Tsushima: Exploring Local Culture & Traditions

Tsushima: Exploring Local Culture & Traditions

Tsushima: Exploring Local Culture & Traditions



Welcome to Tsushima, a beautiful island located in the Japan Sea, halfway between the mainland of Japan and the Korean Peninsula. With its breathtaking natural landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cultural traditions, Tsushima offers an unforgettable travel experience for adventurers and culture enthusiasts alike.

Getting There

To reach Tsushima, travelers have the option of taking a ferry from the cities of Fukuoka or Karatsu in Japan. The ferry ride provides stunning views of the sea and takes approximately 2 to 3 hours, depending on the departure point. Alternatively, visitors can also fly to the island through Tsushima Airport, which offers domestic flights from major Japanese cities.

Exploring Tsushima

Tsushima is known for its diverse and picturesque landscapes. The island is home to lush forests, dramatic cliffs, charming villages, and stunning beaches along its coastline. Travelers can embark on nature hikes, go birdwatching, or simply relax and enjoy the serene beauty of the island's surroundings.

One of the must-visit attractions in Tsushima is the Tsushima Wildlife Conservation Center, where visitors can learn about the island's unique wildlife and participate in guided nature walks. The center is dedicated to the preservation of Tsushima's native species, including the Tsushima leopard cat, which is found nowhere else in the world.

For history enthusiasts, Tsushima offers a glimpse into its fascinating past. The island was once an important strategic location for international trade, resulting in a blend of Japanese and Korean culture. The Tsushima History and Folklore Museum displays artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Tsushima's history and heritage.

Local Culture & Traditions

1. Taiko Drumming

Taiko drumming is an integral part of Tsushima's cultural heritage. The island is famous for its powerful and energetic drumming performances, which are often accompanied by traditional dances. Visitors can attend taiko drumming concerts or even participate in workshops to learn the art of playing the drums.

2. Tsushima Rats

Tsushima is home to a unique breed of rats called "Tsushima Rats" or "Tsushima leopard rats." These small rodents have distinctive markings and are considered a symbol of the island. The Tsushima Wildlife Conservation Center conducts research and conservation efforts to protect these endangered animals.

3. Hanagasa Festival

The Hanagasa Festival is a lively event held every August in Tsushima. Participants adorned in traditional costumes perform vibrant dances while carrying hanagasa hats decorated with colorful flowers. The festival celebrates the island's agricultural heritage and is a joyous celebration of Tsushima's culture.

4. Soma Nomaoi Festival

While not exclusive to Tsushima, the Soma Nomaoi Festival holds significant importance on the island. This horseback riding festival involves samurai warriors competing in various equestrian events, showcasing their skills and the martial traditions of Japan. Spectators can witness thrilling horse races and traditional displays of samurai culture.

5. Local Cuisine

Tsushima's cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors from both Japan and Korea. Seafood plays a prominent role in local dishes, with fresh catches of fish, crabs, and shellfish being served in various preparations. Tsushima is also known for its production of high-quality salt, which adds a unique touch to the local cuisine.


Tsushima is a hidden gem that offers a remarkable blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant cultural traditions. Whether you are exploring the island's stunning landscapes, immersing yourself in local festivals, or indulging in the delicious cuisine, Tsushima guarantees an unforgettable journey into the heart of Japanese and Korean culture.