Top 8 Nagasaki Attractions

The train ride to Nagasaki was longer than we expected, as the train line was standard, not the high speed Shinkansen. We arrived around 3pm and checked into another APA hotel, this one cheaper at 6500 Yen per night, slightly larger and just across from the train station and a streetcar stop.
Nagasaki is an amazing place, with many attractions. My top 8 are below:

8 - Urakami Cathedral

8 – Urakami Cathedral is a catholic church that began construction in 1895 after a long history of christian persecution in the area. When completed in 1925 it was the largest Catholic church in East Asia.

The church was completely destroyed by the atomic bomb explosion in 1945, as it was only 500m from Ground Zero. The current Cathedral was built near the original site and contains many artefacts from the original church that were damaged by the blast, including the Bombed Maria, the original church bell and the statues featured in the picture above.

The church is a short walk from Peace Park, which is located near Street Car stop.

7 - Champon Noodles

7 – Champon is a Nagasaki regional noodle dish inspired by Chinese cuisine. It is a mixed dish, containing pork, seafood and vegetables within a soup made from chicken and pork bones. A special type of ramen noodles are mixed in.

It is available from a variety of restaurants in Nagasaki.

6 - Sofukuji Temple

6 – Sofukuji Temple is a Zen Buddhist temple built by a Chinese monk in 1629. It has been classified as a national treasure and contains rare examples of Ming Dynasty influenced architecture, that were built in China and shipped piecemeal to Nagasaki.

In the centre of the temple is a large cauldron that was used to feed starving locals during a famine in the 17th Century.

Entry costs 300 yen and is short walk from the end of the electric tram line number 1, Shokakuji-shita station.

5 - Nagasaki Electric Tramway

5 – The Nagasaki Electric Tramway is a cheap and convenient way to get to many attractions around Nagasaki, and are also fun to ride in, making them an attraction in their own right.

The tramway was built in 1915 and is now completely modernised. Tickets cost 120 yen one way or you can buy a day pass from hotels or the tourist centre for 500 yen

4 - Nagasaki Chinatown

4 – Nagasaki Chinatown is Japan’s oldest chinatown, built in the 17th Century when the port was opened up to foreigners. It is a great place to find the Chinese influenced Champon dish or a pork belly bun, another delicious local favourite.

The nearest tram stop is Tsukimachi, from which it is only a short walk.

3 - Spectacles Bridge

3 – Spectacles Bridge is a famous Nagasaki attraction, maybe the first arch bridges in the country, built in 1634 over the Nagasaki River.

Officially known as Meganebashi, it picked up the nickname ‘Spectacles’ due to the archway reflection bearing a resemblance to a pair of glasses.

Best time to visit is around dusk when the lights are first turned on. It is a short walk from Nigiwaibashi tram stop.

2 - Peace Park

2 – Peace Park is the site of the Nagasaki atomic bomb blast that occurred during World War II. It is a place of reflection that contains many monuments to peace including a fountain and statues, the a-bomb museum as well as a memorial marker at Ground Zero.

It is a short walk from Matsuyamamchi tram stop

1 - Mt Inasa Lookout

1 – The view from the 333 meter high Mt Inasa lookout is rated as amongst the three best night views in Japan. It is usually accessed via a ropeway cable car, but due to renovations buses will be the main way to reach the peak until February 2016.

The view from the top affords a great view of the Nagasaki Harbour region and is a must see Nagasaki attraction for anyone visiting the area.

It is a fairly long walk from the nearest tram stop, and due to the ropeway closing and substitute buses leaving from some hotels, its best to check with your hotel or the tourist centre for the best way to get to the peak.

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