6 Recommended Historical Towns and Tourist Spots in Nagasaki
Nagasaki has been long established as a harbor city because of its history with foreign trade. This city has many historical landmarks as well as sightseeing spots with an exotic atmosphere, which is why more and more foreigners come to visit this area. Here are 6 sightseeing spots that are especially worth visiting!
1. Glover Garden
Glover Garden is located on a hill at Minamiyamate, facing Nagasaki Harbor. You may find European-style buildings within the vicinity that are surrounded by flowers and greenery. The main spot here would be the former residence of the Scottish tradesman Thomas Glover who contributed greatly to the modernization of Japan. As the building is considered as the oldest western-style wooden architecture in Japan, it is registered as a World Heritage site.
Another recommendation is the Old Nagasaki District Court Secretary House which is now a photo studio, where you may pick a retro dress or Japanese-style clothing of your choice and take photos. You may also take a walk in the garden wearing the costume.
Entrance Fee: Adults 610 JPY, High School Students 300 JPY, Elementary and Middle School Students 180 JPY
Retro Photo Studio: 600 JPY and above for 30 mins (※Provided that you bring a camera)
2. Oura Church
Oura Church has been designated as a national treasure and is Japan's oldest existing Catholic Church, having been built on 1864. This building is representative of the Gothic style of Medieval Europe and the stained glass that adorn the interior have been around for more than 100 years. This church is also very well-known as the setting for "Shinto Hakken" (Discovery of Believers), where Christians who secretly continued their practices during the ban of Christianity by the shogunate government practiced confession.
Entrance Fee: Adults 600 JPY, High and Middle School Students 400 JPY, Elementary Students 300 JPY
3. Nagasaki Confucius Shrine
This is Japan's only authentic Chinese-styled mausoleums. This rich-colored shrine built in 1893 is said to have started as a place to keep and worship articles once belonging to Confucius. You may find many things worth seeing such as the stone statues of Confucius' 72 disciples as well as the country's largest sitting figure of Confucius himself. You may also find important cultural resources imported from China at the annex museum as well as historical documents regarding Confucius.
Entrance Fee (incl. admission to museum): Adults 600 JPY, High School Students 400 JPY, Elementary and Middle School Students 300 JPY
Dejima was the only place open to foreign trade with the West during the 200 years Japan was in seclusion. In the 19th century, people built up to 49 residences and 25 of those are currently in the process of being restored. As of 2017, there are 6 structures open to the public. You may visit these relics that tell the history of international trade during the Edo period (1603 to 1867).
It is furthermore recommended to visit the rental shop called Nagasaki Haikarasan which specializes in kimono. You may go for a walk along the streets while wearing your retro-style kimono.
Dejima Entrance Fee: Adults 510 JPY, High School Students 200 JPY, Elementary and Middle School Students 100 JPY
"Nagasaki Haikarasan" Plan, Dejima Walking Course (1 Hour): 2,000 JPY
5. Megane Bridge
Megane Bridge, located near the heart of the city of Nagasaki, is an important cultural property, known for being the country's first arch stone bridge. It is said that Megane Bridge ("glasses bridge") got its name from how its reflection looks like a pair of glasses on the surface of the water. Megane Bridge is also popular as a power spot for love, as some of the built-in rocks at the revetment near it are shaped like hearts. Please try looking for them!
6. Teramachi Area
The neighborhood of Teramachi has a lot of temples with great individuality. An example of which would be the Kofukuji, Japan's first Chinese-style temple, whose gate is an important cultural property. There are also others such as Kogenji as and Sanpoji. Within the vicinity, you may find sloped pathways, back alleys similar to those of the past, as well as stone walls, which make this place perfect for taking leisure walks.
You may go from one spot to the other on foot, but it would be recommended to rent a "raku chari" (electric bicycle) at the JR Nagasaki station, as Nagasaki has many sloped paths (reservation required).
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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