Seeking expressions of interest: 2020 Nagasaki Study Tour

We are seeking expressions of interest for a study tour to Nagasaki, Japan during Easter 2020 (8–16 April), led by Gwyn McClelland and Jason Goroncy. The likely maximum size of the group would be around 15 people altogether. We will have an information evening later on this year.

The trip offers an opportunity to encourage ongoing learning about past mission, issues of colonialism, peace and reconciliation, and the contextualisation of Gospel. The tour includes participation in Good Friday Mass at the Urakami Cathedral, which was destroyed in the blast and is only 500 metres from Ground Zero, a visit the Atomic Bomb Museum, the Nagai Takashi resource room, and, if possible, speaking with a survivor about their experience of the bombing. We will also visit the remote Goto Islands, relevant to the Hidden Christians who were persecuted for over 250 years. Today, the largest percentage of Christians in Japan (10%) are found on the Goto island group.

A (very short) history:
Portuguese Jesuit Francis Xavier came to Nagasaki in the 16th century as a missionary and the mission had an immediate impact. Although many locals became Christian, this was not a completely positive experience for the Japanese and some foreigners arrived with mixed motives. The Portuguese brought guns as well as Christianity and the Jesuits were given Nagasaki as a ‘Christian’ settlement by a local lord. Later, Christianity was banned and persecutions continued until the 1870s. Some of the survivors of the atomic bombing had grandparents or great grandparents who they know were affected by persecutions.

The estimated cost will be between $2500–3000 per person (based on the current exchange rate). This includes all airline and internal travel arrangements, 5 nights in hotel accommodation in Nagasaki and 2 nights on the Goto islands, plus sightseeing costs. It does not include spending money, food, and traveller’s insurance.

Further details, including an itinerary and exact price, will be made available in due course.

Please register your interest by sending your name, email address, and mobile number to whitley@whitley.edu.au with the heading ‘2020 Nagasaki Study Tour’ by Wednesday 31 July 2019.

We are also hoping to offer the following units to complement the experience:

  • Study Tour of Nagasaki, Japan (travel)
    • This unit covers the travel component, offers no credit points and incurs no tuition fees. Enrolment in this unit in 2020 provides you with access to resources on ARK.
  • Study Tour of Nagasaki, Japan (assessment)
    • This unit presupposes and builds upon the experience of the study tour and the credit points of a standard unit.
      Enrolment in this unit will be for your 2020 studies and will incur the 2020 unit tuition fee.
      (Enrolment into this unit will need to be done after 1 November, once 2020 enrolments are open)

Intensive itinerary (Draft)

8 April (Wednesday)

  • Depart Melbourne 1:00am
  • Transit in Hong Kong
  • Charter bus from Fukuoka Airport to Nagasaki
  • Arrive Nagasaki approx 7:30pm
  • Accommodation: Catholic Center

9 April (Thursday)

  • Nagasaki City Tour
  • Oura Cathedral, Dutch Slopes, Nagasaki Art Museum, Chinatown: lunch
  • Walk to Megane Bridge, Suwa Shinto Shrine and Culture and History Museum
  • After dinner, visit Mt Inasa (Inasayama)

10 April (Good Friday)

  • Urakami Cathedral Mass at 6:00am
  • From Nishizaka to Nagai Takashi resource room, 26 Martyrs Museum and Oka Masaharu Museum
  • Atom Bomb Museum: Talk with survivor
  • Afternoon: time off

11 April (Easter Saturday)

  • Free day
  • Option: Tour of Shimabara

12 April (Easter Sunday)

  • Attend Baptist church, Nagasaki
  • Talk with members of the church
  • PM: Free time
  • Evening: Optional: Trip to local onsen baths

13 April (Monday)

  • The hidden Kirishitan – persecutions, images and symbols
  • Catch early Ferry to Goto Archipelago
  • Arrive in Fukue port
  • Old samurai residences and Ishida Castle;
  • Dozaki Church: This is the oldest church in the Goto islands, and it was built by French missionaries. It now serves a museum displaying historical documents relating to Christians and the 300-year period of suppression of Christianity. It was designated as a Tangible Cultural Asset of Nagasaki Prefecture in 1974.
  • Accommodation: Fukue Port

14 April (Tuesday)

  • Ferry: Fukue to Shinkamigoto – The town has a total of 29 Catholic churches on top of other related Christian sites
  • Boat to Christians’ Cave
  • RYOKAN accommodation at Arikawa port.

15 April (Wednesday)

  • AM: Ferry back to Nagasaki city/Sasebo – local bus to Fukuoka Airport
  • Depart Fukuoka at 4:35pm.

16 April (Thursday)

  • Arrive Home


  • All accommodations (Twinshare or tripleshare)
  • 7 nights – 2 nights on Goto Island
  • Transport:
    • Cathay Pacific
      • 8 April: Melb to Hong Kong; Hong Kong to Fukuoka
      • 15 April: Fukuoka to Hong Kong; Hong Kong to Melbourne
    • 8 April
      • Chartered bus from Fukuoka Airport to Nagasaki
    • 9 April
      • One day tram pass in Nagasaki City
      • Round trip ropeway to Mt. Inasayama
    • 10 April
      • Jet Ferry boat from Nagasaki Port to Fukue Port
      • Round trip public bus between Fukue and Dozaki Tenshudo Church
    • 13 April
      • Ferry boat from Fukue Port to Wakamatsu Port
      • Chartered boat for Christian’s Cave
      • Chartered Mini bus for half-day sightseeing (Wakamatsu Port/Kashiragashima Tenshudo Church/Hotel)
    • 14 April
      • Chartered Mini bus form hotel to Arikawa Port
      • Jet Ferry boat from Arikawa Port to Nagasaki Port
      • Tram transfer to JR Nagasaki station
    • 15 April
      • Regular highway bus (Nagasaki Bus terminal – Fukuoka Airport)
  • Luggage Sending Service
    • April 12
      • Chartered truck for luggage transfer from Nagasaki to Fukuoka Airport
  • Admission / Tickets
    • 9 April
      • Oura Cathedral
      • Nagasaki Art Museum
      • Nagasaki Historical Museum
    • 10 April
      • 26 Martyrs Museum
      • Oka Masaharu Museum
      • Atomic Bomb Museum
    • 12 April
      • Dozaki Tenshudo Church

Not Included

  • All food, snacks and drinks
  • Insurance

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