Konnichiwa! Guten Tag! My name is Leon. I am doing an internship at SUITO Fukuoka. I am from Germany and currently living in Fukuoka. Last weekend I made a trip to Nagasaki. In the following I want to share my personal experience with you.
If you are in Fukuoka, Nagasaki is just a 2 hours drive away by bus. You should use the opportunity and visit close Nagasaki. The city is perfect for a weekend trip. There is much to see in Nagasaki. Don’t miss it out!
My impression was that Nagasaki is a very international city. Due to the proximity to the sea and its geographical location in the south of Japan many foreign people came to Nagasaki over the centuries. There is a China town as well as the Glover Garden, a beautiful park that was created by Western settlers from overseas. And of course Nagasaki became well-known for their role in the Second World War when the city was completely destroyed by the American atomic bombings.
When I went to Nagasaki on 10th December there was no cloud in the sky. The weather was perfect. In the shining sun Nagasaki appealed to me from its best side. I enjoyed seeing the city from above. I recommend to go to the top of Inasa mountain. There is a cable car available. At this spot you can see every part of Nagasaki from the northern as well as the southern area to Nagasaki bridge and even the coast behind Inasa mountain. It is a beautiful scenery. By day and by night.
From beautiful Glover garden, you can also overview the city, only from a lower level and different angle. It was the home of Scottish merchant, Thomas Blake Glover, and offers the oldest Western styled house in Japan. In front of the Glover Garden, there is the Oura Catholic Church, that was also built by settlers and is one of the oldest churches in Japan. In this area, I also bought tasty Castella cake. It’s a famous Nagasaki specialty.
If you want to try out other Nagasaki specialties, I recommend going to China town and try out Chanpon. It is a very delicious variation of Ramen influenced by Chinese cuisine. I liked it a lot. I could easily tell the difference between Chanpon and Fukuoka’s Hakata Ramen.
Near China town there also is a Confucius shrine that I visited. It was nice to compare it to a traditional Japanese shrine, for example the beautiful Suwa shrine. Again, I could easily tell the difference.
Finally, and that was a little bit depressing, I checked out the atomic bomb museum and the Nagasaki peace park. This is a must-see if you come to Nagasaki. It is horrible what happened to this city during the Second World War. I could not imagine the destruction and suffering. The museum did a good job visualizing this catastrophe and presented lots of useful information. After I went to the museum, I saw the city with different eyes.
All in all, if you want to go to Nagasaki, now you know what to do! Enjoy!