If you have 48 hours in Nagasaki city? - Waku Waku

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If you have 48 hours in Nagasaki city?

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If you have 48 hours in Nagasaki city?

I recently spent 48 hours in historical Nagasaki city in Kyushu area. I was happy to fill the time with a mixture of old and new culture, but what will do you do if you are in the same situation?

Claire

Claire

Published on 02 Jun, 12:00

When you hear the name Nagasaki, of course the first thing that comes to mind may be its turbulent history as, along with Hiroshima, being one of the cities destroyed by the atomic bombings of the second world war. Naturally, its history forms a major part of the tourism of the city nowadays, but there is also a vibrant food scene and many historical European-style buildings to visit too.

I recently spent 48 hours in Nagasaki, filling my time with a mixture of old and new cultural experiences, and I learned there is so much more to the city than I originally knew.

Let me take you along on the journey!

  • Cuisine

My trip started with a flight to Nagasaki's airport, followed by a short bus ride to the city. I chose to stay at a hotel in the Chinatown area of Nagasaki, because eating lots of delicious dishes was one of my main priorities. Because of Nagasaki's closeness to mainland China, many Chinese traders came to the city and brought their country's famous dishes with them.

One of the most delicious dishes I enjoyed in Chinatown
One of the most delicious dishes I enjoyed in Chinatown

It was easy to tell I had arrived in the right area, because the entrance to Chinatown was through a beautifully decorated archway, and the restaurants showcased many traditional dishes in their window display.

I chose a restaurant with a long line outside - assuming that meant it was popular and therefore delicious - and my strategy paid off! I enjoyed some famous Chinese dishes and, full of energy, continued my sightseeing.

  • Nagasaki Peace Park
A memorial for peace at Nagasaki Peace Park
A memorial for peace at Nagasaki Peace Park

Next up was a visit to Nagasaki Peace Park, an area of Nagasaki where the victims of the atomic bombing are remembered with a wish for peace in the future.

One of the many statues in the Peace Park in Nagasaki
One of the many statues in the Peace Park in Nagasaki

I took the tram, which seems to be how most people get around the center of Nagasaki, and made it to my destination in about 20 minutes. I saw a torii gate, half destroyed by the bombing, which somehow has managed to keep standing to this day.

This torii gate remained partly standing after the atomic bombing
This torii gate remained partly standing after the atomic bombing

  • The Atomic Bomb Museum, which costs just 200 yen to enter, contained a lot of interesting information and artifacts, and included a beautiful water feature. Even though it was a somber place, I felt it is somewhere that everyone should visit at least once to see the reality of war.

The night view from Mount Inasa was breathtaking
The night view from Mount Inasa was breathtaking
  • Mount Inasa

That night, I finished with a cable car to the top of Mount Inasa. This is one of Japan's top three most famous views, and seeing it at night was particularly impressive. The city lights shone brightly and, even though there was a little fog on the water, I could see all the way to the bay.

  • Gunkanjima

The next day, I was up early to catch the tram to Nagasaki Port for my next adventure - the ferry to Gunkanjima. Gunkanjima - also known as battleship island for its distinctive shape - is an abandoned island off the coast of Nagasaki. If you are a James Bond fan like me, you'll probably recognize it as the setting for the bad guy's lair in 007's movie Skyfall.

Gunkanjima is also known as Battleship Island because of its shape
Gunkanjima is also known as Battleship Island because of its shape

The island used to function as a coal mine until the 1970s, with many hundreds of people living and working there, but it now is just home to crumbling buildings. The buildings are so dangerous that visitors have to take a guided tour and can only walk in certain areas of the islands rather than roam freely, but I still felt a real sense of how the island must have been during the time when people lived and worked there.

All the sea air had really built up my appetite so the natural last thing for me to do on this trip was to head back once more to Chinatown to fill up yet again on delicious Chinese dishes before catching my flight back to Tokyo early the next morning.

I had just 48 hours in Nagasaki but I felt I really filled my time well, with a mix of interesting historical sites and delicious foods!

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Claire

Claire

Irish girl living in Tokyo, enjoying the mountains and nature that Japan has to offer.

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