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Nagasaki is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. Nagasaki was founded by the Portuguese in the second half of the 16th century on the site of a small fishing village, formerly part of Nishisonogi District.It became a center of Portuguese and other European peoples influence in the 16th through 19th centuries, and the Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki have been proposed for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.Part of Nagasaki was home to a major Imperial Japanese Navy base during the First Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War.

During World War II, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made Nagasaki the second and, to date, last city in the world to experience a nuclear attack.A small fishing village secluded by harbours, Nagasaki enjoyed little historical significance until contact with European explorers in 1543 among them, possibly, Fernao Mendes Pinto, when a Portuguese ship landed nearby in Tanegashima.

The little harbor village quickly grew into a diverse port city, and Portuguese products imported through Nagasaki (such as tobacco, bread, textiles and a Portuguese sponge-cake called castellas) were assimilated into popular Japanese culture.Tempura derived from a popular Portuguese recipe originally known as peixinho-da-horta, and takes its name from the Portuguese word, 'tempero' another example of the enduring effects of this cultural exchange.The Portuguese also brought with them many goods from China.

The city was rebuilt after the war, albeit dramatically changed.New temples were built, as well as new churches due to an increase in the presence of Christianity.Some of the rubble was left as a memorial, such as a one-legged torii gate and an arch near ground zero.New structures were also raised as memorials, such as the Atomic Bomb Museum.Nagasaki remains first and foremost a port city, supporting a rich shipping industry and setting a strong example of perseverance and peace.On January 4, 2005 the towns of Iojima, Koyagi, Nomozaki, Sanwa, Sotome and Takashima, all from Nishisonogi District, were merged into Nagasaki.

Nagasaki and Nishisonogi Peninsulas are located within the city limits.The city is surrounded by the cities of Isahaya and Saikai, and the towns of Togitsu and Nagayo in Nishisonogi District.Nagasaki lies at the head of a long bay which forms the best natural harbor on the island of Kyushu.The main commercial and residential area of the city lies on a small plain near the end of the bay.Two rivers divided by a mountain spur form the two main valleys in which the city lies.The heavily built-up area of the city is confined by the terrain to less than 4 square miles (10 km2).

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest airport is Nagasaki Airport in the nearby city of Omura.Both of Japan's major air carriers serve Nagasaki Airport.JAL and ANA offer nonstop flights from Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Osaka's Itami Airport. ANA also offers nonstops to Nagasaki from the new Nagoya Centrair Airport and Naha Airport in Okinawa, while JAL operates from Nagoya Airport in Komaki. In 2005, a new low-cost carrier, SNA (Skynet Asia Airways), began flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport, providing cheaper tickets than major carriers.There are also nonstop international flights to Nagasaki from Shanghai (China Eastern Airlines) and Seoul (Korean Air), but these run much less frequently than the domestic flights.Buses connect the airport to the Nagasaki train station (1 hour, ¥800).

By Train

The Kyushu Railway Company provides rail transportation on the Nagasaki Main Line, whose terminal is at Nagasaki Station. In addition, the Nagasaki Electric Tramway operates five routes in the city.The Nagasaki Expressway serves vehicular traffic with interchanges at Nagasaki and Susukizuka.In addition, six national highways crisscross the city Routes 34, 202, 251, 324, and 499.

By Bus

The Holland overnight bus runs from Kyoto and Osaka Umeda to Nagasaki (11 1/2 hours from Kyoto, ¥11300; 10 hours from Osaka, ¥11000).An additional bus, the Roman Nagasaki, runs from Osaka Hankyu Bus Terminal to Nagasaki at the same cost and time.The Princess Road and Etranger overnight buses run from Kobe Sannomiya (10 hours, ¥10500) and Himeji (9 hours, ¥9580).

Key places to visit
Glover Garden, Confucius Shrine, Megane Bridge, Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, Nagasaki Peace Park, Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum and Monument, Nagasaki Chinatown, Mount Inasa


Places to Visit

Glover Garden

Is a park in Nagasaki, Japan built for Thomas Blake Glover, a Scottish entrepreneur who contributed to the modernization of Japan in shipbuilding, coal mining, and many other fields.In it stands the Glover Residence, the oldest Western style house surviving in Japan and Nagasaki's foremost tourist attraction.It is located on the Minamiyamate hillside overlooking Nagasaki harbor.It was built by Hidenoshin Koyama of Amakusa island and completed in 1863.It has been designated as an Important Cultural Asset.As the house and its surroundings are reminiscent of Puccini's opera, it is also known as the "Madame Butterfly House." Statues of Puccini and diva Miura Tamaki, famed for her role as Cio-Cio-san, stand in the park near the house.This house was also the venue of Glover's meetings with rebel samurai particularly from the Chōshū and Satsuma domains.

Confucius Shrine

In Nagasaki, Japan is said to be the world's only Confucian shrine built outside China by Chinese hands.Even today the land on which it stands is Chinese territory and the land rights controlled by the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo.A building at the rear of the shrine houses the Museum of Chinese History and Palace Museum.It features large illuminated photographs of the old Silk Road and models of early Chinese inventions such as the world's first seismograph.Displayed on the second floor are more than 80 treasure-class articles of varying antiquity on loan directly from the Chinese National Museum and Palace Museum in Beijing.

Megane Bridge

Over the Nakashima River was built in Nagasaki in 1634 by the Chinese monk Mozi of Kofukuji Temple.It is said to be the oldest stone arch bridge in Japan and has been designated as an Important Cultural Property.It received the nickname "Spectacles Bridge" because its two arches and their reflection in the water create the image of a pair of spectacles.On July 23, 1982, a disastrous deluge washed away six of the ten stone bridges over the Nakashima River.Meganebashi was badly damaged but fortunately almost all the original stones were retrieved and the bridge was restored to its original appearance.

Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall For The Atomic Bomb Victims

Is one of the National Memorial Halls in Nagasaki, Japan.Like its counterpart in Hiroshima, the hall was constructed as a place to remember and pray for those killed by the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki.The foundation also tours internationally, holding anti-nuclear displays in cities around the world.The 2005 exhibition was held at the Peace Museum in Chicago, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the bombing as well as a conference in New York which reviewed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.In 2007, the exhibition was held in Guernica, Spain, which was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe in April 1937.

Nagasaki Peace Park

Is a park located in Nagasaki, Japan, commemorating the atomic bombing of the city on August 9, 1945 during World War II.Every year, on 9 August, the anniversary of the atomic bombing, a Peace Memorial Ceremony is held in front of the statue and the Mayor of Nagasaki delivers a Peace Declaration to the World.The statue's right hand points to the threat of nuclear weapons while the extended left hand symbolizes eternal peace.The mild face symbolizes divine grace and the gently closed eyes offer a prayer for the repose of the bomb victims' souls.The folded right leg and extended left leg signify both meditation and the initiative to stand up and rescue the people of the world.Installed in front of the statue is a black marble vault containing the names of the atomic bomb victims and survivors who died in subsequent years.

Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum and Monument

Were built on Nishizaka Hill in June 1962 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the canonization of the Christians executed on the site on February 5, 1597.The 26 people, a mixture of native Japanese Christians and European priests (20 Japanese, four Spaniards, one Mexican and one Indian) had been arrested in Kyoto and Osaka on the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the national ruler, for preaching Christianity.They were imprisoned, then later marched through the snow to Nagasaki, so that their execution might serve as a deterrent to Nagasaki's large Christian population.Hung up on 26 crosses with chains and ropes, the Christians were lanced to death in front of a large crowd on Nishizaka Hill. St Paul Miki is said to have preached to the crowd from his cross.

Nagasaki Chinatown

Is located in Nagasaki, Japan.This area today is a big shopping strip that covers many blocks.The town was home for many Chinese sailors and traders who trade goods with the Japanese from the 15th to 19th centuries.The Chinese Traders came to Nagasaki because it was the only "open port" to visit Japan at this time.The Tokugawa government only allow Nagasaki to stay open and closed off Japan to the rest of world from western foreign powers and spread of Christianity.Strict rules were placed on these Chinese to never be outside their town at night and not allow to live outside of the town.Any one found outside of the town at certain times were arrested by the local guard.

Mount Inasa

Is a hill to the West of Nagasaki that is 333 metres high.There is a cable car up to the top of Mt. Inasa from Nagasaki.A short walk from the cable car station are several buildings that house transmitters for TV and radio stations that serve Nagasaki and the surrounding area.Furthermore, there is an observation platform that is popular with tourists as it provides spectacular views of Nagasaki's 10 Million Dollar Night View.This is also a common place for young local couples to break off relationships.

Right Time to Visit

January - May
June - December


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