Kamigoto Tsubaki(Kamigoto Area Cycling Route)
Exploring the history of an island with its own World Heritage site
Arrive at Kamigoto Island, which has history of hidden Christians, after a 1 hour, 40 minute express boat ride from Nagasaki Port. Departing from “Goto Udon-no-Sato” which is near Arikawa Port, this course runs 49 kilometers and covers areas to the north, east, and south. First, we will head to the east to “Kashiragashima Church” which is located in the “Villages of Kashiragashima Island” a constituent heritage designated as a World Cultural Heritage. The ups and downs will continue, but you will be able to enjoy the view of the azure waters from the high ground and the seaside road which slopes down to the gentle sea from the church. Afterwards, we will return to the route and then continue to the north. After passing by Aosagaura Church, we will make a beeline for Yagatame Park which is known for a beautiful view of the setting sun. Additionally, we will try our best to make it to the south of the island and reach Wakamatsu Ohashi Bridge, which overlooks the beautiful Wakamatsu Strait of Saikai National Park.
The “Villages on Kashiragashima Island” where Christians moved to in the 19th century in order to continue secretly practicing their religion, is one of the sites designated as a “Hidden Christian Site in the Nagasaki Region” World Heritage. Located in the village, Kashiragashima Church (a nationally designated culturally important property), which was built in 1919, is a stone cathedral with a profound appearance. In addition, a total of 29 churches including Aosagaura Church (a nationally designated culturally important property) are dotted throughout Shinkamigoto, and many of them can be seen from along the cycling course.
The largest flat shoreline on Nakadori Island. After clearing the pine tree lined road, you will see a white sandy beach with a sprawling sea that is the color of a clear emerald before you. Selected as one of “Japan’s Top 100 Comfortable Beaches,” in summer, it is used as a bathing beach with showers and other for-pay rental services available.
After heading north while going up and down and overlooking the quiet Nama Bay on your right, you will come to a park located at the tip of the peninsula. There you will notice a peculiar cone-shaped rock protruding out at an elevation of over 120 meters. The view of the sun setting into the South China Sea from the observation deck is truly breathtaking. Additionally, Tsuwazaki at the northern tip of Nakadori Island and Ojika Island can also be seen. The origin of the area’s name comes from when it was said to have securely protected the surroundings from the arrows of foreign enemies that were attacking from Nama Bay.
A bridge running 522 meters that connects Nakadori Island and Wakamatsu Island. The pure white truss structure is stunning. Wakamatsu Strait, which runs under the bridge, spreads out to both sides of the deeply indented coastline which is intricately dotted with islands. You can also enjoy scenery such as the paulownia church that can be seen in the southern mountains of Nakadori Island, the passenger and fishing vessels crossing through Wakamatsu Strait, and also, culturing rafts. If you go up the stairs of “Shionokakaoru Park,” which is located right after crossing the bridge to Wakamatsu Island, you can take a walk on the promenade along the coastline.