Nagasaki is a city located on the western coast of Japan’s Kyushu Island. It is known for its international history, stunning scenery, and unique culture.
Nagasaki is a city that has been through a lot, from being the site of Japan’s first contact with the outside world to being the target of the second atomic bomb during World War II.
Despite its tumultuous past, Nagasaki has emerged as a vibrant and thriving city that offers visitors a unique perspective on Japanese culture and history.
Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s historic sites, sampling its delicious cuisine, or simply taking in the stunning views, Nagasaki has a lot to offer.
Our Nagasaki travel guide will provide you with all the information you need to plan your trip, including how to get around, which attractions to visit, where to eat, and where to stay.
Getting to Nagasaki
Nagasaki is a city located in the southwestern part of Japan. It is accessible by various modes of transportation, including air, train, and bus.
The Nagasaki Airport is the closest airport to the city, and it is located about 18 km north of Nagasaki. There are several airlines that operate flights to Nagasaki from major cities in Japan, such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. The flight duration from Tokyo to Nagasaki is approximately two hours.
Some of the airlines that operate flights to Nagasaki include Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, and Skymark Airlines. Visitors can check the airlines’ websites for flight schedules and fares.
The JR Nagasaki Station is the main train station in Nagasaki, and it is located in the city center. Visitors can take a train from major cities in Japan, such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka, to reach Nagasaki. The journey from Tokyo to Nagasaki takes approximately 7 hours by train.
Visitors can choose from several types of trains, including the Kyushu Shinkansen, limited express, and local trains. The shinkansen is the fastest and most expensive option, while local trains are the slowest and most affordable option.
Visitors can also take a bus to reach Nagasaki from major cities in Japan. There are several bus companies that operate buses to Nagasaki, such as Willer Express and Kyushu Sanko Bus. The journey from Tokyo to Nagasaki takes approximately 16 hours by bus.
Visitors can check the bus companies’ websites for schedules and fares. Some buses have reclining seats and other amenities, such as Wi-Fi and power outlets.
Where to Stay in Nagasaki
When visiting Nagasaki, it’s important to choose the right accommodation to make the most of your trip. There are plenty of options available, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Here are some of the best places to stay in Nagasaki:
1. Hotel Monterey Nagasaki
The Hotel Monterey Nagasaki is a popular choice for travelers looking for a comfortable and convenient stay. Located in the heart of Nagasaki, this hotel is just a short walk away from many of the city’s top attractions, including the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park. The hotel offers a range of rooms to suit different budgets and needs, from standard rooms to suites. Guests can also enjoy the hotel’s restaurant and bar, which serves a variety of international and Japanese cuisine.
Guesthouse Casa Noda
For budget-conscious travelers, the Guesthouse Casa Noda is a great option. This hostel offers dormitory-style accommodation, as well as private rooms, and is located in the heart of Nagasaki’s historic district. The hostel features a communal kitchen and lounge area, as well as a rooftop terrace with views over the city.
4. S Peria Hotel Nagasaki
The S Peria Hotel Nagasaki is a modern and stylish hotel located in the heart of Nagasaki’s business district. The hotel offers a range of room types, including standard rooms and suites, and features a restaurant and bar, as well as a fitness center and spa. The hotel is also conveniently located just a short walk away from Nagasaki Station.
There are plenty of great accommodation options available in Nagasaki, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Whether you’re looking for a centrally located hotel or a more secluded retreat, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay in Nagasaki.
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Things to See and Do in Nagasaki
Nagasaki is a city with a rich history and culture, and there are plenty of things to see and do during in Nagasaki your visit. Here are some of the top attractions:
Nagasaki Peace Park
The Nagasaki Peace Park is a somber and peaceful place to reflect on the atomic bombing of Nagasaki during World War II. The park features a large fountain, a statue of a mother holding her child, and the Peace Statue, which faces the hypocenter of the explosion. The park also includes the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, which provides a detailed history of the bombing and its aftermath.
Glover Garden is a hillside park that offers stunning views of Nagasaki Bay. The park is named after Thomas Blake Glover, a Scottish merchant who played an important role in the development of Nagasaki during the late 19th century. The park includes several Western-style buildings that were constructed during this time period, including Glover’s former residence.
Dejima is a small island in Nagasaki Bay that was once a Dutch trading post during Japan’s period of isolation. The island has been reconstructed to look as it did during the 17th and 18th centuries, and visitors can explore the narrow streets and traditional houses that once housed Dutch traders and their families.
Oura Church is a beautiful Catholic church that was built during the late 19th century. The church is famous for its stained glass windows and its role in the history of Christianity in Japan. It is also said to have inspired Puccini’s opera, “Madama Butterfly.”
Huis Ten Bosch
The wonderful Huis Ten Bosch is a Dutch-themed amusement park that features replicas of Dutch buildings, canals, and windmills. The park also includes a variety of attractions, including a flower garden, a virtual reality ride, and a light show.
These are just a few of the many things to see and do in Nagasaki. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or amusement parks, there’s something for everyone in this fascinating city.
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Food and Drink in Nagasaki
When it comes to food, Nagasaki is a culinary paradise, offering a variety of dishes that reflect the city’s unique history and culture. Here are some of the must-try foods and drinks in Nagasaki:
Nagasaki Champon is a popular noodle dish that originated in Nagasaki’s Chinatown. It is a hearty and filling dish made with a variety of seafood, vegetables, and noodles in a savory broth. Some of the ingredients include shrimp, squid, scallops, pork, cabbage, and bean sprouts. The dish is typically served in a large bowl and is perfect for warming up on a chilly day.
Castella is a popular sponge cake that was introduced to Japan by Portuguese traders in the 16th century. Nagasaki is known for its delicious Castella, which is made with sugar, flour, eggs, and syrup. The cake has a soft and fluffy texture and is often served with green tea or coffee.
Sara Udon is a stir-fried noodle dish that is often served as a side dish or appetizer. The dish is made with thick noodles that are fried until crispy, then topped with a variety of vegetables and seafood. The dish is typically served on a large plate and is perfect for sharing with friends and family.
Shippoku is a traditional multi-course meal that is often served at special occasions such as weddings and business meetings. The meal typically consists of a variety of dishes, including sashimi, tempura, grilled fish, and steamed vegetables. Shippoku is a great way to experience the flavors of Nagasaki in one meal.
Shochu is a distilled spirit that is often compared to vodka. It is made from a variety of ingredients, including sweet potatoes, barley, and rice. Shochu is a popular drink in Nagasaki, and there are many local distilleries that produce their own unique varieties. The drink is typically served on the rocks or mixed with soda water or fruit juice.
Overall, Nagasaki is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide variety of dishes that reflect the city’s unique history and culture. Whether you’re in the mood for noodles, cake, or a multi-course meal, Nagasaki has something to offer.
Shopping in Nagasaki
Shopping in Nagasaki is a unique experience that offers a blend of traditional Japanese goods and modern Western-style shopping centers. The city is known for its specialty shops, antique stores, and markets, where you can find everything from handmade crafts to local delicacies.
One of the most popular shopping areas in Nagasaki is Hamanomachi Arcade, a covered shopping street that is home to over 100 shops, restaurants, and cafes. Here, you can find a wide variety of goods, including clothing, accessories, souvenirs, and traditional Japanese crafts. The arcade is also a great place to try local food specialties, such as champon and sara udon, which are both noodle dishes that originated in Nagasaki.
If you’re looking for unique souvenirs to take home, head to the Shianbashi area, which is known for its antique shops and flea markets. Here, you can find a wide variety of vintage items, including pottery, porcelain, furniture, and clothing. The area is also home to the Shianbashi-Suji Shopping Street, which is a great place to find traditional Japanese sweets and snacks.
For those who prefer modern shopping centers, Amu Plaza Nagasaki is a popular destination. This large shopping complex is located near Nagasaki Station and features over 150 shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities. Here, you can find a variety of goods, including clothing, electronics, cosmetics, and home goods. The complex also has a cinema and a rooftop garden, which offers great views of the city.
The Sum Up
Visiting Nagasaki, Japan is an experience that is hard to put into words. From its rich history to its stunning natural beauty, there is something for everyone in this city. Whether you are interested in exploring its many museums and historical landmarks or simply soaking up the local culture, Nagasaki has it all.
One of the highlights of any trip to Nagasaki is visiting its many temples and shrines. These sites offer a glimpse into the city’s spiritual traditions and are a must-see for anyone interested in Japanese culture. Some of the most popular temples and shrines in Nagasaki include the Suwa Shrine, the Sofukuji Temple, and the Kofukuji Temple.
Another must-see attraction in Nagasaki is the Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum. This sobering museum is a reminder of the devastating effects of war and the importance of peace. It is a powerful experience that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.
For those interested in nature, Nagasaki has plenty to offer as well. The Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium is home to a variety of penguin s
pecies and is a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Plus, the city’s many parks and gardens offer a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Overall, Nagasaki is a city that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty make it a destination that is truly unforgettable. So why not start planning your trip today?