World Heritage-1

World Heritage

World Cultural Heritage “Hidden Christian sites in the Nagasaki and Amakusa region”

Nagasaki and the Amakusa region of Kumamoto prefecture are located in the northwestern part of Kyushu. During the strict ban on Christianity in the Edo Period, Christians in this region who continued to practice their faith in hiding, developed a unique culture among themselves.
The “Hidden Christian sites in the Nagasaki and Amakusa region” is composed of 12 components that explain what caused Christians to go into hiding, how Hidden Christian traditions developed, how they maintained their faith, and finally the introduction of new aspects that led to the end of the Hidden Christians’ hiding.
In the “Kuroshima Settlement” we can see how Hidden Christians moved in order to reclaim land for farming, while maintaining their traditional faith in coexistence with the existing society and religion. Furthermore in the “remnants of the Nozaki Island Settlement” part of the heritage of Sasebo City, Ojika, we see how they settled and reclaimed land on the steep cliffs of an island sacred to Shinto, while maintaining their believes.

The Kuroshima Settlement

50 minutes by ferry from Sasebo City’s Ainoura Pier. Kuroshima Island, one of the Kujukushima islands was settled by many of the Hidden Christians escaping the severe repression and monitoring under the Shogunate’s ban on religion. While the history of the Hidden Christians contains many sad stories, the almost miraculous “Resurrection of the faith” on Kuroshima exists as a recorded historical fact, and to this day, the descendants of those believers continue to live in faith, protecting the nature and culture of the island.

Places to see on Kuroshima

  • Kuroshima Church-1

    Kuroshima Church

    Kuroshima Catholic Church was established by the christian people who moved from Ikitsuki and Sotome in the Bunka・Bunsei era. Father Marmand, who first resided here, consecrated this magnificent church which was built with four hundred thousand bricks and Kuroshima's special granite for its foundation in 1902. 

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  • Kuroshima Welcome House-1

    Kuroshima Welcome House

    This is the base for Kuroshima sightseeing located right by the harbor. It is also a reception office for various experience-based tours, and sells souvenirs and special products of the island. Please ask us for information about Kuroshima sightseeing.

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  • Warabe Observatory-1

    Warabe Observatory

    It is a observatory with a fine view where beautiful flowers bloom in each season. On sunny days, you can see Sakito-cho on the left and Kami-Goto islands on the right. You can also enjoy watching naval vessels or a huge luxury liner come and go on the sea.

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  • Catholic cemetery-1

    Catholic cemetery

    This cemetery was built around the same time as Kuroshima Church. It contains rows of granite headstones in the shape of a cross unique to Kuroshima, as well as older semi-cylindrical gravestones. Father Marmand also laid to rest here.

  • Café Misaki-1

    Café Misaki

    Enjoy specially roasted Kuroshima blend coffee, prepared with Kuroshima’s natural mineral water. Food and sweets are also served, so please stop by at your convenience. Located next to the cafe is a spring imitating the miraculous Lourdes spring.

  • The cultural scenery of Kuroshima-1

    The cultural scenery of Kuroshima

    During the Edo Period, Hidden Christians from various regions moved to Kuroshima in order to flee persecution. In the Warabe settlement, a form of land use typical to Kuroshima remains in the position of the Ocean – Hedge – House – Field, this particularly evident in the large number of houses with banyan tree hedges planted on the southern side in order to block the southern winds and strong western sun of summer.

  • Island food-1

    Island food

    A delicious meal consisting of freshly caught fish, island vegetables and Kuroshima Tofu. You can enjoy this meal at inn and ryokan (hotels) on the island. (reservations required)

Access information

[Sasebo Station]ーBus 40 min. →[Ainoura Sanbashi (pier)]ーFerryー50 min.→[Kuroshima]

●Access from Sasebo Station to Ainoura Sanbashi
【Bus】 About 40 min.
【Matsuura Railway】 About 30 min.  MR time schedule
【Taxi】 About 22 min.
Access from Ainoura Sanbashi (pier) to Kuroshima
【Ferry】 Ferry Kuroshima (Departing from Ainoura Port)
About 50 min. (3 ships per day)


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