Monday, February 12, 2018

Nagasaki Chinatown Lantern Festival

Nagasaki Chinatown Lantern Festival is not for the faint hearted!   If you are brave and not afraid of crowds and I do mean thousands of people crammed into a relatively small area like Chinatown in the middle of Downtown Nagasaki, then this is the place to be.  The Nagasaki Lantern Festival has something for everyone!!  At night is when the real Nagasaki Lantern Festival Chinatown comes alive.  Lanterns of every size and shape imaginable, colours that will mesmerize you and of course divine Chinese food with smells from out of this world.

Check out some of the photos below of the intense and amazing sights and scenes to be had at Nagasaki's biggest and best festival.

Click here to see Chinatown Nagasaki Lantern Festival on a map:

Click on the pics to enlarge!

Massive Lanterns

Interesting faces

One of my favorites

Click here to see more of Nagasaki Chinatown Lantern Festival on a video:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hasami Ceramic Park Nagasaki Museum

Hasami Ceramic Park Nagasaki Museum is a place that all Ceramic and Porcelain enthusiasts should visit whilst traveling and and around Nagasaki Prefecture.   Not only does it display Japanese and specifically Hasami Porcelain but it takes you on a historical tour of ceramics from around the globe and how these influences and techniques from abroad made it all the way to Japan and into the Hasami Ceramic community!

The Museum has been accumulating ceramics and porcelain from every corner of Kyushu with a focus on Hizen porcelain. On display in the museum are the period features and the history of Kyushu porcelain. The museum also showcases the art work of modern day artisans. The exhibition rooms are separated into five where visitors can acquire a deeper understanding of the character, art work and history of the ceramics of Kyushu

Hasami porcelain is characterized by its beauty of pure white porcelain and the delicately painted decoration glazed with a blue pigment. The grace of openwork in a wickerwork design and mesh design is unique to Hasami porcelain. Originally it was produced for common people, and has cultivated a long tradition of beauty.  Both the traditional skills to produce the porcelain and the craftworker’s motivation to hand down the tradition are surely found today. The manufacturers have improved and changed the shapes of Hasami porcelain so that they catered more to people’s needs at that time. It has been a very adaptable product.  Hasami porcelain has a history of 400 years, which also tells us a history of food culture in Japan.

I really enjoyed my self guided tour through the Hasami Ceramic Park Nagasaki Museum and wish to come back again, I am sure you will feel the same.

Click on the link to see Hasami Ceramic Park Nagasaki Museum on a map:

Please click on the pictures below to enlarge:

Ceramics from all over the world

Beautifully presented!

All different sizes and shapes

Great presentation techniques

This is the place to come

Please check out this video of the Hasami Ceramic Park Nagasaki Museum below:

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Karimizu Spring Geopark Nagasaki

Karimizu Spring Geopark Nagasaki has a cold water natural spring as well as many hot water springs as well.  The Karimizu Mineral Spring located at the Obama Hot Springs Resort Town on the west side of the Shimabara Peninsular is the only spring that comprises a bubbling effect similar to opening a can of soft drink.  The gaseous components in the chloride spring are melted in the shallow ground water and the 25-27℃ carbonated spring contains low quantities of hydro sulfide.  The Karimizu Spring Geopark Nagasaki is officially classified as a Hot Spring because its temperature is above 24 degrees which is the cutoff point for whether a body of water is actually groundwater or not.

It's amazing to see nature at its best working efficiently and even more surprising that the water is  cool to touch.  At first, being that you are at a Hot Spring Resort and the spring water is bubbling at the surface, gives one the  impression that the water is boiling at 100 degrees.  However the shock once realizing that it is actually a reasonable temperature is gratifying.  The spring water is actually safe to drink but trust me when i say it is not very pleasant.  The carbonated water is clear but has a slight smell from the sulfide and thus is not really a delicious drink  but by all means try for yourself, if you are game of course?

Check out the Karimizu Spring Geopark Nagasaki on a map!

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Lots of great information in English

Interesting to see and feel

Carbonated natural spring

Closeup of the bubble

Please take a look at Karimizu Spring Geopark Nagasaki video on the link provided below:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Nagasaki Tera Machi Temple Street

Nagasaki Tera Machi Temple Street is one of the most famous places within the city limits of Nagasaki.  The centre of Nagasaki City is called Tera-machi, which literally means Temple Street.  It is anchored at either end by Nagasaki's two best-known temples, Sōfuku-ji and Kōfuku-ji, both Chinese in origin and two of the major tourist attractions within the Central Business District.

The distance between them is approximately 600 metres and is home to several smaller temples which obviously has many famous grave sites and unique statues within the perimeter.  Each Temple is unique and worth investigating and without a doubt a surprise around every corner will delight you and keep you intrigued at all times.  That is of course if strolling around gravestones and tombs don't freak you out too much?  As for me, this has never been a problem so I was in my element and roamed freely far and wide.

Tera-Machi and it surrounding area makes for a relaxing stroll around and of course many fabulous pictures are possible.  If you have a couple of hours up you sleeve and want to get a feel of the older areas of Nagasaki then this is the place for you.

Come and check out Tera Machi and its temples on the famous Nagasaki Temple Street on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

The buildings and details are very impressive

This is an old one!

Lots of good info

Fabulous views from all angles

Greeted by a interesting statues

Come in and have a look around

Here are a couple of videos of Nagasaki Tera Machi Temple Street, check it out:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Nagasaki Okunchi Festival

Okunchi is the most famous festival in Nagasaki and one of the top 3 festivals in all of Japan.  It began as a celebration of autumn harvests in the late 16th century and became a shrine festival when Suwa Shrine was founded in 1642. Another purpose was to check for hidden Christians after the ban on Christianity.

This is still evident today in the custom of garden showing when the presenting neighbourhoods open up their homes to public scrutiny. One of the most famous performances of the festival is the Dragon dance which was originally performed on New Years Eve by the Chinese residents of Nagasaki.  From October 7-9 the presentations of the festival, which vividly reflect Nagasaki's colourful history, spill over from the three festival sites into the streets and create an atmosphere of celebration throughout the city.

Without a doubt, the locals of Nagasaki City, people living all over Nagasaki Prefecture and interstate and overseas visitors come from far away to check out the scenes, sights and tastes of Nagasaki during the special time of the year.  There are so many things to see and do that one will be throughly exhausted just by the decision making process of where to go and what to see, as is the norm with any major event.

I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time when i was passing through Chinatown and there was some practise going on with one of the teams.  Although the real event is much more spectacular I was throughly impressed and excited to witness the members going through their moves.

Click on the pics below to enlarge:

Here are some videos below to check out Okunchi for yourself:

........and when you get tired of watching the magical entertainment all around you, of course you want to put your feet up so to speak and sample all the delicious and amazing foods that Chinatown is famous for!  The you are in luck, a plethora of restaurants are all around and food like this is not only delicious but very reasonable as well.