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Myriad of Islands: Amakusa Kyushu, Kumamoto – Sushi, Ceramic and History


When Japanese hear Amakusa Kyushu, they immediately think of its history of having many hiding Christians while the Government oppressed Christianity for fear of the religion overpowering them. This small area in Kumamoto Prefecture is perfect for a day’s drive by the sea- great fish to eat, ceramics to buy, churches to visit, onsen (hot springs) to relax your tired body from site seeing, and seeing sunset behind countless islands. 

As you ride a train or drive out from Kumamoto to Misumi, you gradually approach the bay of Amakusa, silver and glittering from calm waves and beaming sun. You will find yourself crossing high-leveled bridges connecting islands before reaching Amakusa from Misumi by car. While driving from island to island over the dark, green-blue sea spreading in all directions, you see that there are countless number of green, floating forest around you in many sizes. 

No one should miss out on their fish when reaching Amakusa Kyushu. It is said that one of the three best sushi restaurants in Japan is located in Amakusa. As this restaurant serves ready-to-eat sushi, each sushi is seasoned by the master, often times using salt; no soy sauce is needed before bringing the delight of sushi into your mouth. 

Looking down at the table, you question whether the small soy sauce dishes are Amakusa-tojiki, Amakusa’s unique ceramic. Amakusa is also known for its white ceramic and designs drawn in blue. The white color of Amakusa Potters Stone, found in the 17th century in the area, gives the milky, transparent whiteness of Amakusa-tojiki.  

When seeing the sun setting in the distance with only islands in view, you really feel that Japan is formed of many islands. Amakusa, Kumamoto is a place to feel the islands of Japan. 

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