Sunday, January 26, 2014

a day in nagasaki

After Chinatown, we headed over to the Nagasaki Peace Park to check out the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. The museum contained a lot of information about atomic bombs and the events that led up to the drop. However, I prefer the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Museum more because it contained a lot more personal stories about the people who suffered through the bombing.

The pictures as always were the most horrific. There were a lot of pictures of charred bodies and of victims with diseases stemming from the atomic radiation. Seeing the pictures made this tragedy more real because you could see the lives it affected rather than just statistics or facts in a history book.

After the museum, Alanna had to go back to the hostel to do homework so I went and explored Nagasaki by myself. Next stop on my list was Dejima, a man made island in the port of Nagasaki. During Japan's self-imposed isolation, Dejima was the only place open to trade. The island served as a trading post for the Dutch, the only Western nationals allowed to remain in Japan. The Dutch weren't allowed to cross into Nagasaki and likewise Japanese people were also banned from entering Dejima except for certain exceptions like interpreters, cooks, and prostitutes.

a model of Dejima

Since Nagasaki was a big port city it has a lot of foreign influences. It was interesting to see how different the architecture was in this city compared to other Japanese cities. The Higashiyamate Area became a foreign settlement with lots of Western style houses that still exist today.

It was interesting to just walk around the backstreets and check out the views of the city and all the old buildings. Last stop was to check out the Meganebashi or the Spectacles Bridge which is over the Nakajima River. I went out of my way to see this but if you don't have time I wouldn't recommend it unless seeing bridges and rivers are your thing.

all the lanterns for the festival made this really pretty
Met back up with Alanna to grab some dinner and after a failed attempt at eating a restaurant recommended by our hostel because it was already closed, we went to grab some Turkish Rice at Tsuruchan, the restaurant that claims to have invented this dish. Turkish Rice consists of a pork cutlet with curry over a bed of rice and pasta.

turkish rice - 850 yen
The curry was good but it was a weird mix to eat it with spaghetti that had its own sauce. The pork was also a little tough. This dish didn't blow me out of the water - I wouldn't go eat it again. Afterwards for dessert we had a Nagasaki Milkshake which was more like a sherbet that tasted like an orange cream-sicle but better.

nagasaki milkshake half size 350 yen (we each got one but one is enough to share)

The Details
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Hours: 8:30am-5:30pm (last admission at 5pm) Closed: Dec 29-31
Admission: 200 yen
Access: A short walk from Hamaguchimachi or Matsuyamamachi Tram Stops - Blue (1) and Red Tram (3) Lines

Hours: 8am-6pm (last admission at 5:40pm)
Admission: 500 yen
Access: Dejima Tram Stop - Blue (1) Tram Line

Access: A short walk from Nigiwaibashi Tram Stop - Yellow (4) and Green (5) Tram Lines

2-47 Aburaya-machi 
Hours: 9am-10pm
Telephone Number: 095-845-8337
Access: Shianbashi Tram Stop - Blue (1) and Yellow (4) Tram Lines
Once you get off at the tram stop walk towards the busy market street or towards the Family Mart. At the intersection there will be a busy street with stalls on your right hand side. The left hand side is more quite compared to the right, head up towards the quieter street and Tsuruchan will on your left hand side.

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