Saturday, January 02, 2010

Winter Travel - Day Two - Nagasaki (Part Two)

After the penguin cuteness overload, I made my way around Nagasaki trying to see everything else in a day. I missed some things, but I saw a lot. I walked and walked and walked, but the weather was really decent, as in sun shining and no need for that winter coat decent, and the cheapo new shoes were like magic. Just wandering around was awesome. Nagasaki is absolutely beautiful. It's surrounded by mountains, and the trams are super convenient and easy to understand. I stayed at the Comfort Hotel, and it was nice for the price, had a comfy bed, free coffee drinks in the lobby and wifi. Plus it's right by the Ohato (大波止) tram stop, which I found to be more convenient for my purposes than somewhere near the station.

Kokufuji Temple (興福寺), Main Hall, Nagasaki
December 27, 2009
Old Chinese temple in Japan built in 1620 by Chinese residents, in part to show that they were, in fact, Buddhist when the prohibition against Christianity was pretty stringent. See, Nagasaki, in general, was a major port city bringing people and goods from Europe, China and other places, and Christianity (specifically Catholicism) was one of the imports. When it was banned, repercussions were brutal.
Again, this link does a better job explaining the history.
Nagasaki

Kofukuji Temple, Courtyard
Nagasaki

Kokufuji Temple Ema
My love of the ema continues. These are even heart shaped. Love, love.
Nagasaki

Meganebashi (眼鏡橋), Nagasaki
Spectacles (the glasses kind, not what I make of myself) Bridge because it looks like, yep, spectacles. It was built by a monk from the temple above. Strolling along this street on a perfectly perfect day made me love Nagasaki. Just such a pretty city. There are a couple tram stops nearby (map), too. Again with the convenience.
Nagasaki

Talktive
Hair salon sign seen strolling along the river.
Nagasaki

Signs
Nagasaki is great with signs. They are everywhere. Considering how likely I am to get lost, these were simply awesome for a tourist. I heart Nagasaki.
Nagasaki

Sofukuji (崇福寺) Temple
Another shrine built by the Chinese residents of Nagasaki, this one in 1629. Definitely Chinese flavored.
Nagasaki

Intricate Details, Sofukuji Temple
Nagasaki

Colorful Dragon, Sofukuji Temple
Nagasaki

More Sofukuji
I could take pictures of this place all day long. I kinda did.
Nagasaki

Pretty Door, Sofukuji Temple
Nagasaki

Sunflower Door, Sofukuji Temple
Nagasaki

Chinatown, Nagasaki
Just walking through made me hungry. It was also lunch time. Perfect time to try sara-udon, another Nagasaki specialty. It was nothing short of amazing. It ranks pretty close to bacon on my list of foods to love wholeheartedly.
Nagasaki

Chinese Quarter, Nagasaki
As the sign explained, "In order to limit interaction between Japanese and foreigners, the Tokugawa Shogunate decided that the Dutch (initially the Portuguese) live on Dejima and that the Chinese live in a Chinese quarter. The Chinese quarter, completed in 1689, was in the area that now corresponds with Kannai-machi in Nagasaki City. After that, the Chinese were prohibited from living within the city."
Nagasaki

Dutch/Hollander Slope, Nagasaki
While the Dutch had been living on the artificial island of Dejima from 1641 until 1853, a place built specifically to keep them separate from Japanese people during Japan's isolation period, they had an incredible influence on Japan, bringing things like badminton and coffee and a gazillion other good things. After the Meiji Restoration when Japan's isolationist policy ended and opened to foreigners again (and allowing Christianity again, huge in Nagasaki), people in Nagasaki still thought of all Europeans as Dutch. Hence the name of this beautiful slope that leads up to huge and beautiful Western style homes where they lived after that point.
Nagasaki

There are a million things I did not get to see in Nagasaki, but I feel like I made a pretty good scratch on the surface. After all that walking, the next morning I'd be on a bus to Beppu, an area of geothermic wonder with eleventy million hotsprings, but not nearly the convenience.

5 comments:

  1. Good advice. I'll try not to be so talktive.
    Love the crooked arrow on the sign.

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  2. I keep meaning to comment! I have been following along tho. Appears you are having a grand time. I love all the pictures, I can almost say I've been there now.

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  3. oh, thank you SO much for sharing this!!!

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  4. It's just so unbelievable beautiful there. Some of it is so busy and detailed and some of it is so minimal and calming. Love it all. I'm so glad you have a camera and are capturing it all.

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  5. Thank you for taking me on a beautiful vacation in the middle of my snowy winter! Those pictures were all GORGEOUS!

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