Why I Love Nagasaki

My name’s Conor- I’ve been living in Nagasaki for a solid 3 years now, and I do intend to stay! These past years have been rich with wonderful experiences and discovery, and I still feel like there’s so much more to do. To sort of put things in context, I once lived in Tokyo as a student. However, eventually I left and ultimately signed up for an English teaching job in the countryside. In point of fact, I don’t live in Nagasaki City, but actually in the Goto islands, about four hours away from Nagasaki by boat. I wanted to round out my experience by seeing rural Japan, and thus far living in Nagasaki has been positively eye opening.

Goto itself is absolutely beautiful! With amazing beaches like Takahama and Kojushi, as well as its fascinating history as a haven for those who fled religious persecution, I’m surprised it’s not better known! Indeed, with a history of harboring hidden treasures, I’ve found that much of the fun of living here is discovering all its hidden-away, quaint sights and opportunities. Waterfalls, mountains, cliffs and lush, verdant countryside are among just a few of the opportunities available here! Did you know that a fair portion of Kobe Beef actually comes from Goto? Furthermore, among the hidden shops is a certain unassuming ramen restaurant that’s among the best in the prefecture! The food is fantastic! Goto continues to surprise me. Goto-Ben, the island-exclusive dialect of Japanese, presents its own, oddly charming set of challenges regularly. What’s more, going about my daily life and occasionally bumping into the odd European-built, colonial-era Catholic Church continues to solicit a double take. What I value most about my time in Goto and Nagasaki is the thrill of discovery. Taking a chance and going down some quaint side-road always seems to lead me to some wonderful treasure that I hadn’t known about before, be it a new sight, a hidden café, secret swimming hole or simply a chance at adventure. And as I haphazardly tear around this idyllic countryside on my motorcycle, I’m constantly able to explore, learn and experience new things. And THAT is why I love Nagasaki (and Goto) so much!