Fukue Island ("Fukuejima" in Japanese) is the main island of Goto
Islands with about 140 islands, and is located about 100 km west of
It is about 30 km from east to west and about 25 km from north to south
From ancient times to medieval times, this island had been the stopping
point to China.
In the 7th century, Japanese official diplomatic delegations sent to
China during the Sui dynasty (current China) came from Osaka to this
island, and ventured to cross the East China Sea from here.
From the 14th to 16th centuries, Chinese merchants came to this islands
often as a stopping point between Nagasaki city and China.
Goto Islands including Fukue Island are far away from the mainland of
So many hidden Christians moved to here, after Christianity was banned
in the late 16th century.
After lifting the ban on Christianity in 1873, about 50 churches were
built in Goto Islands by them.
It is the most proportion of churches to the population in Japan.
Over half of them are in Nakadori Island at the north part of Goto
Islands, and 13 churches are in Fukue Island.
Fukue Island has the mood that is a mixture of nature, traditional
Japan, China and Christianity.
The central area (Fukue district) is on the east coast and has a port.
And Fukue Airport is located about 3 km south of the district.
We can visit Fukue Island by airplane or high-speed ship.
To tour around this island, we can use route bus, regular sightseeing
bus, rental car or sightseeing taxi.
(This island is mountainous, so it is very hard to tour around by
Main spots in Fukue
- Ruin of
Ishida Castle /1/ : The ruin of the castle built in
1863 located in the ceneter of Fukue district.
The first castle was destroyed by fire in 1614.
For a long time, the construction of the new castle had been allowed,
but it was allowed to construct in 1849 because of monitoring the ships
from modern strong countries.
But the feudal period had ended, so this castle was demolished in 1872.
On the site, there are a historical museum, a library, and a high
- Goto Villa
Garden /2/ : Japanese garden in the
villa of Goto family in the site of Ishida Castle.
Goto family is the lord of Ishida Castle, and this garden was completed
It is said that this garden was modeled after Kinkakuji's garden in
But because the plants in warm regions are used and the stones are made
of lava, it is something different.
: "Bukeyashiki" means "samurai
It is the street in the area just southwest of Ishida Castle, and the
samurai serving the castle had lived in this area since 1634.
The fences are unique. The base stones are made of lava, and many round
stones are put on them.
: A Chinese temple located about 1
km north-northwest of Ishida Castle.
In the 16th century, Chinese merchants were allowed to live in Fukue,
and they built this Chinese temple.
The stones are from China, and Chinese carpentars built this temple.
- Hexagon Well
/5/ : A hexagon well
located about 200 meters south of Minjindou.
This well was also constructed by Chinese people who lived around here.
: A temple of Shingon Buddhism
located about 3 km southwest of Fukue district.
High preiest Kuukai (774-835) studied in China from 804 to 806, and he
came to Fukue Island on the way back to Japan.
When he prayed here, he saw Venus shining brilliantly in the sky.
He thought it was a sign of good luck, so he founded this temple. And
he gave the name "Myojo-in" to this temple. "Myojo" means "Venus".
(Later, Kuukai founded Kongobuji
temple in Mount Koya around 819.)
By route bus to Tomie, about 10 minutes from Fukue to Myojo-in Iriguchi
volcanos /7/ : Unique inactive
volcanos located about 5 km south of Fukue district.
In this area, there is a low lava plateau formed by the eruption about
3 million years ago, and the diameter is about 5 km.
Then thousands years ago, the second eruption occured. And some
mountains were formed on the lava plateau.
Especilally Ondake (315 meters high) is covered with lawn grass, so it
has been familiar to Fukue residents.
On the mountain, there is an observatory.
Use taxi to this mountain.
Church /8/ : A church located on
a small peninsula about 9 km north of Fukue district.
Soon after lifting of the ban of Christianity in 1873, a French priest
was invited here.
And the first church was built in 1879, then this church was
constructed in 1908.
By route bus to Togi, about 20 minutes from Fukue to Douzaki Tenshudou
Church /9/ : A church located
about 30 km west-southwest of Fukue district.
It was built in 1895.
Japan's first holy spring at Lourdes were constructed in 1899 in this
By route bus to Tamanoura, about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Fukue to
- Cape Oosezaki
: The cape at the southwestern end
of Fukue Island.
The cape is surrounded with the cliffs about 100 to 160 meters high.
On the tip of the cape, there is a lighthouse.
By route bus to Tamanoura, about 1 hour and 22 minutes from Fukue to
Church /11/ : A church located
about 15 km northwest of Fukue district.
It was founded in 1880, and current wooden church was completed in
By route bus to Miiraku, about 33 minutes from Fukue to Mizunoura stop.
Scenic or Nature /
Park or Garden /
City, Town or Village /
Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine /
Museum or Laboratory /
Market or Commercial facility /
Other Building or Construction /
Historic place /
World Heritage Site
How to get to here
- To Goto Fukue Airport, about 40
minutes from Fukuoka, about 30 minutes from Nagasaki.
- By route bus, about 10 minute
to central Fukue district.
- By high-speed ship, about 1
hour and 25 minutes from Nagasaki Port to Fukue Port.
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