How (and Why) to Go to Nagasaki’s Iki Island


I didn’t have excessive expectations for Iki, which is unusual wanting again. Out of all of Nagasaki’s offshore islands, it was the one for which I had essentially the most cohesive checklist of potential issues to do an see.

Certainly, regardless of its small dimension, Ikishima has a comparatively excessive density of points of interest, whether or not you’re looking for shrines, seashores, historic points of interest or culinary uncover. If it had higher infrastructure and extra connections to mainland Kyushu, in truth, I may see it turn out to be a quasi-major vacationer vacation spot.

For now, nonetheless, this Iki island itinerary will principally be of use to extraordinarily adventurous vacationers such as you. As a result of a visit to Iki is, if nothing else, a grand journey.

The right way to Get to Iki

Earlier than we get to the meat of this Iki itinerary, it’s essential to undergo all of your choices for reaching the island. The best, in my view, is to journey from Hakata Port (in Fukuoka) by jetfoil. This solely takes an hour door-to-door, and with a number of departures per day is extraordinarily handy. An alternative choice for coming by boat is to experience a jetfoil from close by Tsushima, should you resolve to start out your journey there.

An alternative choice is to come back by aircraft. Nonstop turboprop flights function straight from Fukuoka and Nagasaki airports to Iki’s airport. No matter the way you get to the island, it’s actually advisable to hire a automotive. Buses exist, although they aren’t quick and don’t come usually; whereas I did encounter just a few vacationers using bicycles, Iki is a bit too massive to make this sensible, not less than not should you’re solely planning a brief go to.

Issues to Do in Iki

Decide a shrine, any shrine


For a spot so comparatively unpopulated, Ikishima has a whole lot of superior sacred websites. Most of my favorites are situated within the southeast nook of the island, and embody the “island” shrine of Kojima, and nicely because the Harahoge Jizo, that are featured in the principle picture of this text. A extra wild card may be Ondake Shrine, which has a monkey (particularly, see/do/hear no evil) theme.

Hit the seaside


As I described in my essay about my April 2024 journey to Japan, it was at idyllic Kuyoshihama Seashore the place I met a form (however unusual) girl named Tomoko. Among the many unusual issues she mentioned? Evaluating the seaside in entrance of us (which was pretty, however nothing particular) to Okinawa and even Hawaii. To be clear, the seashores listed below are adequate to say they’re a part of what makes Iki price visiting, however they gained’t change your life (although the espresso truck at Kuyoshihama was charming!)


TIP: Though varied rock formations on Iki’s west coast (particularly, the so-called Satan’s Footprint and Saruiwa, aka Monkey Rock) achieve a whole lot of consideration, they’re actually nothing particular. I don’t essentially imagine they’re price visiting.

Return to the Yayoi interval


I knew there was a Yayoi-era archaeological website on Iki, however didn’t notice how a lot it could resemble Yoshinogari (on the mainland, in Saga prefecture). That is particularly the case whenever you look down on Harunotsuji from the Ikikoku Museum, fairly than (essentially) at floor degree, even when I do suppose this place is a good spot for watching sundown.

Take a scenic boat journey


Many an Iki journey weblog will advocate that you just take a ship from Katsumoto Port to offshore Tatsunoshima Island—and I concur. Nonetheless, I really discover the city of Katsumoto to be not less than as fascinating because the island itself, partially due to how completely devoid of vacationers it’s. I additionally love all of the little touches and thrives you discover right here, like restrooms with stained glass pictures of native lore.

Eat Iki beef


In a bunch of islands primarily well-known for boring udon, it thrilled me that Iki had its personal scrumptious beef to tear into. Whereas yakiniku eating places are extraordinarily quite a few right here, I used to be capable of finding one (and a captivating, genuine one at that) close to Ashibe Port. I ate there on day one, though I may simply as nicely have achieved so earlier than persevering with to Tsushima on day two.

How Many Days Do You Want in Iki?

Iki is smaller than many of the different islands off the coast of Nagasaki, however continues to be greater than it appears on the map. Whilst you can realistically circumnavigate the island in a single full day (assuming you comply with my recommendation and hire a automotive), you doubtless gained’t be capable to cease all over the place, particularly when you think about inland locations. Due to this fact, I’d in all probability advocate that you just spend not less than two nights in Iki (on the opulent Iki Retreat, perhaps?) should you can.

Then again, I’m one thing of a hypocrite for recommending this. In any case, when the query of what number of days in Iki to spend got here up. this was not my reply. As a substitute, I stayed only one evening, arriving early on the primary morning after which staying till mid-day the subsequent day. This was effective for me—as a blogger, I sightsee at a charge round twice as quick as a standard individual—however your mileage could fluctuate.

Different FAQ About Visiting Iki Island

What’s Iki island recognized for?

Iki island is thought for its scrumptious beef, for its distinctive array of pure and cultural magnificence and for being the best of Nagasaki’s islands to go to. Nicely, to the extent that it’s “recognized.” Iki stays deliciously off most individuals’s radars, which is a part of why I discover it such a pleasure to go to.

Which is best: Iki or Tsushima?

I personally favor Iki over Tsushima, regardless that Tsushima is a bigger island and may theoretically have extra on provide. Iki merely presents a denser array of points of interest. from the island shrine of Kojima Jingu, to its varied seashores, to islands you possibly can go to on a ship journey from Katsumoto Port.

How do you get to Iki island?

Iki Island is accessible in certainly one of two methods. By jetfoil ferry (from Hakata Port in Fukuoka; or from neighboring Tsushima island); or by nonstop flight from Fukuoka or Nagasaki Airports. Word that whereas fast, these flights are usually not for the faint of coronary heart, as some vacationers really feel intimidated by the aircraft propellers.

The Backside Line

I think about you’ll discover my Iki island itinerary helpful, even should you already had a strong checklist of issues to do there. It would focus you, which is essential: Iki’s small dimension can idiot you into considering you possibly can “see all of it,” which may in flip see you get to the top of the day having wasted time on superfluous points of interest—you gained’t have seen a lot of something in any respect. Trying again on my journey, I do want I’d stayed longer and left extra room for magic. An effective way to proper this unsuitable of mine? Rent me to plan your journey. Whether or not you focus solely on Iki, or additionally on close by Tsushima or the quasi-adjacent Goto Islands, I’ll sweat the small print; you possibly can concentrate on letting journey rework you.



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