Nagasaki Guide

Nagasaki Prefecture

The Nagasaki region is located in the northwest part of Kyushu and has numerous sites of historical interest filled with a multitude of cultural treasures.

During the period of National Isolation (1641-1858), Nagasaki was the only port open to the rest of the world. An indirect effect of that policy was to endow the region with a unique culture; traditional Nagasaki arts, crafts and foods are all renowned for their touch of exoticism, and the city's landscape is a notable mixture of Japanese, European and Chinese influences.

In more recent history, Nagasaki became the second city after Hiroshima to be destroyed by an atomic bomb during the World War II. Since that tragedy, Nagasaki has engaged earnestly in a global effort to achieve world peace.

Main cities and towns: Nagasaki, Shimabara, Sasebo & Kujuku Islands, Iki Island

Things to do in Nagasaki

Peace Park

Peace Park

The park features the Peace Statue symbolizing the Nagasaki citizens' wish for peace.

The raised right hand points to the heavens to signify the threat of atomic weapons while the left arm is raised horizontally to represent the wish for peace. The figure's eyes are lightly closed in prayer for the souls of the atomic bomb victims.

Visitor Information
  • Access: 10mins tram ride from JR Nagasaki and 5mins walk from Hamaguchi-machi tram stop

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

The museum is a remembrance to the second atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki on 9th August in 1945 at 11:02am. A clock which stopped at 11:02 is also on display to demonstrate how so many people were killed in an instant.

Visitor Information
  • Access 10mins tram ride from JR Nagasaki and 5mins walk from Hamaguchi-machi tram stop
  • Address 7-8 Hirano-machi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki
  • Admission 200 yen
  • Closed New Year's holiday

Glover Garden

Glover Garden

This residence was resided by Thomas Blake Glover, a Scottish merchant who contributed in establishing the shipbuilding industry during Edo period. It is located on the Minamiyamate hillside overlooking the beautiful Nagasaki harbour.

Visitor Information
  • Access 5mins walk from Ouratenshudo-shita tram station and it's next to Oura Tenshudo (Oura Catholic Church)

Oura Catholic Church (Oura Tenshudo)

Oura Catholic Church (Oura Tenshudo)

The church was built soon after the end of the Edo period and the Japanese government's Seclusion Policy in 1864 by two French priests to dedicate to 26 Martyrs. It is the oldest wooden church in Japan.

Visitor Information
  • Access 5mins walk from Ouratenshudo-shita tram station and it's next to the Glover Garden entrance

Gunkanjima (Hashima)

Gunkanjima (Hashima)

Hashima is a tiny island located 19km southwest of Nagasaki harbour. Hashima is also known as ‘Gunkanjima’ (Battleship Island) due to its unique silhouette. Gunkanjima flourished as a coral mining community in 1890. In 1916, Japan’s first reinforced concrete high-rise apartment building (7 stories) was constructed to accommodate the miners and their families. At its peak the population of this island was around 5,300, giving it a population density 9 times greater than that of Tokyo at the same time. In 1974 when the coral mine closed, the island became completely deserted.

Currently, Gunkanjima is getting worldwide attention as it’s the model for the ‘Dead City’ in the James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’.

Mt Inasa

Nagasaki

The summit can be reached by cable car, bus or car and offers superb views over Nagasaki city.

 

Unzen

Nagasaki

It is mountain resort with ‘onsen(hot spring)’ located in Shimabara peninsula, the east of Nagasaki city and one of the finest National Park not only in Kyushu, but in Japan. Unzen's nature has been preciously preserved since old days and is called an encyclopedia of nature. One of the characteristic landscape of Unzen is ‘Jigoku(hell)’. High-temperature hot springs ponds and erupting gasses with the strong smell of sulfur can be seen in the area.

Seasonal landscape of Unzen is also impressive. In spring, Unzen azaleas turn the mountainside pink, and when the fresh, young leaves turn to early summer green leaves. In autumn, the entire mountain becomes red and orange and in winter, the trees become crystallized with hard rime.

Saikai Pear Sea Resort

Kujuku-Shima Island, Sasebo

Its literal meaning is 99 islands but actually it consists of 208 little islands.

You can enjoy the stunning scenic views from observation spots in Sasebo or take a cruise from Saikai Pearl Sea Resort. The view from Ishidake Observatory appeared in the movie ‘Last Samurai’ to showcase the beautiful coastal landscape of Japan.

Attractions in Sasebo

Saikai Pearl Sea Resort

Saikai Pear Sea Resort

Visitor Information
  • Access 18mins by shuttle bus or 10mins by car from JR Sasebo
  • Kujuku-shima cruise 1200yen
  • Sea kayaking* 500yen~
    *Apr-Oct: available on Sundays and public holidays only
    *Summer: available daily
  • URL www.pearlsea.jp/english/

Viewing spots of Kujukushima islands

Ishidake Observatory

The location of the Hollywood movie, ‘Last Samurai’

Ishidake Observatory

Visitor Information
  • Access 30mins from JR Sasebo station by car

Tenkaiho

Stunning 180-degrees view of Kujukushima Islands

Tenkaiho

Visitor Information
  • Access 40min from JR Sasebo Station by bus

Iki

Iki is situated off the coast of Kyushu between Fukuoka and South Korea and although it`s in the Nagasaki region, it is still easily accessible by ferry from Fukuoka (Hakata Port) and Karatsu (Saga region). The island is stunning with its natural beauty and beautiful sandy beaches.

Whilst it is possible to visit Iki Island on a day trip, we highly recommend staying at least one night for the authentic Japanese beach holiday experience and super fresh seafood! If you are going to hire a car, location should not be a concern, but if you are after the soothing natural onsen (hot spring), you will need to choose accommodation in the area of Yunomoto. If you plan to do nothing but to stretch and relax on the sparkling white sandy beaches, then accommodation in Ishida town would be most convenient.

Attractions in Iki

Tsutsukihama Beach

Tsutsukihama Beach

600m long stunning white sandy beach

Tatsunoshima cruise

40mins boat ride around caverns and cliffs sharpened by the rough waves naturally.

Tatsunoshima cruise

Visitor Information
  • Fee 1500yen (operated from end of March to October only)
  • Depart from Katsumoto port

Saruiwa (Monkey Rock)

Saruiwa (Monkey Rock)

This large rock naturally carved like a Monkey and it is located on the west side of the island.

Dolphin Park

Dolphin Park

The dolphin park is located in the north of the island just a few minutes’ drive from the Katsumoto Town. The entrance charge is just 200 yen for adults. Alternatively, you can purchase a 1000 yen (800 for kids) entrance ticket which allows you to feed and touch the dolphins (may require reservation on the day).

 

What to eat in Nagasaki

Chanpon
Chanpon
A noodle dish that is a local specialty of Nagasaki.

Sara Udon
Sara Udon
Fried crispy noodle topped with vegetables, pork and seafood

Sasebo Burger
Sasebo Burger
Hamburgers were introduced to Sasebo in the 1950's by the American Navy and they are now famous throughout Japan as a Sasebo Burger.

Castella (Sponge cake)
Castella (Sponge cake)
A kind of sponge cake introduced by the Portuguese missionaries in the mid-16th century and became one of local specialties in Nagasaki. It’s also popular as a Nagasaki souvenir.

Fresh seafood: Uni don (Sea urchin rice ball) from Iki

Uni don


Seasonal Events in Nagasaki

Nagasaki Lantern Festival

The Nagasaki Lantern Festival takes place annually from the 1st to 15th January of the Lunar Calendar to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Nagasaki Lantern Festival

Nagasaki

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