Today, travelers can even venture to small ports on small islands in Japan’s western sea.
There isn’t very much on Ojikajima Island. As far as sightseeing spots, there isn’t a single resort, or even a convenience store.
What you will find instead are people living in harmony with nature, where everyday life is still heavily based on self-sufficiency and bartering.
Everyone works together cheerfully on this island.
Life is a step by step process here.
As a small island, it’s natural that there are many beloved nostalgic aspects of Japanese culture protected here. In fact, there are also many residents who decided to move here after visiting on vacation too.
By island visits, the islanders hope to not only convey the charms of the island itself, but also protect its culture and landscape, and connect to the future of Japan too.
Ojikajima Island – a place that will have you saying “”I’m home”” on your SNS in no time.
A place you’ll want to stay forever.
For a journey like that – come and stay with us.
Written as Ojika, But Read Like Home
Ojikajima is a small island floating on the northern tip of the Goto Islands in Nagasaki prefecture. The whole island is designated as Saikai National Park thanks to its unique, majestic landscape and incredible coastal beauty. It has also been chosen as “”the most beautiful village in Japan”” thanks to its nostalgic Japanese atmosphere.
It is approximately 60 km west of Sasebo Port in Nagasaki prefecture.
With a population of about 2600 people, Ojikachima can be reached in about three hours by ferry from Sasebo, one and a half hours by express boat, and about five hours by ferry from Fukuoka.
Ojika (the town) is formed from 17 large and small islands, of which six islands have villages. Starting from Ojikajima and connected by a series of bridges, are Madarajima and Kurojima, and connected by ship are Oshima, Noushima, and Mushima.
And, one part of Ojika is Nozakijima, where you will find the simple lodging facility Nozakijima Shizengaku Juku (the Nozakijima Natural Sciences Center), where, other than the manager of this facility, there’s not a single other person on the island.
Life on a Small Island – Enjoy Abundant Marine and Agricultural Products
Bartering is a part of everyday life here on the island. If the fisherman gives them some fish, the rice farmer gives them new rice during harvest season. When you are able to give back, you give back something that is sure to make the other party happy. And other than bartering, when you are blessed, you share your good fortune with others. The goal is not to divide the surplus of your blessing, but to share it equally with others from the start. Islanders and visitors to the island can learn to share the blessings of nature with others, and come to appreciate the exquisite sense of balance that such a practice brings to life. It may be that on the island that you’ll discover, from this community-minded system of bartering and exchange, a new type of culture and way of thinking.
To be an island, you must be surrounded on all sides by water. As such, in Ojika, you will find plenty of fresh fish and seafood on the dining table. But there aren’t any fish shops on the island. That’s because you can catch the fish for yourself, get them from bartering, or get them live down at the harbor when they are brought in fresh off the boats. If you visit the island, get up early in the morning and head to the harbor. There you’ll find the absolute freshest fish and seafood, and see the hardworking folks that bring these blessings to the island, as well as feel what it is truly like to live on an island surrounded by the sea.
It’s not just farmers that have fields on the island – everyone has a little space of their own here. Enough land to grow crops for your family, and some extra to share with the neighbors. There’s even enough to go around to those that come to visit the island too.
The ground of Ojika is made up of fertile red soils that are constantly blown by salt-rich sea breezes, and in these fields, numerous seasonal fruits and vegetables are grown. You’re sure to understand the value of these products when you experience the time and effort it takes to produce these blessings of the land.
No matter what season it is, there are many small regional festivals that take place here. Ones for the God of the Sea, God of the Mountain, for Buddhist deities, and more – all of which take place in order to pray and give thanks for the blessings of nature, at different milestones throughout the area. There are also prayers for safety at sea and to pray for an abundance of fish and good harvest as well.
As the islands are separated by the sea, living in cooperation with nature is also fundamental here. Awakening to the sounds of birds in the morning, seeing the changing of the seasons through the flowers around you, looking up at the starry sky, feeling the sea winds and full power of nature. The sun shines down during the day, and the moon illuminates the jet black skies at night. On full moons, the fisher folk bring their boats in and spend the night making merry, not heading back out until the moon wanes. Seedlings are planted before rainy days set in, letting the natural watering can of the skies enrich the red soils of the earth and produce greater crops. Life here is a blessing from the oceans, and people learn about this life from the far off oceans themselves.
A home-like vacation.
There are many ways to spend time in Ojika.
Please choose the perfect accommodation to suit you.
Minpaku – Home Stays
Ojikajima and Oshima Islands
Ojikajima has a minpaku system in place, where travelers can come stay with island families in their own households. This is the perfect way to experience the farming or fishing life of the island firsthand.
Through your host family’s instruction, you can learn how to prepare local cuisines, and even learn how to casually and professionally fish too. While you may be apprehensive about staying at a stranger’s home, you need not worry, as your host family will invite you in and treat you as a relative come to visit. This warm atmosphere makes it even easier to enjoy the relaxed pace of life of the island.
The ability to “”live”” on the island – that is one of the greatest charms of Ojikajima. By all means, please come and feel at home as an islander here.
Stay at an Old Japanese Style Home
Stay at a beautiful Japanese style house that has watched over the island for 100 years; one that has been fully renovated to both provide modern comforts but still retain its historical charms. These houses are available for rent to groups and to couples, so you will be able to have your ‘own home’ on the island.
With kitchens, washing machines and other appliances are your disposal, you will really start to feel like you’ve moved to the island yourself. There are six old homes available to rent on Ojikajima. Please come and soothe yourself in island style in one of these private home-like accommodations.
Old Japanese Style Guest House
This guest house in a former private home can hold up to eight people and is an ideal location for group training camps or seminars. These facilities are designed to accommodate the needs of any type of group, and the spacious surroundings and building make this a comfortable facility to use as well. They may be rented for up to ten nights, and based on their pricing plan, the longer you stay, the more you save.
Ryokan Inns and Bed & Breakfasts
There are ten ryokan inns and bed & breakfasts on Ojikajima, all of which are very cozy. These inns are not only used by people sightseeing here, but are also popular with people that have come to the island for work too. For reservations and availability, please contact each facility.
Nozakijima Shizengaku Juku Village
This is the only accommodation on Nozakijima Island. Built in a former wooden school building, there is a kitchen that you can use as well as a shower and bedding available to make your stay here comfortable. From this accommodation, it is only a one minute walk to the old Nokubi Church and to the beautiful sandy beaches of the coast.
Recommeded – the Nozakijima Guided Tour
A short history and nature rich trekking tour of Nozakijima, the smallest island in the Ojikajima islands. Here you’ll find red soiled grounds where wild deer live, sandy beaches and mountains, and other sights not found anywhere else in Japan. You can also visit the Former Nokubi Church and learn about the history of this island from the manager of the Nozakijima Shizengaku Juku Village (the Nozakijima Natural Sciences Center).
Learn the history of the Ojikajima, and enjoy the natural wonders of Nozakijima.
The professional guides and instructors are sure to make your trip to this island even more memorable.
All tours and activities must be book in advance (at least seven days prior notice is required, after which you will be informed of your reservation’s status).
Ojika Island Tourism
Address: 857-4701 Nagasaki, Kitamatsuura, Ojika, Fuefukigo 2791−13
Minimum number of people: 2
Cost per person: 4000 yen (plus tax)
(elementary school students are 2000 yen plus tax, while toddlers are free)
(if you wish to organize your own plans, it is 7000 yen per person, plus tax)
**Travel fares to the town are not included
Time Required: about 2-3 hours
Difficulty Level ★★
Note: Involves trekking, make sure to wear weather/hiking appropriate clothes and footwear
Old Japanese Home Restaurant Fujimatsu
Facing the bay of Ojikajima, Fujimatsu is a restaurant built in the former private home of the Fujimatsu family, who grew to prominence in Ojika through whaling and sake distilling. Here you can enjoy dishes featuring fresh vegetables and fish from Ojikajima. Please note that this restaurant is open based on reservations only.
Shimasachi course 3500 yen (plus tax)
*A special sashimi fish selection, 5-6 dishes with rice and miso soup*
Old Japanese Home Restaurant Fujimatsu’s Website
Kominkan Restaurant Fujimatsu
Hours: 11:00-15:00 (last order)
*Only available for lunch
Closed: Tuesdays (open if a national holiday, closed Wednesday instead), New Years holidays
*May be irregularly closed due to weather and regional events
Reservations must be made by 18:00 at least 2 full days ahead of your desired visit.
*Reservations are required in order to properly prepare the ingredients necessary.
Address: Nagasaki, Kitamatsuura, Ojika, Maegatago 3694
For Reservations: Ojika Island Tourism
A popular market where you can find plenty of fresh seasonal vegetables from Ojika. Very reasonably priced, starting from just 100 yen, this shop is also popular with the locals.
The shop is quite busy in the mornings when it first opens. Visit early.
Address: Ojika Fuefukigo Choeibune Hamayu Noribamae (in front of the Hamayu municipal ship landing area)
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday from 07:00-10:00 (may close early if sold out)
Tsuda Kouhei Shop
A souvenir shop specializing in marine products.
Here you will find dry, frozen, and refrigerated souvenirs for you and your friends/family. You’re sure to be in the mood to shop here. You can also purchase sea urchin (in season only) and aozana(sea lettuce) here as well.
Tsuda Kouhei Shop
Address: 857-4701 Nagasaki, Kitamatsuura, Ojika, Fuefukigo 1763-2
Closed: None (closed on New Year’s Day)