Nagasaki is a thriving city cradled in Japan’s lush western mountains of Kyushu Island. An eight-hour train from Tokyo will get you to this diverse city that lies on the edge of the Sumonada Sea. During Japan’s isolation from the outside world, Nagasaki served as a gateway for the flow of resources and knowledge to and from other parts of the world. Today, this historic city is a fusion of Japanese sophistication which harmonizes and co-exists with elements of overseas faiths and cultures.
On August 9, 1945, the second atomic bomb of World War II was detonated over Nagasaki. Many people perished and most parts of the northern valley were reduced to ash and rubble. A dark pillar stands under the bomb’s detonation exact location at the Peace Park. Take in the statues and art in the surrounding while reflecting on the blast’s horror and its aftermath. The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum is a short walk away, it was founded in remembrance of all those that perished.
The Memorial Hall is across the road from the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. There is a solemn glasshouse here where you can meditate before continuing in your journey.
If you are looking for a serene refuge from this city’s confronting history, head to the San’no Shrine. The camphor trees surprisingly survived the blast and remained strong when this part of the city was flattened by nuclear winds. They are one symbol of the resilience of Nagasaki.
Nagasaki Seaside Park
Against all odds, within just a few months after the detonation, greenery sprang forth. The remaining survivals put aside their quarrels and binder irrespective of religious and cultural differences. Many historical monuments were gradually rebuilt until Nagasaki way of life was restored. Nagasaki now invites visitors to look beyond the atomic bomb story. At this park, you can watch as ships cruise in and out. It is a place of recreation and relaxation where locals enjoy the city’s beauty and unwind.
The eerie landmark of Hashima Island used to be the home of many miners and their families. In the mid-1970s, this island was deserted when the coal reserves ran dry. Listen to the echoes of this island’s former inhabitants; explore the crumbling buildings while also dredging up the whispers of hardships that once occurred under the rocky surface.
Shinichi Chinatown District
In the Shinichi Chinatown District, savor the steaming fusions of Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Once you have filled your belly, remember also to fill your bags in the Hamamachi Arcade. It is a warren of sweet, fashion, and wellness shops and it is the ideal place to immerse yourself in the modern culture of this city.
Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture
Here, you will discover how people and new faiths boosted the economy of the city to help Nagasaki become what it is today.
Nagasaki today is a beacon of hope and has stepped out from the shadows of its darkest days into a bright and new future.