Updated: Jun 15, 2020
Enjoy a bird's-eye-view of the island's beauty from the town's many lookout decks.
1. Mt. Sanno
Arakawago (Google Maps)
This is the second tallest mountain on Kamigoto, with an elevation of At 439.2 meters. There is an observation deck on top of the mountain where it is possible to see all the way to Uku Island to the north and Fukue Island to the south.
Hike to the top via the Imazato trailhead or enter from the Arakawa trailhead by car and park at the eighth station. From there, it is a 20-minute hike to the top.
Sonego (Google Maps)
At 443 meters tall, this is the highest mountain and lookout deck in Kamigoto. In the past, there used to be a lookout tower that was used to send signals if foreign invaders approached. Both the sunrise and sunset can be enjoyed from this observation deck thanks to the long, narrow shape of the Kita-uonome peninsula. On clear days, it is possible to view the islands of Ikitsuki and Hirado.
3. Yagatame Park
Amiagego (Google Maps)
This cape jutting into the East China Sea was once used as a lookout fort for detecting enemies. Soldiers bearing arrows, or ya, were once stationed here to protect against foreign invaders. Now, many people still come here to view the magnificent scenery of the East China Sea. There is also a large, cone-shaped boulder that is said to bear resemblance to the world-famous Ghibli character, Totoro, from a distance. There is a lighthouse on the opposite side of the boulder. The scenery at this park comprises a complex coastline and several unique, conical rocks to create a magnificent backdrop. The dynamic shoreline is best viewed from Shirakusa Park on the opposite shore--it is especially remarkable during sunset. Depending on the time of year, the location of the sunset changes, occasionally appearing as though it is sinking into the dip between the land masses on the horizon. The mystical sight of the sun setting over the giant rock is one of Kamigoto’s most prized scenic views.
Wakamatsugo (Google Maps)
The observation deck at Ryukanzan offers one of the best viewpoints in Saikai National Park. Take a 10-minute hike from the parking lot to the top of the 138-meter lookout and gaze out over Wakamatsu Ohashi Bridge and the surrounding Wakamatsu-seto Strait. The intermingling green islands and deep blue water creates a brilliant contrast with the white bridge. The seasons, ocean current, boat traffic coming into and leaving Wakamatsu Port, and color of the water create an ever-changing landscape. The parking lot is also a great spot to view cherry blossoms in the springtime.
Arikawago (Google Maps)
Kujiramiyama, which means “whale watch mountain,” was once a lookout from which the local town would be alerted whenever a whale was spotted. It is possible to see the entire Arikawa Bay and Arikawa town area from the lookout hut on top of the mountain. Upon spotting a whale, a watchman in the hut would send a signal to another hut at the foot of the mountain, and the men in town would row out in a boat to catch the whale. The top of Kujiramiyama is also home to the Shiseido “Tsubaki no Mori,” where several camellia trees have been planted. In June 2011, Shiseido released the “TSUBAKI” hair care line, which contains natural camellia oil from the Goto Islands. Every year, around 70 to 80 Shiseido employees come to the island to plant camellias and conduct volunteer conservation activities.
6. Kurosaki Park Lookout
Ogawarago (Google Maps)
On the way to Kashiragashima from Arikawa, a short climb to the top of this hill reveals the Arikawa Bay, the Shinuonome district of Kamigoto, and other various islands floating in the ocean. During warmer seasons, this spot is commonly used for stargazing due to a lack of light pollution; during the winter, the glow of fishing lures creates a surreal atmosphere.
7. Kannondake Park
Aokatago (Google Maps)
In addition to an observation deck looking out over Aokata Bay and the East China Sea, this park on top of Kannondake (elevation: 160 m) has a temple, several caves, a forest trail, and countless Jizō statues. The temple is dedicated to Iwaga Kannon, and every year on the 17th and 18th of January, the Ennichi Festival is held, during which festival foods and charms are available to purchase and the caves are lit up for visitor access. The park also has many features that are no longer in use, such as an amphitheater, a playground, and a grass ski slope. From the amphitheater and the observation deck, it is possible to see the Kamigoto Floating Petroleum Storage Base out on the ocean. The view of the sunset from here is also remarkable.
Naraogo (Google Maps)
The top of Mt. Komeyama offers a view of Wakamatsu-Seto Strait and the Narao district at 234 meters above sea level. The design of the observation deck is modeled after a ship. It is possible to see both the Goto Nada Sea to the east and the Wakamatsu-seto Strait to the west. Listed among Nagasaki Prefecture’s top 100 sightseeing spots, the strait treats visitors to an array of expressions throughout the year. The sunset over the strait is particularly compelling.
9. Tsuwazaki Camellia Park
Tsukwazakigo (Google Maps)
A solid white brick lighthouse perched atop a hill is the landmark of this park on the northern tip of the island. From here, Ojika town floats in the ocean to the northwest while Nozaki Island closes in on the northeastern side; be sure to keep an eye out for the rumored herd of deer that roams around this depopulated Island. Camellias flank the sides of the pathway up the hill and add a splash of red to the scenery from December through March. Enjoy a stroll around the area while they are in full bloom.
10. Mt. Shiroyama Lookout
Enokizugo (Google Maps)
There is a castle-shaped observation deck at the top of this mountain in Shinuonome, where a castle actually stood during Japan’s medieval period. Arikawa Bay and other mountains in Kamigoto can also be seen from the top.
11. Mt. Gionyama Summit (Banyano-toge)
Hinoshimago (Google Maps)
Mt. Gion is located on the western end of town in Hinoshima, an island which once enjoyed flourishing trade. The characters for “Hinoshima” were originally written as “fire island” due to the fact that a signal fire was located here. Later, the characters were converted to “sun island.” From around the 12th through the 19th centuries, there was a watch tower for detecting the approach of foreign vessels, so the mountain is also referred to as Banyano-toge or “guardhouse mountain.” The trailhead to the top of Mt. Gion is marked with a sign at the end of prefectural road 169. Hikers who make it to the boulder at the 244.2-meter-high summit are treated to a broad view of the Takigahara-seto Strait, as well as the islands of Arifuku, Ryoseura, Wakamatsu, Nakadori, and Naru. There was once a deer park on this mountain, and much of the vegetation here sustained damage as a result. Some deer can still be spotted here.
12. Tannayama Lookout
Enohamago (Google Maps)
Marvel at how enormous the windmills that compose Shinkamigoto’s eight-turbine Whales Wind System look up close. It is also relaxing to watch boats cross the Goto Nada Sea from this observation deck on the 369-meter-high Tannayama.
13. Yaguradake Lookout
Nanamego (Google Maps)
Also referred to as Marinepia Lookout, this 384-meter-high observation deck offers a glorious view of Arikawa and the ocean that hugs it. On clear days, it is possible to see the islands of Uku and Ojika in the distance.
14. Mt. Takanoshi
Amiagego (Google Maps)
Mt. Takanoshi has an elevation of 430 meters and faces the western sea from the Kamigoto district. It once served as a landmark for ships passing offshore. The observation deck affords a magnificent view of the East China Sea and the Kamigoto Floating Petroleum Storage Base. Vehicles can reach as far as the green space near the top of the mountain.
15. Kaminakashima Park
Wakamatsugo (Google Maps)
This observation deck offers a view of the Wakamatsu Ohashi Bridge and Wakamatsu-seto Strait from the western side of Nakadori Island.