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  • The thriving city of Nagasaki

  • is cradled in the lush western mountains of Japan’s Kyushu Island.

  • An 8-hour bullet train from Tokyo,

  • this charmingly diverse city lies on the edge of a scenic channel

  • of the Sumo-nada Sea.

  • In a nation isolated from the outside world for generations,

  • Nagasaki was a gateway,

  • through which knowledge and resources flowed to and from the rest of the globe.

  • This historic harbor city is now a dynamic fusion of Japanese sophistication,

  • which co-exists and harmonizes with elements of overseas cultures and faiths.

  • To much of the world, the name Nagasaki

  • is bound to one of the most devastating events in modern history.

  • At 11:02 am on August 9th, 1945,

  • World War Two’s second atomic bomb, “Fat Man,” was detonated over the city.

  • Tens of thousands perished,

  • and most of the northern valley was reduced to rubble and ash.

  • At the Peace Park in the Urakami District,

  • a dark pillar stands under the exact location of the bomb’s detonation.

  • Take in the surrounding art and statues,

  • and reflect on the horror of the blast and its aftermath.

  • Take a short walk to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum,

  • founded in remembrance to all those who perished.

  • Just across the road from the museum is The Memorial Hall.

  • Meditate in the solemn glasshouse,

  • and leave a message of peace before you continue on your journey.

  • Discover a serene refuge from Nagasaki’s often-confronting history

  • at the Sanno Shrine.

  • These 500-year old camphor trees were a surprising survivor of the blast,

  • and stood strong when nuclear winds flattened this part of the city.

  • Today, they remain a symbol of Nagasaki’s resilience.

  • Despite all odds,

  • greenery sprang forth within a few months of the detonation,

  • giving hope to those who were spared.

  • The city’s surviving residents put aside old quarrels

  • and banded together irrespective of cultural and religious differences.

  • Historical monuments were painstakingly rebuilt,

  • and brick by brick, season by season,

  • the Nagasaki way of life was restored.

  • Today, Nagasaki invites visitors to look beyond its atomic story;

  • this is a city whose earliest chapters are filled with riches,

  • and whose future pages are written with the ink of inspiration and hope.

  • Travel to the harbor,

  • the historic gateway which has brought travellers

  • and trade to the nation’s shores for over 400 years.

  • While away an afternoon in Nagasaki Seaside Park

  • and watch as ships cruise in and out of the channel.

  • This is a place of relaxation and recreation,

  • where locals unwind and enjoy their beautiful city.

  • Take a tour from the harbor to Hashima Island,

  • an eerie landmass which was once home to miners and their families.

  • The island was deserted almost overnight in the mid 1970s

  • when coal reserves ran dry.

  • Explore the crumbling buildings,

  • listen to the echoes of those that called this island home,

  • and dredge up whispers of the hardships

  • which once occurred beneath the rocky surface.

  • Back on the mainland,

  • savor steaming fusions of Japanese and Chinese cuisine

  • in the Shinchi Chinatown District.

  • After filling your belly,

  • fill your shopping bags in the Hamamachi Arcade.

  • This warren of wellness, fashion and sweet shops is a favorite of Nagasaki,

  • and the perfect place to immerse yourself in the city’s modern culture.

  • Ride the trade winds north to the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture.

  • Discover the fascinating story of how

  • new faiths and peoples boosted the city’s economy,

  • and helped Nagasaki become the multicultural beacon that it is today.

  • Refresh your mind and spirit amidst the tranquil gardens of Sofuku-ji.

  • This hillside Zen temple was built by Chinese merchants

  • who settled at the port in the 17th century.

  • Faith is the lifeblood of Nagasaki.

  • For centuries, conflict reigned between followers of different beliefs.

  • But since the city’s total obliteration,

  • its people have united in a single prayer that transcends religion.

  • A prayer for peace.

  • To the north-east,

  • a relic of traditional Shinto times

  • lies at the base of leafy Mount Tamazono-San.

  • The Suwa Shrine can be traced back 500 years

  • and is believed to be the ancient dwelling place of three kami spirits,

  • the sacred gods of the Shinto faith.

  • As your journey reaches its peak,

  • climb to one of the most epic vantage points in Japan, Mount Inasa-yama.

  • This mountain’s protective embrace helped shield much of Nagasaki

  • from the devastating atomic winds and today it continues to watch over the city.

  • Gaze out in awe at the incredible beauty of a city, reborn.

  • Nagasaki has become a beacon of hope,

  • stepping out from the shadows of one of history’s darkest days

  • and into a bright, new future.

  • Though great suffering is woven into the fabric of this city,

  • its light of creativity, tolerance,

  • and forgiveness is leading the rest of the world on a pathway to peace.

The thriving city of Nagasaki

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Nagasaki Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

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    Eric Wang posted on 2020/03/14
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