Nagasaki is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. Bordering Saga Prefecture on the east and predominantly surrounded by water, it also includes a large number of island groups, including the dynamic islands of Goto, the “five-island archipelago.”
The history of Nagasaki is tied to that of Christianity in Japan. Some of the locals are descendants of Christians who came to their faith when Portuguese missionaries brought Christianity to Japan in the late 16th century when practicing Christianity was forbidden in Japan. The islands now have several prominent Catholic churches, the oldest being the Dōzaki Church, built in 1868.
In addition to its historical significance, Nagasaki also offers many excellent diving locations, from the calm Omura Bay to Tatsunokuchi, located 30 min. from Nagasaki City. However, it is the Goto Islands that truly make Nagasaki a diving destination. The Tsushima Current (a branch of the Kuroshio) passes around the islands, making a unique ecology with both tropical and cold-water marine life that is great for drift diving. Most diving areas are within 20 minutes from the boat harbor, but boats do not usually return after each dive, ensuring that you can get the most out of each excursion. The best diving season is from September through October, with a high visibility of over 15 meters. In other months, visibility hovers around six to eight meters due to the amount of plankton in the water.