Comfort Hotel Nagasaki
Phone: (81) 95 827-1111
Fax: (81) 95 827-1154
Nagasaki Port is one of the important and an integral part of Japanese history. During the World War, United States attacked the port with a nuclear bomb and the death toll touched nearly forty thousand and damaged the country permanently. Till date visitors flock to see this landmark that changed the course of history. You can also check-out popular tourist attractions like the Atomic Bomb Museum and the Glover Garden, located nearby. While in Nagasaki, do make a point to include 'Nagasaki Port' in your travel itnerary.
Nagasaki's China Town is not big, but it is certainly sufficient given its size compared to that of the city. It consists of a pair of crisscrossing streets with north, south, east and west gates. Within is everything you might expect: Chinese restaurants big and small, Chinese-style architecture and decorations, and a number of gift shops. The bright, orange glow at night is particularly warm and inviting, with ample parking nearby. Be aware that you may have to wait at many of the restaurants in this ever-popular section of the city.
There are a number of small bridges arching over the Nakajima River, all of which used to act as separate entrances to temples along the parallel Temple Row. This one is the only famous one to speak of. When the water is at the right height, the reflection of the double arches on the water gives the appearance of spectacles. The original bridge was built in 1634, but this one is a replica (and a good one at that). All the bridges on Nakajima River were destroyed in typhoon floods in 1982.
This huge Bodhisattva statue was built in 1976 as a monument to victims of war in general. The 18-meter tall statue sits on the back of turtle! Rather, a temple designed to look like one. Inside the statue, there is a Foucault Pendulum whose size is out-measured only but those in Paris and St. Petersburg. The temple bell tolls at 11:02am everyday, the same time of the atomic explosion. Note that this is a newer temple to replace one built in 1628 and destroyed by the bomb. It in no way resembles the original.
While you should be able to get most of what you need from web cities, it might not hurt to get some additional resources about the city. These include maps, pamphlets and a plethora of brochures about almost anything. Nagasaki Tourist Information Center is located by the station, has all of this and more. Staff members are patient and helpful, if not a little busy, and will help you with your needs. Note that some information in Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese is also available.
This building was constructed in 1868, the first year of the Meiji Era, and was originally used as the Russian Consulate. It was later used as the American Consulate and a private residence. It is currently used as research center for historical documents relating to the Nagasaki foreigners' settlement, and is open to the public. There are numerous attractive panels that preserve images from an age long passed.
This monument, located within a few minutes of Nagasaki station, is dedicated to 26 Christians who were executed in 1597. The monument is a long wall with the sculpted figures of the martyrs (including children) mounted on it. The lights at night give it an eerie effect, but even without that, there is something a little unsettling about it until you realize what it is. Do not let the positioning of their feet escape your notice. Note that there is also a memorial museum whose admission is JPY250. You can access the monument, however, at all hours.
Sofukuji is a Chinese temple built by the residents of the city that belonged to the Fujian Province in China in 1629. The temple is the oldest known structure in the city that houses important cultural assets depicting Zen Buddhism. The temple was constructed in a rather contemporary Ming architecture style and comprises Buddha Hall which is decorated with Chinese lanterns. The statue of Sakyamuni Buddha is housed inside the hall and is revered all across the city. The brightly painted gates of the temple and the giant cauldron built by a priest are among its main features.
As you are walking up the Dutch Slope, you will see seven buildings of Western design. Of those seven buildings, all of which are protected by the Japanese government as important cultural buildings, one is this center. On the first floor, there are a number of panels featuring old photographs along side of current photographs of the same sites. The second floor is used as a meeting room or gallery. Admission is free and the comparative photographs are rather interesting.
Situated at the heart of the city, Confucius Shrine is, perhaps, the only shrine of the great thinker to be built outside China. The shrine was built in 1893 by the residents of Nagasaki in Qing dynasty and comprised of a school and a Confucius sanctuary. The shrine is marked by 72 statues which represent the followers of Confucius. Under the administration of Chinese embassy in Tokyo, the shrine was extensively renovated in 1982 and reopened to public since the time it was partially destroyed during the atomic bomb in 1945. The shrine also houses the Museum of Chinese History that comprises antique collection. Call to know more.
You only reach this shrine after climbing up 200 stone steps; so bring some walking shoes. The patron god of the shrine is protectorate of Nagasaki Prefecture and its seas. Thousands of area residents visit it every year to pray for good luck and to seek blessings for marriage. Within the shrine are numerous statuettes of "guard" dogs, which are particularly rare. Another rarity of this shrine is that its mikuji (fortunes) have been written in English since 1914, due to the city's international composition. Beginning every October 7th, there is a three-day festival held at this shrine called Nagasaki Kunchi.
This Western-style building was constructed in the early 19th century by British national Wilson Walker. It was moved from its original location to the current site, however, and is now used as a display gallery, with a meeting room on the second floor. Currently on display on the first floor is a 1/500-scale model of Nagasaki. The meeting room on the second floor is popular, supposedly because it exudes such a thoroughly Western feel.