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41 Things to See When You Visit Tsushima, Japan

Act 3: Kamiagata

 

(Click for Google Map: Points of Interest in ‘Kamiagata’, Tsushima)

 

28. Kin Village (Kin Sanctuary)

Located in a cove on the waterfront, the village of Kin is where Jin Sakai escapes to on horseback, after being imprisoned by Lord Shimura at the end of Act Two in Ghost of Tsushima. He arrives to find the Sacred Tree of Kin in flames, and the town laid waste by the Mongols.

 

29. Ginkgo (Maidenhair) Tree of Kin

The Ginkgo (Maidenhair) Tree of Kin is a beautiful, 1,200 year old ginkgo tree that is the inspiration behind the massive, tragically burned-out Sacred Tree of Kin at the beginning of Act 3 of Ghost of Tsushima.

Late October to mid-November is likely the best time to see the brilliant yellow leaves as they change color in late fall.  This tree is a must-see when you visit Tsushima.

 

30. Momiji-kaidō (Road of Maple Trees)

Momiji-kaidō is a road lined with maple trees that bursts into brilliant shades of gold, orange, and red in the fall/autumn, creating a stunning and evocative atmosphere.

Stop somewhere on this 7-kilometer stretch in October/November to admire the kaleidoscope of colors will bring back memories of the stunning scenery in Ghost of Tsushima.  Also a must-see when you visit Tsushima in the fall.

 

31. Hitakatsu

Kamitsushimamachi Hitakatsu, or simply Hitakatsu, is a small northern Tsushima seaside town that is the port-of-call for passenger ferries from Fukuoka, Japan and Busan, South Korea.  You can disembark here when you visit Tsushima, and rent a car from a small handful of car rental agencies located near the ferry terminal.

 

32. Port Izumi – Site of Final Battle in Ghost of Tsushima

The town of Kamitsushimamachiizumi, known as Port Izumi in Ghost of Tsushima, is the site of the final and climactic battle between Jin Sakai and Mongol commander Khotun Khan.

Today, this sleepy village is nestled in a protected bay just north of Hitakatsu and features a coastal promenade that stretches along the waterfront all the way south to Hitakatsu Port (upper left of map).

Attractions #33, 34, 35, 36, and 37 are all located a short drive away from Port Izumi – for this reason, this is a recommended area to stay during the second half of the itinerary covering the northern half of Tsushima.

 

33. Sloth Camping

Sloth Glamping is a glamping facility with an outdoor movie tent, BBQ grills, and fully air-conditioned tented sleeping units.

This is a fun way to enjoy outdoor camping vibes with the modern comforts of bathroom facilities and a climate-controlled sleeping experience.

 

34. Toyoko Inn Tsushima Hitakatsu

Toyoko Inn Tsushima Hitakatsu is a brand-new, modern hotel with spectacular coastal views overlooking the gorgeous Miuda Beach, and it is also adjacent to the Kami-Tsushima Nagisa-no-Yu Hot Spring.

This is the other modern lodging option when you visit Tsushima.

 

35. Kami-Tsushima Nagisa-no-Yu Hot Spring

Kami-Tsushima Nagisa-no-Yu Hot Spring is a seawater and hot spring-fed bath house set above a picturesque, white-sand beach with azure waters that was once voted as one of the Top 100 beaches in Japan in 1996 (Miuda Beach).

 

36. Miuda Beach

Voted as one of Japan’s Top 100 Beaches in 1996, the natural white sand and turquoise color of the water here gives Miuda Beach a distinct tropical vibe. Camping facilities are also available.

A must see when you visit Tsushima in the summer!

 

37. Tonosaki Park Promenade

A 10 minute walk south from Miuda Beach (along an ocean view promenade) brings you to a monument to the Battle of Tsushima Strait and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. This marks the entrance to the Tonosaki Park Promenade.

Inside Tonosaki Park is a trail that rides along the ridge of a narrow promontory that sticks out sharply into the sea, affording breathtaking, windswept views of the Strait of Tsushima.

 

38. Observation Deck for Korean Peninsula

The North of Tsushima is very popular with South Korean tourists because of its proximity to the country – so much so, that much of the tourist infrastructure is geared toward this foreign source of income.

The observation deck building is built in a distinctive Korean architectural style – I’m sure the South Korean tourists get a kick out of that, and also from seeing their home country so close from a foreign country.

On a clear day you can see the hills of Pusan from the observation deck

And at night, the city lights of Busan become visible in the distance.

 

39. Hill Observatory for Foreign Country (Busan, South Korea Observation Point)

Hill Observatory for Foreign Country is another great point for watching the coastline of South Korea in the distance. This location features a stunning view platform that hangs over the edge of a seaside cliff, making for spectacular vistas.  The glow of Busan’s city lights is visible after dusk.

 

40. Saosaki Park – The Northwesternmost Point in Japan

At just 49.5 kilometers from Busan, South Korea, Saosaki Park is as northwest as you can go in the country of Japan.

From this observation point just down the road from the Tsushima Wildlife Conservation Center, you can see the hills and the night lights of Busan (the second largest city in South Korea) in the distance on a clear night.  Using a telephoto lens on your camera from this spot can produce some stunning shots.

 

41. Tsushima Wildlife Conservation Center

The Tsushima Wildlife Conservation Center is dedicated to the recovery of endangered endemic species such as the Tsushima Leopard Cat.

Their numbers are thought to have steadily declined through the 1980s and 1990s, and into the 21st Century.

Visit and see some of the rare endemic species in person.

Note: Open at 10AM; last admission at 4:30 PM. Closed Mondays.

 

 

So what are you waiting for?

There you have it – these are the 41 places on the island of Tsushima that are worth visiting.

More than 700 years have passed since the Mongol Invasion of 1274, but vestiges of Tsushima’s long and rich history still remain on this remotest of Japan’s islands.

It is an underappreciated part of Japan that few get to see (even the Japanese) – go and experience the domain of ‘The Ghost’ of Tsushima for yourself, and fall in love with this beautiful place all over again.

 

Feature image via Nagasaki-tabinet.com / via yurapuka.net

Jake Yu
Living in Southern California, Jacob is a Freelance Writer who struggles with the painful choice of either enjoying video games and watching anime (then writing about it) or enjoying the outdoors. He knows life could be worse, though.

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