Model Courses

A World Heritage Contender A Tourist Destination Overflowing with Winter Attractions A Trip to Amakusa that Caters to Adults
  • 01 Sakitsu Church
  • 02 Ōe Church
  • 03 Amakusa Christian Museum
  • 04 Maruo Yaki
  • 05 Yakko Sushi
  • 06 Myōkenura
  • 07 Amakusa / Shimoda Hot Springs and the 'Boyokaku' Hotel
  • Please see here for a detailed map.

Experience the Region's History!

One can not recount the history of Amakusa without elaborating upon its Christian heritage. Visitors to the area can walk around the 'Amakusa Christian Museum' and learn about 'The Shimabara/Amakusa Rebellion' in a way that is easy to understand. Or, they can visit the human settlement of 'Sakitsu', a destination that the Japanese hope will soon be registered as a World Heritage Site.
Why not come and experience the Christian culture of Amakusa, a place where faith flourished and adherents held fast, even in the face of severe oppression.Experience the Region's History!

The Christian Settlement of Sakitsu and its Goal to Become a World Heritage Site

In the regions of Nagasaki and Amakusa, there are a number of religious sites that are associated with the phenomenon of 'underground' Christianity. Many of these buildings were put forward as potential choices for UNESCO consideration come 2018. However, from among these sites, it was the human settlement of 'Sakitsu' that was ultimately selected for contention. Sakitsu became a Christian settlement in 1569 and was severely impacted by the government ban on Christianity that commenced in 1638. For the next 250 years, many faithful villagers refused to abandon their beliefs and instead practiced their religion in secret. The 'Sakitsu

The Christian Settlement of Sakitsu and its Goal to Become a World Heritage Site

Church', a gothic style edifice designed by Nagasaki-born architect Yosuke Tetsukawa, was completed in Year 9 of the Shōwa era (1934). At the time of the ban, the village headsman had constructed his residence upon the land where the church now stands. It was at this residence where the ritual of ‘e-fumi’ was once performed - the practice of trampling pictures of Christian icons in order to expose believers. Thus, the church now stands as a symbol of the region's history. Moreover, at the urging of a 1930s church minister, the altar of the church was constructed upon the very spot where ‘efumi’ was practiced, thereby acknowledging the fierce oppression endured by the Sakitsu people.

Sakitsu Church

The interior of the church is fitted with tatami mats and is thus a rare sight, even within Japan. Soft rays of light flow in through the stain-glassed windows, infusing the space with a gentle, relaxing aura.

Address
Amakusa-shi, Kawauramachi,
Sakitsu 539
TEL
0969-22-2243
(Amakusa Takarajima Sightseeing Information Center)
Opening
hours
9:00~17:00
Parking
space
Parking is available at the
Sakitsu Settlement
Guidance Center
HP
http://sakitsusekai.amakusa-web.jp/
The Christian Settlement of Sakitsu and its Goal to Become a World Heritage Site

A Place to Stop By and Visit!

Sugiyōkan

One of Sakitsu’s local specialities, ‘Sugiyōkan’ (or Cedar Sweet Bean Jelly) is a kind of soft, sticky rice cake. These rice cakes are said to have been bought over from the Ryūkyū Islands in 1790 and are filled with a delicate bean paste. The accompanying cedar leaves are beautifilly scented and act as natural preservatives.

Sugiyōkan
  • ※Entry is not permitted during church rituals/events.
  • ※ The church is a place of prayer. Please do not make excessive noise.
  • ※All photography is strictly prohibited whilst on church premises.
  • ※All those wishing to inspect the church must make contact in advance.
  • Details→https://kyoukaigun.jp/

Ōe Church A White-Walled, Hillside Church

After the ban on Christianity had been lifted, the first church to be built in Amakusa was the ‘Ōe Church’. Completed in Year 8 of the Shōwa era (1933), it was constructed at the behest of a Frenchman named Father Garnier. Using his own money, Father Garnier joined forces with local Christian devotees to construct this building. It was designed by Yosuke Tetsukawa, who also designed Sakitsu Church. In 1907, five young poets including Yosano Tekkan and Kitahara Hakushu visited Father Garnier at Ōe Church. The poets later wrote a newspaper series titled ‘Five Pairs of Shoes’ which was based upon their experiences at this location. Inside the church there are a lot of stained glass features. The ceilings and windows, in particular, convey a sense of rustic charm that visitors can enjoy.

Ōe Church
Address
Amakusa-shi, Amakusamachi, Ōe 1782
TEL
0969-22-2243 (Amakusa Treasure Island Tourism Association)
Opening hours
9:00~17:00
Closing days
The location is closed every Monday. In the event that a celebratory day falls on a Monday, the location will be closed the following Tuesday.
Parking space
10 spaces
  • ※Entry is not permitted during church rituals/events.
  • ※ The church is a place of prayer. Please do not make excessive noise.
  • ※All photography is strictly prohibited whilst on church premises.
  • ※All those wishing to inspect the church must make contact in advance.

Amakusa Christian Museum Want to learn more about Amakusa's Christian History? Then this is the place to go!

The Amakusa Christian Museum offers visitors a comprehensive overview of the region’s Christian history, which began with the arrival of Christianity in 1566. Among its artefacts are a number of Important Cultural Assets. Here, visitors can view materials associated with the Amakusa / Shimabara Rebellion of 1637, view icons of the Virgin Mary that recall the lives of persecuted Christians, and much more. There are approximately 150 items / images on display through which visitors can become acquainted with the area’s heritage. The museum has established four separate zones for ease of comprehension: Amakusa: A Christian History’, ‘Amakusa and The Adoption of Western Culture’ ‘After the Rebellion: A Revival of Amakusa’s Christian Faith’ and ‘The Amakusa/Shimabara Rebellion’. A particular highlight is the rooftop observation area, from which visitors can see amazing views of the Hondo City Streets, and of the Ariake Sea.

Amakusa Christian Museum
Address
Amakusa-shi, Funenōmachi, 19-52
TEL
0969-22-3845
Opening hours
8:30 ~ 18:00 (Entry is permitted until 17:30)
Closing days
30th of December until the 1st of January.
Fee
(Visitors must pay a fee if they wish to
visit the exhibition rooms)
General Admission: 300 yen, High School Students: 200 yen, Elementary and Middle School Students: 150 yen
Parking space
Available
HP
http://www.city.amakusa.kumamoto.jp/kirishitan/

Experience and Enjoy the Culture

Amakusa is the home of ‘Amakusa Stone’, a world-famous raw material used in the making of pottery and ceramics. The region produces approximately 30,000 tons annually and accounts for 80% of Japan’s stone yield. Amakusa ceramics date back to the Keichō period (1596-1615) and, after Saga/Arita earthenware, the region has the longest history of ceramics nationwide. These days, a number of highly individual pottery establishments can be found within the city and, in this way, the production of Amakusa ceramics continues to flourish.Experience and Enjoy the Culture

Maruo Yaki  A Fun Time Out -  Getting Up Close and Personal with Everyday Pottery Items

‘Maruoyaki’ is a chinaware shop that was established in Amakusa in 1865. From the very start, large numbers of people came to Amakusa, even from outside the prefecture, to train in the Maruo style of pottery making. In time, this shop became known as the main representative of Amakusa ceramics. In the beginning, ‘Maruoyaki’ was known for manufacturing miso and soy sauce bottles/jars. However, at the beginning of the Shōwa period, it started producing tableware, vases and other such items. These days, fifth generation potter Kazuhiro Kanazawa is at the forefront of a group of designers who are continuing to create essential items - items that are designed with the purpose of enriching everyday lives. Adjoining the pottery work space is a modern building with permanent exhibition/sales rooms, through which 40,000 visitors pass every year. All rooms are home to an exceptional variety of ceramic styles and objects, so you are certain to find something you like.

Address
Kumamoto-ken, Amakusa-shi, Kitaharamachi, 3-10
TEL
0969-23-9522
Opening hours
10:00~18:30
Closing days
Not available
Parking space
15 spaces
HP
http://maruoyaki.com/
Maruo Yaki
Maruo Yaki
Maruo Yaki
  • Those who make a pottery purchase will receive a complimentary cup of 'Hachidori/Hummingbird' coffee. A region speciality, Hummingbird coffee is made using Amakusa coffee beans.

    Those who make a pottery purchase will receive a complimentary cup of 'Hachidori/Hummingbird' coffee. A region speciality, Hummingbird coffee is made using Amakusa coffee beans.

  • Visitors can choose their own coffee cup, making their selection from shelves lined with cups.

    Visitors can choose their own coffee cup,
    making their selection from shelves lined with cups.

Eat your fill!

The region of Amakusa, surrounded as it is by three seas (the East China Sea, the Ariake Sea and the Yatsushiro Sea) is naturally a treasure trove of seafood delights. Winter in particular is the best season to take your fill of mouth-watering ocean dishes. Amakusa’s food outlets have already proven a hit with gourmets, so why not come and enjoy its exquisite sushi for yourself?Eat your fill!

Yakko Sushi  For a time of indulgent 'sushi' bliss, come eat your fill of Amakusa's seasonal delights.

The mere mention of ‘Amakusa’ brings to mind the region’s stellar reputation for sushi cuisine. Yakko Sushi, a popular outlet first established in 1972, certainly lives up to these high expectations; its sushi is renowned nationwide and adored by numerous foodies. Establishment owner Mr. Yasuichi Murakami carefully selects seasonal ingredients found only in Amakusa, and patrons can enjoy a variety of inventive and innovative toppings. 90% of customers choose the ‘Omakase Nigiri’ Menu (4,320 yen), which literally means ‘Random Handmade Sushi’. A typical example would be ‘Seabream Kelp with Finely Chopped Wasabi’ or ‘Thinly Sliced Perch with Grated Daiko / Chili’, then combined with special ingredients of the day to create a unique kind of sushi. Every piece is a surprise and imparts a moment of culinary bliss.

Address
Amakusa-shi, Higashimachi 76-2
TEL
0969-23-4055
Opening hours
12:00~14:30,17:30~21:00
Closing days
The venue is closed every Monday. In the event that a celebratory day falls on a Monday, the venue will be closed for business the following Tuesday.
Parking space
Available
Yakko Sushi

The ‘Omakase’ or ‘Random Handmade Sushi’ option costs 4,320 yen. It comes with 12 pieces of sushi and a bowl of red miso soup. Each piece of sushi comes with a generous helping of seasonal toppings, allowing patrons to experience an array of rich tastes and textures. Why not partake of the shrimp alongside other Shrianui Sea produce that can only be eaten in winter time? All 12 pieces are infused with salt and soy sauce (made from boiled-down sake) so it is unnecessary to add these condiments to your dish.

Yakko Sushi
  • Yakko Sushi

    Yakko Sushi' is situated near Hondo Port. From the tatami rooms, patrons can look out onto soothing scenic views.

  • Yakko Sushi

    In addition to counter seating, table seating is also available. This venue is a popular eating establishment, so it is highly recommended that patrons make their reservation in advance.

  • Yakko Sushi

    Those who sit at the counter are afforded a special experience - they can talk with the restaurant staff and take their fill of sushi prepared only moments before.

Beautiful Scenery and Hot Springs' - What's Not to Enjoy?

Amakusa’s west coast is a well-known ‘sunset’ spot. From here, visitors can look out onto the East China Sea and watch the sun sinking beneath the waves. Witnessing the sun set in the clear winter air makes winter the most romantic season to visit. After watching the sun go down, travellers can recuperate at any of the ‘Shimoda Hot Springs’ facilities. This is Amakusa’s oldest group of coastal hot spring establishments, with approximately 700 years of history between them. Beautiful Scenery and Hot Springs' - What's Not to Enjoy?

Myōkenura  Be Impressed with Some Beautiful Natural Formations!

Having been designated a Natural Scenic Spot / Natural Monument, Myōkenura is an extremely picturesque location. It is a marvellous reef that takes the form of a walking elephant. Interspersed with both large and small caves, it is a beautiful natural formation well worth seeing. Visitors can travel to higher ground and enjoy a panoramic view from Jusanbutsu Park, a destination famous for its spectacular sunset views.

Myōkenura
Watching the sunset from Jusanbutsu Park is a sight of breathtaking beauty!

Amakusa / Shimoda Hot Springs and the 'Boyokaku' Hotel  A lodging establishment where you can enjoy beautiful views of  natural hot springs

Selected as one of Japan’s top 100 ‘sunset’ destinations, this hotel is situated on Amakusa’s west coast, which faces out onto the East China Sea. Many of its guest rooms offer tourists the attraction of stunning ocean views. If you are staying overnight, it is highly recommended that you check-in prior to admire the sun setting from your own room. The hot spring waters flow directly from a natural source, inviting you to relax in them at your leisure.

Address
Amakusa-shi, Amakusamachi, Shimodakita 1201
TEL
0969-42-3111
Closing days
Not available
Fee
Lodging for one night + 2 meals is 12,960 yen (tax included).
A Day Trip to the Hot Springs (open for business between the hours of 15:00 and 21:00).
General Admission: 800 yen. For Those Aged Between 6-11: 500 yen. ※ Entry is not permitted to the hot springs during the Obon Festival and during the New Year period.
Parking space
60 spaces
HP
http://www.boyokaku.jp/
Amakusa / Shimoda Hot Springs and the 'Boyokaku' Hotel

Map of tourist spots

A Husband's Review… My overall impression of the Sakitsu Settlement was one of beautiful scenery. I've seen other churches in other places, but this one left me feeling differently; it was in  such perfect harmony with its fishing village surroundings. Also, I have to mention the sushi from 'Yakko Sushi' ; just one mouthful was an amazing assault on the senses, I'll never forget it.  I could get a real sense of the region through its tastes and flavours.  A Wife's Review… I have travelled to the Amakusa region many times before, but this tour gave me the opportunity to learn about its lesser known attractions.  The atmosphere was very calm and there were a number of relaxing locations to enjoy. In my opinion, this trip is perfect for adults.  When I returned home, it was really fun using the cup I had bought at 'Maruoyaki' to drink my evening brew.