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5 Things To Experience In Nagasaki, Where West Meets East

5 Things To Experience In Nagasaki, Where West Meets East

Nagasaki 2016.07.29 Bookmark

A prosperous hub for international trade, Nagasaki is a unique fusion of the West and East, which has left many historical sites you shouldn't miss when visiting the city!

Translated by Tomoka Aono

Written by Maki

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Nagasaki City in the Kyushu region has prospered for centuries as a trading hub with countries overseas. The city boasts many historical sites. In fact, it has eight World Heritage sites of its own. Let's take a look at some of the amazing sightseeing spots found in Nagasaki.

1. Pray for Peace at Atomic Bomb Memorial Sites

Japan is the only country in the world to have experienced the devastation of atomic bombing, with Nagasaki City being targeted after the initial atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The epicenter of the atomic bombing was about 3 km away from the downtown and there you can find a statue, which was constructed to pass down the memory of the devastation caused by the atomic bomb to the future.

Next to the statue there is a part of the wall from Urakami Cathedral, which was destroyed during the attack.

You can find the Nagasaki Peace Park across the street with the Peace Memorial Statue, a huge bronze statue that stands as both a memorial for the victims of the atomic bombing and for the hope for world peace.

The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum is also located in the park, where you can see the horror of the atomic bombing through various documents and actual objects that survived the blast.

2. Touring around the World Heritage Sites

Hashima Gunkanjima

Eight of the 23 World Heritage designated historical sites that are grouped together as Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining (*1) can be found in Nagasaki City.

Hashima Island, more popularly known as Gunkanjima, is well-known for its role as a movie location. It has been recently used for the live action version of the Japanese anime “Attack on Titan”.

Hashima Island thrived on mining, but now the coalmines are closed and the abandoned buildings have created an unusual atmosphere. Special tours are held for visitors to the island.

*1 Theses 23 industrial heritage sites exist in 11 different cities across 8 prefectures.

The Glover Residence, the former home of the Scottish trader Thomas Blake Glover, has also been listed as a World Heritage Site. Constructed in 1863, it is the oldest remaining Western style wooden structure in Japan and is also designated as a national important cultural property.

Nagasaki Port, which you can overlook from the Glover Residence, has 5 of 23 sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution. Most of them are inside Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard and some of them require pre-booking for tours.

Read also:Discover Nagasaki’s International History At Glover Garden

3. Visit the Oldest Church in Japan

Surrounded by a thick growth of trees, Ōura Church is the oldest cathedral in existence in Japan. Mass is still held here and attracts many Roman Catholics living in both Nagasaki city and across Japan.

The Christian Resource Center right next to the cathedral tells of the history of Japanese Christians who suffered under religious oppression during the Edo period.

4. Taste Nagasaki Champon in Chinatown

The three Chinatowns of Japan are found in Yokohama, Kobe and Nagasaki. About 40 Chinese restaurants are located within the 250 m crossing of Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown.

Nagasaki Champon, the popular dish from Nagasaki originated in this Chinatown. Thick noodles in a thick and rich soup filled with vegetables and seafood are sure to fill you right up. If you visit Nagasaki city, this is a dish you just have to try.

5. Walk Around and See Cultural Sites

Megane-bashi is the oldest stone bridge in Japan and is designated as a national important cultural property. The arches of the bridge are reflected on the surface of the river, creating an image that reminds one of a pair of glasses. That is why the bridge is called “glasses bridge.” When you are on the bridge itself though, you will realize the arch is quite steep. People in the past must have had the same difficulty when they tried to walk over the bridge.

The Dutch Slope is a tourist spot in the former Foreign National Settlement area. The area is designated as a district for the preservation of important architecture and has a lot of old Western-style buildings that you can freely walk around and enjoy.

In Closing

Nagasaki City has a lot of unique historical sites where Japanese and Western culture meet - why not head to Nagasaki and check out these amazing sightseeing spots?

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Information

Nagasaki Peace Park

Address: Nagasaki, Nagasaki, Matsuyama, Nagasaki Peace Park
Hours: 24 hours
Nearest Station: Matsuyamamachō (松山町) or Ishibashi (石橋), Nagasaki Rail & Tram
Access: Take the tram from Nagasaki station to Matsuyamamachō stop, then walk for 3 minutes
Phone Number: 095-829-1171 (Green Department of Nagasaki City)
Website: Nagasaki Peace Park

Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard

Address: Nagasaki, Akunoura-machi 1-1
Hours: 9:00-16:40
Closed: Every second Saturday, New Years holidays
Credit Cards: Cash only
Nearest Station: Mizunoura bus stop (水の浦), Nagasaki bus
Access: 20 minutes by shuttle bus from Nagasaki station
Admission: High school and older 800 yen, Junior high and under 400 yen
Phone Number: 095-828-4134 (Advanced reservation required for tour)
Website: Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard

Ōura Church

Address: Nagasaki, Minami yamate-cho 5-3
Hours: 8:00-18:00
Credit Cards: Cash only
Information in Other Languages: English, Korean
Nearest Station: Ōura Tenshudō-shita (大浦天主堂下) Nagasaki tram
Access: 15 minutes by tram from Nagasaki station to Ōura Tenshudō-shita, 5 minute walk from there
Admission: Adult 600 yen, Junior and high school students 400 yen, Elementary school students 300 yen
Religion: Christian (Roman Catholic)
Phone Number: 095-823-2628
Website: Ōura Church

Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown

Address: Nagasaki, Shinchimachi 1-12
Hours: Varies by restaurant
Closed: Varies by restaurant
Credit Cards: Varies by restaurant
Other Languages: Chinese
Menus in Other Languages: Varies by restaurant
Nearest Station: Tsukimachi stop (築町) on Nagasaki tram
Access: 1 minute walk from Tsukimachi stop
Price Range: Varies by restaurant
Phone Number: 095-822-6540
Website: Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown

Megane-bashi Bridge

Address: Nagasaki, Uonomachi (between Sakaemachi, Furukawamachi and Suwamachi)
Hours: 24 hours
Wi-fi: Yes
Nearest Station: Kōkaidōmae (公会堂前駅), Nigiwaibashi (賑橋) stops of Nagasaki tram
Access: 3 minute walk from Kōkaidōmae tram stop
Phone Number: 095-829-1193 (Department of Cultural properties of Nagasaki City)
Website: Megane-bashi Bridge

Dutch Slope

Address: Nagasaki, Higashiyamate-chō
Hours: 24 hours
Nearest Station: Tsukimachi stop (築町) on Nagasaki tram
Access: 8 minute walk from Tsukimachi stop
Phone Number: 095-822-8888 (Nagasaki City)
Website: Dutch slope (Japanese only)

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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