Nagasaki Prefecture

Nagasaki Prefecture (長崎県 Nagasaki-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu.[1] The capital is the city of Nagasaki.[2]

Nagasaki Prefecture

Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese長崎県
 • RōmajiNagasaki-ken
Flag of Nagasaki Prefecture

Official logo of Nagasaki Prefecture

Location of Nagasaki Prefecture
SubdivisionsDistricts: 4, Municipalities: 21
 • GovernorHōdō Nakamura
 • Total4,130.88 km2 (1,594.94 sq mi)
Area rank37th
 (June 1, 2019)
 • Total1,328,478
 • Rank26th
 • Density320/km2 (830/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-42
BirdMandarin duck (Aix galericulata)
FlowerUnzentsutsuji (Rhododendron serpyllifolium)
TreeSawara (Chamaecyparis pisifera)


Nagasaki Prefecture was created by merging of the western half of the former province of Hizen with the island provinces of Tsushima and Iki.[3] Facing China and Korea, the region around Hirado was a traditional center for traders and pirates.

Kuichi Uchida View of Nagasaki Japan 1872 Hand-colored Vintage Albumen Print
Kuichi Uchida's image of Nagasaki in 1872

During the 16th century, Catholic missionaries and traders from Portugal arrived and became active in Hirado and Nagasaki, which became a major center for foreign trade. After being given free rein in Oda Nobunaga's period, the missionaries were forced out little by little, until finally, in the Tokugawa era, Christianity was banned under the Sakoku national isolation policy: Japanese foreign trade was restricted to Chinese and Dutch traders based at Dejima in Nagasaki. However, Kirishitan (Japanese Christian) worship continued underground. These Kakure Kirishitan (hidden Christians) were tried at every step, forced to step on fumi-e ("trample pictures", images of the Virgin Mary and saints) to prove that they were non-Christian. With the banishment of all Catholic missionaries, traders from Catholic countries were also forced out of the country. Along with them, their children, half Japanese and half European, were forced to leave. The majority was sent to Jagatara (Jakarta) and are still remembered by the locals as the people who wrote the poignant letters which were smuggled across the sea to their homeland.

Today, Nagasaki has prominent Catholic churches, and the Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region, have been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Prefect Office Nagasaki
Nagasaki Prefect Office, Meiji Period

During the Meiji Restoration, Nagasaki and Sasebo became major ports for foreign trade, and eventually major military bases and shipbuilding centers for the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries up to World War II. On August 9, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, which destroyed all buildings in a 1.6 kilometres (1.0 mi) radius from the point of impact and extensively damaged other parts of the city. Roughly 39,000 people were killed, including 27,778 Japanese munitions workers, 2,000 Korean forced workers, and 150 Japanese soldiers. About 68-80% of the industrial production was destroyed to the point it would not recover for months or at least a year.

Nagasaki Prefecture contains many areas prone to heavy rain and landslide damage. In July 1957, mainly in the Isahaya area, damage from heavy rains, flooding and landslides lead to a death toll of 586, with 136 people missing and 3,860 injured. In July 1982, typhoon damage in the Nagasaki area lead to 299 fatalities, according to a report by the Japanese government.


Nagasaki borders Saga Prefecture on the east, and is otherwise surrounded by water, including Ariake Bay, the Tsushima Straits (far from Busan and South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea), and the East China Sea. It also includes a large number of islands such as Tsushima and Iki. Most of the prefecture is near the coast and there are a number of ports such as Nagasaki and a United States Navy base at Sasebo.

As of 1 April 2014, 18% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Saikai and Unzen-Amakusa National Parks; Genkai and Iki-Tsushima Quasi-National Parks; and Hokushō, Nishi Sonogi Hantō, Nomo Hantō, Ōmurawan, Shimabara Hantō, and Taradake Prefectural Natural Parks.[4]


Map of Nagasaki Prefecture Ja
Map of Nagasaki Prefecture
     City      Town
Nagasaki City view from Mt Inasa04s
Night view of Nagasaki City
Nishi-Kyushu Exp Sasebo Chuo IC 2011
140321 A view from Shimabara Castle Shimabara Nagasaki pref Japan04s3

Thirteen cities are located in Nagasaki Prefecture:


These are the towns and villages of each district:


The following municipalities have been dissolved since the year 2000.



Nagasaki is the most Christianized area in Japan with Roman Catholic missions having been established there as early as the 16th century. Shusaku Endo's novel Silence draws from the oral history of the local Christian (Kirishitan) communities, both Kakure Kirishitan and Hanare Kirishitan.

As of 2002, there are 68,617 Catholics in Nagasaki Prefecture, accounting for 4.52 percent of the population of the prefecture.


The Nagasaki Saints of the Shikoku-Kyūshū Island League make Nagasaki Prefecture their home.


Osezaki lighthouse
Lighthouse at Osezaki in Gotō
Grave of William Adams in Hirado
Castle in Shimabara
Sōfuku-ji Ōbaku Zen temple in Nagasaki
Kujū-ku Islands in Sasebo





Expressways and toll roads

  • Nagasaki Expressway
  • West Kyushu Expressway
  • Nagasaki Dejima Road
  • Kawahira Toll Road
  • Kunimi Toll Road
  • Kawahira Toll Road

National highways


  • Nagasaki Port
  • Sasebo Port
  • Matsuura Port
  • Hirado Port
  • Shimabara Port
  • Fukue Port
  • Izuhara Port of Tsushima
  • Gonoura Port of Iki Island



The current governor of Nagasaki is former vice-governor Hōdō Nakamura. First elected in 2010 to succeed Genjirō Kaneko, he was reelected for a second term in 2014.

The prefectural assembly of Nagasaki has a regular membership of 46, elected in 16 electoral districts in unified regional elections (last round: 2011). As of April 2014, the LDP-led caucus has 23 members, the DPJ-SDP-led caucus 17.

In the National Diet, Nagasaki is represented by four directly elected members of the House of Representatives and two (one per ordinary election) of the House of Councillors. After the most recent national elections of 2010, 2012 and 2013, Nagasaki sends an all-LDP delegation to the Diet (excluding members who lost election in Nagasaki districts, but were elected to the proportional representation segment of the House of Representatives in the Kyūshū block).


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Nagasaki prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 683, p. 683, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Nagasaki" in p. 683, p. 683, at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  4. ^ "General overview of area figures for Natural Parks by prefecture" (PDF). Ministry of the Environment. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2015.


External links

Coordinates: 32°58′N 129°48′E / 32.967°N 129.800°E

Arie River

The Arie River (有家川, Arie-gawa) flows from Mount Unzen to the Ariake Sea in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.

Fukue Airport

Fukue Airport (福江空港, Fukue Kūkō) (IATA: FUJ, ICAO: RJFE), is a third class airport located 1.7 NM (3.1 km; 2.0 mi) southwest of Gotō, Nagasaki Prefecture, off the western coast of Kyūshū, Japan. The airport also serves the city of Fukue. It is also known as Gotō-Fukue Airport (五島福江空港, Gotō Fukue Kūkō).

Hichiku dialect

The Hichiku dialect (肥筑方言 Hichiku hōgen) is a group of the Japanese dialects spoken in the western Kyushu. The name Hichiku (肥筑) is constructed by extracting a representative kanji from Hizen (肥前), Higo (肥後), Chikuzen (筑前) and Chikugo (筑後), names of old provinces in there.

The Hichiku dialect is:

Hakata dialect (western Fukuoka Prefecture, formerly known as Chikuzen Province, especially Hakata district in Fukuoka)

Chikugo dialect (southern Fukuoka Prefecture, formerly known as Chikugo Province)

Ōmuta dialect (Ōmuta)

Yanagawa dialect (Yanagawa)

Chikuhō dialect (central Fukuoka Prefecture such as Iizuka)

Saga dialect (Saga Prefecture)

Karatsu dialect (northern Saga Prefecture centered Karatsu)

Tashiro dialect (easternmost Saga Prefecture centered Tashiro)

Nagasaki dialect (Nagasaki Prefecture)

Sasebo dialect (northern Nagasaki Prefecture centered Sasebo)

Hirado dialect (Hirado Island, west of Nagasaki Prefecture)

Kumamoto dialect (Kumamoto Prefecture)

Hita dialect (Hita, southwestern Oita Prefecture)

Iki dialect (Iki Island of Nagasaki Prefecture)

Tsushima dialect (Tsushima Island of Nagasaki Prefecture)

Gotō dialect (Gotō Islands of Nagasaki Prefecture)

Hirado, Nagasaki

Hirado (平戸市, Hirado-shi), historically known as Firando is a city located in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. The part historically named Hirado is located on the Hirado Island. With recent mergers, the city's boundaries have expanded, and Hirado now occupies parts of the main island of Kyushu. The components are connected by the Hirado Bridge.

As of March 1, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 31,192 and a population density of 130 persons per km². The total area is 235.63 km2 (91 square miles).

Hizen Province

Hizen Province (肥前国, Hizen no kuni) was an old province of Japan in the area of Saga and Nagasaki prefectures. It was sometimes called Hishū (肥州), with Higo Province. Hizen bordered on the provinces of Chikuzen and Chikugo. The province was included in Saikaidō. It did not include the regions of Tsushima and Iki that are now part of modern Nagasaki Prefecture.

Iki Airport

Iki Airport (壱岐空港, Iki Kūkō) (IATA: IKI, ICAO: RJDB) is a small airport in the city of Iki on Iki Island in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.

Iki Province

Iki Province (壱岐国, Iki no kuni) was a province of Japan which consisted of the Iki Islands, now a part of modern Nagasaki Prefecture. Its abbreviated name was Isshū (壱州). Iki is classified as one of the provinces of the Saikaidō. Under the Engishiki classification system, Iki was ranked as an "inferior country" (下国) and a "far country" (遠国).

Isahaya, Nagasaki

Isahaya (諫早市, Isahaya-shi) is a city located in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on September 1, 1940.

As of July 1, 2018, the city has an estimated population of 135,546 and a population density of 397 persons per km². The total area is 341.79 km2 (131.97 sq mi).

On March 1, 2005, the towns of Tarami, Moriyama, Iimori, Takaki and Konagai (all from Kitatakaki District) were merged to create the new and expanded city of Isahaya. The city was once part of Kitatakaki District, but due to this merger, the district has no more municipalities left and the district was officially dissolved as a result of this merger.

Kamigoto Airport

Kamigoto Airport (ICAO: RJDK) is a public aerodrome located about 8 km (5.0 mi) northeast of Kamigoto town office, Shinkamigotō in the Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.

Nagasaki 2nd district

Nagasaki 2nd district is a constituency of the House of Representatives in the Diet of Japan. It is located in Southern Nagasaki and covers parts of the city of Nagasaki (the former towns of Kinkai and Sotome), the cities of Shimabara, Isahaya, Saikai, Unzen and Minamishimabara as well as the Nishisonogi District with the towns of Togitsu and Nagayo. As of 2009, 335,195 eligible voters were registered in the district.Before the electoral reform of 1994, the area was part of the multi-member Nagasaki 1st district where five Representatives had been elected by single non-transferable vote.

The district had been a safe LDP district from its creation until the landslide election of 2009 when incumbent Liberal Democrat Fumio Kyūma, former defence minister in the Hashimoto and Abe cabinets, lost his seat to Democrat newcomer Eriko Fukuda by 14,000 votes at record turnout.

Nagasaki Airport

Nagasaki Airport (長崎空港, Nagasaki Kūkō) (IATA: NGS, ICAO: RJFU) is an international airport located 4 km (2.5 mi) west of the railway station in the city of Ōmura and 18 km (11 mi) north northeast of the Nagasaki railway station in the city of Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.

The airport terminal and runway 14/32 are on an island, and the shorter runway 18/36 (now used by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force for helicopter flights) is on the mainland.

Ojika Airport

Ojika Airport (ICAO: RJDO) is a public aerodrome, located about 3.0 km (1.9 mi) southeast of the town office in Ojika, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.

Riisa Naka

Riisa Naka (仲 里依紗, Naka Riisa, born October 18, 1989, in Nagasaki Prefecture) is a Japanese actress. She was given a Best New Talent award at the 2009 Yokohama Film Festival. Naka became famous by appearing in Hachi One Diver (2008) and played the lead, Hana Adachi in Yankee-kun to Megane-chan (2010).

Sara udon

Sara udon (皿うどん), literally "plate noodles" is a dish native to Nagasaki prefecture, Japan.Consisting of a base of noodles, and a topping of fried cabbage, bean sprouts and other vegetables, as well as squid, prawns, pork, kamaboko etc. There are two main varieties of noodles, thinner crispy noodles fried in oil (called pari pari, bari bari, or bari men); as a result this variation is reminiscent of Cantonese-style Chow Mein. Another variation uses thicker Chinese noodles (called chanpon noodles).

The style and thickness of noodles varies between restaurants. Many restaurants outside Nagasaki prefecture serve only thin noodles which has led to the common misconception that the dish is only ever served with thin noodles.

If many people are eating together, it is customary for everyone to take their portion from a single large central dish.

There are food delivery services (demae) that specialise in sara udon for parties or offices that are working overtime.

Sara-udon is sometimes served in school meals at grade schools in Nagasaki prefecture.

Sasebo, Nagasaki

Sasebo (佐世保市, Sasebo-shi) is a core city located in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 June 2019, the city has an estimated population of 247,739 and a population density of 581 persons per km². The total area is 426.06 km2 (165 sq mi).

The city includes a part of Saikai National Park. Located in the southern part of the city is the Dutch-styled theme park Huis Ten Bosch.

Shimabara, Nagasaki

Shimabara (島原市, Shimabara-shi) is a city located on the north-eastern tip of the Shimabara Peninsula, facing Ariake Bay in the east and Mount Unzen (including Fugendake) in the west, in Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan.

As of October 1, 2016, the city has an estimated population of 44,936 and a population density of 540 per km². The total area is 82.77 km².

Shimabara Castle

Shimabara Castle (島原城, Shimabara-jō), also known as Moritake Castle (森岳城, Moritake-jō) and Takaki Castle (高来城, Takaki-jō), is a Japanese castle located in Shimabara, Hizen Province (present day Nagasaki prefecture). This five-story white building stands in stark contrast to the black Kumamoto Castle in neighboring Kumamoto Prefecture.

Transcosmos Stadium Nagasaki

Transcosmos Stadium Nagasaki (トランスコスモススタジアム長崎) is an athletic stadium in Isahaya, Nagasaki, Japan. Since August 2016 it has been called Transcosmos Stadium Nagasaki for the naming rights.

It is primarily used for football and is the home field of the J.League football club V-Varen Nagasaki.

Tsushima Airport

Tsushima Airport (対馬空港) (IATA: TSJ, ICAO: RJDT) is an airport located 10 km (6.2 mi) northeast Tsushima, a city in the Nagasaki Prefecture of Japan.

Shadow picture of Nagasaki PrefectureNagasaki Prefecture
Core cities
47 Prefectures


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