Nagasaki has a fascinating history and it's evidence is all over the pleasant city. A good guide book, a familiarty with the street-tram network and comfy shoes ... and off you go. Here are a few of our highlights:
The Peace Park & Atomic Bomb Museum covers the history of this event, in a poignant, sensitive and impactful way. It all begins with the disastrous scene of the attack and the museum soberly takes you through the events leading up to the dropping of the atomic bomb, and then leads on to the reconstruction of Nagasaki, before expanding its brief to include the history of nuclear weapons development. It ends by expressing hope for a peaceful world, free of nuclear weapons.
Oura Catholic Church is the oldest wooden church of gothic architecture existing in Japan, built in 1864 by a French missionary. This church was dedicated to the 26 martyrs who were killed at Nishizaka Hill on February 5th 1597, under the orders of Toyotomi Hideyoshi - the first place in Japan where people were executed for Christianity by order of a national leader. Nagasaki was very deliberately chosen as the place for execution to set an example, since it was a city with many churches and Christians, and where ships from Portugal often docked.
Glover Garden has been officially designated as an Important Cultural Asset, no less! There are beautiful traditional homes built for British merchants, including the oldest wooden Western-style home in Japan, built by the Scottish merchant Thomas Glover, who exerted a strong and profound influence on the industrialisation of Japan.
The Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture puts the city's history of international exchange in context. It has many exhibitions of precious historical materials from Nagasaki’s modern history, works of art and ancient writings.