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Cycling on Goto Islands with Go To Travel

For this report, we flew to Goto City, an island city full of nature where time seems to slow down. And it’s only 40 minutes from Fukuoka on a direct flight! Most of the main island of Fukue lies within a national park. At 326.34km², it’s not only the largest island in the Goto chain, it’s the 11th largest island in Japan. In terms of area, it’s almost the same size as Fukuoka City (343.46km²).

With rolling terrain, abundant nature and easy access from the mainland, Fukue plays host to triathlons and marathons. Its main road is Route 384, and if you make no stops, you can drive the 90-km stretch of road that winds around the entire island in about 90 minutes. Although a rental car makes getting around Fukue quite easy, there are many other transportation options including public buses, taxis, rentacycles and even rental motorcycles (one-person 50cc and two-person 125 cc bikes available).

Irie Rental Car
Rental scooters also available
2-5-20 Miono, Goto City, Nagasaki
0959-72-7535
* Pick up for the airport and port offered

Rental Bicycles
Wondertrunk & Co. Travel・Bakery
Made-in-Kyushu cross bikes
1 hour ¥1,000, 4 hours ¥2,000~
1302 Tao, Tomie-machi, Goto City, Nagasaki
0959-86-3151
* Pick up for the airport and port is possible

Rental Bicycles
Goto City Tourism Association
Electric assisted small-size bicycle
~3 hours ¥500, 6 hours ¥1,000~
2-3-1 Higashihama-machi, Goto City, Nagasaki
0959-72-2963

With a rentacycle, you can even go up to Mt. Onidake, the symbol of the Goto Islands. The trip takes about 40 minutes one way covering 23 km over a gentle up-and-down course, but if you want to see the sights along the way, you should allow yourself about three hours. Cycling course from the Fukue port (Japanese) PDF

If you are into more serious cycling, then check out Wondertrunk & Co. Travel – Bakery

Will, a native of New York who’s fluent in Japanese, offers a variety of guided cycling tours for people of all skill levels. Follow his lead on a course tailored to your cycling experience and enjoy the hidden gems and scenic spots only a local would know. If you’re cycling on Fukue for the first time, we recommend a guided tour.

Wondertrunk & Co. Travel – Bakery
There is also a plan to rent a bicycle from Kyushu-born bicycle brand “Bike is Life” for hourly rental (1 hour ¥1,000, 4 hours ¥2,000 ~)
1302 Tao, Tomie-machi, Goto City, Nagasaki
0959-86-3151
* Pick up for the airport and port is possible

Goto Cycling Tour
Special half-off pricing is available through December 31, 2020.

Accommodation

A stylish new hotel that will make your trip to Goto something to remember just opened in May 2020. Housed in a refurbished three-story building in the city center, Hotel Sou offers contactless check-in and check-out. This unique hotel was designed by Suppose Design Office, a Tokyo-based architectural firm led by high-profile architects Makoto Tanijiri and Ai Yoshida.

With views of Fukue Bay, the terrace is a great place to enjoy the sunset or a leisurely morning. You can also enjoy a relaxing bath in the open-plan bathing area, which has no distinct boundaries separating it from the rest of the room.

The central location puts the hotel within walking distance from several restaurants and bars, and the bay is only an eight-minute walk away. In preparing for this trip, we looked for dining experiences that were sure to be memorable.

Hotel Sou
2-15, Sakae-machi, Goto City, Nagasaki
070-8507-7736

Restaurant

Fancy some fish?The Goto islands are located extremely close to some excellent fishing grounds and are well known for delicious seafood. Winter is the best time to enjoy fresh fish as this is the season when fish build up their fat stores to cope with the cold seawater.

If the rare fan lobster sashimi is on the menu, you should not hesitate to order! It tastes just as good as the prized Japanese spiny lobster, but the price is more reasonable. The friendly owner provided us with a careful explanation of what was in season. Reservations are recommended since the shop is also popular with the locals.

Izakaya Mori
5-15 Sakae-machi, Goto City, Nagasaki
0959-74-1622
Close: Sun.
Credit cards: Not accepted

If you prefer meat, then you won’t want to miss Goto Beef. Goto Beef is a variety of Kuroge Wagyu that comes from cattle fed with mineral-rich grass. It’s prized for its coloring and tenderness, and the lean portions are especially flavorful. The best way to enjoy Goto Beef is lightly grilled without overdoing the preparation or seasonings.

Just a 2~3-minute walk from the hotel, Kiraku is a Goto Beef barbecue restaurant that has been attracting local patrons for over 50 years. The prices in the menu are per person, but you have to order at least two servings for each cut of meat that you want to try. For two people, two servings each of two or three cuts is the sweet spot. Each cut of beef is sliced into just the right size for enjoying this exquisite island beef.

Kiraku
5-3 Sakae-machi, Goto City, Nagasaki
Open: 17:00~22:00
0959-72-2232

Tsubaki Chaya serves up Goto’s local specialties, but you’ll need to make a reservation first. Lunch courses start at ¥2,000. Try the Goto Udon, which features thin, round, chewy noodles aged in camellia (tsubaki in Japanese) oil and served in a soup made from flying fish stock, or enjoy seasonal seafood and a local preserved food called kankoro mochi made from glutinous rice and sweet potatoes.

Tsubaki Chaya
1248 Kojushi, Hama-cho, Goto City, Nagasaki
0959-73-5940

Tsubaki Chaya is located next to Kojushi Beach. There is a salt workshop and a souvenir shop on the premises, and you can sign up for hands-on courses where you can learn how to make salt or your own aromatics from Goto’s own camellia oil.

Sightseeing

There is also a winery in Goto. The Goto Winery, the first winery in Nagasaki Prefecture, opened in April 2014. Every part of the process, from the growing of the grapes to the bottling is done in Goto. The head winemaker is Aaron Hayes, originally from New Zealand. Using Campbell Early, Niagara and other varieties of grape grown on the island, the wine he makes is fruity yet dry.

You can enjoy tasting four types of wine, including the sparkling wine and a red wine made from Muscat Bailey grapes ¥300/30cc, ¥500/70cc).

Goto Conkana Winery and Resort
2413, Kamioozu-cho, Goto City, Nagasaki
https://www.instagram.com/gotowinery/

For this trip, we mainly stayed in the southeastern part of Fukue near the airport, but as we mentioned, you can also tour around the whole island if you have time. Many places on the island offer Go To Travel discounts, so make sure to take advantage of these deals when you are planning your trip. Just remember to take cash because a lot of establishments do not accept credit cards.

Goto Camellia Festival

The Goto Camellia Festival is held every year when the flowers are in bloom, and it features a range of tours and other events that showcase Goto’s natural beauty and delicious food. Goto is one of Japan’s most well-known camellia producing regions, and the flowers have been an integral part of life in the islands since ancient times. The islands are awash in color when the camellia are in bloom.
• Feb. 20 ~ 28, 2021 (Sat.,Sun.)
https://goto.nagasaki-tabinet.com/feature/tsubakimatsuri/kikan/

Nagasaki Shimatabi Wakuwaku Coupon

When you buy your round-trip jetfoil ticket from Nagasaki to Fukue (Goto City), for an extra ¥100, you can get a book of coupons for all kinds of services in Goto. Available for a limited time only.
• On sale: Apr. 1, 2020~Feb. 28, 2021
• Available at: Nagasaki Port (*You must buy a round-trip ticket before leaving Nagasaki. Not available after boarding.)
• Jetfoil (Nagasaki – Shimogoto): Kyushu Shoko
https://kyusho.co.jp/

Category
Travel
Activity
Food & Drink
Things To Do
Nagasaki Prefecture
Published: Nov 18, 2020 / Last Updated: Dec 3, 2020

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