On 9 August 1945, three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, a nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing a total of over 100,000 people. Six days later Japan surrendered, officially ending World War II. This is what Nagasaki is famous for and that's a shame. The city's history has so many more stories to tell and today Nagasaki is a cosmopolitan, friendly, pretty city - distinct in character from the rest of Japan. It's well worth getting down here.
Nagasaki was founded by the Portuguese in the second half of the 16th Century on the site of a small fishing village. It went on to become a centre of Portuguese and other European peoples' influence in the 16th to 19th centuries, and the Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki have been petitioned for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The understated Peace Park and museum - more poignant than the Hiroshima equivalent - are an essential starting point for any sightseeing, but its the blend of western and Japanese architecture at the Glover Gardens and the foreign enclave of Dejima which shines a light in to Nagasaki's fascinating history, showing what life was like for the original foreign visitors. The traumatic story of Nagasaki’s secret Christians uncovers a darker side of Japan.