Tuesday, August 1, 2017

*::UNKNOWN PLEASURES::* Japan's Unknown Treasure★ Travel to Japan's Beautiful Nagasaki Goto Islands

The Goto Islands, referred to as simply Goto, consists of five main islands that set atop the East China Sea. From southwest to northeast, they’re known as
Fukue, Hisaka, Naru, Wakamatsu, and Nakadori.
Its group name “Goto” literally means “five islands.”
The Fukue Island is the primary and largest island of the bunch, which includes the Goto-Fukue Airport and the Fukue Port Terminal.Being an island, things are pretty far out from one another.
So we're just going to introduce some of Goto's special historic and beautiful spots.
Including the Goto Tourist and Historic Museum, Fukue Castle, Gyogasaki Park, and the Dozaki Church.

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Goto Tourist and Historic Museum
If it looks like it's part of a castle....

That's because it is!

The museum is located on the old Fukue Castle grounds
and features exhibits on Goto's reglious and cultural history on one floor,
and local cultural artifacts on another. 
Allowing visitors to get an image of Goto's progress
from the Stone Age to today!

A cute display of Goto in the Stone Age.

The "Baramon"

The Baramon is a handmade kite from the Goto Islands
that is decorated to look like an ogar biting a warrior's helmet,
giving off the appearance and symbol of strength.

There are crosses drawn on most of the Baramon kites,
but the reason for that is unknown.

Since Goto was originally filled with people
who fled due to the supressing of Christianity,

many Japanese and Goto citizens believe the two intertwine.

When flown, the bow of an arrow like part on the top of it's head
 makes a loud buzzing cry in the wind. 
The sound is believed to take out the demons from those who fly it (normally kids).
So it is as if Baramon is protecting them.
A fun little fact,
"bara", is taken from the Nagasaki Goto Island dialet "baraka", 

meaning "strong".

A big part of the museum held many old religious artifacts
from Churches and missionaries that used to be there. 

Tadataka Inou,was a famous cartographer 
who known by every Japanese for being the first to complete the map of Japan.
He traveled around Japan by ship, drawing up the map during the Edo era. 
Below is his drawing of the Goto Islands. 
What's astonishing is, 
the accuracy without having modern technology.

What fishermen use to catch octopiπŸ™

It wouldn't be a Japanese fishing island without whale hunting gear.

Goto Tourist and Historic Museum
⏰ Jan~May 9am - 5pm, June~Sept 9am - 6pm, Oct~Dec 9am - 5pm
πŸ’΄ Elementary/Jr High: 110 yen, High School/College: 170 yen, Adults: 230 yen

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Fukue Castle
 The Ishida (Fukue) Castle Ruins,
is now an entrance to a high school!
Wish my high school was like that!

The feudal lord Goto lived in Ishida Jinya (the former Ishida Castle)
since the time of his home at Egawa Castle was burned down
during the early Edo period.
In 1849, they finally received permission to build their new castle.
The shogunate wanted them to protect the nation
from foreign ships, which often came due to it's location.
The Fukue Castle was completed in 1863,
and was called the Ishida Castles
due to its location at Ishida Beach. 

Go through the entrance and theres the Goto Garden within the castle.

Once you're inside you'll see lots of students and nature.

You also see lots of cute kitties!!

The area of the castle remains isn't too big,
but it's really beautiful and neat to see the incorporation
of the remains to current daily life.
It's not really something you'd see at other places.
Normally they would keep it strictly to a historic spot. 

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Gyougasaki Park

A long time ago, the envoy ships heading for Tang China anchored at Gyougasaki Park for the last time, waiting for a good wind to sail on and loaded drinking water and food on board or repaired the damaged ships after a long journey.
Under the control of Lord Uku (later, Lord Goto) in the 14th century, who came from the Ukujima Islands, the area became important in the trading with China.

Today however, it's just a beautiful park filled with grass and a beautiful blue sea.
Many natives and tourists come to Gyougasaki Park to fish and camp.

There were even fields of red spider liliesThey were SO SO beautiful!!!!

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Dozaki Church
-The Oldest Church in Goto Islands-
The Dozaki Church is the oldest church in the Goto Islands,
which was built by French missionaries. 

During the time when Christianity was prohibited in Japan, 
many “Kakure Kirishitans” (“Hidden Christians”: People who hid the fact that they were Christian and practiced their faith in secret) 
fled to the Goto Islands, 
so there are many Christians and churches on the islands. 
The Dozai Church is a prime example.
It now serves a museum displaying historical documents 
relating to Christians and the 300-year period of suppression of Christianity.

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These are just a small handful of the beautiful and historic places
of Nagasaki's Goto Islands.
Goto, along with other small islands,
really is a hidden gems of Japan.
Don't get us wrong,
we long Tokyo, Kyoto, Okinawa,
and all the main tourist spots. 
But aren't you curious about what else there is?
Don't you want to get to know a-whole-nother side of Japan?
Goto has a lot of special and unique cultural influence,
challenging everything you thought you knew about Japan.
So we hope we sparked your interests in the Goto Islands
and the next time you come to Japan, you can stop by!

πŸ›₯More articles about KyushuπŸ›₯


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