEdit

  • Fukue island has it’s own airport but it’s more economical to catch the 2,000yen, 3 hour ferry from Nagasaki. Ferries out to Shinkamigoto, Uku, and Ojika can also be bought in Sasebo for 2,000 yen. These take about 3 hours to reach their destinations. Jet foils from both Sasebo and Nagasaki can be bought to each island, but the price ranges from 6,000 to 10,000 yen. Because of the location of Naru island, a ferry must be taken first to Fukue and then a second ferry must be taken from Fukue to Naru.


JET placementsEdit

Here are the 2008-2009 Placement Positions

Total Block Placements: 11

  • Prefectural ALT Placements: 5
  1. English Speaking ALT
  2. English Speaking ALT
  3. English Speaking ALT
  4. English Speaking ALT
  5. English Speaking ALT
  • Municipal ALT Placements: 6
  1. English Speaking ALT
  2. English Speaking ALT
  3. English Speaking ALT
  4. English Speaking ALT
  5. English Speaking ALT
  6. English Speaking ALT

Incoming/Outgoing JETsEdit

  • Prefectural ALT Placements: 5
  1. English Speaking ALT - Departing
  2. English Speaking ALT - Re-Contracted
  3. English Speaking ALT - Departing
  4. English Speaking ALT - Re-Contracted
  5. English Speaking ALT - Departing
  • Municipal ALT Placements: 6
  1. English Speaking ALT -
  2. English Speaking ALT -
  3. English Speaking ALT -
  4. English Speaking ALT -
  5. English Speaking ALT -
  6. English Speaking ALT -

Foreign communityEdit


Places to visitEdit

Located to the east of Ojika, and just off the northern tip of Shinkamigoto, Nozaki island was once the home of 30 families. 15 years ago, because of the termination of the local whaling industry, each family slowly left the island in search of work on the mainland leaving behind their homes and possessions, never to be claimed. You can catch the small boat that makes regular trips from Ojika to Nozaki for 500 yen one way, and you can stay in either western or Japanese style rooms at the abandoned elementary school that has been turned into a hostel. The school provides a summer camp for children all over Japan during the summer, but no permanent residents inhabit Nozaki, save for the 200-strong local deer population. The island has several interesting spots to visit, including Oeshi shrine, the Christian Church, a 400 meter white sand beach, abandoned homesteads, and beautiful views from atop the mountains. The island is administered by Ojika and arrangements for travelling to and staying the night on Nozaki can be made through Ojika Island Tourism.[1]

Built on the original grounds of the feudal castle with foundation intact. Mount Oni – (Fukue) Once an active volcano, Mt. Oni is not the biggest but certainly the most curious mountain on the island of Fukue. Unlike the majority of the Goto Island Chain mountains, Oni is not forested at all and is covered by a brown grass that gives the impression that the whole mountain might be covered in sand, from far off.

Built in the 17th century, the archway of the Akojinja (Tree Shrine) of Narao is carved out of the base of a towering 2,000 year old Banyan tree.

An onsen (hot spring) lies maybe 15 minutes walking distance from the Tree Shrine, in the mountains. Fed from a mountain spring, the Hot Spring is a popular spot for those that have just finished participating in the Monster Man Triathlon.

Shinkamigoto’s flagship beach, always heavily populated during the summer months.

The archway to the shrine is made from the neckbones of a whale, sealed with white paint. A 5 minute walk away from the Arikawa ferry port.



Traditional Souvenirs can be bought at the ferry ports. Most of the goods that the islanders need are shipped from the mainland, so no heavy commercial shopping centers exist on the islands (save for supermarkets and an occasional bookstore.)


  • Ellena, A food store with a few locations on the island. They stock a wide variety of food and the one in Arikawa has a 10% off of everything sale on Mondays.

Department storesEdit

Osada: With only one location on the island, it is often filled with people. They sell a wide variety of good, from a small amount of food to TVs and clothes. There is also a small arcade attached to the store with a separate entrance.

Fast foodEdit

HottoMotto: A small fastfood chain on the island that specializes in Japanese foods. They have seasonal meals and toys that make the chain very popular.

Japanese foodEdit

  • Mitsu (Shinkamigoto), Also located in Arikawa Town, Sushi and Sashimi restaurant, no western type food served.

Foreign foodEdit

  • George’s House (Shinkamigoto), Located in Arikawa Town., Specializes in western food.



  • Kotono (Shinkamigoto), Located in Urakuwa, Traditional Japanese Izakaiya style cuisine and bar.


  • Windy's (Fukue), Fukue, Karaoke Bar



JP Post: A bank as well as the post office. They have ATMs that have both Japanese and English language options. It is highly recommended to get a bank account at the post office, since there are branches all over Japan as well as ATMs.


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External linksEdit

Smallwikipedialogo.png Wikipedia has an article related to: Nagasaki (prefecture).
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First draft written by: Joe Simmons (with Nozaki and Ojika information by Jill Patterson) and comments on revision by Laura Marshall. Additional information and revisions on Nozaki and Ojika by Brett Rasmussen.

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