Nagasaki Prefecture is located in the southwest of Japan. Embraced by mountains on one side, and bordered by the sea on the other, the prefecture is surrounded on all sides by natural beauty. The prefecture is also full of historical, traditional, and cultural riches. Historically, Nagasaki played an important role in Japan’s international relations. A vast amount of culture and knowledge from Asia and Europe flowed to and from Japan via Nagasaki and contributed greatly to the modernization of Japan.
The Port of Nagasaki gained particular prominence during Japan’s period of national isolation, Sakoku. During this time it was the only place in all of Japan which was open for communication with visitors from Europe and the wider world. Even today, many international cruise ships call at this port every year. This colorful history, in which traditional Japanese culture has coexisted and harmonized with overseas cultures, is evident in the region’s architecture, food, and annual events.
The prefecture has survived many tragic events, such as the persecution of the Christians and later the atomic bombing of Nagasaki City in World War 2. Nagasaki’s mission today is to send a message of peace and harmony to the world. Nagasaki Prefecture is also home to distinguished resorts where you can make the most of the rich natural scenery and subtropical beaches. Besides enjoying the full spectrum of the Japanese seasons, you can also partake in the gourmet food and exciting sports opportunities offered by this prefecture of sea and mountains.
- How beautiful is the changing scenery of the Japanese seasons?
- How did Samurai culture develop into modern Japanese culture?
- How did Japan recover from tragedies?
- You will find answers to all of these questions and more in Nagasaki!
Nagasaki Prefecture is located in the northwestern part of Kyushu, which is itself at the western end of Japan. The prefecture is located near to both the Korean Peninsula and to China. The city of Busan, in South Korea, is less than 50 km away, while Shanghai, in China, is only 860 km away.
Nagasaki Prefecture has abundant mountainous land and a long complex coastline comprised of numerous peninsulas, capes, bays and inlets. Out of all the 47 Prefectures of Japan, Nagasaki Prefecture has the second longest coastline and the most islands. These islands make up over 45% of the prefecture’s total land area. Blessed with extraordinary scenic beauty, the prefecture has two national parks, two quasi-national parks and six prefectural national parks.
The weather is generally mild and humid, thanks to the Pacific Ocean climate system to the east and the warm Tsushima Current coming from the west. The average annual temperature is 17.5°C, and it does not vary much from this number. With beautiful flowers in the spring (March - May), the sparkling sea in the summer (June - August), golden autumn leaves in the fall (September - November), and delicate snow in the winter (December - February), the beauty of all four of Japan’s unique seasons can be enjoyed in Nagasaki Prefecture.
Interesting Facts about Nagasaki
- The westernmost point in mainland Japan is Kozakibana in Kozawa Town, Sasebo City.
- The world’s highest-latitude coral reef is located off Iki Island.
- Nagasaki has the most inhabited islands per prefecture in Japan: 55 islands.
- The prefecture has 21.2% of all the islands in Japan.
- The oldest Western-style building in Japan: Glover House in Nagasaki City (built 1863).
- The oldest catholic church in Japan: Oura Catholic Church in Nagasaki City (built 1865).
- The oldest former consular office in Japan: Western-style House at No.12 Higashi-yamate, Nagasaki City.
- Japan’s westernmost train station: Tabira-Hiradoguchi Eki, Hirado City, run by Matsuura Railway.
- *This station issues a certificate to visitors for “Visiting Japan’s Westernmost Train Station”.
- The largest number of fishing ports in Japan: 286 ports
- 43.1% of Japan’s Autumn potato crop: 19,700 tons.
- 34.9% of Japan’s loquat crop: 2,130 tons.
- 14.5% of Japan’s tai (sea bream) catch: 3,616 tons.
- 24.4% of Japan’s gonaji (horse-mackerel) catch: 58,918 tons.
- 36.2% of Japan’s pearl production: 8.093 billion yen.
Guinness World Records
- The tallest Kadomatsu, a Japanese traditional decoration for New Year: 9.866m, recorded at Tachibana Shrine, in 2001.
- Video screens constructed at Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Nagasaki, won records as the world's largest high-definition video screens at the JRA Tokyo Racecourse in 2006.
- The most people catching a kendama ball successfully at the same time: 248 Yamazato elementary school students in 2013 (kendama is type of a cup-and-ball game).