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Nagasaki Travel Guide: 155 reviews and 383 photos

A day trip to Nagasaki

On our recent visit to Kyushu we were based in Fukuoka but bought a three day Northern Kyushu rail pass for 7000 yen and visited Nagasaki for the day.

Nagasaki has a long and interesting history. It was one of the first areas of Japan to open up to foreigners. Some of its earliest visitors were Spanish and Portuguese sailors. Later the Japanese authorities became worried that these foreigners were spreading Catholicism in Japan and started persecuting them. There is a shrine on a hill near Nagasaki Station to the 26 Catholic martyrs the authorities crucified there.

Following the clampdown the Portuguese and Spanish left Japan but Dutch Protestants were seen as less of a threat and allowed to stay. I would have liked to visit Dejima Island where the Dutch were allowed to stay and Glover Gardens with its old colonial houses set in a park, but we concentrated on Nagasaki's more famous history as the city on which the Americans dropped the second atomic bomb and brought about an end to World War 11. To see all Nagasaki has to offer I would recommend 2 or more full days here unless you like to see things in a bit of a rush.

Nagasaki Day trip

We travelled to Nagasaki from Fukuoka by train - a journey of around 2 hours. The scenery on the way was lovely especially near the end of the trip when the train travelled along the coast. To get around Nagasaki we used the trams. Trams 1 and 3 will take you to Ukrami where the atomic bomb fell. Tram 5 will take you to Glover Gardens - you must transfer onto line five at Tsuki-machi station. Ask for a transfer ticket when you get off the first tram so you don't pay twice. Trams cost 120 yen a trip.

The bomb

On the 9th of August 1945 at 11:02 in the morning a US Air Force B-29 bomber Bock's Car dropped Fat Man atomic bomb on Nagasaki killing 75000 people mainly women, children and the elderly. An estimated 1300 Korean conscripted labourers and 200 allied POWs were also killed. Another 75000 people were injured. Many later died from the results of radiation. A third of Nagasaki was wiped out in the ensuing fires.

We returned to Nagasaki in October 2011. This time we wanted to concentrate on the historic areas where foreigners had once lived and on some of the other sights we missed on our first visit. We had a fantastic visit, centering mainly on Glover Gardens,but guess what. We still could not finish all there was to see. Roll on visit 3 and 4.

Just completed visit number 3. This time we stayed overnight here. Managed to visit Deijima and take the cable car up Mount Inasa, eat dinner in Chinatown and revisit the Peace Park and hypocentre areas. Would still happily go back for more.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A beautiful city with a fascinating history and many sights
  • Last visit to Nagasaki: Oct 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (17)

Comments (4)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jun 25, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    I'm impressed that you have had three visits to Nagasaki. Good that you finally had a proper look at Deijima, which sounds like an interesting site. It certainly is horrifying that a single bomb killed 75000 people, with many others dying later from the after-effects.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Great tips!

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2011 at 5:04 AM

    What a fascinating, colourful, tragic and optimistic account of your visit. Beautifully photographed and described.
    Wondered if I might meet Madam Butterfly and was pleased to spot her as I strolled through Glover Gardens.

  • taigaa001's Profile Photo
    Apr 23, 2011 at 3:42 AM

    Excellent. Makes me want to go there.


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