Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Nagasaki 3-Day Itinerary: Day One

Read Day 1 here - Peace Park, Atomic Bomb Museum, Mount Inasa
Read Day 2 here - Gunkanjima, Chinatown, Glover Garden, Nagasaki Seaside Park
Read Day 3 here - Spectacle Bridge, Former HSBC Building, one legged torii

Nagasaki (長崎) has become one of the favourite places that I have visited in Japan so far. Taking an afternoon flight from Kobe Airport, we landed in Nagasaki Airport by 2pm. We took the bus to the city because there were no trains and bought round trip tickets for the airport bus for 1600 yen. Otherwise it would cost 900 yen one way.

Park upon descending at Matsuyama-machi
About an hour later the bus arrived at Matsuyama-machi station (松山町) and we alighted in front of the Peace Park. The spring weather was great and there were many gorgeous cherry blossom trees in the park. Hiroshima Peace Park was a grander display with its large park, whereas Nagasaki’s smaller Peace Park had a more intimate feeling of quietly paying respect to those who passed away. Nagasaki Peace Park had many flowers and groomed greenery making it beautiful. There were also escalators to the park because it is hilly in this city.

We gazed at the statues in the park before going to the Atomic Bomb Museum (200 yen entrance fee). The museum was smaller than the one in Hiroshima but I found it to be just as impacting. Each place had its own way of dealing with the aftermath and I was glad to have been able to visit both Hiroshima (広島) and Nagasaki.

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb museum
Atomic bomb destruction
After dropping off our luggage at our friend’s place, we went for dinner at an Indian restaurant. For tourists who are visiting Japan, it may seem strange that we didn’t eat Japanese food on our first night in Nagasaki. But since we all live in Japan, we have access to Japanese food and the Nagasaki famous dishes can wait for the next two days. Actually the Indian restaurant was quite good and I especially liked my mango lassi.

Escalator to the Peace Park. One of many outdoor escalators in Nagasaki.
Peace Park
We walked along Urakami River (浦上川) to the base of the ropeway up to Mount Inasa (稲佐山).  Trams are the main public transportation device here and you can opt to alight at Takaramachi Station (宝町) then walk 5 mins to the base of the ropeway.

Urakami River
Ropeway up to Mount Inasa
The ropeway cost 1230 yen round trip but I printed a coupon online on their website which brought the price down to 1100 yen. One print out was good for the group, so don’t waste paper! The ride was smooth and quick. It was noticeably chillier at the top but the view was, of course, splendid. Nagasaki’s night view is top three in Japan alongside Kobe’s (神戸) and Hakodate’s (函館). It is also top three in the world with Hong Kong’s and Monaco’s night views.

Famous Nagasaki night view

There were many lights on the hills from the various houses and light reflected off the water from the port. It is as if each house was a twinkling star on the hills. Now I have seen two of the best night views in the world and only have Monaco left! Though “best” is quite debatable, Nagasaki’s was certainly worthwhile. 

Read Day 1 here - Peace Park, Atomic Bomb Museum, Mount Inasa
Read Day 2 here - Gunkanjima, Chinatown, Glover Garden, Nagasaki Seaside Park
Read Day 3 here - Spectacle Bridge, Former HSBC Building, one legged torii
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