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13 Sites to See in Nagasaki in One Day

13 Sites to See in Nagasaki in One Day


By avatar  Scott
Posted On 08/15/2019 16:23:37
Trip Date 03/05/2011  

Destinations | Cruises | Asia | Japan | Nagasaki | Ground Zero | Atomic Bomb Museum | What to see in Nagasaki | DIY Travel in Nagasaki | One Day in Nagasaki



Our 16 night cruise aboard the Diamond Princess departed from Tianjin, China, the port city nearest to Beijing. We cruised down the Asian coast where we spent one day in Nagasaki, Japan for our first port of call. Additional port days were spent in China, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore. (The original itinerary also had us spending a day in Busan, Korea however tensions with the country forced a cancellation.) Throughout most of the trip, the two of us explored each port city on our own. For sites located further away from port cities, we hired independent tour guides for private small group tours.

Nagasaki is a great city for the do-it-yourself traveler. Lucky for everyone, many cruises around Asia include a port day in this interesting city. If your plans include a visit to Japan's southernmost island, check out this post filled ideas for DIY travel in Nagasaki. You won't want to miss Ground Zero or the Atomic Bomb Museum, but there's so much more. By moving quickly and using a combination of trams and walking, you'll find that these 13 spots can all be seen in just one day!


Nagasaki's Tram System

Nagasaki's Tram System

1. Urakami Cathedral

When the government repealed the prohibition of Christianity, the followers of Urakami who had regained their freedom took on the building of Urakami Cathedral as their first project. Due to funding difficulties however, construction did not get underway for 20 years. Finally, in 1914, this impressive structure was completed as Asia's leading Roman style cathedral.


Urakami Cathedral

Urakami Cathedral

The church originally featured bells from France in the front pair of towers. Unfortunately they were destroyed in the atomic bombing of 1945. (One of the bells was actually blown away, along with the belfry, by the force of the blast.) The building you see today was reconstructed in 1959. In 1980, it was remodeled with brick tiles and restored to its original appearance. The fragments of the stone statues remaining after the blast, including the surviving bell, have been arranged in the surrounding area.


Church Tower Survived Blast

Church Tower Survived Blast

Hop on the tram for a 15 minute ride from the city center to reach the cathedral. Use the Blue Line 1 or Red Line 3 and exit at Stop #18 - Ohashi. Start from the top of the hill and walk down to the destroyed church. It is then an easy walk to several other sites including the museum, memorial gardens and Ground Zero.



2. Atomic Bomb Museum

A visit to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum is the primary reason many visitors go to Nagasaki. On August 9, 1945, three days after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the second atomic bomb was dropped over the Urakami district of Nagasaki. The bomb killed or injured 150,000 people.

The museum begins with the disastrous attack and includes so much more. Visitors learn about events leading up to the bomb dropping, the history of nuclear weapons development and the reconstruction of Nagasaki up to the present time. There's also a part of the museum dedicated to the hope for a peaceful world without nuclear weapons. Comparing the scenes of Nagasaki immediately after the bombing with the appearance of the city today, you'll be totally impressed by the great survival spirit of the people.



3. Nagasaki Peace Park

Nagasaki Peace Park was built on a low hill to the north of the hypo-center of the atomic bomb blast. It was created to represent the wish for world peace. The park features a 9.7-meter-high Peace Statue symbolizing the Nagasaki people's wish for peace. The raised right hand points to the heavens to signify the threat of atomic weapons while the left arm is raised horizontally to represent the wish for peace. The figure's eyes are lightly closed in prayer for the souls of the atomic bomb victims.


Peace Park

Peace Park

The park also features the Fountain of Peace, which was built in remembrance of a little girl who wandered in search of water. Visitors can also view a row of monuments from various nations that form a zone of symbols of world peace.



4. Ground Zero

Be prepared to get emotional at Ground Zero (the "hypo-center") - it is just so simple and yet so moving! It's just a short walk across the road from the museum to the Hypo-center which is marked with a black obelisk.


Rubble At Ground Zero

Rubble At Ground Zero

5. Mount Inasa Park

Rising 333 meters above sea level in the center of Nagasaki, Mount Inasa Park is in the Inasa Mountain range. It is a natural park beloved by residents of the city. The park is famous for its spring azaleas and nighttime views.


Mount Inasa

Mount Inasa

The summit features a glass-enclosed lookout from which visitors can enjoy a 360-degree view of the spectacular scenery. The view shows the natural beauty of Nagasaki's mountains and coastline. See the boats in the Port of Nagasaki, the historical settlements of foreign residents, and the rows of buildings in each district. On clear days you can even see Mt. Unzen, the Amakusa area and the Gotoh chain of islands.

The summit can be reached by a ropeway operating from Fuchi Shrine (in Fuchimachi). By tram, use the Blue Line 1 or Red Line 3 and exit at Stop #25 - Takara-Machi.



6. Memorial to the Martyrdom of the 26 Saints

In memory of the centennial of the Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan that occurred on Nishizaka Hill, a memorial relief showing the event was constructed concurrently with the adjoining Saint Filippo Nishizaka Church. The Memorial Hall that stands quietly behind the bronze statues of the 26 saints is divided into two themes - things handed down from Christian times and things created today in order to clarify history. It introduces the history of Christianity from the time of Saint Frances Xavier's visit. There are exhibitions of historical religious documents, sculptures, paintings and frescoes. To reach the memorial by tram, use Blue Line 1 or Red Line 3 and exit at Stop #27 - Nagasajeki Mae.


26 Martyrs Memorial

26 Martyrs Memorial

7. Spectacle Bridge

For a great photo stop, Spectacle Bridge is a must. Japan's first Chinese-style stone bridge was constructed in 1634 by Mokusunyoujo (the second-generation Chinese monk of the nearby Kofukuji Temple). The bridge gets its name from its resemblance to a pair of spectacles when the arches of the bridge are reflected on the surface of the river.


Spectacle Bridge

Spectacle Bridge

This bridge, along with Edo's Nihonbashi Bridge and Iwakuni's Kintaikyou Bridge, are considered the three most famous bridges in Japan. Spectacles Bridge was the inspiration for the Double Bridge of the Imperial Palace. You can reach the bridge by tram on Yellow Line 4 or Green Line 5. You can exit at either Stop #37 - Nigiwaibashi or Stop #38 - Kokaido Mar.



8. Kofukuji Temple

Kofukuji Temple is Japan's first Chinese temple of the Obaku sect and is another must stop spot. It is from the year 1620 when China's Ming Dynasty merchants travelled to Nagasaki. They built this small monastery as a place to pray for a safe voyage.


Kofukoji Temple

Kofukoji Temple

At the time, the government of Japan's prohibition on Christianity was especially virulent. Even Chinese residents of Nagasaki, also at risk of being suspected as Christians, felt it necessary to prove they were Buddhists by building a series of temples of which Kofukuji was the first. By tram, use the Yellow Line 4 or Green Line 5 to reach the temple. Stop #38 - Kokaido Mar will be your exit.


Kofukoji Temple Buddha

Kofukoji Temple Buddha

Kofukoji Temple Roofline

Kofukoji Temple Roofline

9. Sofukuji Temple

With a unique pedigree, the Zen Sofukuji Temple is another mystical and spiritual place. In 1629, the Chinese residents of Nagasaki who hailed from the Fujian Province constructed this Chinese Temple. It houses 21 cultural assets including the seated statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha, a national treasure. When the Buddhist statue was renovated around 1935, an internal organ of silver and cloth was discovered within it.


Sofukuji Temple

Sofukuji Temple

Raised Entryway to Keep Out Ghosts

Raised Entryway to Keep Out Ghosts

Look through the temple's Ming-style gate to find a large 17th century bell and an equally old cauldron used to serve food during a famine. By tram, use Blue Line 1 or Yellow Line 4. Exit at Stop #35 - Shokakuji Chita. The temple is located two blocks from the end of the tram lines.

Also located very close by is Sofukuji-dori which is reached by steep steps spared from any damage during the atomic bomb drop. Hosshin-ji (down the hill and to the right) has a temple bell that was cast in the 15th century. The fourth temple, Daion-ji, contains the final resting place of the magistrate.



10. Shinchi Chinatown

Japan's oldest Chinatown, Shinchi Chinatown, was established as early as the 17th century. It was built because the Nagasaki port remained the country's only major port open to Chinese trade during the era of isolation. Over the centuries, residents of Shinchi Chinatown have given the city of Nagasaki a Chinese flair not felt in any of Japan's other major cities. Today, Nagasaki's Chinatown is best known for its restaurants. The yellow lanterns overhead make it clear you are in Chinatown!


Chinatown

Chinatown

Reach Shinchi Chinatown aboard either Blue Line 1, Black Line 2 or Green Line 5. Exit at Stop 31 - Tsuki-Machi.

11. Glover Gardens

Located on the southern slope of a mountain is the beautiful Glover Gardens and former residence of Scottish merchant Thomas Glover. The prime location helps flowers bloom throughout the year. The excellent vantage point also offers a great view of Nagasaki Harbor.


Glover Gardens

Glover Gardens

The gardens were donated to the city of Nagasaki in 1957 and opened to the public. Eventually, other Western-style residences of the Meiji era from around the city were dismantled, moved and reassembled to create a cultural site demonstrating the former foreign settlements. By tram, use Green Line 5 and exit at Stop #50 - Ouratendhuido Shita. The gardens are located on a slope directly above the cruise dock and are easily reached by a series of escalators.



12. Oura Catholic Church

Established in 1865, the church is officially known as Oura Catholic Church, The Church of 26 Martyrs. It was built by a French priest who had been dispatched by the Foreign Missionary Church of Paris to dedicate prayers to the 26 saints martyred on Nishizaka Hill. For this reason, the church faces Nishizaka.


Oura Catholic Church

Oura Catholic Church

Most of the church was seriously damaged in the bomb blast, but has since been restored. The church became famous worldwide as the church that discovered the "hidden followers" who had survived the religious persecution. By tram, use the Green Line 5 and exit at Stop #50 - Ouratendhuido Shita.

13. Confucius Shrine

Built in 1893, the Confucius Shrine is an interesting stop. It is the only Confucian temple constructed by the Chinese outside of China. Confucius, the founder of Confucianism, was born in 551 BC in Russia. His birthplace is in the present day Shangong Province of China.

He busied himself with study and preaching to his many disciples. His most famous writing, The Analects of Confucius, is a record of his sayings and teachings. The temple contains many sections of his work carved into marble. By tram, use Green Line 5 and exit at Stop #51 - Ishibashi.

Cruising China and Southeast Asia

Our great southeast Asian odyssey started with several days in Beijing where we explored many of the important and well-known sites. Check out part 1 of this series, The Best of Beijing in Three Days, for more on our experience. You'll find plenty of ideas on how to make the most of a visit to this Asian city.

Next up in this series is our one day visit to Shanghai. Subscribe at Wordy Explorers User Account to receive weekly e-mail notices when successive parts of this odyssey and many others are published.

Sightseeing in Japan

We enjoyed our one day in Nagasaki and Japan is on our wish list for a lengthier return visit. In your opinion, what are the "must see" cities for those traveling to Japan?


13 Sites to See in Nagasaki in One Day






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Created On 01/07/2019 17:04:58  
Updated On 08/23/2019 16:24:33
Scheduled On 07/23/2019 13:23:37
Posted On 08/15/2019 16:23:37
Last Editor Stacy
Location  Port of Nagasaki,Japan
LinkId  NagasakiAsia2
StoryId  1546898698946





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