Nestled between sea and mountains in the south of the island of Kyushu, Nagasaki is a multifaceted destination. Dutch trading post and victim of the last nuclear bombing in the world, the Japanese city has a lot to offer cruise passengers during a cruise in Asia passing through Japan . From the port located in the south of the city, many ideas for excursions can be planned.
Journey into the past to August 9, 1945
11:02 a.m. This is the time Nagasaki fell under the nuclear fire of the atomic bomb on August 9, 1945. In the Urakami district in the north of Nagasaki, the peace park recounts this dark page of the Japanese history, not to awaken an image of horror, but on the contrary, to advocate peace and denounce the absurdity of war. This green square houses the statue of peace. It represents a man with one arm raised towards the sky symbolizing nuclear weapons and the other arm, outstretched to evoke eternal peace. We can also observe the displaced remains of the Urakami Cathedral, almost entirely swept away by the explosion. On the original location of the religious building is a new building, following the lines of its predecessor.
Not far from the park is another place of memory, the Atomic Bomb Museum. Photos, reconstructions of scenes, various objects and testimonies recount this tragic date which cost the lives of nearly 150,000 people. The centerpiece of the exhibition is undoubtedly a clock indicating 11:02. At the gates of the museum stands a stele installed on the spot where the atomic bomb hit Nagasaki. A little further south of the Urikami district, on the left bank of the Nakashima River, stands one of the many hills dotting the city, Mount Inasa. 333 m high, it offers a beautiful view of Nagasaki. If the more sporty try its ascent on foot, others enjoy an excellent climb without tiring by cable car.
Discovering romantic Nagasaki
THE Costa cruises passing through Nagasaki are an opportunity to appreciate a more romantic aspect of the Japanese city. This little-known side of the city is revealed a little further south of the cruise terminal on Minamiyamate Hill, at Glover Garden. Here, walks take place along flowery paths dotted with souvenir shops and elegant colonial houses. Among the most emblematic buildings are the one which housed the premises of the Mitsubishi automobile brand as well as the Glover house, the oldest wooden colonial building in Japan. Its decor is inspired by the Italian opera Madame Butterfly. Moreover, in its alley, a statue of the main character of the opera, Cio-Cio San, proudly stands.
Minamiyamate Hill is home to another major religious building in Nagasaki, the oldest church in Japan, Oura. It was built in 1864 in honor of the 26 martyrs who lost their lives during the persecution of Japanese Christians in the 1590s. A piece of land reclaimed from the sea, Dejima is another attraction to see on this side of the city . The island was between the 17th and the 19th century the only opening of Japan with the Western world. It was the only place in Nagasaki where foreigners, especially Dutch people, could reside. Different buildings are open to visitors and decorated faithfully to foreign pavilions from the Meiji era.
Still south of the cruise terminal, you can visit one of the largest Chinatowns in the country. Having hosted warehouses for goods coming from China, the district is now an excellent address for tasting authentic Chinese cuisine.
Offshore stroll in Hashima
To flesh out a stopover in Nagasaki , a short journey along the water to Hashima is essential. Now uninhabited, this piece of land housing coal mines was once teeming with life. At its peak in the late 1950s, it was home to more than 5,000 people, with a density of 7,300 people per square kilometer, far more than central Tokyo at the same time. To provide for the needs of miners' families, buildings, hospitals, schools and other buildings were built, giving the island an appearance reminiscent of a fortress. Its unique appearance gave it its other name, Gunkanjima translated as warship island. Despite the construction of various buildings, the living conditions of the inhabitants there were deplorable. The island is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.