Nagasaki – Day 1

Getting to Nagasaki involved a 10 hour journey from Hiroshima, which you can read about on its own post. I arrived in the evening and headed straight to the Minshuku Tanpopo, a family run B&B with tatami rooms and futons and, after a conbini dinner, had a nice bath and an early night.

The next day was a walking tour of epic proportions, covering most of what I will call the “Chinese sights” in Nagasaki. Nagasaki has had a lot of exposure to foreign cultures due to its location and prominence as a key trading port in Asia. In the 1600’s, Portuguese traders were the first Westerners to grace Japan’s shores, but before that trade was conducted with other Asian nations, predominantly the Chinese. There are therefore a lot of Chinese temples, Western buildings, and other remnants of foreign culture, like Catholic churches, Portuguese cakes and a Chinatown. Anyhow, as usual I’m going to skip over the city’s history (if you’re interested you can read more on Wikipedia) and crack on with some photos.

Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan
This is an anomaly on my day of Chinese sights – it is a monument to 26 Christians that were crucified in 1597 when the Japanese government decided that the Christianity that the Portuguese were trying to introduce probably wasn’t such a good thing after all. Strange to think how different Japan’s culture would be if those missionaries had succeeded.

Temple wall

Funky wall

Shofukuji  rooftops

Gargoyle and ivy
These photos are all from Shofuku-ji, a temple near the 26 Martyrs monument. It was in the early stages of neglect and decay, which made for lots of cool things to photograph.

White cat
There are lots of cats in Nagasaki, presumably due to the fact that there are also lots of fish shops! I occasionally saw cats running out of shops with a chunk of fish in their mouth. They were pretty friendly, and mainly had their tails intact, which none of the cats in Nagoya did.

String to rid you of a bad habit
Tying a piece of string around the leg of this statue is supposed to help rid you of a bad habit. Sadly I had no string, but plenty of bad habits.

Kofukuji Temple
These red joists are in Kofuku-ji, another Chinese-style temple.

Good spot for tea

Vase and bamboo

Sofukuji Temple=
This entrance gate is from Sofukuji (spotting the naming trend?!) which was constructed in 1629 for Nagasaki’s Chinese residents.

Megane Bashi (
This is megane bashi. Megane means “glasses” and bashi is “bridge”, so named because the two arches reflected in the water look like a pair of glasses.

Rooftops

Chanpon
After all the walking I ended up in Chinatown, where I had a dinner of chanpon – a pork-based soup with noodles, meat, seafood and vegetables which is a very traditional Chinese Nagasaki dish, before getting my weary self back for some much-needed rest and recuperation, ready for another day of walking and graveyard breaking and entering the next day…

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