Falling in Love with: Nagasaki
The Many Sides of Japan
It is well-known around the world Japan was not always a country open to trade or foreign influences. However, even with centuries of isolation and strict policies protecting the Japanese from the outside world, a few cities on the island country were allowed to interact with foreign powers interested in trading with the Japanese people.
Among the list of cities open to the rest of the world, Nagasaki is arguable the first to come to mind. Home to more than just traditional Japanese arts and crafts, Nagasaki is a collection of foreign and domestic influences blended in perfect harmony along the port city. In fact, Nagasaki is famous for it's history with Christianity in Japan and the legends of the Kakuri Kurishutans. In addition to surviving a nuclear attack, Nagasaki's filled with history, charming attractions, and offers a unique slice into Japanese-International culture.
Peace Memorial Park
While it's counter part in Hiroshima may be more well-known, the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park is a must for any traveler making their way through Nagasaki. Built on the site of where the second Atomic Bomb dropped in Japan, the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Park is dedicated to the victims of World War Two and contains various exhibits about the atomic bombing. The park grounds is also home to various statues depicting the world's hope for peace, the Fountain of Peace, and a commemorative tablet marking the site of detonation over the city. Some artifacts and remnants from the original blast can be seen along the park grounds, meant to give guests a look at the aftermath of the blast.
Glover Garden & Oura Church
Moving along from the Peace Park, Nagasaki's Glover Garden and Oura Catholic Church are the perfect 180 after our profound visit along the park grounds. As mentioned above, Nagasaki was one of the few port cities that allowed for foreign-influence in Japan. Many of the Dutch traders and other international visitors would have their own sections in Japan to build their homes, many done in the style popular at the time in Europe. Nagasaki's Glover Garden is home to Japan's oldest Western-style wooden building, which now stands as a museum displaying the artifacts and exhibits dedicated to the life of the old port traders.
Nearby Glover Garden is the magnificent Our Catholic Church. As the oldest Catholic Church in Japan, Oura Church is a national treasure and, until 2009, was the only western-style building in Japan to enjoy such status. Built in honor of the 9 European Priets and 17 Japanese Christians who were crucified, Oura Church continues to be a symbol of Christianity in Japan.
Speaking of foreign influences, there's plenty of delicious meals to try while exploring the sights and sounds of Nagasaki. Of course, while every region is chalk-full with local specialties and signature dishes, Nagasaki has one specialty considered a must for any traveler in need of a great souvenir. Nagasaki Castella cake, based on the specialty of Portugal, is a popular dessert snack often purchased as souvenirs from anyone visiting the area. Sporting a light, mustard yellow with a layer of brown on top, the sweet aroma of a Castella cake is recognized by the Japanese people regardless where they're from. The cakes are the perfect treat to match with a cup of green tea, or are often enjoyed after dinner as a light dessert. No matter how it's enjoyed, Castella continues to be synonymous with Nagasaki.
Hashima Battleship Island
Growing into a popular tourist destination over the last ten years thanks to features in popular programs like Netflix's Dark Tourist and used for filming in the hit James Bond film
Skyfall, Hashima Island is a former populated island off the coast of Nagasaki. Once a thriving coal mining city, the 16-acre island has been abandon over the last 35 years after the coal mines ran dry. Now, the island stands filled with abandon buildings, some deteriorating after being left unused for so long. Thanks to the undisturbed ruins and unique history, many tourists flock to the islands in hopes to uncover hidden paranormal activity or to just see another side of Japan's unique industrialization. The island itslef has been approved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2015, included as a part of
Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining sites. Although abandoned, many tourists come to see the ghastly island or to see the location where numerous films, like
Attack on Titan are filmed in Japan.
Book your tour Today!
Hooked on the idea of a Nagasaki vacation? Ask your travel agent about Japan Deluxe Tours best-selling line of Southern Japan Tours or Grand Tour Packages and enjoy a day spent in the breathtaking port-town of Nagasaki. You can also opt for a private tour to enjoy all the sights and charms of Nagasaki, complete with your own personal tour guide to help you navigate Japan.