Nagasaki

Nagasaki (長崎) is the capital of Nagasaki prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan.

Understand

An overview of the Nagasaki waterfront.

Under the national isolation policy of the Tokugawa shogunate, Nagasaki harbor was the only harbor to which entry of foreign ships was permitted. Even today, Nagasaki shows the influence of many cultures such as Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese.

On 9 August 1945, three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, a nuclear bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing a total of over 100,000 people. Six days later Japan surrendered, officially ending World War II.

Get in

By plane

Both of Japan's major air carriers serve Nagasaki Airport. JAL and ANA offer nonstop flights from Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Osaka's Itami Airport. ANA also offers nonstops to Nagasaki from the new Nagoya Centrair Airport and Naha Airport in Okinawa, while JAL operates from Nagoya Airport in Komaki. In 2005, a new low-cost carrier, SNA (Skynet Asia Airways, now called Solaseed), began flights from Tokyo's Haneda Airport, providing cheaper tickets than major carriers. Another low-cost carrier, Peach Aviation, connects Nagasaki Airport with Osaka's Kansai International Airport at very low rates.

There are also nonstop international flights to Nagasaki from Shanghai (China Eastern Airlines) and Seoul (Korean Air), but these run much less frequently than the domestic flights.

Buses connect the airport to the Nagasaki train station (1 hour, ¥800).

By train

The Kamome limited express train

JR Kyushu runs the Kamome (かもめ) Limited Express train service from Hakata station in Fukuoka once or twice every hour. The one-way ride takes about two hours and costs ¥4,910, although it's recommended to buy nimai-kippu (discount two tickets) for ¥6,000 or yonmai-kippu (discount four tickets: recommended if two people travel) for ¥10,000 (¥5,000 for round-trip per person). If connecting via the Tokaido Shinkansen, you can instead opt for a Sakura train which reaches Shin-Tosu—switching to the Kamome from Shin-Tosu instead of Hakata can cut about 30 minutes off the trip. Fare for the Kamome is covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

TIP: If you intend to travel on the Kamome line from anywhere North of Nagasaki try to reserve a window seat on the left side of the train car on your way down to Nagasaki and on the right side on a trip departing from the city. This will ensure that you that get a close-up view of the fantastic scenery as the train runs right next to the Ariake Sea coast line.

Connections to the Kamome can be made from the rest of the country via the Shinkansen (Hiroshima, 3 hrs; Okayama, 4 hrs; Osaka, 4 1/2 hrs; Tokyo, 7 hrs).

From Kagoshima-Chuo station in Kagoshima, Nagasaki can be reached via the Kyushu Shinkansen and Kamome in about 3 3/4 hours.

Sleeper Trains

You can travel overnight from Tokyo to Nagasaki, however you will have to take three trains: the 10 PM Sunrise Seto/Sunrise Izumo overnight service to Okayama, the Shinkansen from Okayama to Hakata, and the Kamome from Hakata to Nagasaki. This will take a total of 13 hours, and if you're willing to constantly change trains, you will be rewarded as your journey will double as lodging.

Japan Rail Pass holders must pay the lodging charge on the Tokyo-Okayama segment; the rest of the trip is covered under the pass. An alternative if you want to make an overnight trip is to split up the trip into an evening leg and a morning leg, spending the night at a city along the way.

By bus

The Holland overnight bus runs from Kyoto and Osaka Umeda to Nagasaki (11 1/2 hours from Kyoto, ¥11300; 10 hours from Osaka, ¥11000). An additional bus, the Roman Nagasaki, runs from Osaka Hankyu Bus Terminal to Nagasaki at the same cost and time.

The Princess Road and Etranger overnight buses run from Kobe Sannomiya (10 hours, ¥10500) and Himeji (9 hours, ¥9580).

Get around

Streetcar

Trams (路面電車 romen densha or チンチン電車 "chin-chin densha") connect most of Nagasaki; they run about every ten to fifteen minutes during the day. The most frequently used lines will be the red (3) and blue (1); the blue and red lines run on the same track from the northern end of Nagasaki as far as the Nagasaki train station, where they split. The blue line continues to the You-me Plaza shopping mall, Dejima, and later the downtown shopping arcade. A one-way trip is ¥120 and you can get a transfer ticket (乗り継ぎ券 ”noritsugi ken") to continue your trip, if it requires two streetcars. These tickets can only be acquired if you get off at the Tsuki Machi stop. You can save money if you're doing a lot of travel by purchasing a daily pass for the streetcars (¥500) which you can purchase at the Tourist Information Center at Nagasaki Station, or most major hotels.

Buses also run through much of Nagasaki, including places that aren't served by the streetcars.

It should be mentioned that the street cars stop running around 11PM, and most bus service also has downtime at night. This can come as a rude awakening if you go out in Shianbashi, only to find that you have to stay until 6AM for the first running densha. For the adventurous, it takes about an hour to walk from Shianbashi to Sumiyoshi. This timeframe is heavily dependent on how fast you walk, and what kind of night out you experienced.

See

Nagasaki's tourism association coordinates a discount card for foreign tourists, applicable at many popular sites like Glover Garden, Dejima, and the ropeway to Mount Inasa. The card can be obtained from many hotels in the city. A multi-lingual call center can also answer tourism-related questions in English, Chinese, or Korean: +81-95-825-5175, 08:00-20:00 365 days a year. Save some paper by using their collection of electronic pamphlets (PDF) for several attractions.

Statue at Peace Park

Do

Gunkanjima(Battleship Island)
Nagasaki Lantern Festival

Buy

Eat

Nagasaki chanpon

Nagasaki's most famous dish is champon (ちゃんぽん), which is a hearty dish of noodles in a pork-based broth, filled with vegetables, bacon, shrimp, squid, and scallops.

Saraudon (皿うどん) is another popular dish that combines the meat, seafood, vegetables, and sauce of champon, but serves it on a plate, or 'sara', over crispy dry fried noodles.

For Nagasaki's most well-known champon and saraudon restaurants, it is best to head into Chinatown (blue streetcar to the Tsuki-machi stop). While you're there, try out some of the fantastic street food, such as kakuni-manju (marinated braised pork cutlet served in a steamed bun), ebichiriman (shrimp fried in chili sauce, again served in a steamed bun), and marakao (steamed pound cake, usually available in chocolate and chestnut flavors).

Castella (カステラ) is a sponge cake that was originally brought by the Portuguese; it has assumed a distinctly light Japanese flavor and texture over the centuries, and now one can find it in flavors such as honey, chestnut, and green tea. Head to the Dutch Slope (オランダ坂) on any day of the week to sample castella for free from one of the many vendors.

Chawan mushi, a steamed egg custard, savory instead of sweet and filled with meat, fish, and mushrooms, is also famous.

Another Nagasaki dish is Turkish Rice (トルコライス toruko raisu), named after the country. It consists of a pork cutlet, dry curry mixed into rice, and a small serving of spaghetti, all on the same plate. Tsuru-chan (ツル茶ん), Aburayamachi 2-47, tel. 095-824-2679, . Established in 1925, this is the original and perhaps still the best Turkish Rice joint (¥850 a serve) and one of Japan's first cafes. Open 9 AM to 10 PM every day.

Drink

The worthwhile trip to the top of Glover Garden also yields another point of interest: the oldest Western-style restaurant in Japan, the Tenjin Coffeehouse. The stop in is worth it to see their impressive Dutch coffee-making equipment, when combined with the historicity could be why they charge about ¥550 for a cup.

Sleep

Budget

Being a large city, Nagasaki offers the full range of "alternative" sleeping arrangements.

If not on that much of a budget, consider one of Nagasaki's many youth hostels:

Mid-range

The typical array of business hotels can be found situated a short walk south of Nagasaki train station, along the main road between the station and the ferry terminal. Note that the Toyoko Inn Nagasaki does not offer the usual post-midnight check-in discount.

Splurge

The luxury rooms of Victoria Inn, above, would be suitable for special occasions.

Go next

Routes through Nagasaki

Saga Tara  N  S  END
Tosu Ureshino  N  S  END


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, October 27, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.