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Nagasaki

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Travel Guide Asia Japan Kyushu Nagasaki

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Introduction

Nagasaki - Church

Nagasaki - Church

© All Rights Reserved Gelli

Nagasaki is a city in southwest Japan, a focal point of European influence during colonial times and the site of the second atomic bomb dropping in history. Today, Nagasaki is a city of half a million people, attracting those interested in one of Japan's most important historical cities.

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Neighbourhoods

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Sights and Activities

  • Glover Garden (5 minutes by foot from tram stop Oura-tenshudo-shita of tram line 5 (destination 石橋 ishibashi)). 8AM-6PM. This is a pleasant collection of relocated European style homes built for foreign traders and diplomats when Japan was opened to world after the Meiji Restoration of the mid 19th century. It also offers a great view of Nagasaki harbor. ¥600.
  • Site of the Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan - A monument and a museum stand on the site where 20 Japanese Christians and six European missionaries were crucified in 1597. These martyrs were canonized as saints in 1862. This site is also closest to Nagasaki Station; about 10 minutes on foot.
  • Inasayama (稲佐山) (take a bus from Nagasaki Station, or by streetcar to Takaramachi Station, or by bus or taxi to Fuchi Shrine Station). When the weather is clear, this mountaintop offers a full 360 degree view of Nagasaki City and harbor, and is a must-see site. The nighttime view of the city is called the "10 Million Dollar View" and ranked as one of the best 3 city night views in Japan. There is no entrance fee or hours, but there are limits on transportation there. Access is either by car, taxi, bus, ropeway, or a combination. The easiest is all the way up by car or taxi (for the former there's paid parking; for the latter it's about ¥2,200 one way). Or there is a bus that goes up partway and requires a 15 minute walk up to the summit. This is the most economical and costs about ¥150 and about 15 minutes from Nagasaki Station (buses leave 1-2 times per hour). A third way is by ropeway between 09:00-22:00, and is ¥1200 round trip. To get to the ropeway station, walk five minutes from the Takaramachi street car stop, or take a bus or taxi to Fuchi Shrine Station and walk 2 minutes.

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Events and Festivals

Traditional Festivals

Japan has countless traditional festivals and holidays. Then when you add the local festivals that number just grows and grows. Here is a list of the few major national traditional festivals.

  • Japanese New Year (January 1) - the most important holiday in Japan. Although there are lots of customs and traditions most of them are done in the private. This is mainly a family holiday and Japan can feel very empty as almost everyone goes home. Travelling in Japan in during this time is difficult because everything is shut down.
  • Seijin No Hi (2nd Monday of January) - the coming of age holiday for Japanese women which 20. Traditionally families will buy any young woman how turned 20 in the last year a kimono. On this day almost all Japanese women will ear a kimono.
  • Hin Festival (March 3) - Also known as doll festival the Hin Matsuri festival is meant for young women. In early february families with daughters put dolls in order to make the women happy and healthy later in life. On Girls Day, on March 3, the dolls are put away until next year.
  • Shichi Go San Festival (Novermber 5) - Boys who are 3 and 5, and girls 3 and 7 are taken to a shinto shrine in traditional Japanese dress. The children are brought there to pray for good luck, good health and wealth.

National Holidays

  • Golden Week - Is quite often referred to as the "Japanese Spring Break." It is a combination of many state holidays, including Showa Day, Greenery Day, Children's Day, and Constitution Memorial Day in order to give a full week off. It takes place during the first full week of May. Everyone gets this week off in Japan so it is very bad time to travel because everything is crowded, expensive and most hotels will be full. There is also a major festival in the southern city of Fukuoka this week, it is called Hakata Dontaku.

Local Festivals

  • Nagasaki Kunchi Festival - Based at Suwa Jinja Shrine, this unique October festival reflects the strong Chinese cultural influence in the city with parades featuring traditional dragons and boats. First celebrated 350 years ago, it’s been declared an intangible folk asset.

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Weather

Nagasaki has the typical humid subtropical climate of Kyūshū and Honshū, characterized by mild winters and long, hot, and humid summers. Apart from Kanazawa and Shizuoka it is the wettest sizeable city in Japan and indeed all of temperate Eurasia. In the summer, the combination of persistent heat and high humidity results in unpleasant conditions, with wet-bulb temperatures sometimes reaching 26 °C. In the winter, however, Nagasaki is drier and sunnier than Gotō to the west, and temperatures are slightly milder than further inland in Kyūshū. Since records began in 1878 the wettest month has been July 1982 with 1,178 millimetres including 555 millimetres in a single day, whilst the driest month has been September 1967 with 1.8 millimetres. Precipitation occurs year-round, though winter is the driest season; rainfall peaks sharply in June & July. August is the warmest month of the year. On January 24, 2016, a snowfall of 17 centimetres was recorded.

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Getting There

By Plane

Nagasaki Airport (NGS) serves a number of destinations. Both of Japan's major air carriers serve Nagasaki Airport. JAL and ANA offer nonstop flights from Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Osaka's Itami Airport. ANA also offers nonstops to Nagasaki from the new Nagoya Centrair Airport and Naha Airport in Okinawa, while JAL operates from Nagoya Airport in Komaki. In 2005, a new low-cost carrier, SNA (Skynet Asia Airways, now called Solaseed), began flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport, providing cheaper tickets than major carriers. Another low-cost carrier, Peach Aviation, connects Nagasaki Airport with Osaka's Kansai International Airport at very low rates.

There are also nonstop international flights to Nagasaki from Shanghai (China Eastern Airlines) and Seoul (Korean Air), but these run much less frequently than the domestic flights.

Buses connect the airport to the Nagasaki train station (1 hour, ¥800).

By Train

JR Kyushu runs the Kamome (かもめ) Limited Express train service from Hakata station in Fukuoka once or twice every hour. The one-way ride takes about two hours and costs ¥4,910, although it's recommended to buy nimai-kippu (discount two tickets) for ¥6,000 or yonmai-kippu (discount four tickets: recommended if two people travel) for ¥10,000 (¥5,000 for round-trip per person). If connecting via the Tokaido Shinkansen, you can instead opt for a Sakura train which reaches Shin-Tosu - switching to the Kamome from Shin-Tosu instead of Hakata can cut about 30 minutes off the trip. Fare for the Kamome is covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

TIP: If you intend to travel on the Kamome line from anywhere North of Nagasaki try to reserve a window seat on the left side of the train car on your way down to Nagasaki and on the right side on a trip departing from the city. This will ensure that you that get a close-up view of the fantastic scenery as the train runs right next to the Ariake Sea coast line.

Connections to the Kamome can be made from the rest of the country via the Shinkansen (Hiroshima, 3 hrs; Okayama, 4 hrs; Osaka, 4 1/2 hrs; Tokyo, 7 hrs).

From Kagoshima-Chuo station in Kagoshima, Nagasaki can be reached via the Kyushu Shinkansen and Kamome in about 3 3/4 hours.

You can travel overnight from Tokyo to Nagasaki, however you will have to take three trains: the 10 PM Sunrise Seto/Sunrise Izumo overnight service to Okayama, the Shinkansen from Okayama to Hakata, and the Kamome from Hakata to Nagasaki. This will take a total of 13 hours, and if you're willing to constantly change trains, you will be rewarded as your journey will double as lodging.

Japan Rail Pass holders must pay the lodging charge on the Tokyo-Okayama segment; the rest of the trip is covered under the pass. An alternative if you want to make an overnight trip is to split up the trip into an evening leg and a morning leg, spending the night at a city along the way.

By Bus

The Holland overnight bus runs from Kyoto and Osaka Umeda to Nagasaki (11 1/2 hours from Kyoto, ¥11300; 10 hours from Osaka, ¥11000). An additional bus, the Roman Nagasaki, runs from Osaka Hankyu Bus Terminal to Nagasaki at the same cost and time.

The Princess Road and Etranger overnight buses run from Kobe Sannomiya (10 hours, ¥10500) and Himeji (9 hours, ¥9580).

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Getting Around

Trams (路面電車 romen densha or チンチン電車 "chin-chin densha") connect most of Nagasaki; they run about every ten to fifteen minutes during the day. The most frequently used lines will be the red (3) and blue (1); the blue and red lines run on the same track from the northern end of Nagasaki as far as the Nagasaki train station, where they split. The blue line continues to the You-me Plaza shopping mall, Dejima, and later the downtown shopping arcade. A one-way trip is ¥120 and you can get a transfer ticket (乗り継ぎ券 ”noritsugi ken") to continue your trip, if it requires two streetcars. These tickets can only be acquired if you get off at the Tsuki Machi stop. You can save money if you're doing a lot of travel by purchasing a daily pass for the streetcars (¥500) which you can purchase at the Tourist Information Center at Nagasaki Station, or most major hotels.

Buses also run through much of Nagasaki, including places that aren't served by the streetcars.

It should be mentioned that the street cars stop running around 11:00pm, and most bus service also has downtime at night. This can come as a rude awakening if you go out in Shianbashi, only to find that you have to stay until 6:00am for the first running densha. For the adventurous, it takes about an hour to walk from Shianbashi to Sumiyoshi. This timeframe is heavily dependent on how fast you walk, and what kind of night out you experienced.

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Eat

Nagasaki's most famous dish is champon (ちゃんぽん), which is a hearty dish of noodles in a pork-based broth, filled with vegetables, bacon, shrimp, squid, and scallops.

Saraudon (皿うどん) is another popular dish that combines the meat, seafood, vegetables, and sauce of champon, but serves it on a plate, or 'sara', over crispy dry fried noodles.

For Nagasaki's most well-known champon and saraudon restaurants, it is best to head into Chinatown (blue streetcar to the Tsuki-machi stop). While you're there, try out some of the fantastic street food, such as kakuni-manju (marinated braised pork cutlet served in a steamed bun), ebichiriman (shrimp fried in chili sauce, again served in a steamed bun), and marakao (steamed pound cake, usually available in chocolate and chestnut flavors).

Castella (カステラ) is a sponge cake that was originally brought by the Portuguese; it has assumed a distinctly light Japanese flavor and texture over the centuries, and now one can find it in flavors such as honey, chestnut, and green tea. Head to the Dutch Slope (オランダ坂) on any day of the week to sample castella for free from one of the many vendors.

Chawan mushi, a steamed egg custard, savory instead of sweet and filled with meat, fish, and mushrooms, is also famous.

Another Nagasaki dish is Turkish Rice (トルコライス toruko raisu), named after the country. It consists of a pork cutlet, dry curry mixed into rice, and a small serving of spaghetti, all on the same plate. Tsuru-chan (ツル茶ん), Aburayamachi 2-47, tel. +81 95-824-2679. Established in 1925, this is the original and perhaps still the best Turkish Rice joint (¥850 a serve) and one of Japan's first cafes. Open 9:00am to 10:00pm every day.

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Drink

The worthwhile trip to the top of Glover Garden also yields another point of interest: the oldest Western-style restaurant in Japan, the Tenjin Coffeehouse. The stop in is worth it to see their impressive Dutch coffee-making equipment, when combined with the historicity could be why they charge about ¥550 for a cup.

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Sleep

  • Nagasaki International Hostel AKARI, 2-2 Kojiyamachi, Nagasaki-city 850-0871 (3 minutes walk from Kokaido-mae Station on number 3 (red) tram), ☎ +81-95-801-7900, e-mail: akari@nagasaki-hostel.com. Check-in: 15:00-20:00, check-out: 11:00. A comfortable hostel located in center of the city. Friendly staff are willing to help guests making travel plans. Free wireless Internet in rooms and three computers in the lobby. Has a program called “Short walk with Nagasaki Locals”. Hostel operates a cafe near Nagasaki Station where you can leave luggage after checking out. Dormitory ¥2,600, Ladies Dormitory ¥2,900, private rooms starting at ¥6,600. Rates slightly higher in winter.
  • Casa Noda, 6-1 Motofuna-machi, Nagasaki city 850-0035 (5-minute walk from Nagasaki Station, 1 minute from Goto Machi tram stop), ☎ +81-95-800-2484, e-mail: info@casanoda.jp. Check-in: 14:00-20:00, check-out: 10:00. The owner is nice and gives very good tips about the local restaurants and temple area. Good English is spoken. Use the map on their website to find it. Dormitory ¥2,400, mixed or female-only. Private twin rooms ≈¥6,000. Breakfast included, cash only

View our map of accommodation in Nagasaki or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Work

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Learn

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Keep Connected

Internet

Manga cafes are dotted along the streets of almost every city in Japan. For a very reasonable price (about ¥100 per 15 minutes), you receive a private cubicle with a PC with internet access at blistering Japanese internet speeds. The chairs are incredibly comfortable (making them an excellent place to sleep for the cash-deprived), and you can even order snacks and drinks from the staff.

A number of business hotels have Internet access available if you have your own device, sometimes for free. It is also possible to find Wi-Fi "hot spots" around many large cities in Japan, especially near tech-related businesses and large corporate buildings with unsecured wireless networks. 3G Wireless Data and Pocket Wifi are other options.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Payphones (公衆電話 kōshū denwa) are easily found, particularly near train stations, although with the popularity of mobile phones, public pay phones are not quite as numerous as they once were. Gray and green pay phones accept ¥10 and ¥100 coins and prepaid cards. Be aware that not all places with public telephones have phones that accept coins, so it may be worthwhile to buy a phone card for emergency use. Some of the gray phones, as indicated on the display, can make international calls. Pre-paid cards can be purchased at convenience stores, train station kiosk stores and sometimes in vending machines next to the phone.

Modern Japanese mobile phones (携帯電話 keitai denwa or just keitai) tend to operate on unique cellular standards not always compatible with the rest of the world. 3G phones using the UMTS/WCDMA2100 standard and equipped with a 3G SIM card will most likely work. If your phone is up to spec, double-check with your carrier if they have a roaming agreement with either SoftBank or NTT DoCoMo. Coverage is generally excellent, unless you are heading to some remote mountainous areas. If you have no 3G phone but still have a 3G-compatible SIM card, you can rent a 3G phone in Japan and slot in your card, allowing you to keep your home phone number in Japan. For a longer trip, you can also purchase a phone, but doing this legally requires an Alien Registration Card (or an obliging Japanese friend willing to front for you).

The easier way is to get a prepaid phone. Prepaid phones are sold in most SoftBank and AU stores. If you already have a 3G phone, go with Softbank as it can sell SIMs as opposed to au whose prepaid service is phone-based like most CDMA carriers. Prepaid phones use a "card" with a pass key to "charge" a phone with minutes. These prepaid calling cards, unlike the phone itself, can be found in most convenience stores. A prepaid cell phone is available for as little as ¥5000 plus ¥3000 for a 60-90 day call time package, which will get drained at a rate of ¥100 per minute (¥10 per 6 seconds for AU's prepaid service). Both SoftBank and AU offer prepaid phones.

Post

The Japanese postal service is excellent! Domestic and international mail service is very quick and reliable. The prices for sending letters, postcards and parcels vary depending on where you send if from and to which country you send it too, and of course depends on weight as well, so check this calculation page of Japan Post for more details. Post offices generally are open from 9:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays, closing at weekends and also on national holidays, though a few open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Central post offices are sometimes open until 7:00pm, open on Saturdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm and on Sundays and holidays from 9:00am to 12:30pm. There are post offices in every major city and minor town. Another thing to remember is that the post office is one of the few places in Japan that is guaranteed to have ATMs that take international cards.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 32.768921
  • Longitude: 129.831207

Accommodation in Nagasaki

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This is version 17. Last edited at 7:42 on Aug 17, 17 by Utrecht. 10 articles link to this page.

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