Under the national isolation policy of the Tokugawa shogunate, Nagasaki harbor was the only harbor to which entry of foreign ships was permitted. Even today, Nagasaki shows the influence of many cultures such as Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese.
On 9 August 1945, three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, a nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing a total of over 100,000 people. Japan surrendered unconditionally six days later.
Both of Japan's major air carriers serve Nagasaki Airport. JAL and ANA offer nonstop flights from Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Osaka's Itami Airport. ANA also offers nonstops to Nagasaki from the new Nagoya Centrair Airport and Naha Airport in Okinawa, while JAL operates from Nagoya Airport in Komaki. In 2005, a new low-cost carrier, SNA (Skynet Asia Airways), began flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport, providing cheaper tickets than major carriers.
Buses connect the airport to the Nagasaki train station (1 hour, ¥800).
JR Kyushu runs the Kamome (かもめ) Limited Express train service from Hakata station in Fukuoka once or twice every hour. The one-way ride takes about two hours and costs ¥4910.
Connections to the Kamome can be made from the rest of the country via the Shinkansen (Hiroshima, 3 hrs; Okayama, 4 hrs; Osaka, 4 1/2 hrs; Tokyo, 7 hrs).
From Kagoshima-Chuo station in Kagoshima, Nagasaki can be reached via the Kyushu Shinkansen and Kamome in about 3 3/4 hours (this will be reduced when the Kyushu Shinkansen between Hakata and Shin-Yatsushiro is fully operational).
You can travel overnight from Tokyo to Nagasaki, however you will have to take three trains: the 10 PM Sunrise Seto/Sunrise Izumo overnight service to Okayama, the Shinkansen from Okayama to Hakata, and the Kamome from Hakata to Nagasaki. This will take a total of 13 hours, and if you're willing to constantly change trains, you will be rewarded as your journey will double as lodging.
Japan Rail Pass holders must pay the lodging charge on the Tokyo-Okayama segment; the rest of the trip is covered under the pass. Lodging charges currently range from ¥9450 for a B solo to ¥10500 for a B single, to ¥16500 for an A single deluxe. If you really want to travel on the cheap side, ¥3660 gets you your own floor space... literally, you sleep on the floor.
The Holland overnight bus runs from Kyoto and Osaka Umeda to Nagasaki (11 1/2 hours from Kyoto, ¥11300; 10 hours from Osaka, ¥11000). An additional bus, the Roman Nagasaki, runs from Osaka Hankyu Bus Terminal to Nagasaki at the same cost and time.
Streetcars (路面電車 romen densha) connect most of Nagasaki; they run about every ten to fifteen minutes during the day. The most frequently used lines will be the red (3) and blue (1); the blue and red lines run on the same track from the northern end of Nagasaki as far as the Nagasaki train station, where they split. The blue line continues to the You-me Plaza shopping mall, and later the downtown shopping arcade. A one-way trip is 100 yen, and you can get a transfer ticket (乗り継ぎ券 ”noritsugi ken") to continue your trip, if it requires two streetcars. These tickets can only be acquired if you get off at the Tsuki Machi stop. You can save money if you're doing a lot of travel by purchasing a daily pass for the streetcars (500 yen) which you can purchase at most major hotels.
Buses also run through much of Nagasaki, including places that aren't served by the streetcars.
It should be mentioned that the street cars stop running around 11PM, and most bus service also has downtime at night. This can come as a rude awakening if you go out in Shianbashi, only to find that you have to stay until 6am for the first running densha. For the adventurous, it takes about an hour to walk from Shianbashi to Sumiyoshi. This timeframe is heavily dependent on how fast you walk, and what kind of night out you experienced.
- -Glover Garden-
- -Peace Memorial park- Peace memorial statue, fountain of peace, bell of Nagasaki
- -Inasa mountain- night view of the harbor in Nagasaki
- -Oura Roman- Catholic Church
- -Urakami Roman- Catholic Church
- -many nice- European buildings
- -Atomic bomb museum-: a well-done commemoration of one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century. At the far end of the museum tour, you will find a powerful argument against nuclear proliferation, outlined in several well-designed exhibits. Buy yourself some ice cream after you leave - you'll need it.
- Dejima (the island foreigners were restricted to during the Edo period)
- -Dejima Wharf- is located near Nagasaki Port Terminal. It was built for commemorating the exchange between Japan and Netherlands for 400 years. There are 20 shops including restaurants. You can eat lunch or dinner watching the sea.
- -Huis Ten Bosch-(check this site!), a Dutch-style theme park that is actually outside of Sasebo. The landscaping here is good, and very beautiful in the spring because all of the flowers in will be in bloom.
- -The Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium-this is a surprisingly entertaining and informative aquarium located about 30 minutes [by bus] from Nagasaki station. A 12 meter deep tank dominates the entry way. You can observe a variety of penguins from the vantage of underwater. A number of other aquaria contain many species of fish and invertebrates found locally, as well as a huge tank containing giant catfish [pla bluk] from the Mekong River in Thailand. The building is adjacent to a delightful sandy beach that could make a day with kids full and exciting. Entry is a reasonable 500 yen for adults, kids under 3 are free. The web page http://www1.city.nagasaki.nagasaki.jp/penguin/ is only in Japanese.
- Lantern Festival・・・Lunar New Year (mid Jan-mid Feb). Held by Nagasaki's Chinese community, large lanterns are displayed on street corners and in the shopping arcades. Venture through Chinatown or along the river in the evening to see some of the 20,000+ lanterns displayed in the city. Many of the lanterns are shaped like animals or figures from Chinese mythology, and the major lantern every year represents the corresponding zodiac animal (eg, 2008 featured rats, 2007 featured pigs, etc).
- O-Kunchi・・・the city's biggest and one of Japan's more popular festivals, taking place in early October. This festival, based around the descent of the city's patron kami（神）from their home high up in the Suwa Shrine, features choreographed routines with giant, cumbersome floats, sake, and a general feeling of celebration. Finding food will not be a problem during O-Kunchi, as the streets are lined with thousands of vendors hawking takoyaki, yakitori, and grilled corn on the cob.
- Although all of Japan celebrates O-Bon in August, Nagasaki puts a unique and deafening spin on the day of ancestor worship. Head down to the harbor for the main festivities, which involve far more alcohol and fireworks than is generally considered safe.
- A quick boat ride to Iojima is the easiest way to get to a beach. From Nagasaki harbour to Iojima is about 1500 yen and about 10-15 minute another 500 yen gets you in. The boat ticket allows a visit to the hot springs in the hotel on Iojima so that visitors can wash up.
- A quick jaunt into Shianbashi, or Shianbash for short, is a must when you visit Nagasaki. This area of Nagasaki exudes debauchery, full of numerous Snacks (not to be confused with a snack bar) and drinking establishments.
- If you happen to be in Nagasaki between March and June, might I suggest that you take a walk with Saruku-Chan. More commonly known as Saruku-Haku, these guided tours allow the Sarukist to experience the history of Nagasaki in a very unique way, by walking it! Available with orators teaching in either Japanese and English, these walks are quite the learning experience. These walks require a bit of multitasking, one must be able to listen, walk and look at the same time. The course sizes range from just a few miles to a monstrous 13 mile jaunt.
- Oka Masaharu Memorial Nagasaki Peace Mueseum. One of the few places in Japan where the war crimes of the Japanese army during the Second World War are documented. Another focus of the exhibition lies on the foreign victims of the atomic bomb and their struggle for recognition and compensation. The Museum is located close to the central train station and just next to the memorial for the "26 Saints of Japan". It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9am until 5pm.
- Youme Saito - Located next to Dejima Wharf in downtown Nagasaki, this multistory shopping plaza offers a range of stores and services, including a Starbucks, travel agent, a grocery store in the basement, and of course, a grand selection of clothing stores. Perhaps of most interest to English-speaking travelers is the Kinokuniya bookstore on the fifth floor; it carries arguably the widest selection of English-language books and magazines in the city. Next to Kinokuniya is a food court with several selections. Youme Saito is easily accessed by taking the blue streetcar line to the Ohato stop.
- Nishi-Hamanomachi - Also from the blue line, you can access this enormous covered arcade from up to four streetcar stops, the easiest of which are the ones marked "Hamanomachi." There is a proliferation of restaurants, coffee shops, clothing stores, hair salons, and multi-level electronics stores.
- Chitosepia - At the Chitose-machi tram stop, with several clothes stores on the second and first floor as well as an arcade on the second floor. This can be a good place to start shopping. Several restaurants are in the basement as well as a grocery store. The restaurants include Japanese food, a curry restaurant and an Italian restaurant. One recommendation for a cheap and tasty pick-me-up snack is the Hearth Brown patisserie on the lower level.
- Seiyu - Beyond the reach of the Nagasaki trams, so take a bus, is the shopping center of Seiyu. With a Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop and a McDonald's in front it is hard to miss. With almost anything anyone could want, from book store to clothing stores to electronic stores, Seiyu has it all, though in a slightly inconvenient place
- AMU Plaza - At the Nagasaki station tram stop is Amyu (AMU) Plaza and with a multitude of stores to see in the plaza and several stores around the plaza that might interest people, including a book shop and an arcade. Inside the plaza is 3 stories of shopping extravaganza, there are clothes, books and electronic stores all around. There are several restaurants on the bottom floor of the building as well as an area for people to buy Nagasaki related knick-knacks. There is also an import store called Dragon Deli on the bottom floor where one can find soda that isn't readily available in the rest of Nagasaki, like Dr. Pepper and A&W Cream Soda.
Nagasaki's most famous dish is champon (ちゃんぽん), which is a hearty dish of noodles in a pork-based broth, filled with vegetables, bacon, shrimp, squid, and scallops.
Saraudon (皿うどん) is another popular dish that combines the meat, seafood, vegetables, and sauce of champon, but serves it on a plate, or 'sara', over crispy dry fried noodles.
For Nagasaki's most well-known champon and saraudon restaurants, it is best to head into Chinatown (blue streetcar to the Tsuki-machi stop). While you're there, try out some of the fantastic street food, such as kakuni-manju (marinated braised pork cutlet served in a steamed bun), ebichiriman (shrimp fried in chili sauce, again served in a steamed bun), and marakao (steamed pound cake, usually available in chocolate and chestnut flavors).
Castella (カステラ) is a sponge cake that was originally brought by the Portuguese; it has assumed a distinctly light Japanese flavor and texture over the centuries, and now one can find it in flavors such as honey, chestnut, and green tea. Head to the Dutch Slope (オランダ坂) on any day of the week to sample castella for free from one of the many vendors.
Chawan mushi, a steamed egg custard, savory instead of sweet and filled with meat, fish, and mushrooms, is also famous.
Another Nagasaki dish is Turkish Rice (トルコライス toruko raisu), named after the country. It consists of a pork cutlet, dry curry mixed into rice, and a small serving of spaghetti, all on the same plate. Tsuru-chan (ツル茶ん), Aburayamachi 2-47, tel. 095-824-2679, . Established in 1925, this is the original and perhaps still the best Turkish Rice joint (¥850 a serve) and one of Japan's first cafes. Open 9 AM to 10 PM every day.
The worthwhile trip to the top of Glover Garden also yields another point of interest: the oldest Western-style restaurant in Japan, the Tenjin Coffeehouse. The stop in is worth it to see their impressive Dutch coffee-making equipment, when combined with the historicity could be why they charge about 550 yen for a cup.
- Nagasaki Biopark: This is a little ways outside of the city, but it is definitely worth an afternoon. This is perhaps the world's largest and best petting zoo, where one can feed and pet animals like capybara, flamingos, mara, and wallabies. From Nagasaki Station (長崎駅), hop on the Ogushi (大串) bus line, and ride north until you reach Kamedake (亀岳). Follow the signs with the cute animals, and Biopark will be on the right approximately 500 meters down the road. To return, look for the Nagasaki Terminal (長崎ターミナル) buses, which usually run hourly until 9.
- Huis Ten Bosch: This is a Dutch-themed park located in nearby Sasebo, which one can access with the Kamome train line. For those who have already toured the Netherlands, there is probably not much of a draw, but if you are interested in the uncanny Japanese ability to faithfully reproduce the works of other countries (they even imported the bricks from the Netherlands), it is worth a visit.
This page was last edited at 20:55, on 3 March 2009 by Jose Ramos. Based on work by David, Wikitravel user(s) Texugo, Edmontonenthusiast, Episteme and Yodaki, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.