10 Amazing Must-See Nagasaki Attractions

Nagasaki, one of the two cities of Japan that suffered an atomic bomb attack in 1945, besides Hiroshima; now has been reborn and wearing a brand new coat of peace. Located on the northwest coast of Kyushu island, its buildings are on the terraces of surrounding hills. The place worths you a trip to visit, and to enjoy spectacular spots there: 1. Mount Inasa, 2. Nagasaki Dutch Slope, 3. Nagasaki Chinatown, 4. Kofukuji Temple, 5. Glover Garden, 6. Huis Ten Bosch, 7. Nagasaki Peace Park, 8. Dejima, 9. Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) 10. Oura Church...

1. Mount Inasa

Mount Inasa (稲佐山-Inasayama) with the height of 333m  (1,093 ft) is located near the center of Nagasaki. a 333-meter high mountain in close distance to Nagasaki's city center.

The most blown away feature to talk about Mount Inasa is the city view at night seen from the summit. The views of the night skyline from the top of the mountain here are ranked in top 3 night views from mountains in Japan. From up high looking down, the city at night is devastatingly splendid as looking at a sparkling galaxy. Tourists can reach the summit by bus, by car, or by ropeway.


2. Nagasaki Dutch Slope

Oranda-zaka, also called ‘Dutch slope’, is one of the most famous a hillside area of Nagasaki that allows you to take a long walk on the steep streets refers to the steep Western merchants, most notably from the Netherlands, settled in the area in the second half of the 19th century. The former residences of several Western merchants are exhibited in the nearby Glover Garden open air museum. In some seasons, you can find this street pretty quiet that leads through one of the colonial districts and nice old houses.  The slope is an easy detour on the way to Glover Garden.

*Note: not recommended for people who don’t refer long walking


3. Nagasaki Chinatown

This place was the only port that allowed Chinese traders and sailors to trade goods to Japan in the 15th centuries. Nagasaki people were allowed to stay open to the rest of the world, but the government closed off the rest of Japan to prevent Western influences and the spread of Christianity.

Strict rules were applied on these Chinese traders, forcing them to stay in this Chinatown, and preventing them from going outside the town in the evening. Anyone found outside of the town at certain times was arrested by the local guard. Chinatown in Nagasaki is a terrific touristic place in Japan that the Chinese community in Nagasaki has a lot of relevance to the history of the city! The town attracts more visitors in summer and hot seasons

*Note: Nagasaki Chinatown is not huge; it is a few blocks, but the gate is definitely beautiful and uniquely memorable.

Location: 12-7 Shinchimachi, Nagasaki 850-0842, Nagasaki Prefecture


4. Kofukuji Temple

Take a walk from Kintetsu Nara Station, you would see is Kofukuji. Visiting Kofuku temple is a great idea for those who love history and ancient architecture without having to walk much. It’s is worth to visit a very impressive 5 tier pagoda. Taking a short walk down to a small lake, holding a picnic there is also a great plan to relax, to escape the busy daily work for a while, or to watch the world go by taking in the views of the temple and pagoda.

*Note: 1. Photos are not allowed inside the Eastern Golden Hall. 2. The Central Hall is still under renovation.

Location: 48 Noboriojicho, Nara 630-8213, Nara Prefecture

Admission: Adult: 300 yen; child: 100 yen

5. Glover Garden

Located on the Minamiyamate hillside that can be overlooked Nagasaki Harbor is Glover Garden (グラバー園 Gurabāen). This park was built for and named after Thomas Blake Glover, a Scottish merchant who contributed to the modernization of Japan in many fields such as shipbuilding, coal mining. Glover Residence is the foremost tourist attraction and oldest Western style house surviving in Japan.

The park was built by Hidenoshin Koyama of the Amakusa island and completed in 1863. It has been recognized as an important cultural asset. The house also called Madame Butterfly House since it and the surroundings are built in the memory of  Puccini's opera.

Address: Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki, Minamiyamatemachi, 8番1号 グラバー園内


6. Huis Ten Bosch

The old Dutch buildings-themed park, Huis Ten Bosch (ハウステンボス Hausu Ten Bosu) is definitely an amazing spot that you don’t want to miss when visiting Nagasaki.  This recreates the Netherlands’ old Dutch buildings by displaying real size copies of the original. The name Huis Ten Bosch or ‘House in the Woods/bush’ in English, is named after Huis ten Bosch, one of the three official residences of the Dutch Royal Family, former home to Princess Beatrix in The Hague, Netherlands.

Its features lie on Dutch-style buildings such as hotels, villas, theatres, museums, shops, and restaurants, along with canals, windmills, amusement rides, and seasonal flowers, etc. The location represents a historical relationship between the Netherlands and Japan, beginning in 1609 when a trading post was opened by the Dutch in Hirado, near Sasebo.

Open hours: 9.00 a.m.-9.30 p.m. every day (9.00 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. from December to February).

Admission/Tickets: A day "passport" ticket, covering entry and a number of attractions within the park cost 5,600 yen for adults and 4,400 yen for children.

Access: Take JR train or bus from Nagasaki or a boat from Nagasaki Airport or from Sasebo.


7. Nagasaki Peace Park

After experiencing that nightmarish war,

that blood-curdling carnage,

that unendurable horror,

Who could walk away without praying for peace?...

Those moving words in the ‘Words from the Sculptor’ plaque put by the Peace Statue is a symbol of the Peace Park, next to the Atomic Bomb Museum and near the Peace Memorial Hall in Nagasaki, one of the two cities suffered from the atomic bomb attack in  August 1945 besides Hiroshima.

Established in 1955, the ruins of a concrete wall of Urakami Cathedral, the grandest church in east Asia at the time, can still be seen today. The Peace Statue with 10-meter-tall at the north of the park was created by sculptor Seibo Kitamura. The statue features a mixture of western and eastern art, religion, and ideology. In front of the statue is a black marble vault containing the names of the atomic bomb victims and survivors who died after some years later. The statue's right-hand points to the ruins of nuclear weapons and the extended left hand symbolizes eternal peace. The divine grace captured in the mild face and the closed eyes depicted the prayer for the bomb victims to rest in peace.


8. Dejima

Dejima- 出島, means ‘exit island’ is a small fan-shaped artificial island built in 1634 by local merchants in the bay of Nagasaki. The island specializes in a canal dug through a small peninsula, the single place of direct trade and exchange between Japan and the outside world in the  Edo period. Despite being originally built to the house of Portuguese traders, it was used by the Dutch as a trading post from 1641 until 1853. Covering an area of 9,000 m2(2.2 acres), it was later integrated into the city by the land reclamation process. The trading post has been recognized as a national historic site of Japan since 1922.


9. Gunkanjima (Battleship Island)

Hashima Island, or 端島-Hashima,  also called Gunkanjima-軍艦島 (Battleship Island), is an abandoned island lying about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Nagasaki city. The island features in its abandoned concrete buildings, and the surrounding sea wall. While the island is a symbol of the rapid Japanese industrialization, it is also a reminder of its dark history, the forced labor, prior to and during the World War II. The island was formally approved as a UNESCO World Heritage site in July 2015, as part of Japan's Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining.

This 6.3-hectare island was known for its undersea coal mines, exploited since 1887 during the process of industrialization. Almost got to depletion in 1974, the mine was closed and all of the residents left the island and it was abandoned for the following three decades. Interest in the island re-emerged in the 2000s because of its undisturbed historic ruins, and it gradually became a tourist attraction of a sort. This has resulted in a brilliant initiative for its protection as a site of industrial heritage.

Admission: Adult: ¥ 3,600 / Child: ¥ 1,700

Address: Hashima Island, Takashima-machi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture 851-1315


10. Oura Church

Oura Church-大浦天主堂, spelled Oura Tenshudou,  is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and Co-cathedral built in 1853. It is also known as the Church of the 26 Japanese Martyrs. Oura Cathedral was designated as a National Treasure in 1933 and again in 1953 under the 1951 Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties. It was the first Western-style building in Japan to be given this honor and had been the only one and the oldest cathedral possessing over 100-year-old stained-glass windows, until 2009 when the neo-Baroque Akasaka Palace was chosen to be a National Treasure.

With a Gothic style, the church represents European Middle Ages. Designed by Fathers Louis Furet and Bernard Petitjean from France, tourists or underground followers of Christ, are attracted by the unusual Western structure. Although they were attired as Buddhists on the surface, they were underground Christians with a passionate faith after the long 250 years of banning on the religion. Coming to the church, you would enjoy the beauty of the Virgin Mary statue. On a small altar to the right inside the church, the miraculous encounter between the underground Christians and the Fathers led to the statue called “The Statue of the Virgin Mary for Discovered Followers”. Moreover, the bell in the belfry at the behind of the church has been reserved since the Second World War and still being rung even today, at noon and 6 o’clock in the evening.

Admission: Adult: ¥ 300 ; Child: ¥ 200

Address: 5-3 Minamiyamate-machi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture 850-0931


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