Kashiragashima Church

26Oct 2012 tomocchi

Today we are visiting Kashiragashima Church on Kamigoto.




The dignified stone church

The steps leading up to the church lend an atmosphere somewhat like that of a Shinto shrine☆




From the outside, the church looks so solemn, but when I gingerly step inside, it’s really charming. What a relief! (´▽`)

The floral decoration near the ceiling is quite lovely.



A beautifully-constructed stone church like this is a rare find in Japan ☆
The church is the fruit of 10 years labour by believers, who, lacking both money and resources, quarried and shaped the stone themselves. The building was completed in 1919 ミヽ(。><)ノ 




If you go around to the back of the church, you will find the shape of a window, set into the stone wall.




There are a number of explanations put forward for this strange sight.

One is that there was originally a plan for another window in this wall, but for some reason, the plan was abandoned (。´-ω・)



When you visit the church, don’t just look at the front and interior, make sure to walk all the way around, as there is lots to discover ヽ(・∀・)ノ



In Spring, the church’s graveyard, with its old Christian graves, becomes a riot of pink flowers, and many visitors come to take photographs ☆



I definitely want to go again in the Spring! ♪♪





Kashiragashima Church


Address: 638 Kashiragashima, Tomosumigo, Shinkamigoto-cho, Minamimatsuura District,Nagasaki Prefecture.

Building opening time:9:00~17:00
Entrance fee:free

Enquiries: Nagasaki Pilgrimage Center– Kamigoto Station
Tel: 0959-42-0620


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Kujuku Islands Rela-Cruise

05Oct 2012 tomocchi

When I think of the Saikai Pearl Sea Resort, I think of


 ・The Kujukushima Aquarium ‘Umi Kirara’

 ・Cruising the Kujuku Islands aboard the Pearl Queen


Today, though, I present: the ‘Rela-Cruise’ ♪



She doesn’t quite have the splendid appearance of the Pearl Queen

but with a capacity of just 12 passengers,

the Rela-Cruise is great for a small group trip. 


By the way, for those of you who don’t know the Pearl Queen, here she is ☆



Inside, the Rela-Cruise has comfortable sofas (*´∇`*)



The great thing about the Rela-Cruise is how close you are to the water!

The boat glides across the calm waters around the Kujuku Islands.



The Rela-Cruise takes a special sightseeing route around the islands,
including places that the Pearl Queen cannot reach.


This is Hippo Rock:



It resembles a hippopotamus opening up its huge mouth!

Look carefully at the rock on the left
Eyes… nose… mouth… it looks like a face!! ヽ(*’0’*)ツ



How many faces can you see?
I guess it doesn’t look like much from the photograph, but when you are actually there and can see the size of the rocks, it’s quite a magnificent sight.

One of Nature’s works of art!


This is a small island called Yokoshima.
It is said to look like a sleeping lion.



What a marvelous coat of… trees!? Haha!



As we sail into a small cove…
what a beautiful emerald green! (≧∇≦)



Wow! The water was so gorgeous, that for a moment,
I felt like jumping in…



…until I saw that the sea was teeming with jellyfish (TmT)

Actually, the Kujuku Islands are one of the best places in the country to see jellyfish.
Apparently there are over 100 varieties.



The Kujukushima Aquarium ‘Umi Kirara’ has a jellyfish exhibit and research laboratory

where you can see examples of some extremely rare jellyfish ♪



Lastly, we come to Wareshima Island.



In March and October you can see the setting sun through the gap in the rocks.
Photography-lovers flock to the area to try to capture the scene.
Apparently it’s not easy, and some people try for several years to get the perfect shot.



The Rela-Cruise runs a scheduled service and is also available for charter ☆

Even if you have already sailed on the Pearl Queen,

do try the Rela-Cruise for a new and different way to enjoy the scenery of the Kujuku Islands  (o^∇^o)ノ






Kujuku Islands Rela-Cruise

Scheduled sailings: 11:20, 12:20, 13:20, 14:20, 15:20
                               *16:20(depending on season)
Fare: Adults 2,000 yen, Elementary School students and below 1,000 yen
 ※Discount available on production of Umi Kirara entry ticket

Address: 1008 Kashimaecho, Sasebo City

Enquiries: Kujukushima Yuransen (KujukuIslandsPleasure Cruises)

Tel: 0956-28-1999


 ※Tickets are available on the day from the ticket counter, but may sell out fast, so to avoid disappointment, please enquire by telephone or email.




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Dolphin-watching in Kuchinotsu

21Sep 2012 tomocchi

Dolphin-watching in Kuchinotsu-cho, Minamishimabara City.



Dolphin-watching trips are also available in two other towns in MinamishimabaraCity: Minamiarima-cho and Kazusa-cho, but today I am in Kuchinotsu.


I’ve got my lifejacket on, so let’s go!



I wonder if we’ll see any dolphins today. o(^^o)(o^^)o



As we board the boat, I can hear lots of children chattering excitedly about whether we will see any dolphins.
And I think we will! 


The probability of seeing dolphins here in Minamishimabara is apparently 95%!
Basically, if the boat sails, you are going to see dolphins \(^▽^)/


OK, let’s enjoy the cruise to the dolphin-watching spot.



Each day, the place where you can see the dolphins changes.
Well, I guess that’s obvious really(^^;)
After all, the dolphins are always on the move, swimming along.


The boat seems to be slowing down a little…
There they are!!! (≧∇≦)



Their numbers vary from day to day,
but you can usually see a large pod of dolphins from up close. 


The dolphins swim right up to the side of the boat!
What a surprise!! This is amazing!



A dolphin family! How cute! (*´∇`*)



If the dolphins are in the right mood (though I’m not sure what the right mood is!!)…
And if your timing is good…
You might just see a dolphin jump out of the water! ♪



I want to see more of the dolphins but it’s time to say goodbye.
Today’s dolphin-watching trip is over.
Time required is approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 20 mins.


Booking is essential so please telephone in advance to arrange the date and time.


Also please note that depending on the weather, the boat may not be able to sail.






Kuchinotsu Dolphin-Watching


Address: 5771-1 Kuchinotsuchotei,MinamishimabaraCity

Enquiries: Kuchinotsu Sightseeing Boat Cooperative (Kuchinotsu Kankousen Kigyou Kumiai)

Tel: 0957-86-4433


Price:   Adult (Junior High School and over)                   ¥2,500

Elementary School student                                   ¥1,500

Pre-elementary school (age 4 and over)                           ¥500


★10% discount coupon available online!★


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The Devil’s Footprint

05Sep 2012 tomocchi

Nagasaki Prefecture, being surrounded by the ocean, is well-known for its beautiful beaches.


And of course, the island beaches are the most beautiful of all (≧∇≦)




This is a picture of Kuyoshihama Beach on Iki island.



Today I’m going to introduce some sightseeing spots on Iki ♪



Iki is only about 1 hour by jetfoil ferry from Hakata Portin Fukuoka!

How convenient! ☆

Iki is easier to get to from Fukuoka than from Nagasaki – so much so that people are often surprised to hear that Iki is in fact part of Nagasaki Prefecture.(^^;)




And it’s not just beautiful beaches – Iki boasts many interesting places to visit ♪
Here we are in a meadow… what can there be to see here? 



This is the Devil’s Footprint!



Whoa! There’s a huge gaping hole in the rock!



Over the years, the waves have eroded the rock into this shape,
but according to local legend, the ‘footprint’ was made when a demon, called ‘Dei’, steadied himself while catching a whale. 



You can’t really tell how big the hole is just from the photograph
but it is some 30m tall, and 100m around.
Look at me, perched on top – I look minute in comparison to the ‘footprint’! 




I can certainly understand why people have looked at this and thought that a hole so large could only have been made by a demon(;´▽`A





The Devil’s Footprint

Address:Makizaki, Gonouracho Watarahigashifure, Iki


Kuyoshihama Swimming Beach
Address:Ashibecho Ashibeura, Iki


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Todoroki Gorge

21Aug 2012 tomocchi


More than 30 waterfalls and streams both large and small flow through Todoroki Gorge in Isahaya City.

It’s a great spot to swim, camp and generally cool off from the summer heat. 



Soon the Bon Festival will have passed and we won’t be able to swim in the sea any more, I guess…

So, if you haven’t had your fill of swimming for this year, and you’re bored of going to the pool, why not head for Todoroki Gorge?


This is Todoroki Falls



I often made my parents bring me here when I was a kid, and I can remember splashing and swimming around, even as I yelled “It’s colder than the swimming pool!” (^-^)



Since the temperature in the valley is about 3 degrees cooler than outside of the valley, the water is kept at a pleasant 22-23℃.
As you approach the falls, the air starts to cool, and it’s easy forget about the heat of summer. It’s a wonderful feeling!



The cool water feels great on my hands!



I reckon if you step right up to the waterfall you can breathe in plenty of negative ions too!

What better way to get refreshed? (*´∇`*)



On the right of the waterfall some footprints mark a mysterious “Fushigi Spot”.


 (「Try standing here!」)


If you stand here, the roar of the waterfall echoes off the walls of the gorge and creates a stereo effect, with the sound of the water coming from both directions.

Don’t miss out on this unique experience!


Upstream, there are a lot of children playing and people having barbecues on the riverbank.

Many people come here to camp too☆



Whether you come to Todoroki Gorge with family or friends, to swim or barbecue or camp, you’re sure to leave with many good summer memories  \(*^▽^*)/







Todoroki Gorge (Todoroki-kyou)
Location:1106 Takakicho Zenjuji, Isahaya City, Nagasaki Prefecture.
Enquiries:Isahaya Tourism, Products and Convention Association
Environmental maintenance charge (May – September):300 yen per standard-sized car.



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