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Christian Cave Cruise in Shinkamigoto

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Christian Cave Cruise in Shinkamigoto


Explore the Wakamatsu Strait and discover the historic hiding spots for Christian refugees in the Goto Islands

Shinkamigoto Town


Shinkamigoto is a beautiful island town off the coast of Nagasaki with a rich Christian history dating back centuries. After Christianity first arrived in Japan in the 16th century, many people converted to the new faith, mainly in Kyushu. The Goto Islands, of which Shinkamigoto is part, served as a refuge for Christians during their persecution by the Shogunate during the Edo Period (1603-1868).


Among the most emblematic of the town’s Christian refugee sites is the Christian Cave on the southern tip of Wakamatsu Island, which sheltered four Japanese Christian refugees during a period of exposure of Goto’s Christians known as Goto Kuzure (1868). They were eventually captured and tortured, but after persecution of Christians ended, the cave became a symbol of the perseverance of Goto’s Christians and a site for pilgrimages. Mass is held at the cave’s exit every October. In 1967, a three-meter-tall statue of Jesus Christ was erected at the entrance.


Boat rides to the cave are available, offering a scenic tour through the calm teal waters of the Wakamatsu Strait and passing by numerous sights along the way, including Kiri Church, table corals, and the “Eye of the Needle”, an opening in the rockface whose silhouette is said to resemble the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus.



If you are looking for other ways to enjoy the blue sea, sign up for one of the many activities available in the area, which include diving, snorkeling, and stand-up paddle surfing, or just relax and unwind on a white sand beach kissed by crystal clear waters. No matter how you choose to spend your time, a trip to the Goto Islands is sure to provide plenty of unique, memorable experiences.




How to get there


From Nagasaki Airport, take the bus to Nagasaki Port or Sasebo Port. From there, take a ferry to Arikawa Port, Tainoura Port, or Narao Port.
From Fukuoka Airport, take a taxi to Hakata Port. From there, take a ferry to Aokata Port.


Wakamatsugo, Shinkamigoto, Minamimatsuura-gun, Nagasaki-ken



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