Monday, May 30, 2011

Nagasaki.........a place of history, traditions, culture, beauty, and peace.

There are so many beautiful places to visit if you are in Japan. This time I want to recommend you a wonderful place where I spent two of the most wonderul years in my life. A magic place that shows how people can overcome any hard situation if they work together. A place with kind and unique people who are always in a good disposition to welcome warmly and to help turists from all over the world who visit them. A place that shows us the horror of the destruction of an atomic bomb and at the same time the reconstruction, improvement, and hard work of their inhabitants. a place with a variety of japanese traditions and customs, colorful festivals, traditional temples, and modern buildings as well. This place is Nagasaki.

Nagasaki is located at the western extremity of Kyushu island in close proximity to China. It was no more than a tiny fishing village until being opened for foreign trade in 1571 by Japan's  first christian feudal lord Omura Sumitada who complied with the request of the Portuguese Jesuit missionaries and traders. Subsequently the town developed into a center of international trade and Christian Evangelism in Japan. The Portuguese introduced and array of goods and technology that were completely new to the eyes of the Japanese. However, the era of Portuguese trade and Christian domination was short-lived.
During the long period of seclusion imposed from 1641 to 1859, Nagasaki flourished as Japan's only open window to the outside world. It was through this city that western science and technology found their way into Japan.

On August 9, 1944, the atomic bomb destroyed about one-third of Nagasaki and killed or injured about 150,000 people. The city recovered miraculously from the devastation, though, and now reveals few scars of this dark chapter in its history. learning from the tragic experience of the bombing, Nagasaki has devoted itself to the cause of world peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Tera machi

Dejima Port

Nagasaki Peace Park

Tera Machi


The population of Nagasaki city is approximately 453,000 people and the major industries are fishing, shipbuilding, and tourism.
Tourism is a growing industry in nagasaki. the city has many noted spots of interest where the rich heritage of foreign influence is preserved. the uniquely exotic atmosphere has made Nagasaki a tourist mecca; the number of visitors topped five million.


I f you are visiting Nagasaki with your family, friends , or by yourself, you will find out how easy is to go around Nagasaki.

these are my favorite ones for its convenience, efficiency, and low price. You can see maps everywhere you go showing the routs of the streetcars. the fair is only ¥125 for one ride regardless of distance, and transfers can be obtained at the Tsuki Machi stop only. An all-day pass is available for ¥600  at major hotels and the City Tourist Information Office near JR Nagasaki Rail Station.

Taxi fares in Nagasaki are based on a system combining time and distance. after 10:00 p.m the fare increases by 20%.  be careful when you get in and out the taxi because the left rear door opens and shuts automatically.

Nagasaki has two bus networks. one is the Ken-ei bus service that covers the northern part of the city. Long distance buses are also run by Ken-ei bus. The main Ken-ei Bus Yerminal is across the street from JR  Nagasaki Rail Station. Buses to Nagasaki Airport , Unzen National Park, and other prefectures depart from here.
The other bus system is the Nagasaki-Bus Service that covers the southern part of the city. The main Nagasaki Bus Terminal is at shinchi near Chinatown. Buses to Huis Ten Bosch, Nagasaki Bio-Park, the Subtropical Garden, and some other prefectures depart from here.


The busiest shopping areas are Hamano-Machi Shopping Arcade and the modern Cocowalk. Hamano-Machi has two department stores, fashionable shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and banks clustered along 500-meter long street. Most shops are open daily from 10:30 a.m to 8:00 p.m. However, Hamaya and Daimaru department stores, close at 7:30 p.m.
Cocowalk is a modern mall built around 2006 and 2007. It is located near Dejima Port, and it has a lot to offer especially to those people who want to buy elegant and exquisite clothes. There you will find as well a lot of famous international places such as MacDonalds, Mister Doughnuts, Starbucks Coffee. Also you will find in the 4th floor a lot of elegant restaurants where you can have Italian, Chinese, Hindu, and different kinds of food. if you want to try Japanese food, there are different options to try.
Some of Nagasaki's specialities you cannot miss are:

Kasutera:  This light sweet sponge cake has been baked since the 16th century. The name is said to come  from the old Spanish place named Castilla. The recipe was introduced by the Portugues, and today Kasutera is still Nagasaki's  most famous confection.

Pearls: Pearls are cultured in calm inlets of Omura Bay and the Goto Archipelago. Nagasaki prefecture is the second largest producer of cultured pearls in Japan, next to Mie prefecture.

Tortoiseshell and coral handicrafts:  Accesories and ornaments for interior decoration are made from tortoiseshell and coral implementing hundreds of years of traditional skill.

Ceramics: Hasami and Mikawachi near Sasebo city are wellknown kiln towns  for porcelain. Mikawachi fires karakoyaki, a pure white porcelain with a traditional design showing  Chinese children playing  with butterflies. A rather sober  but tasteful pottery is Gagyu ware. This is a rustic earthenware of soft brown , beige, and blue-green with brushwork. Nagasaki Sansai is tricolor pottery with a warm touch.


In addition to traditional Japanese dishes, nagasaki boasts a numeber of unique  local cuisines which were nurtured during the city's four century-long encounter with Chinese and Western culture.

Champon and Saraudon (Chinese Dish):
Champon is an inexpensive Chinese-style noodle dish that was first cooked for Chinese students in nagasaki by the founder of the Chinese restaurant Shikairo in the late 19th century. It is served in broth with a variety of meat, shellfish and vegetables on top. Saraudon is a variation of Champon with crispy noodles and topping in a thick sauce. Many Chinese restaurants are located in Shinchi Chinatown.

Shippoku (Japanese dish):
Shippoku, which comes from the Chinese word meaning dinner table is a course of mixed dishes of Japanese, Chinese, and Western origin served at a red round table. Although varying according to the season, the menu includes  ohire (clear fish soup), sashimi (raw fish), vinegared, cooked fried and boiled vegetables and meat, and at the end umewan (sweet red bean soup with a salted cherry blossom). have many adventures to live and experiences to discover in Nagasaki. The invitation is already done..... it will be an unforgettable experience for you, your families, and friends....
Enjoy it.

Sofukuji Temple

Painted glass

Painted glass is very popular in Nagasaki

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