15 Things to do in Nagasaki, Japan.

Explore the wonderful yet wailing beauty of the city of tragedy, Nagasaki…

A beautiful port city set on the Kyushu Island and capital of Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki is Japan’s closet city to Asian mainland and that’s why has played an important role in foreign trading. But sadly, all we know about the city is the great damage and tragedy caused to it by the atomic bomb blast during World War II. Let’s explore the beauty & spirit of the city which has kept it going. The article intends to specially highlight the places which describe the horror and pain of the bombing, with a hope that everyone who visits the city must visit the place and understand the great amount the war can cause to the world and hopefully spare the world from such events in future.

1. Confucius Shrine

“Everything has beauty, not everyone sees it!” Yes you’re right! The great Confucius! The Nagasaki shrine is dedicated to the veteran Chinese philosopher, Confucius.  Built in 18th century by native Nagasaki’s Chinese community, the shrine is a very colorful, peaceful and work-of-art. It also contains a museum in the rear ground. At entrance, a bridge and a small pond greets the visitors, the building are built in typical Chinese style with vibrant yellow roofs. In the courtyard, 72 life sized statues of Confucius’ disciples encourages the visitors to find the one statue among them which resembles a relative. The museum, built in 19th century, is a home of adorable artifacts of china, varying from pottery to lively statues.

2. Nagasaki peace park

A tranquil space dedicated to the horrific event of atomic bombing on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, which consumed the huge part of the city and killed about ten thousand people.  The premises include two parks and a memorial museum.

In the center stands a Hypocenter park with a simple black monolith that points out the epicenter of the bombing, close to it stands a pillar of ruined Urakami Cathedral which was destroyed in bombing.

3.  Nagasaki atomic bomb museum 

An essential place to visit while you’re in Nagasaki. This solemn place depicts the horrors that came to the city with atomic bombing during World War II and still haunting the streets of Nagasaki. The museum portraits the event, loss of life, mangled rocks, burnt trees, household things, pottery, a clock stopped at 11.02 (the bombing hour) and the stories of heroes who survived and volunteered though the paintings, portraits and photos. The place also includes the stories of post effects and struggles of bombing and nerve-chilling lively narration of the nuclear tragedy that the city has gone though.

4. Hashima island

From distance, the buildings cluster looks like a great battleship. That’s why the island is also called Gunkan-jima “The battleship island” in native language. Most of the structures are ruins now and the island is mostly at fall so it might be unsafe to wonder alone in the streets. But the guided tours to the island can help you marvel the skyscrapers which were talk of the town at their time.

5. Mount inasa

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A 333 meter high mountain, set very close to the heart of the city, Mount Inasa is counted amongst the 3 best summits for incredible night views. The bus and car facilities are available to reach the summit, but who would not love a little adventure! So keep it aside and try to have fun in ropeway & marvel at the scenic views of stunning mountains and city while the journey. Observation desks provide the visitors facilities to enjoy the beautiful scenery along with the delicious food at the close by restaurants.

6. Glover garden

Ahh another place with breathtaking views! Yes Glover garden, it is an open air museum which exhibits the artifacts of Nagasaki’s foreign residents and buildings. Set on the hill, the garden drags the visitor by its most popular structures like former Glover house, View of the City’s important industrial sites along with a small café and Souvenir shop. 

7. Huis ten Bosch

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Huis ten Bosch is a theme park, named after a Dutch Royal family. Taking inspiration from Dutch culture the creators have tried to build a Dutch town inside the park, and they have succeeded precisely! The ravishing restaurant, lovely canal views, windmills, garden and scenic views can be a perfect rejuvenation recipe to mind and body on a long afternoon. Surreal encounter with beautiful flowers during Boat tours can make your day. Various events organized by community never fails to attract customers like tulip festivals and firework completion in summer.

8. Meganebashi bridge

Meganbashi which means “Spectacles Bridge” in local language, is the most remarkable stone bridge in japan, built over Nakashima River flowing through the heart of the Downtown Nagasaki. Built in 16th century, as per the name suggests the name it is blessed with the resemblance of a pair of spectacles when image of the two halves of the bridge reflects in the river. The stone walkway with scenic views, pleasant atmosphere and peaceful atmosphere makes this bridge an attraction for the tourist and nature lovers.

9. Oura church

altImage Source: wikimedia.org

Oura church is Catholic Church in Nagasaki. It was built in 18th century for foreign merchants in the city. Today it is considered at the oldest standing Christian church. It was built in the memory of 26 Christians who were executed in the city in 15th century. The interesting thing about the church is that it is the first western-style building in Japan to be designated as national treasure. The church apart from its historical fame, is a great example of Excellent European architecture and thus drags the mass of the visitors.

10. Nagasaki Chinatown

The Nagasaki Shinchi town is the oldest Chinatown in whole Japan. It is the district in downtown Nagasaki and a home for various Chinese shops and restaurants. It is famous for being the best place for Nagasaki’s mouthwatering famous dishes, Chanpon and Sara Udon, The brief history says that Nagasaki was the only port open for foreign trading during Japan’s period of isolation, and the Chinese were only traders allowed for trading. That’s why it was renamed as Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown, as “Shinchi” means “new land”, due to some geological reasons the district is no longer an island today. The other famous thing about the place is that during Chinese New Year, the place becomes center of “Nagasaki Lantern festival” the most popular festival when thousands of 

Colorful, luminous lantern light up the sky in its bright colors.

11. Immaculate Conception Cathedral

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Immaculate Conception Cathedral is the Urakami Cathedral whose manufacture dates back to the 18th century and was completed in 1925. Until the destruction during the atomic bombing in 1945 it was the largest Christian structure in the Asia-Pacific region. The church was rebuilt in 1959 and the ruins of the destroyed priest and a French Angelus bell are displayed in the Peace Park ground as memorial and other reminisces are in Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. 

12.  Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium

This aquarium is dedicated only to the penguins, where about 200 penguins from 18 different species are put to display. The happily swimming and singing penguins are core of attraction among the children, the other attractions in park are fish and other creatures’ exhibition in Nature zone and also Sea Kayaking experience in the man-made beach outside the aquarium. 

13.  Suwa-jinja Shrine

altImage Source: wikimedia.org

Beautifully located on the green and growing wilds of the summit, and only reachable with many staircases, this glorious shrine dates back to the 16th century. Shrine is famous for the statutes set on its grounds. The statutes include the sculpture of the dogs which were prayed for by people. In October, Shrine enlightens due to the dragon dance “Kunchi Matsuri”, the most important festival of the city.

14. Omura bay

Omura bay is situated at the center of the Nagasaki Prefecture. The beauty is the nearby airport expands to the sea and it is the gate in sky for entering Nagasaki. The bay and coast create beautiful hue due to green wild lands and deep blue sea. The bay area is named as Omura Park for tourists to visit and roam freely and the park is honored as prefectural nature park.

15. Nagasaki seaside park

Situated between Matsugae international terminal, and the Dejima Wharf restaurant area, this place is peaceful enough to drag the nature lovers and tourists to take in the sea breeze and beautiful landscapes. The local people visit the park for walk, picnics, yoga and fly Nagasaki’s unique kites. One beautiful gesture they do is when the international cruise leave they wave to say “See You Again in Nagasaki!”

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Nagasaki, Japan

Must see places in Nagasaki ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Nagasaki and point of interests to visit.

  1. Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium

    #1 of 59 Things To Do in Nagasaki
    Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium

    Address: Nagasaki · 長崎ペンギン水族館

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    An entertaining place, especially for kids. There are penguins as well as large fish from the Mekong River.

  2. Menya Always

    #2 of 59 Things To Do in Nagasaki
    Menya Always

    Address: Nagasaki - Japan

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    A new noodle joint that has hit the city by storm. It serves delicious ramen noodles in an atmospheric setting. Located on Yorozuyamachi.

  3. Site Of The Martyrdom Of The 26 Saints Of Japan

    #3 of 59 Things To Do in Nagasaki
    Site Of The Martyrdom Of The 26 Saints Of Japan

    Address: Japan - Nagasaki

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is the actual site where 26 Christians were crucified at the start of Japan’s isolationism.

  4. Bar Soda

    #4 of 59 Things To Do in Nagasaki
    Bar Soda

    Address: nagasaki

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Beautiful location inside a permanently docked ship. Bar has encircling windows with views of the harbour.

  5. Ayers Rock

    #5 of 59 Things To Do in Nagasaki
    Ayers Rock

    Tags: Club, Adults

    Address: 6-13 Yorozuya-machi, Hananoki Bldg. 3F, Nagasaki

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Nagasaki is famous for so many sites, museums and monuments that will take you to a trip down the memory lane, but the same place is also home to Ayers Rock, a popular subterranean club. The club host...Read more

  6. Nishi-hamanomachi

    #6 of 59 Things To Do in Nagasaki

    Address: nagasaki,japan

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Japanese-style covered arcade shopping centre is well exemplified in this place, which is so large that several tram stops service it. Located in the Hamanomachi neighbourhood.

  7. Richmond Hotel Nagasaki Shianbashi

    #7 of 59 Things To Do in Nagasaki
    Richmond Hotel Nagasaki Shianbashi

    Address: nagasaki,japan

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Located in the popular nightlife district, the hotel boasts a Japanese breakfast buffet, good views and bargain prices. Wi-Fi. +81-95-832-2525

  8. Oura Catholic Church

    #8 of 59 Things To Do in Nagasaki
    Oura Catholic Church

    Address: 5-3 Minamiyamatemachi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture 850-0931, Japan Phone:+81 95-823-2628

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The oldest existing Christian church in the country. The church was built by two French missionaries in memory of the 26 Martyrs of Japan, Christians who were executed during a purge.

  9. Amu Plaza

    #9 of 59 Things To Do in Nagasaki
    Amu Plaza

    Address: 1-1 Onouemachi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture 850-0058, Japan Phone:+81 95-808-2500

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Located at Nagasaki Station, this shopping mall is filled with stores selling souvenirs, electronics and clothes. There is also a fleet of restaurants to choose from.

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Top Nagasaki Activities And Tours

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