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Nagasaki travel guide

  • Nagasaki travel guide


Nagasaki is Japan’s first international city with a history of trading with many countries

since Nagasaki port opened in 1571.

The city has many tourist places with hidden Japanese historical significance.

It was the Gateway to foreign countries and the first area where Christianity spread.

It played a major part in Japan’s industrial modernization and was the site

of the Atomic bomb used in WW2.



Historical features


1)National isolation in Japan

     Nagasaki is the only place opened to oversea countries ( just Dutch and China ) during the

     National isolation period from 1639 to 1854.

     And trading with Dutch was done at artificial island Dejima.

2) Christian Pilgrimage sites

    Japan’s unique practice of the Christian faith continued in Nagasaki region even during the ban

    on Christianity from 1587 to 1859.There are many Christian Pilgrimage site and

    Hidden Christian Sites in Nagasaki region is registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage in 2018.

3) Japan’s Industry modernization

    Shipbuilding, and Coal Mining, industries in Nagasaki were great contributed Japan’s Industry

    modernization. And 5 sites of these industries are registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage as

    Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution         

4) Atomic bomb

    Atomic bomb exploded at 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945.

    The most part of Nagasaki was destroyed, and a tremendous number of lives were lost.

    Nagasaki is now appealing for World Peace, Disastrous War must not be repeated.


Exploring Nagasaki


Glover Garden   / UNESCO World Heritage

Glover Garden is located on Minami-Yamate hill in Nagasaki-city, and nine

traditional buildings can be seen at Glover Garden. Among these, the

Glover Residence, Orto Residence, and Ringer Residence were built during

the settlement era and are valuable buildings that have continued to

stand on this land for over 150 years. Glover Garden boasts a great location

overlooking Nagasaki Port with Mt. Inasa, a landmark of Nagasaki-city,

in the background.


Peace Park

Established in 1955 near the Ground Zero where the Atomic Bomb was dropped at 11:02 am on

Aug. 09, 1945. Peace Memorial Ceremony is held in front of the statue on August 9 every year and

the Mayor of Nagasaki makes the “Nagasaki peace declaration” for the whole world.


Atomic Bomb Museum

The museum exhibits a number of photograph that depict the

devastation caused by atomic bomb showing the lead-up to this tragic

day, the history of the development of nuclear arms and our desire

 for peace.


Ground Zero

The plutonium atomic bomb exploded about 500m over the central

monument at 11:02 a.m.  on August 9, 1945.   The most part of Nagasaki

was destroyed, and a tremendous number of lives were lost.  And about

70,000 of Nagasaki’s 240,000 residents died instantly, and up to 60,000

were injured. 


Peace Statue

Completed in 1955, ten years after the Atomic bombing. The 9.7 meter

high statue sitting on a 4 meter tall pedestal, made by renown sculptor

Kitamura Seibo who born in Minami-Shimabara-city, Nagasaki-prefecture

in 1884. The raised arm points to the threat of nuclear weapons and the

out-stretched arm symbolizes peace.


Christian Pilgrimage sites in Nagasaki


Oura Cathedral  / UNESCO World Heritage

The Cathedral is one of the significant Christian Pilgrimage site in Japan.

Established 1865, this church is officially known as “Oura Cathedral, the

Church of 26 Martyrs.” It was built by the French priest Bernard Petitjean

of Fier who had been dispatched by the Foreign Missionary Church of

Paris to dedicate prayers to the 26 saints martyred on Nishizaka hill.


Martyrdom of the 26 Saints of Japan     

Nishizaka hill is the most significant Christian Pilgrimage site in Japan.

The 26 Martyrs of Japan were a group of Catholics who were executed

by crucifixion on February 5, 1597.Their martyrdom is especially

significant in the history of the Catholic Church in Japan. In 1637,

St. Lorenzo Luiz from Philippines martyred here at Nishizaka hill


The museum behind the monument is devoted to the memory of the

martyrs and to Christianity in Japan in general. Its interior is reminiscent

of a church with stained-glass windows, making for atmospheric viewing

of the exhibits. On display are artifacts related to Christianity in Japan,

including old documents, statues and jewelry.



Saint Filippo de Jesus Church

Nakamachi Church

Hongouchi Church, St. Kolbe Museum

Urakami Cathedral




Sotome Pilgrimage sites   / UNESCO World Heritage

Sotome is located between Nagasaki-city and Saikai-city, and face to

East China Sea.  During the ban on Christianity from 17 century to end

of the 19 century, Sotome was home to communities of  “Hidden

Christians”, many of whom emigrated there from other parts of

Nagasaki as the remote region allowed them to practice their religion

in secret.



Featured destinations



Dejima was the fan-shaped artificial island in the bay of Nagasaki where

was used as a Dutch trading port and it was only open gateway to Europe

during Japan’s National isolation of Edo period from 1641 until 1853.

At that time, many European technologies and cultures were introduced

here through Dutch.


Mount Inasa

It is a 333 meter high mountain in close distance to JR Nagasaki Station.

The summit can be reached by Rope way, Slope car or car and offers

great views over the city. And also, the magnificent night views from

Mount Inasa are ranked among Japan’s three best night views.


China Town

Nagasaki China town at shinchi is one of the big three china town in

Japan.  There are about 50 Chinese restaurants and many Chinese 

sundries shops in there.


Gunkan-jima island cruise  / Hashima Coal Mine

Hashima coal mining island is an artificial reclaimed island and the site

of Japan’s first major undersea coal exploitation pioneered by Mitsubishi. 

Hashima Island is located 3 km southwest of Takashima. The site has

been registered on UNESCO World Heritages as Sites of Japan’s Meiji

Industrial Revolution.


Megane-bashi bridge


Confucius Shrine

Suwa Shrine


Nagasaki Wharf


Kazagashira Park



Tram in Nagasaki

The Nagasaki Electric Tramway provides a convenient and

affordable way to travel around the main attractions of Nagasaki-city.


General information

Address City hall : 2-22 Sakura-machi, Nagasaki-city, Nagasaki-prefecture

2 hours and 40 minutes by a vehicle from Kitakyushu-city

2 hours by a vehicle from Fukuoka-city

1 hour and 30 minutes by a vehicle from Saga-city

1 hour and 30 minutes by a vehicle from Shimabara-city

1 hour and 10 minutes by a vehicle from Unzen-city

1 hour and 10 minutes by a vehicle from Sasebo-city


2 hours and 20 minutes by JR express train from JR Hakata Station


Tram : Convenient transportation system for sightseeing in Nagasaki-city

Almost all the tourist attractions are located within walking distance

from tram station

Population 418,000   Population density 1,030














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Shimabara travel guide

  • Shimabara Castle


Region spreads in the foot of gentle Mount Unzen and facing to Ariale sea, Shimabara is consist

of two cities on Shimabara peninsula, Shimabara-city west side of peninsula and Minami-Shmabara

city south-west side of peninsula. Located in the foot of Mount Unzen and facing Ariake Sea, and

those geographical conditions and mild climate create natural scenic beauty in the east and Mount

Unzen including Mount Fugen. The region offers various enjoyable things such as Nature, Onsen,

Castle town of Shimabara-city, and Christian Pilgrimage sites.



Exploring Shimabara  


Shimabara Castle

Located in Shimabara-city and was built in 1625 by the feudal load

Matsukura Shigemasa, who was regarded as a master of castle

building.  The castle, which took 7 years to complete, is also 

known as “Moritake Castle”.


Samurai Houses

Samurai was a term for the military nobility in pre-industrial Japan. 

The Samurai Houses in Shimabara along the old Samurai street 

nearby Shimabara Castle were built in 18th century.


Samurai Street

The street lined with stone walls and a spring water canal running

down the center commemorates the old samurai section of

Shimabara. Three Samurai houses have been restored and 

opened as exhibits.


Harajo Castle ruins

The Christian pilgrimage site, registered on UNESCO’s World

Heritage Site as Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region

The battle field of Shimabara Rebellion which was a peasant

uprising agaist bakufu’s persecution of Christians under the

leadership of Amakusa Shiro in 1637. 


Hinoe Castle Ruins         

During the period of the Southen and Northern Courts (1337-92), the

Arima family ruling the Shimabara Peninsula constructed a castle named

Hinoe-jo. The 14th lord, Harunobu (1567-1612) was a Christian daimyo

and refurbished his castle into a large scale which had gardens, a tea

arbor and many rooms.


Local cuisine in Shimabara, Guzoni

Guzoni is said to create during the Shimabara Rebellion of 1637.  

When Christians were fought under the leader ship of Amakusa Shiro,

they brought various ingredients such as rice cake, fishes and

vegetables, and made a stew.   This is the origin of Guzoni.



Dolphins watching cruise

Approximately 300 wild Dolphins live in the sea between the Shimabara

Peninsula and Amakusa.  The dolphin watching cruises have become

increasingly popular for all ages, especially because it is possible to

see the dolphins so close that you could almost touch them.


Ferry to Kumamoto, from Shimabara

Two ferries are operated form Shimabara to Kumamoto

Kyusho Ferry : operated by Kyusho Ferry, 60 minutes ride

Ocean Arrow : operated by Kumamoto Ferry, 30 minutes ride.


Ferry to Amakusa (Oniike) , from Kuchinotsu (Minami-Shimabara-city)

Shimatetsu Ferry : operated by Shinabara Rail Way, 30 minutes ride.


General information  

Address Shimabara-city, Nagasaki-prefecture

90 minutes by a vehicle from Nagasaki-city

70 minutes by a vehicle from Nagasaki Air port

30 minutes by a vehicle from Unzen-city














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Hirado travel guide


Hirado is the first place where Portuguese ships landed in Japan in 1549, and after that

St. Francis Xavier visited in 1550, and Japanese Christianity started here in Hirado.

In the 1580s, the Portuguese established a trading station, followed soon by the Dutch

and the British.

Hirado is located north-west side of Nagasaki and facing to Genkai Sea, and is mainly

composed of Kitamatsuura Peninsula, Hirado Island and Ikitsuki Island, which are

connected by Hirado bridge and Ikitsuki bridge.



Where to explore


Hirado Castle

Stands on a hill guarding Hirado Port and the Hirado Strait, which

used to be part of an important trade route between Japan and the

Asian mainland. The original fortress was built in 1599 by the

local Matsura Lord.


Dutch Trading Post

Set up in Hirado in 1609 as the base of operations of the Dutch East

India Company in Japan. The building seen today is a warehouse which

was originally constructed here in 1639 as part of the trading post, but

torn down just three years later after the Dutch had been relocated to

Dejima Island in the port of Nagasaki.


Nakae no Shima / UNESCO World Heritage

Located two kilometers off the coast of Hirado Island, Nakae no Shima is

a small, uninhabited island where religious leaders were executed during

the persecution of Christians. The island is considered sacred, and water

collected there is used for baptism.


Kasuga Village / UNESCO World Heritage

This idyllic, remote village was refuge to a small community of Hidden

Christians who practiced here for centuries, far from the prying eyes of

the government. After the ban on Christianity was lifted, the local villagers

decided to continue practicing their own unique brand of the religion

rather than region the Catholic Church.


St Francis Xavier Memorial Church

This church is a catholic church in Hirado, Nagasaki. Hirado is a place

where Francis Xavier visited 3 times in Japan to spread Christianity,

and even during the Kinkyo Ordinance of the Edo Period that prohibited

religions, Christianity was very widespread.


Tabira Church

The church was designed by Tetsukawa Yosuke, a famous architect of

various churches in Nagasaki-prefecture, and built between December

1915 and October 1917. It is one of the latest brick churches in the

prefecture of Nagasaki. Tetsukawa Yosuke has called this one of his

best works.


Matsura Historical Museum

The museum stores and displays the historical collection of the Matsura

family who ruled over the northern area of Nagasaki prefecture since the

13th century. The museum is housed in the former private residence of

the Matsura family, the grand Tsurugamine Mansion, built in 1893. Hirado

has a long history of overseas exchange due to its geographical location.


Yamada Church

After the discovery of the numerous hidden Christians in Ikitsuki Island in

1865, they began to work on recovering their Catholic faith although they

were not too successful at first. Then in 1878, a priest named Fr. Pelu came

to Hirado and baptized many people who are said to be the ancestors of

the churchgoers of Yamada Church today.


General information  

Address City hall : 1508-3 Iwanoue-cyo, Hirado-city, Nagasaki-prefecture

1 hours and 50 minutes by a vehicle from Nagasaki-city

50 minutes by a vehicle from Sasebo-city

2 hour and 15 minutes by a vehicle from Fukuoka-city

Population 30,100   Population density 128













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Sasebo & Huis Ten Bosch


Sasebo is the 2nd largest city in Nagasaki-prefecture, and has a beautiful harbor which is

used as a navel port.

Sasebo is located in the Kitamatsuura Peninsula and facing to Genkai Sea with numerous

small Island called “ 99 Island”. The 99 Islands cruise is the exciting experience.

Huis Ten Bosch is must visit attraction which is a theme park reproducing the rows of houses 

and streets including Huis Ten Bosch Palace of the Netherlands.



Huis Ten Bosch

Huis Ten Bosch is a theme park in Sasebo, which recreates

the Netherlands by displaying life-sized copies of old Dutch

buildings. The name Huis Ten Bosch translates into English 

as “House in the Woods/bush”.  It is named after Huis ten

Bosch in The Hague.


Saikai Pearl Sea Resort

Located in the Kuju-kushima National Park. The beautiful sea here contains treasures 

including pearls and oysters. As the focal point of the Kuju-kushima islands adventure,

you can take an excursion boat, rent a kayak, or visit the aquarium Umikirara to get

a closer look at amazing sea creatures populating the sea around the island.


Saikai-bashi Bridge Park


Kuju-kushima, 99 (ninety nine) Islands


Sasebo & Huis Ten Bosch











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Unzen travel guide

  • Unzen Onsen Resort


Unzen is a gentle Onsen resort situated in the Unzen National Park. The Resort area was

originally developed for foreigners as a place close to Nagasaki.



Unzen Onsen Resort

Located in the centre of Shimabara peninsula, at the southwest part

of Mount Unzen with an altitude of 700m. It is started receiving

foreign tourists around the year 1900 when Kaempfer and Siebold

 introduced the city to Europe and China. The area was the first area 

to be designated as  a National Park in Japan in 1934. 


Where to explore


Nita Pass

One of the best scenic spot in Unzen. At any time of the year the natural

scenery of Nita Pass in Unzen is magnificent. Azaleas, green leaves, 

brilliant autumnal tints of maples and silver frost represent each season

 of the year.


Unzen Jigoku

Jigoku, means Hell, is the number one attraction of Unzen with a peculiar

smell of sulfur emitted from the springs, and with white smoke rising from

the ground over a wide area. This is a striking reminder that Unzen

Volcano is still very much alive.


Unzen Trekking


Various trekking routes are prepared with the Onsen Onsen Resort town 

as the starting area, through the Unzen Jigoku.  Everyone including mountain

climber can enjoy by choosing preference route, Nita pass and summit of

mount Myuken and Fugen can be reached.


Unzen Golf Course      

Opened in 1913, the oldest public course in Japan, and second oldest golf

course after the Kobe Golf Club, which opened in 1903.  Moreover, Unzen

has been designated as Japan’s first national park in 1934, and the golf

course has been popular among people both Japanese and foreigner as

the national park’s main facility.


The area is also a part of Unzen, located at western foot of Mount Unzen. 
About 30 Hotels and Japanese style accommodation are standing along
the Tachibana bay and there are 3 public baths where visitor can use. 


General information 

Address Unzen, Obama-cho, Unzen-city, Nagasaki-prefecture

90 minutes by a vehicle from Nagasaki-city

70 minutes by a vehicle from Nagasaki Air port

30 minutes by a vehicle from Shimabara-city

2 hours and 30 minutes by a vehicle from Fukuoka-city

3 hours and 10 minutes by a vehicle from Kitakyushu-city














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Nagasaki Pearl



Nagasaki-prefecture is the birthplace of pearls and the production volume is the highest

in Japan. Omura bay is the best place for Pearl culture. Nagasaki Pearl Shop is a

specialized company that consistently performs pearl production, processing and sales.




Location of Nagasaki-city





General information  

Address 224-12 Nagaura-cho, Nagasaki-city

30 minutes by a vehicle from JR Nagasaki station

60 minutes by a vehicle from Sasebo-city

Open hours 10:00 to 19:00
Day closed Tuesday



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Monument of the Child Praying for Peace



At the bottom of the steps leading down from the front of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

The Monument of a Child Praying for Peace depicting a girl wearing a kimono and holding



a folded paper crane.  At that time of the atomic bombing there were several schools in

the Ground Zero area and some 10,000 school children are through to have perished in

the bombing.




On the 20th anniversary of the atomic bombing, donations were collected widely from

children who express their wish for peace, and this statue was unveiled on August 9, 1967

and remains to this day as a symbol the aspiration for eternal peace.



Location of Nagasaki-city




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