Nagasaki is a city in Kyushu Area, southern part of Japan. Nagasaki is well known as the city attacked by atomic bomb during the World War II. Not only the big event, but Nagasaki is has lots of historical stories because Nagasaki was the only city that was open to other countries during the Sakuku(*1) period.
(*1)Sakoku, locked country, was a foreign relations policy of Japan during 16th to 18th century. During that time, no foreigner could enter in Japan.
Therefore, Nagasaki has integrated Japanese and foreign culture for a long time, and that mixture has left us many sites to make the city attractive for visitors today.
Also in 2015, Glover Garden and Hashima (Gunkanjima) were both registered to UNESCO’s World Heritage Site as “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining”. I am sure that Nagasaki will gain more and more visitors in future.
There are lots of attractions, but in this article I will introduce a model course of staying Nagasaki for one night (two days). I hope it will be helpful to those who are planning to visit Nagasaki in future.
Half day course will be like this;
- Eat Champon for Lunch at China Town
- Oura Church
- Glover Garden
- Shopping at Nagasaki Station
- Night View from Inasayama
Buy The One-Day Pass of Street Car
Street car in Nagasaki goes to pretty much every major spots for sightseeing. There is a one-day pass available for 500yen (adults/ 250yen for children) and you can gain unlimited rides for one day. If you are going to use the street car more than 5 times, you better buy this one-day pass. To use, you just show the pass to the driver when you get off the street car.
You can purchase this one day pass at the Tourist Information Center (located on the ground floor of JR Nagasaki Station) and major accommodations in the city. Be careful that you cannot buy the pass inside the train.
Please check out Nagasaki Denki Kido’s website for the latest information.
1. Eat Champon for Lunch at China Town
Champon is a noodle dish which is a regional cuisine of Nagasaki. It has inspirations from China, but is a Japanese food. Champon has fried pork and vegetables on top of noodles, soup is made from chicken and pork. Noodles used for Champon is different from ramen, it is a straight noodle. You can find many places to eat Champon in China Town. Each restaurants has their own specialities.
If the weather is hot, Sara-Udon is another recommendation of regional food here.
Sara-Udon also is a noodle dish which has fried pork and vegetables on top, but it doesn’t have soup and noodles are thinner and hard because it is deep fried. If you are going with more than two people, maybe order one Champon and one Sara-Udon to share would be nice.
2. Oura Church
After you have lunch, take street car to “Ouratenshudo-Shita” station. This beautiful church is one of Japan’s National Treasures, and it is said to be the oldest church in Japan. The church stands on top of the hill, and I don’t know if this is a reason but because it has survived the atomic bomb, I feel some mystical aura. You can enter inside the church but you are not able to take photos inside. You will see a beautiful wooden structure and stained glasses.
Location: Minami Yamate-Cho 5-4, Nagasaki City (長崎市南山手町5-3)
Check the latest information from their official website：https://nagasaki-oura-church.jp/
3. Glover Garden
Glover Garden is a beautiful complex of garden and historical Western style architectures. located on top of the hill. The complex of Western architectures have been registered as one of Cultural World Heritage Site “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining” in 2015.
Glover Garden was built originally for Thomas Blake Glover, a Scottish merchant who contributed to modernization of Japan. The structures are the oldest Western style house surviving in Japan, and preserved as museum, you can walk in and see the replica of inside.
Also because the garden is located on the top of the hill, the view of Nagasaki city from there is just amazing. You can see the port and the city together.
There are many benches and fountains, also cafe. Take a moment to walk around and relax in this beautiful garden.
Location: 8-1 Minami-Yamatemachi, Nagasaki City （長崎県長崎市南山手町8-1）
Hours: 8:00AM-9:00PM (Summer), 8:00AM-6:00PM(Winter) *Opening hours changes every year, check website.
Check the latest information from their official website：http://www.glover-garden.jp/foreign/english.html
4. Shopping at Nagasaki Station
If you have come to Nagasaki, you cannot miss shopping. In Nagasaki Station, there is a shopping mall called “AMU PLAZA NAGASAKI” on the 1st floor.
You can find an area called “Omiyage Kaido（お土産街道）”, where about 20 survenir shops gather. Major survenir from Nagasaki is Castella, Steamed Pork Bun, Biwa, precooked Champon. Oops, everything is food. Except food,the most famous survenir would be Hasami-Yaki (波佐見焼）, a pottery brand from Hasami, a city near Nagasaki.
Location: 1-1, Onouemachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki（長崎市尾上町1-1）
Check the latest information from their official website：http://www.amu-n.co.jp.e.ub.hp.transer.com/
5. Night View from Inasayama
Night view of Nagasaki is said to be one of both “New Three Major Night Views of World” and “Three Major Night Views of Japan”. As it is admitted by professional organizations, the view from 333 meter hilltop is extremely beautiful you would lose words. Twinkles shine along the hill, it just looks like a starry sky.
You can climb up with either ropeway or bus. (note that ropeway is closed until February 2016 due to reconstruction) Up there is pretty windy, so I recommend to bring something to put on.
Nagasaki has lot of attractions. But this course is definitely possible to walk around. I hope this helps out for those who are going to travel to Nagasaki.
I also have an article about how to enjoy the 2nd day: