Kujukushima Bay in Nagasaki Prefecture is both a popular recreation/sightseeing spot and a thriving fishing port especially known for its pearl farming and oyster production. Although "Kujukushima" literally means "99 islands", there are actually 208 islands in the bay not to mention a number of rocky outcrops that don't meet the technical definition of island. … Continue reading Kujukushima – how many pretty little islands?
The city of Shimabara sits on the Ariake Sea in the shadow of Mount Unzen, the volcano responsible for creation of the Shimabara Peninsula (albeit several tens of thousands of years ago). The city has a long and diverse history, making it well worth taking a bit of time to explore. Yet many travelers quickly … Continue reading Shimabara’s Town of Swimming Carp
Looking for a getaway where you can enjoy nature and avoid crowds? This article describes Unzen Onsen, exactly such a place. Go on! Pamper yourself! (Archived article originally published by Tokyo Weekender)
This travel article introduces Dejima, the man-made island in Nagasaki Harbor, where Dutch traders lived in isolation from the mid-17th to mid-19th centuries. (Archived article originally published by Japan Today)
Since everyone is thinking quarantine, isolation and hiding away these days, I thought it might be appropriate for this month's travel article to be about a place in where such things happened in the past. Enjoy this as "armchair travel" now, and perhaps get there yourself sometime in the future. (Archived article originally published by … Continue reading A Goto Island of Quarantine: the perfect place to hide
Students of Japan's modern industrial history may have heard of Gunkanjima. Fans of James Bond movies may recognize it as villain Raoul Silva's abandoned island hideout in Skyfall. Whatever it is, it sure is different! Gunkanjima's real name is Hashima. Coal was discovered on Hashima, a rocky outcrop some 4.5 kilometers west of Nagasaki Peninsula, … Continue reading Gunkanjima: an abandoned coal mining town like no other
Earlier this week I was privileged to attend a Tokyo preview screening of Silence, Martin Scorsese's film adaptation of Shusaku Endo's 1966 novel. I had read the novel more than 30 years ago and am pleased to see it brought to life relatively faithfully. The story centers on a fictitious 17th century Jesuit priest, Father … Continue reading Silence: On the trail of Japan’s Hidden Christians