Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Nagasaki 3-Day Itinerary: Day Three

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

After the last two days of sunny weather, it rained today but our travel plans weren’t too affected by it. We stayed in Peace Town which is close by to Urakami Cathedral so we went there first. I believe the inside is reserved for worshipers so we only looked from the outside. We purchased the one day tram pass again for 500 yen and headed to Megane bashi (Spectable Bridge 眼鏡橋) by alighting at Kokaido-mae station (公会堂). There were many large koi fish (鯉) in the water under the bridge and pigeons flying around.

Urakami Cathedral
Many koi fish by Spectacle Bridge
Spectacle Bridge aka Megane bashi
It began to rain soon after we left Megane bashi and it didn’t stop even by the time we flew out of Nagasaki the next morning. We took the tram to Suwajinja-mae station to visit Suwajinja (諏訪神社) which had a nice view of the houses on the hills and some cherry blossom trees.

Entrance to Suwajinja
View from Suwajinja
Following Suwajinja and to take a break from the rain, we went to Nagasaki Station and there was a mini fair in the atrium. I got a croissant taiyaki with apple filling which was so buttery. I recommend trying croissant taiyaki in addition to traditional taiyakis when visiting Japan.

Ferris wheel on top of Cocowalk
We moved from Nagasaki Station to a shopping mall called Cocowalk. There was a ferris wheel on top of the mall which we went to see but didn’t ride since the visibility wasn’t as great as on a sunny day.

Dejima Museum
Hollander Slope
On our way to the Former HSBC Nagasaki Branch (旧香港上海銀行長崎支店) building for the museum, we passed by Dejima Museum and one of the steep Dutch Slopes. I believe I read on a tourism pamphlet that they’re called Dutch Slopes because Dutch foreigners were often seen walking in that area back in the day.

Former HSBC building
Inside the museum
The museum inside the HSBC building featured Sun Yat Sen, Soong Ching Ling and Umeya Shokichi. It was actually pretty interesting to watch the videos and learn about the history behind the different landmarks we visited such as the Glover Residence and that Shanghai and Nagasaki were major trading partners. Glover was one of the founders of the Japan Brewing Company which is present day Kirin Beer.

Toruko Rice
The souvenir shop road to Glover Garden was behind the museum and we took a brief look again. We had a meal of toruko rice (Turkish Rice) at Lekker which consisted of curry fried rice, tomato sauce spaghetti and tonkatsu on top. It is a Nagasaki dish which showed the mix of cultures in the city but after I tried it, I know I would have preferred to eat each item separately.

Confucius Temple
We saw the Confucius Temple and Museum from the outside. It is said to be the only temple of its kind built by Chinese people outside of China. Then we followed Google Maps through a residential area to find Sofuji (聖福寺). It was nice to see a non-touristy part of the city and was a pleasant walk even in the rain. The temple was empty and seemed to be closed but we were able to walk around anyways.

Walking up to the one legged torii
Fallen remnants of the one legged torii
Our last landmark of the day was to the one legged torii (一本柱鳥居) which is a part of Sanno Shrine (山王神社). It is a short walk from Daigakubyoin-mae station (大学病院). We saw it on our first night but not clearly so we decided to go back. The torii gate of Sanno Shrine was half destroyed by the atomic bomb one kilometer away. 

Original state of the one legged torii
Only one leg of the gate remained standing and the remnants were placed on the ground behind the gate. In the old photos, everything around the one legged torii was destroyed to rubble except for the one leg and the broken stairs leading up to it. Now it is completely surrounded by tightly packed residences and it is good that they kept this part of history.

Please read this plaque.

Walking in from the gate was a landmark that I was even more impacted by. We stumbled upon it since it wasn’t on our tourist map but it should be. It was a tree that was burnt and split in half by the bomb but somehow came back to life and grew. It is very tall now and there is a rope with hanging zigzag paper stripes called shide (四手) between the two halves. Standing in the rain between the halves, I could feel life. These trees were a symbol of resilience and being able to recover after being struck down.

It was amazing to me to be able to see this and to read the story on the plaque. I’m glad Nagasaki’s landmarks all had English translations on their plaques so I could understand more. 

Overall I had an amazing, albeit short, trip to Nagasaki and would definitely love to visit again. It is a beautiful city with unique architecture unlike anywhere else in Japan. 

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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  1. Thank you for sharing your travels on Nagasaki.