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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Nagasaki Area

  • Spectacles Bridge (Megane-bashi)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Uonomachi
    This stone bridge spanning the Nakashima River was constructed by Kofukuji Temple’s monk Mokusu Nyojo in 1634. This is Japan’s first arch-type stone bridge with a total length of 22 meters, a width of 3.6 meters, and a height above the river surface of 5.46 meters. The name comes from how the shape of the bridge’s two semicircle arches are reflected in the water surface and look like eyeglasses when viewed from far away. This is one of Japan’s three great bridges along with Nihombashi Bridge and Kintaikyo Bridge. It was designated as a National Important Cultural Property in 1960.
  • Shimabara Castle
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    4.0
    247 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Shimabarashi Jounai 1-1183-1
    Shimabara Castle is located at the foot of Mt. Unzen overlooking the Ariake Sea. The castle is comprised of a five-tier tower surrounded by turrets of various sizes and incorporates the castle architectural style of the Azuchi-Momyama period. The castle is distinguished by its tall and strong walls. After it was completed in 1624, the castle served as the seat of 19 generations of feudal lords from four clans over a 250-year history and was the stage for many historical events. The castle was demolished with the Meiji Restoration but the tower was restored in 1964. The interior of the castle is a museum which exhibits materials related to the early Japanese Christians and other local history matters.

    The are several buildings and area to walk about. The main castle tower is 5 floors. I don't recall seeing an elevator so if stairs are your enemy I would suggest not coming. The 2 floor is the...

  • Hirado Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Hiradoshi Iwanouechou 1458
    This was the residential castle of the Matsura clan, the feudal lords of the Hirado Domain. The fortification technology at the time incorporated the unusual Yamagaryu (Yamaga school) style. Construction originally began in 1599 as “Hi-no-Takejo” but as it neared completion in 1613, it fell under suspicion from Tokugawa Ieyasu due to the deep friendship the clan had with Toyotomi Hideyoshi, so the clan head Shigenobu burned down the castle himself. The clan lived in the palace that was on the site for about 90 years, and reconstruction of Hirado Castle began in 1704 and was completed in 1718. The view of the Port of Hirado looking down from the castle keep is outstanding, and visitors can obtain a view that includes the virgin forest of Kuroko Island (a Natural Monument) and the Hirado Ohashi Bridge.
  • Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
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    4.5
    1721 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Hiranomachi 7-8
    The museum is located on a hill overlooking the center of the explosion from the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. Pictures of Nagasaki before and after the bombing as well as structures and everyday items which survived the explosion are displayed in the museum in story-like fashion. Patrons are allowed to touch some of the exhibits which convey to the present the horrors of the atomic bomb. Multilingual exhibit descriptions and audio guides are available. A five-minute walk from the Hamaguchi-machi stop on the tramway.

    The site gave a lot of information about what happened during ending world war 2 and what the dramatic consequences were caused by the atomic bomb. It is a must to see.

  • Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Hiranomachi 7-8
    This site, located next to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, is a memorial to those who died to the bomb and a hope for peace. There are photographs and notes that can be read, and on the second basement floor there is a mourning space with a list of the names of the dead. On the top of the facility is a water basin for the victims who had begged for water and at night it is lit up in memorial for 70,000 victims in a scene of whimsical beauty. A five-minute walk from the Atomic Bomb Museum stop on the Nagasaki Streetcar.
  • Urakami Cathedral
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    4.0
    326 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Motomachi 1-79
    This Cathedral of the Catholic Church is located to the north of Nagasaki City. Its story began in the Edo period, with the ban on Christianity and the persecution of believers who lived in Urakami. The cathedral was built during the Meiji and Taisho periods. It was, however, later destroyed by the atomic bomb, leaving only a single wall standing, and the present building is a reconstruction of the original cathedral, built in 1959. It is located 5 minutes' walk from the Heiwa Koen (Peace Park) tram stop.

    walked here from the Peace Park, a few hills but doable. Coming from a Christian country, nice to visit bigger Cathedrals/Churches than the 1 tiny one in my city in Japan, felt quite nostalgic, if...

  • Nagai Takashi Memorial Museum Nyokodo
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Uenomachi 22-6
    This museum commemorates Dr. Takashi Nagai, who contributed to the rebuilding of Nagasaki and advocated eternal peace through brotherly love after losing his wife and suffering illness due to the atomic bombing. The Nyoko-do is a small house that was built by Urakami Catholics and served as the doctor’s sickroom and writing room before his death. The memorial hall displays writings and other articles that belonged to the doctor as well as a rosary used by his wife that was burned in the explosion.
  • Ni no Torii (The One Pillar Torii), Sanno-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Sakamoto 2-6-56
    The atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki City in 1945. Sanno-jinja Shrine, located on high ground around 900 meters southeast of the center of the blast, was seriously damaged, and the main hall was destroyed without a trace. The One Pillar Torii gate stands on the path leading to the shrine. Originally four torii gates stood here, but only half of this particularly gate survived the blast and stands today. The gate speaks of the menace of nuclear weapons.
  • Dejima (Site of the Dejima Dutch Trading Post)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Dejimamachi 6-1
    When the Edo shogunate imposed a policy of national isolation, Dejima became the only window for trade with the West in the nation. The Dutch trading post was moved here from Hirado in 1641. Thereafter, economic and cultural exchange between Japan and Europe took place here for the next 218 years, contributing greatly to the modernization of Japan. After the trading post was closed, the area around the island was filled in and reclaimed; today, however, a project is underway to restore the island to its historic appearance, providing visitors with a glimpse of how it once looked.
  • Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Tateyama 1-1-1
    Jointly built by the prefecture and city of Nagasaki in 2005, the museum presents the history of Nagasaki with a focus on its history of international exchange. Exhibits include writings and artwork from countries and regions with which Nagasaki was closely connected to such as China, Korea, and the Netherlands. The museum’s collection also includes historical materials from the Nagasaki Magistrate’s Office deemed Important Cultural Properties and which have also served as sources for numerous historical novels and Japanese period dramas. A 10-minute walk from JR Nagasaki Station.
  • Chinzei Grand Shrine  Suwa Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Kaminishiyamamachi 18-15
    The head shrine of Nagasaki commonly known as the Chinzei-taisha. The shrine is actually comprised of three shrines—Suwa, Morisaki, and Sumiyoshi. The shrine is revered for warding against misfortune, bringing luck in marriage, and providing protection at sea. Each year from October 7 to 9, the shrine holds the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival, a nationally designated Important Intangible Folk Culture Property and also considered one of the biggest three festivals in Japan. An underground tunnel connects directly to the shrine from the road approaching the shrine near the Suwajinjamae stop on the tramway.
  • Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum
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    4.0
    99 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Nishizakamachi 7-8
    In 1597, six Franciscan missionaries and 20 Japanese Christians were executed on this hill as a result of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s prohibition of Christianity. It is reported that they requested to be martyred here because the site resembled the hill of Golgotha upon which Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross, and many other missionaries and followers were executed on this spot thereafter. A bronze monument featuring full-body statues of the 26 martyrs was erected in 1962. The Roman Catholic Church designated this spot as an official Vatican pilgrimage spot in 1950.

    The monument of the 26 Christian Martyrs was erected to remember the 26 missionaries which were executed on this location. This all happened back in 1597 as I understood it. At present it is, apart...

  • Tohmeizan Kofukuji  Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Tamazonomachi 3-77
    A Buddhist temple built by the priest Tetsushin Dohan in 1677. Together with the Kofukuji Temple, Fukusai-ji Temple, and the Sofuku-ji Temple (the Three Temples of Good Fortune), the Shofukuji Temple is counted as one of the Four Nagasaki Temples of Good Fortune. Surrounded by natural forest, the temple charms visitors with its moody atmosphere that seems reminiscent of a time long past. Four of the temple’s buildings are nationally designated Important Cultural Properties.
  • Fukusai-ji Temple
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    4.0
    27 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Chikugomachi 2-56
    A venerable Buddhist temple founded by a Tang dynasty Chinese priest and one of the Four Nagasaki Temples of Good Fortune. Prior to World War II, it was designated a Special Protection Building (equivalent to today’s National Treasure designation), but the original building was lost due to the atomic bombing. Thereafter, the temple’s great statue of Kannon was built in prayer for the happiness in the next life of those who died from the bombing as well as in the war. The Sakura-machi stop on the tramway is the closes stop to the temple. A 10-minute walk from JR Nagasaki Station.

    Situated within walking distance from JR Nagasaki Station, Fuku - saji is a unique Chinese temple of the city with outstanding architecture and aesthetics. The temple is undoubtedly a 'must - visit...

  • Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Dejimamachi 2-1
    Adjoining Nagasaki Seaside Park, this art museum impresses visitors with its open and airy atmosphere incorporating greenery and light. The building was designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, a firm which also designed a famous Star Bucks Coffee building in Dazaifu and the Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center. The design has won numerous awards, including the Good Design Award. The museum’s collection is founded on the works gathered in life by foreign diplomat Yakichiro Suma. The museum also displays artwork connected to Nagasaki and Spanish art pieces. A two-minute walk from the Dejima stop on the tramway.
  • Sofukuji Temple
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    4.0
    118 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Kajiyamachi 7-5
    The oldest Chinese-style Buddhist temple in Japan. The temple was built in 1629 by Chozen, priest from Fuzhou, China. The Dai’ippo-mon gate and Daio Ho-den hall are designated National Treasures. Many other buildings on the temple’s grounds are also protected as Important Cultural Properties. The Buddhist statues and ritual implements in the temple hall were all created by Chinese craftsman. One of the Four Nagasaki Temples of Good Fortune.

    This spot was not easy to find. After reaching it we had to climb a lot of steps before you reach the temple. It is an old site and on the site is also a very old cemetery.

  • Kofukuji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Teramachi 4-32
    A Buddhist temple founded in 1620 by Chinese priest Shinen in prayer for the safe travels of traders sailing to and from Nagasaki. The main temple nave, a nationally designated Important Cultural Property, was rebuilt in 1883 by Chinese artisans and is purely Chinese in architectural style. The temple’s charms, made from water strainers, are said to bring the fulfillment of love as well as traffic safety. An eight-minute walk from the Kokaidomae stop on the tramway.
  • Site of the Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan (Oura Cathedral)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Minamiyamatemachi 5-3
    Japan’s oldest extant Christian structure, built in 1864. The church was built in dedication of 26 Japanese Christians who were executed in 1597 and faces Nishizaka, the area in Nagasaki where they were martyred. The location is also famous as the place where Hidden Christians professed their faith in 1865 while the religion was still banned in Japan. The church was designated a National Treasure in 1953. A five-minute walk from the O-Uratenshudoshita stop on the tramway.
  • Old Photograph Museum
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    3.5
    7 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Nagasakishi Higashiyamatemachi 6-25
    Of the seven Higashiyamate Western Style Houses designated Tangible Cultural Properties by city of Nagasaki, three are open to the public as the Old Photograph Museum. The buildings are believed to have been used as rental housing. It is extremely rare to find a group of historic Western-style buildings such as this still standing in Japan. The photographs displayed in the museum document the urban areas of Nagasaki from the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate through the Meiji period.

    この古写真資料館はこの東山手や南山手の外国人居住地の開国時から明治時代にかけての残されている写真や絵ハガキなどで当時の様子を紹介しています。幕末期の写真そのものや当時の景観が興味深く見ることができます。

  • Reconstruction of the 1639 warehouse of the Dutch Trading Post in Hirado
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagasaki Pref. Hiradoshi Okubochou 2477
    This trading post built in Hirado flourished as port of trade with the Netherlands for 33 years from 1609 to 1641 until the move to Nagasaki’s Dejima Island. The stone warehouse built in 1639 to store trade cargo is Japan’s first western-style building, and the exterior resembles the style of buildings in the Netherlands. To the Japanese this exterior was a strange sight and since the Western calendar was inscribed on the gables the Edo shogunate had it destroyed. The Hirado Dutch Trading Post that opened in 2011 is a faithful reconstruction of this building. Visitors can also peruse materials that concern trade in those days.

Nagasaki Main Areas

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This hidden corner of the country is rural Japan at its best, where underground activity is to thank for active volcanoes and bubbling natural hot springs along the Shimabara Peninsula as well as the crystal clear waters of the Goto Islands off the west coast. Less well known than Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park, Nagasaki commemorates its own past at the Nagasaki Peace Park, which sits alongside the charming Meganebashi stone bridge and a mix of religious buildings with beautiful architecture, such as the Zen Buddhist Sofukuji Temple, the Confucian Shrine, and the Oura Christian Church.

Nagasaki Photo Album

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