Sightseeing course recommended by the Nagasaki International Tourism and Convention Association. Visit the main sightseeing courses in Nagasaki City in one day.
Pick up a map at the tourist information office in the station
On August 9, 1945, 11:02 a.m., three days after an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, another atomic bomb was dropped on the Urakami district of Nagasaki City, taking the lives of some 150,000 people.
The exhibits at this museum tell the story, in an accessible way, of the devastation caused by the bomb, the background to how the bomb came to be dropped, how Nagasaki has recovered and rebuilt, from the immediate aftermath to the present day, the history of the development of nuclear weapons, and the aspiration for world peace free of nuclear weapons.
Side-by-side photographs of the streets of Nagasaki immediately after the bomb hit and today convey the remarkable rate at which the city was rebuilt and the resilience of its citizens. With the state of the world today, atomic bombs and war cannot be described as things of the past. Visitors are asked to face the exhibits squarely, in the hope that they will recognize the tragic history of those events, and at the same time, think about what true peace means.
The Museum also has a library, where visitors can read books related to peace and watch videos.
eace Park, which is located on a small hill just north of the hypocenter of the atomic bomb explosion, was built to symbolize the vow to never allow such a tragic war to happen again and the wish for world peace.
This bronze statue, which stands 9.7 meters high and weighs about 30 tonnes, was erected by the citizens of Nagasaki as a symbol of their prayer for peace. It was created by Seibou Kitamura, a native of Nagasaki, to represent the love of God and the mercy of Buddha. The right hand pointing towards the heavens symbolizes the horrors of the atomic bomb, the left hand stretched out horizontally symbolizes peace, and the lightly closed eyes represent a prayer for the souls of the victims of the attack. August 9, the anniversary of the attack, has been declared “Nagasaki Day of Peace,” and every year, a ceremony to pray for peace is held in front of this statue, and a declaration of peace is directed towards the entire world.
The victims of the atomic bomb attack, who had been burned through to their very insides, died crying out desperately for “Water! Water!” The construction of this fountain was funded by donations to offer up water to those tortured souls, to pray for their repose, and as a plea for eternal peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is located in a section of Nagasaki Peace Park facing the Peace Statue. The round fountain bowl has a diameter of 18 meters and was completed in 1969.
The fountain itself is in the shape of a bird’s wings, symbolizing the dove of peace and Japan’s crane. The water spray dances around a plaque inscribed with the words of a young girl who wandered the streets desperately searching for water after the bomb hit. "I was thirsty beyond endurance. There was something oily on the surface of the water, but I wanted water so badly that I drank it just as it was."
The site of the former Dejima Dutch Trading Post is a nationally designated historic site. While the government of Japan maintained an isolationist policy for about 200 years, shutting the country off from the rest of the world, this was Japan’ only window to trade with the West. In the 19th century, Dejima had 49 buildings, which included residences, cooking houses, warehouses, and guard stations, and a project is currently underway to rebuild 25 of those buildings. After the trading post’ function ended in the Meiji era, the island of Dejima was gradually integrated into the rest of the city through land reclamation. It had started to disappear from people’ memories, but sixty years ago, the city of Nagasaki embarked on the restoration of Dejima
Today at Dejima, visitors can view structures and buildings from four main eras.
Visitors entering from the Suimon (water gate), which once faced the ocean, on the west side will start their journey back in time in the Edo period at the beginning of the 19th century, and move forward through the ages to the Bakumatsu (end of the Shogunate) and the opening of Japan, and onto the Meiji Period. If you enter through the East Gate, you can go backwards in time from the Meiji Period to the Bakumatsu and back to Edo.
Located in a section of the Nagasaki Seaside Park, Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum is designed to blend in with its natural surroundings.
Admission is free to all parts of the Museum except the Galleries. These free spaces include the natural light-filled entrance, the bridge corridor where pleasant breezes flow, the cafﾃｩ facing the water, and the roof garden with its panoramic views of Nagasaki Port. These spaces, which have received many awards for their design and lighting, offer visitors the joy of new discoveries and creation.
The major features of the Museum’ collections are its collection of Spanish art and art related to Nagasaki. The Spanish Art Collection, which includes works by Picasso and Dali, has been formed around a core private collection known as the Suma Collection, and is one of the biggest collections of Spanish art in Asia.
The museum shop sells merchandise from Spain’ Museo del Prado that are not available anywhere else in Japan, as well as original tableware made from Hasami, the region’ representative style of ceramics. It offers many items that can only be purchased at the Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum.
The cafﾃｩ, whose concept has been designed by Masaru Kamikakimoto, a giant of the French cuisine world in Japan, offers original sweets and food menus, as well as wine.
The museum is open until 8:00 p.m., so visitors can enjoy its charms at a leisurely pace.
Glover Garden is a park to which six Western houses of the Meiji Period have been relocated from other parts of Nagasaki and restored, joining the former Glover House, former Ringer House, and former Alt House which are in their original locations.
Because the park follows Nagasaki’ distinctive hillside landscape, moving walkways and escalators have been installed, and wall fountains and cobblestones along the promenade that winds its way around the Garden add to the exotic and romantic atmosphere. It is one of Nagasaki’ premier and well-loved tourist attractions, drawing more than a million visitors every year.
Glover Garden is also a splendid spot to experience the commanding panoramic views of Nagasaki Port, Mt. Inasa and the other green-covered mountains, and the streets of Nagasaki, pulsating with life. This is the same scenery that must have captivated the great men who once lived here.
The view from the veranda of the former Mitsubishi No. 2 Shipping Dock House is particularly spectacular. Also recommended are the views from the front garden of the former Ringer House and from the former Glover House, where the sounds of the ships plying the port can be heard.
Beautiful flowers have been planted all over the Garden, so no matter what time of year you visit, you will be able to experience the joy of admiring the flowers of the season.
Glover Garden at night offers a more romantic atmosphere, quite different from during the day.
The park is open at night from mid-July to early October, when the Western buildings, including Glover House, are lit up.
Somewhere in the garden, there are stones in the shape of a heart. Each of these stones has a legend relating to love attached to it, such as that couples who join hands over this stone will find true happiness, or that if you touch the stone as you make a wish, your hopes for love will come true. They are rapidly gaining popularity as “power spots,” places that are thought to give off a certain positive energy.
Oura Cathedral was built in the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement that was established after Japan opened its borders to the world at the end of the Shogunate era, as a place of worship for the city’ foreign residents. It is the oldest Gothic-style church still standing in Japan. The stained glass windows adorning the cathedral’ interiors are about 100 years old.
The cathedral is dedicated to The Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan, who had been canonized not long before the cathedral was built.
Because the church was built to honor the twenty-six Christians who had died a martyr’ death on Nishizaka Hill, the church faces Nishizaka.
Design of the church was supervised by two French missionaries, Fathers Louis Furet and Bernard Petitjean, and it was constructed by Koyama Hidenoshin (who later changed his name to Hiide). It was completed in the end of 1864 and consecrated in February of the following year. Soon after, in March 1865, the church became the scene of a dramatic “discovery of the faithful” never seen before in world religious history, when it was visited by a group of hidden Christians from nearby Urakami, who confessed their Christian faith.
The church was extended in 1875 and again in 1879, undergoing a major transformation in its floorplan and exterior design. The outside walls were also changed from wood to brick. However, the major parts of the interior remain as they were when the church was first built.
In 1933, it was declared a National Treasure. After suffering some damage from the atomic bomb, it was re-designated a National Treasure in 1953 as the oldest church in Japan.
At the Night View Summit 2012 in Nagasaki, held on October 5, 2012, Hong Kong, Monaco, and Nagasaki were recognized as the three cities with the most spectacular night views in the world.
Nagasaki’s night view is centered on Nagasaki Port, known as “crane harbor.” The port is surrounded by mountains, giving it a “bowl” shape and creating Nagasaki’s distinctive three-dimensional nightscape. This also means that the night view of the city can be enjoyed from many spots, the main ones being look-outs on Mt. Inasa, Mt. Nabekanmuri, and Kazagashira Park. The view from Mt. Inasa is particularly recommended. You are sure to be captivated by the nightscape as you are enveloped in a mystical world of light created by illuminations at the observatory on the mountain. From a night view merely to look at, to a night view to be enthralled by. See with your own eyes the beauty of the Nagasaki Night View that has been acknowledged by the world.