Omachi

Omachi means “big town” in Japanese, but it most certainly isn’t one! This is a sleepy little rural community with a fascinating history. During the Edo Period, it was a rest stop on the highway from Nagasaki to Fukuoka. It became a coal mining boomtown during the twentieth century with the largest junior high school in the country. Now, it’s a quiet town with great natural beauty, hospitable people, and easy access to the big cities of Fukuoka, Nagasaki, and Sasebo.

Who’s here?

There is one ALT in Omachi, usually from New Jersey because of a sister town relationship between Omachi and Allendale, NJ.

Places of interest

  • Mount Hijiri – The highest point in Omachi. Climbing the mountain makes for an excellent day trip and affords wonderful views over the Kishima Plains.
  • Omachi Onsen – A natural onsen with excellent outdoor baths and sauna. There’s also a good cafeteria serving up traditional dishes.
  • Doi Residence – Former lodging for samurais traveling from Nagasaki to Fukuoka.
  • Choshu no Taki – Lovely waterfall tucked into a quiet corner of the town.

Traditions

  • Taromen – Omachi’s signature dish, based on the noodles coal miners would slurp up after getting off the job.
  • Omachi Kunchi – Small harvest festival held in October
  • Soukeichi – Small street market festival held in September

Eateries

  • Kazokuan – traditional Japanese dishes
  • Kuidouraku – Saga-style tonkatsu ramen
  • Sasebo Burger – delicious burgers
  • Sunbridge – pizza delivery
  • Fukagawa-tei – traditional Japanese dishes

Getting around

Train: Omachi Station is located in the center of the town, but it only serves local trains on the Sasebo Line. Hizen-Yamaguchi Station, located in nearby Kohoku, is a fifteen-minute bike ride away and serves local and limited express trains on the Sasebo and Nagasaki Lines. Destinations like Hakata, Nagasaki, Takeo, Tosu, Saga, and Sasebo can easily be reached by train from Omachi.

Bus: There is an infrequent bus service that follows Route 34, one of the main thoroughfares of Saga Prefecture, and serves Saga City, Saga Prefectural Government Office, Hizen-Yamaguchi Station, Omachi, and Takeo.

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