Goto Get to Amakusa!

In Japan it often feels like the train can take you anywhere, but there are parts of this fascinating country where airlinks are still important. Sebastian Schmitz travelled to two of its more remote islands to learn more.

The city of Amakusa is overflown on the final approach.
All photos via author

Although many of us probably think of Japan as a one-island nation, it actually consists of four main isles and thousands of smaller ones. Of these, 430 are inhabited. Many are quite remote and rely on an airport to link them to the larger ones that constitute the ‘mainland’. Two such island groups are Amakusa and Goto in the East China Sea, west of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s ‘big four’. Both have their own airports and small independent airlines offering essential services to nearby larger cities and each archipelago boasts several historic – and UNESCO World Heritage – Christian churches, which help attract visitors to these off the beaten track locations.

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