Nagasaki’s Kujukushima Islands

Kujukushima Kyushu
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Writer’s profile

Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with traveling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. Also love to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.

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The Kujukushima Islands consist of over 200 remote islands located about 25 kilometers off the coast of Sasebo City in Nagasaki prefecture. This scenic natural attraction is home to a wide range of outdoor activities, wildlife encounters, unique cuisine culture, stunning landscapes, and much more to see and do. It is also officially designated as part of Saikai National Park and the untouched nature brings in visitors all year round. Here is the ultimate guide to Kujukushima Island in Nagasaki!                            

1. Getting to Kujukushima Islands

The islands have water so blue it looks like the sky!

The best way to get to Kujukushima Islands from Tokyo is by plane. From Haneda Airport, domestic flights are available to Nagasaki Airport. It generally takes about 2.5 hours to Nagasaki Airport where you can catch a bus to Sasebo station which is the gateway to Kujukushima Island area. 

The bus service is provided by the local bus company “Saihi Bus”, and they operate every hour from the airport to Sasebo station (1,400 yen/one-way). The total plane fare is typically around 20,000 – 25,000 yen on average though it may vary depending on the flight.  

If you prefer traveling by train, take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Hakata station in Fukuoka prefecture. JR limited express “Midori” is available from there to Sasebo station (highway buses are alternatively available). The average one-way fare is around 26,000 yen, and you can save money if you take non-reserved seats on the Shinkansen. 

From Tokyo to Kujukushima Islands (Sasebo station)

Domestic flights & BusJR Shinkansen & Limited express train
Time3.5h7h
Fare20,000 – 25,000 JPY26,000 JPY (*reserved seat)

2. Planning your Trip to the Kujukushima Islands

There is no shortage of things to do in Kujukushima

Kujukushima Islands offers plenty of things to see and do. If you want to make the most of your time there, we highly recommend you spend at least a couple of days on the islands. It will allow you to explore many of the top tourist attractions on the islands and the surrounding areas.

When it comes to where to stay around Kujukushima, there is no shortage of excellent accommodations. You can easily find a wide variety of accommodation options ranging from Japanese traditional Ryokan to reasonably-priced casual hotels that suit everyone’s budget. Most of the accommodations are located particularly in central Sasebo city.  

Check our popular private tour which helps you plan a memorable trip to Nagasaki and Kujukushima area!  

Nagasaki 1–Day Highlight Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)  

3. Where to go and What to do around Kujukushima Islands!

Kujukushima
No matter where you go on Kujukushima, the views will be stunning!

Kujukushima Pearl Sea Resort is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Kujukushima area which is perfect for family travelers with kids. They offer great shopping opportunities, restaurants, and outdoor activity options such as sea kayaking. Taking their luxury boat cruise will allow you to enjoy the picturesque views of the Kujukushima Islands closely. Kujukushima Aquarium Umi Karara is an aquarium that showcases diverse marine life in the beautiful waters of Kujukushima. A free shuttle bus service is also available to Kujukushima Zoo & Botanical Garden Mori Kirara.  

Opening hours 

Umi Kirara

9am – 6pm (Oct. – Mar.)

9am – 5pm (Nov. – Feb.)

Mori Kirara

9am – 5p (Nov. – Feb.)

Tenkaiho Observatory offers not only stunning views of Kujukushima Islands but also displays beautiful seasonal flowers such as yellow rape blossoms in spring and cosmos in fall.   

It is about a 15-minute walk from Kujukushima Zoo & Botanical Garden to Ishidake Observatory. Located at the top of Mt. Ishi which stands at 191 meters, this lovely observatory offers 360- degree views of Kujukushima Islands loved by professional photographers.    

Kujukushima’sseafood is a must-try for everyone who loves Japanese fresh seafood. Sasebo city is home to incredible restaurants serving top-quality seafood such as oysters delivered straight from the surrounding waters! 

Plan a memorable Day Trip to Kuroshima Island as it is about a 50-minute ferry ride from Ainoura Port in Sasebo city to Kuroshima Island, Kujukushima’s largest inhabited island with a population of around 430 local residents. This secluded island has a unique history that is deeply associated with the persecution of Christianity during the Edo period in Japan. 

Kuroshima Church is a symbolic structure on the island which was founded by a French missionary in 1902. This beautiful church and the island itself are officially on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites as part of Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki and Amakusa region. 

If you want to explore the Kyushu region on a much more up close and personal level, check out our popular private tour below!

Kagoshima 1–Day Highlight Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)     

Kujukushima Islands is an ideal holiday destination for those who love spending a relaxing time in nature. If you are planning to spend a couple of days during your stay, it can also be enjoyable to travel to other parts of the Kyushu region. Renting a car is highly recommended because it is much easier to get around the Kyushu region where public transport is limited in some areas. You will also occasionally need to drive long distances, so make sure to learn basic traffic rules in Japan before your visit!  

Japan Wonder Travel Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help you organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are visiting, our knowledgeable and friendly English speaking guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Fish Market Tour @Tsukiji – Enjoy Local Food and Drink
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo and try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake with one of our friendly and knowledgeable English speaking guides! 

tsukiji tour

Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private tour

Kyoto Private Full Day Walking Tour
On this full-day private tour of Kyoto, you will be able to see the highlights of Kyoto in just one day and at the same time develop a deeper understanding of both the culture of the area and Japan as a whole.

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Happy traveling!

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