Monday, July 1, 2019

Sotome Museum of History and Folklore

This Museum is in Sotome, Nagasaki.  The Museum features 2 floors of exhibits that teaches and educates the public on the history of the areas and its claim as the birthplace of Christianity in Nagasaki and ultimately Japan.

The first floor although quite interesting in its own right, is dedicated to the history of Sotome and the development of its society thru cultural events plus its development in farming/ fishing/ mining and other techniques over the years.

The main reason for me to come to this Museum today lies on the 2nd Floor of the building.  It is dedicated to the Christian History of Sotome and specifically during the 16th and 17th Century.  Sotome was home to a community of Hidden Christians and including ones that moved from various spots allover Japan to join a group of like minded people to practise their religion in secret and away from prying eyes.

The 2nd floor contains many artifacts and exhibits a lot of very interesting items that show how desperate the villages were to hold on to their religion during these times of persecution.  An example is a recording of prayers that were kept secret by the Hidden Christians of the area to be passed down from generation to generation as to not lose that they held on so dear to preserve.

If you have any interest in the plight of the Nagasaki Christians and would like to do a Christian Pilgrimage of the area then our Nagasaki Private Tours can take you to all the sights of the Sotome area and other Christian associated site within the Nagasaki Prefecture.  Please inquiry of what kind of service we can provide for you and your party.

Please click here to see where you can find the Sotome Museum of History and Folklore:

Please click the photos below to enlarge:

Map of the Area

1st floor

Go to the 2nd floor

Lots of exhibits

Secret images

Timeline of Sotome Christians

Lots of English info

Please click on the videos below to see more information about the Sotome Museum of History and Folklore:

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Unzen Power Spot Nagasaki

The Unzen Power Spot is located half way up the Mountain between Obama and Unzen Towns. At first glance it looks like a place with just a couple of statues but after a minute or 2 of walking around one comes to understand fully really how much there is to offer and see in this interesting and diverse place.

I am not a Power Spot fanatic or anything like that but when someone told me about this particular Power Spot just up the mountain from my place I literally jumped in my car and went for a gander. There is a peacefulness and a sense of purpose regarding the Unzen Power Spot, even in the 25 to 30 minutes that I was there I was able to feel a sense of worth and sincerity about life that really makes you think of what is important in life and for me that is my family, consisting of the wife and 2 kids.

In particular the statues of the Mother surrounded by babies was the most intense feeling for me, it brought back memories of both my children births which of course put me in my happy place for many hours, days and weeks since.  I know when I need a boost in the future, the Unzen Power Spot  is the place for me to return and put everything back into perspective again!

I urge you to visit the Unzen Power Spot, it will definitely provide the spiritual connection that you are looking for and of course give you the chance to see beauty in nature, artifacts and most importantly from within.

Check out the Unzen Power Spot on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Spiritual Healing

Interesting face

A place to pray

Powerful image of Mother and Baby

Lots of individual prayer boxes

Enlightenment is just around the corner?

.......and ponder

Please check out the videos of Unzen Power Spot Nagasaki here:

Monday, April 8, 2019

Hario Wireless Towers Nagasaki

A real historical and important WW2 site that still remains in Nagasaki to this day, is called the Hario Transmission Towers.  They were the starting point of the message sent by officials to proceed with the attack on Pearl Harbor.  As a result of this, the Hario Transmission Towers will forever be remember if only in an infamous way.  

It must be mentioned that despite heavy bombing in Sasebo during the war, the towers remained standing.  This leads to an interesting theory that the American`s purposely left this site alone in the belief that it would come in handy in the future when Japan would eventually be defeated.

Construction began on the three 446-foot transmission towers at the station in 1918 and was completed in 1922. Improved communications were needed as Japan began to expand its empire. The Russo/ Japanese War triggered a need for strengthening Japan`s Wireless Infrastructure thus manpower and money was poured into the project at an amazing pace and as a result the project was completed in a record time.

This facility is still prized for its engineering and wireless technology and along with its historical background has been designated as an Important Cultural Asset.  The Hario Wireless Towers symbolizes the development of technology in Japan which has resulted in the highly developed and technologically advanced 21st Century society that exists today.

I have visited this site many times in the last 2 years and have made it a regular stop on Tour Nagasaki`s itinerary.  This area is a special place indeed.  Amazing nature contracting with technology from yesteryear,  the sheer size and speed that these towers were constructed are to be commended as one can only get a grasp of their enormous girth once you are standing and or walking around the circumference of its base.

Of course, American`s in particular will feel more emotional at the Hario Wireless Towers but realistically the site should be viewed as a small piece of history and a culmination of many different events that occurred before the message was even sent.  In many ways, this site should be seen as a technological site and not as a WW2 historical site in my opinion.

Please check out the Hario Wireless Towers here on a map:

Please click the photos below to enlarge:

One of the towers

Well signed location

English Translations

Size is enormous

Transmission Station

Surrounded by nature

Reaching to the sky

Please click on the videos below to enjoy the views of the Hario Wireless Towers:

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Shitsu and Ono Village in Sotome Nagasaki

As promised in a recent post, I am attempting to visit and report on as many of the new UNESCO Hidden Christian Heritage Sites so as to provide as much information in English as possible to prospective clients but also for those people who wish to come and check out these sites on there own accord.

Actually 4 years ago now I did a little bit of research into these prospective UNESCO sites when they were being analyzed as a candidate site.  I can tell you this, the sites were difficult to find, there was hardly any English literature or pamphlets, signposting was minimal and in all honesty I struggled to find most of the main attractions and heavily doubted that they would one day become a fully fledged UNESCO listed Heritage Site.

Well, upon my second visit, I was pleasantly and very surprised to the lengths and efforts that the Nagasaki Community has gone thru to get the message out to the world of the plight that the Nagasaki Christians endured during the decree to ban Christianity and kill anyone who defied this order by the all powerful Shogunate.

The signs are strategically placed, the roads have been widened, car parks installed and even cafes strategically placed along the way to act as rest stops to throughly create a feeling of wellbeing and to make the sites a well designed and thought out sightseeing location.

Not all is perfect yet!  There still needs to be some more improvement but from what I have seen to what now is in place, a big thumbs up from me is absolutely given.  I will be back to do some more documenting and plan to blog in more detail about each building and attraction in these villages.

For now, please check out this video below:

Monday, January 14, 2019

Umegae Sake Brewery Nagasaki

Every now and then in my travels around Nagasaki Prefecture you come upon a special place that instantly makes a strong and lasting impression on you. Umegae Sake Brewery is just one of these places and as a result of this positive and uplifting experience we intend to make this location a regular attraction on our full day tours.

To tell you the truth, for quite a few years now, I have been intending to visit this location and highlight its wares but for some reason it never did fit neatly into my schedule on the day.  Luckily a few hours opened up for me and my original plan had to be changed, however the god`s shine on me and my chance to check out my first Sake Brewery in Nagasaki came to fruition.

The rest is history!  Right from the beginning the friendly ladies welcomed me with open arms (not figuratively) allowed me to wander around on my own device, allow me to ask a multitude of questions and to basically give me full access of their facilities in order to make this report.  Even though I was here for only 45 minutes or so, it felt so much longer as there was some much information that i was able to digest and use.  Unfortunately there is not a huge amount of written and spoken English in this environment but the warm hearted smiles and manners of all the staff members really hopes to overcome any language communication difficulties.

I was not able to drink on the day (zero drinking and driving policy in Japan) but the range of Sake (Japanese Rice Wine) Shochu (Japanese Distilled Spirits) and Liqueurs is more than enough to satisfy everyone`s requirements.  So I am absolutely sure that I will be back as a non driver to sample at my hearts content in order to be the best guide and provider of information on the day.  It`s a hard job but I am sure I can handle it!

Please check out the Umegae Sake Brewery here on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

English explainations

Recommended place

Special Sake

Storage Vats

Nice welcome for everyone

Factory Floor

Love the entrance

Very reasonably priced

Let`s try them all!

Lots of variety

Here is a video of my experience at the Umegae Sake Brewery that I am sure you will enjoy: