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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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You've probably heard of Okinawa, of course. You may have even heard of the Oshima Islands. Or even maybe the Ogasawara Islands. Those are pretty far away--southeast of the Japanese "mainland."

But I bet you haven't heard of the Goto Retto, off the coast of the southern big island of Kyushu, in the prefecture of Nagasaki (yes, that Nagasaki).

When I lived in Kitakyushu (literally a city named North Kyushu on the northern tip of Kyushu), I traveled down to Nagasaki and went sailing in the area then took the multi-hour ferry ride over to the Goto Retto, and let me tell you, it was worth it.

Goto Retto was where many of the Japanese Catholics were banished, so there are these beautiful tropical churches dotting the islands. More reminiscent of a Guam or the Marianas or the Philippines than Japan.

Here is a handful of photos from my trip. Pretty empty, I mostly had the place to myself--and this was during a vacation period. Most of the outlying islands get busy only once a year, maybe twice, for a week at a time, if that. So if your vacation is on either side of those periods... enjoy the weather and none of the crowds.

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