Sunday, December 1, 2013

Unzen Nagasaki Christian Memorial

The Unzen Nagasaki Christian Memorial is a very special place indeed.  It is hard to believe that such a special, unique and picturesque place was actually a murdering ground for the prosecution and killing of Christians all those years ago in feudal Japan.

During the depression of Jigoku (1627-1632) many Christians were killed.  Though it is impossible now to indicate the exact place in which many Christians suffered martyrdom, two monumental stones were placed in the Jigoku (Hell Ponds) to honor the martyrs.  One is called "Seika Moyu no Hi," (monument of sacred flame) which was built in 1939.  The Japanese poem written by Chosuke Ikuta is inscribed and reads "Your exalted spirits and sacred red blood have never faded away and are still vividly seen through the red mountain covered by azalea flowers."

The other monument is of the Christian Cross and was raised by Archbishop of Nagasaki in 1961.  On the surface of its setting stone, 6 martyrs' names are inscribed to keep the plight of these people many years ago alive and in the memory of all Christians of today and yesteryear.  It is a place that one can lost in the magnificent scenery not to mention the history of the area and at the same time you can learn about the Christians of Japan and the persecution that they had to endure in order to follow their faith.

Check out the Unzen Nagasaki Christian Memorial on a map:

Please click on the pictures below to enlarge:



The names and dates of the Christians who were boiled to death

This is where it all happened!

The memorial stands to remember the Christians of the time

Many Nagasaki Christian were martyred here!



Please check out the video of the Unzen Nagasaki Christian Memorial here:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hamanokawa Spring Shimabara Nagasaki

Hamanokawa Spring Shimabara Nagasaki is one of those places that is a page out of yesteryear.   The people, the buildings and the community spirit are all from a bygone era where society was nicer to each other, people lived and acted by another ethos of friendship and support of their fellow man and the community worked together to get things done and create opportunity for all.

I was pleasantly surprised to walk around Hamanokawa town to see the extremely old Japanese houses and i felt the atmosphere of a place that still today in the 21st century follow so many rules and life experiences of a culture and spirit of centuries before.  The Hamanokawa Spring Shimabara Nagasaki is divided into 4  distinct areas and the system has been in place for 100's of years since feudal times and still holds fast today.

The 1st water chamber is used for the washing of fish and all types of foods such as vegetables and fruits.   The 2nd chamber is specifically for the rinsing of plates whilst the 3rd chamber is used for the washing of plates.  Finally the 4th chamber of water is only used for the washing of clothes.

When I arrived a little old lady was just finishing washing her clothes in the 4th chamber, I wanted to take a photo but she whisked away in a blur.  I really want to see these ancient systems in use by the local community, so I will return again someday and try and capture the process in full operation.

Please check out Hamanokawa Spring Shimabara Nagasaki on a map:

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

The oldest part of town in Shimabara

The rules of how the system works

The whole community uses the water for a variety of reasons

Need to say thanks for the abundance of clean fresh water

Shared by all the local community

Well sign posted





Here is a video of the Hamanokawa Spring Shimabara Nagasaki, please take a look:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Nagasaki Bio Park

Nagasaki Bio Park is an amazing place to visit as it really has something for everyone to enjoy.  You can watch from afar and enjoy the amazing facets of nature, whether they be various types of flora or fauna, both the big and small varieties.

It took me 5 years to get here to the Nagasaki Bio Park and the question i asked myself immediately was, why?  I know its location is a little out of the way (approx. a 1 hour drive from Nagasaki City) but the attractions and its value for money as well as being an amazing place to wander around and get up close and personal with the animals especially for the little ones is an amazing and necessary requirement to get people to come back again and again.

I decided to visit the Nagasaki Bio Park on a cool but windy autumn afternoon, the weather couldn't have been more pleasant and the atmosphere and mood of the animals and surrounding environment was better than first expected.  The kids got right into it from the beginning and were running from location to location trying to take in and process the information faster than their little brains could take, while the parents happily strolled behind content in their decision to come to this little slice of nature in Nagasaki.

For less than 5000 yen for 2 adults and 2 children, it make a full day let alone a half day visit a true value for money experience.  I am sure it will be less than 5 years for a repeat visit to take place.  Highly Recommend coming to the Nagasaki Bio Park!!

Check out the Nagasaki Bio Park on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge.



Lots of hungry raccoons

Checking out the Lesser Panda

An interesting aquarium too!

Very cute little Pineapples in the dome

Orchids anyone?

Lots of tropical flowers


Here is a video of the children having some interactive feeding time with the animals at the Nagasaki Bio Park:

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hasami Ceramics Park Nagasaki

Hasami Ceramics Park Nagasaki is a great location to start your day and pursue all things ceramic and porcelain.  Hasami is a town with a population of 15 000 citizens and is surrounded by mountains and rolling hills of greenery.   Although it is very popular with the tourists it has still been able to maintain its rich history and strike a balance between traditional life and achieving a certain amount of modernism.

Hasami town has kept its tradition of producing daily-use ceramics for over four hundred years.  To date, Hasami ceramics have 13% of the domestic market share in ceramics for everyday use in Japan.  The Ceramics Park, which was coordinated by the legendary ceramic designer Masahiro Mori is definitely one of the highlights of the entire region.  The park is extremely well laid out, has an easy walking course and allows for many amazing photos.

I was able to gain a lot of knowledge during my visit to the Hasami Ceramics Park not because of any signs posted in English but because everything is well organized and simple to process the information.  I never knew that there so many types of kilns that existed and for one it was a great lesson in the history of pottery making in Japan and all over the world.

Anyone interested in pottery will absolutely enjoy the Hasami Ceramics Park, lots of history and information to be obtained.

Please check out Hasami Ceramics Park Nagasaki on a map:

Click on the photos below to enlarge:



Lots of kilns to see and touch

The bottle kilns are impressive

A cut away version of the kilns

Lots to see and do

Even the retaining wall is full of ceramics

The name says it all!



Check out the videos below of Hasami Ceramic Park Nagasaki:



Friday, September 27, 2013

Nagasaki Kaminoshima Church

Nagasaki Kaminoshima Church is located on a hill at the entrance of the Nagasaki Port.  It is a church that was constructed in 1897 to welcome foreign ships to what was once a Christian town back in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Originally made out of wood and then finished in its final state of brick in 1897 it stands today as a beacon to all who pass into the mighty harbor of Nagasaki.  Seen from miles away as a result of its pure white facade contrasting against the brilliant cobalt blue of the magnificent water color within the Nagasaki Harbor, one cannot help to stare endlessly at the magnificent and striking details of this amazing building.

Located not too far away from the city centre but within a quiet and tucked away community, Nagasaki Kaminoshima Church has quite a strong and loyal following by its patrons.  I was able to view and explore the area in complete openness and freedom and I was able to take in a lot of  detail of the building and the outlying areas and was left with a strong and powerful feeling of the pride and passion put into up keeping the Church and its surrounds by those who are in charge of maintaining the Churches spectacular beauty.

I implore you to come and check out the area for yourself if you have an interest in Christianity, amazing scenic views and any type of spectacular architectural structures .

Please check Nagasaki Kaminoshima Church on a map:

Click on the pictures below to enlarge:

Kaminoshima Church

Good Morning Insciption

Such a beautifully presented place


Perched on a ledge for all to see



Overlooking the Harbor

The Entrance

Perched over the Church

Close up

The inside matches the outside, spotless!

Reaching to the sky

What an amazing view


Important inscriptions












Please check out the videos below of Kaminoshima Church Nagasaki:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nagasaki Port Terminal

Nagasaki Port Terminal is not too far from the the city center and  is very centrally located close to many of the main attractions that Nagasaki has to offer.  It is literally across the street from Glover Gardens and really offers the best of both worlds by allowing people who want to visit the city's popular attractions the ability to do so within a sport period of time.

The Nagasaki Port Terminal was completed in March 2010 and offers a clean, beautifully and efficient disembarking process that will allow customers to get out of the building and into the real Nagasaki to see . It's landscaping includes green spaces with lawns and various trees on the rooftop of the terminal building.  Inside the terminal there is a post office where you can exchange money, mail postcards, and purchase stamps.

Nagasaki is an attractive city set on a plain between the active harbor and a backdrop of mountains.  Nagasaki  has developed attractive park promenades which are perfect for a quiet stroll and an escape from the urban hustle and bustle.  There are few modern harbors with such an impressive approach as the one Nagasaki offers.  This fjord-like channel is the view that has greeted thousands of visitors each year but it is when the Cruise ships are docked that really makes Nagasaki come alive.  The view of the cruise ships in port are impressive and such a dominating landmark on the cities skyline that it always makes the locals take a double take.  I am a local now and it makes me look more than twice I am sure you will do the same!!

Check out the Nagasaki Port Terminal on a map

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

A beautiful port to visit

Dominating the view

Modern and new facilities

One of the big ones to visit


Check out the video below of a Cruise Ship coming into the Port:




Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Nagasaki Battleship Island

Nagasaki Battleship Island officially known as Hashima and it operated from 1887 to 1974 as a coal mine.  Mitsubishi bought the island in 1890 and began extracting coal from undersea mines.  At it's peak in 1959, the 6.3-hectare island's population reached 5,259 inhabitants with a population density of 83,500 people per km2 for the whole island.

As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960s, coal mines began shutting down and  the Nagasaki Battleship Island mines were no exception.  Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine in 1974 and today it is empty and bare which is why it is sometimes called Ghost Island.


With no industry to support it, the island was quickly abandoned and has remained that way ever since. The eerie atmosphere and well-preserved concrete structures continue to spark the imagination of photographers and filmmakers alike, most recently serving as the inspiration for the villain Silva’s island lair in the 2012 James Bond film SKYFALL.

It was a real ambition of mine to get a closeup of this magnificent structure even though it is crumbling and falling apart as we speak.  To see an island that literally falling into the sea and slowly but surely disappearing from view was an amazing experience that everyone should have the opportunity to do whilst they can still can or better still whilst the island is still there. You had better hurry up while is still exists, barely though!

Please check out Nagasaki Battleship Island on a map:

Please click on the pictures below to enlarge:


Getting closer

close up


Add caption

Looks like a Battleship

Popular with tourists




















Please click on the video below to view Nagasaki Battleship Island:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium

The Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium is a place that I have always wanted to visit but for some reason that I am unable to explain it never really came up on my itinerary.  That was until my kids (I have 2) kept pestering me to go until I couldn't take their constant pleading anymore and we jumped into the car and sped to the entrance.

Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium's main feature is its penguins of course . The aquarium keeps eight species of penguins, including lovable Little Penguins but its highlight being the King Penguin, which can grow to nearly 1 metre in height.   It's pretty funny to see one's youngest stand beside one of these King Penguins and to be challenged by its height and weight I am presume as well!

Another highlight of the Aquarium is to see the penguins in their natural setting swimming freely in Tachibana Bay whereby an area has been isolated by using nets and the penguins are released into this part of the ocean to be observed by visitors. You can watch them behave naturally swimming in the water at high speed to catch feed thrown by the staff, which is a scene rarely observed elsewhere in the Aquarium world.  The cute little guys will come right up to you, waddle past and even take food from your hand.  The is about as close as I have ever come to a real Penguin so yes it was an experience to remember and cherish with my children.

I will be back I am sure!

Check out the Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium on a map!


Please click on the pictures below to enlarge.

Even my kids wants to be Aquarium keepers now


Real King Penguins


In their natural environment

Lots to see and do



Cute lil fella


Feeding the Penguins


Lots of space right on the sea

The Entrance





Monday, July 15, 2013

Miguel Chijiwa Statue Nagasaki

Miguel Chijiwa Statue Nagasaki is displayed in Chijiwa Town, Nagasaki.  He was born in 1569? and died January 23, 1633.  He was a member of the Japanese delegation to European Christendom which is also known as the Tensho Embassy.  


The idea of sending a Japanese embassy to Europe was originally conceived by the Jesuit Valignano and sponsored by the three Christian Daimyo's.  Mancio Itō was chosen to act as a spokesman for the group.  On February 20, 1582, Mancio Itō left Nagasaki in company with three other noblemen:

The ambassadors arrived back in Japan on July 21, 1590. On their eight-year-long voyage they had been instructed to take notes. These notes provided the basis for "The Mission of the Japanese Legates to the Roman Curia", a Macau-based writing by Jesuit Duarte de Sande published in 1590.

The four were subsequently ordained as the first ever Japanese Jesuit fathers by Alessandro Valignano.

Mancio Itō died in Nagasaki on November 13, 1612.

Martinho Hara was banished from Japan by the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1614, and acted in Macau. He died in Macau on October 23, 1629.

Miguel Chijiwa seceded Society of Jesus before 1601, and died in Nagasaki on January 23, 1633. The reason of his secession is uncertain.

Julião Nakaura was caught by the Tokugawa Shogunate, and died a martyr by torture in Nagasaki on November 21, 1633. He was beatified on November 24, 2008.



It is so interesting to have so much Christian history available and right at my doorstep.  The neighbouring town Chijiwa was named after Miguel Chijiwa and his statue is proudly displayed right in front of the Town Hall for all to see and admire.



Miguel Chijiwa Statue Nagasaki Christians in the day in Japan

The first Japanese Embassy to Europe, in 1586.
Top, from left to right: Julião Nakaura, Father Mesquita, Mancio Itō.
Bottom, from left to right: Martinho Hara, 
Miguel Chijiwa.

Check out Miguel Chijiwa Statue Nagasaki on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:



Posing


A servant of Christianity


On display at his namesake town of Chijiwa, Nagasaki

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nagasaki Art Museum

Nagasaki Art Museum was opened in April 2005 and is located next to the Nagasaki Seaside Park which is just a 400 metre walk from the International Port Terminal.  The museum's glass walls allow brilliant sunshine to fill the interior, creating a bright, spacious atmosphere.  The museum's wonderful design and excellent location perfectly represent the concept of the museum.

The museum strives to be popular enough to be casually used by almost all age groups, from children to elderly people, and seeks to present possibilities for the future.  Serving as a bridge between human beings and the arts, the museum will promote a wide range of efforts to encourage interaction among nations, regions and age groups, as well as between artists and museum visitors.

Upon my first (but definitely not my last) visit to the Nagasaki Art Museum the thing that most impressed me was the amount of natural light that fills the building even on cloudy overcast days.   It provides the Museum with a pleasant if not radiant feeling of openness that makes one feel comfortable immediately.  The 400 yen entrance fee is very reasonable and one can easily spend 2 to 3 hours here to satisfy their artistic impressions or even a full day to waste some time that they have to spare.  Come and check it out, you will absolutely enthralled by the art work and their coffee shop is pretty impressive too!

Check out the Nagasaki Art Museum on a map!

Please click on the pics below to enlarge:

Has some interesting sculptures on the roof

Great views from every angle

Has something for everyone

Interesting from the outside too

Even the entrance is cutting edge

A great place to walk around

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hasami Town Cafes Nagasaki

Hasami Town Cafes Nagasaki are without a doubt the reason why so many people head to Hasami.  The variety of products are amazing with everything and anything that your heart desires available, of course ceramics and porcelain are at the top of the list but table wares, cutlery, accessories, clothing and any type of knick knack possible is at your disposal.

However it is the atmosphere and retro look and feel of the shops and the area as a whole that really creates a strong community vibe that attracts people from all over Japan and the world to its area again and again.  The step back from our real life which is hectic, fast paced and stress related to images from the past and our youth where one can enjoy all there is to offer on show without having to feel guilty about it is where Hasami Town Cafes Nagasaki really excels.

There is something comforting about experiencing this sort of shopping style, strolling between shops, enjoying a slow paced atmosphere, not being rushed by the shop attendants and generally enjoying the whole experience is what it should be like all the time.  Its also very interesting just to people watch at this sort of establishment as you expect just too see mostly retirees and elderly customers but realistically there is a huge cross section of the community present and inspecting all things Hasami.

Once your shopping experience has come to the end or just want to take a break between shops, there are numerous cafes whereby a coffee and or cake is calling your name.  The Japanese put all their effort and gusto into everything they do and you can bet that your choice of cake is a gastronomical masterpiece.  The only question is whether you can stop at just one piece of cake?

Here is Hasami Town Cafes Nagasaki on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:


Always lots of customers

Simple but tasteful!

Very inviting and warm

Many different types of porcelain

Plenty of things to buy

Has good English Information as well.

Plenty on show


Check out this video below of Hasami Town Cafes Nagasaki:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Unzen Power Spot Nagasaki

Unzen Power Spot Nagasaki 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 Nagasaki, 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 Nagasaki is the place for me to return and put everything back into perspective again!

I urge you to visit the Unzen Power Spot Nagasaki, 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 Nagasaki on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge!

Lots of individual prayer boxes

Powerful image of Mother and Baby

Enlightenment is just around the corner?

.......and ponder

A place to pray

Interesting faces

Spiritual Healing

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

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Japanese Tea Ceremony Nagasaki

Japanese Tea Ceremony Nagasaki is without a doubt one of the most amazing and culturally moving experience that you will ever have in Japan.  It goes to the root of the Japanese philosophy of complete perfection, taking years to master a simple art form and to practise until the movements become natural.  It is then and only then that one can be called a master and the years of dedication are seen as a steeping stone to bigger things.

I have had the privilege to see and participate in many Japanese Tea Ceremonies  and I can tell you this they are never boring and definitely not tedious.  The attention to detail, the spectacular kimono designs, the calculated movements and the presentation itself are just beyond belief and words definitely can't describe the emotions that course through ones body.  Although I must say that the western body is not designed to sit Seiza style (to sit on one's feet whilst kneeling on a tatami floor) and within minutes the elegant posture associated with Japanese art (martial arts included) go by the wayside and sitting cross legged is resorted to.

However, this isn't frowned upon because us westerners aren't expected to be able to follow all things Japanese but at least we can enjoy the bitterness and healthiness of the green tea which is a more extreme form off green tea that is brewed and we are all accustomed to.  The ochagashi (japanese sweets) served before the tea helps remove some of the bitterness from the palate but just think about the health issues and this bitterness will be the last thing from your thoughts.

The town of Obama, has an amazing cultural center that promotes Japanese Tea Ceremony and given half a chance I would go every week, maybe this will give you the impetus to come and try for yourself?

Click on the Japanese Tea Ceremony Nagasaki photos below to enlarge:

Traditional Japanese Scrolls

Amazing Kimonos

The Tea Ceremony Ladies

Kimono Display

Typical Japanese Tea Room

Beautifully presented

Traditional wares

Below is a video of my daughters Kindergarten class going through the Japanese Tea Ceremony ritual.

Please feel free to watch.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Nagasaki Flying Carp

Nagasaki Flying Carp is a scene that everyone should get a view of.  I look forward every year to see the Nagasaki Flying Carp fly strongly and proudly in the fresh spring winds.  On May 5th every year Japan celebrates Children's Day which used to be known as Boy's day.  The flying Carps are a symbolic sign for the children to be healthy for the coming year and really emphasizes the close knit and strong bonds that are created by the extended family all pitching in to help raise the children together unlike our western nuclear family concept.

The tradition is said to have begun in the Edo period (1603-1868) based on a Chinese legend about a strong brave carp swimming upstream and becoming a dragon.   The Tango no Sekku (Tango Festival) for boys was celebrated on May 5th by putting up carp-shaped streamers made of cloth and other material in their gardens.  Families announced the birth of a boy and wished for his healthy growth.

The Nagasaki flying carps have gradually changed over time.  Originally made only in black, other colors like red and blue were added and baby carps are now flown with the larger ones to symbolize the family.  I am extremely glad that this change has taken place as I couldn't imagine the Nagasaki Flying Carp only being in black as it would feel more like a funeral than a celebration of the Japanese children.

I love to stare and look at all the special feature of the flying carp they are unique and absolutely are a fascinating thing to watch.

Click on the Nagasaki Flying Carp pictures below to enlarge:

Every year in May

Popular with all ages

Lots of color

Can never get to much Carp

Impressive to say the least

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Unique Nagasaki Bus Stops

Unique Nagasaki Bus Stops that you see here in the photos below are part of the Nagasaki character and adds to her personality unlike any other attraction within the Nagasaki city limits.  Just another random if not crazy idea that some town official thought up but for whatever reason it has stuck and become a permanent and important fixture of the town's psyche.  In the sleepy town of Konagai, Nagasaki right on the boarder of Saga Prefecture there are some Unique Nagasaki Bus Stops that will stop you in your tracks and make you say to yourself, "Why haven't I ever seen this before?"

As you drive from one bus stop to the next, you will wonder what fruit or vegetable will come next.  In some ways, when you don't see your favorite one you wonder why it hasn't been included and of course when you have passed the last one and headed into the next prefecture you will also have a slight feeling of disappointment that you won't see another one again in Japan, period!

Some of the Unique Nagasaki Bus Stops have seen better days and they are in need of a touch up or repair or better still a repaint but just to see one up close to touch and feel and to sit inside as to re enact the feeling of waiting for a bus is exciting in itself.  Come and enjoy the Unique Nagasaki Bus Stops even if it's just for a fleeting moment!

Come and check out The Unique Nagasaki Bus Stops on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:



Mouth watering Watermelon

Delicious Orange

Tasty Tomato

Appealing Melon

Juicy strawberry



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Obama Fireworks Festival Nagasaki

The Obama Fireworks Festival Nagasaki is held every year one the first week of April.  Not only is the weather always great with Cherry blossoms wafting in the air but the temperature is always on the cool side and not cold as Spring slowly takes over from the winter monster (you can tell I don't like winter) and life seems to be easier again as one doesn't have to put layers and layers of clothing on just to walk down the street and buy something from the local supermarket or convenience store.

Obama is well known for 3 things.

1)  Sharing the same name as the current President of the USA

2)  Having some of the best natural hot springs in all of Japan

3)  Hosting the annual Fireworks Festival every April

People come from all around to partake and view some of the best fireworks that you would see anywhere.  Teams come from near and far to battle and show their wares and ultimately put on a fireworks display that will knock your socks off.  There are stalls and vendors selling anything from children's toys to goldfish and well as your usual foodstuffs like yakitori (various meats grilled to perfection) and takoyaki (octopus balls) being the norm.  There is always something for everyone at a Japanese festival and I urge you someday to visit one and see for yourself why people always rave about them.

Of course, the Obama Fireworks Festival Nagasaki is the pick of the crop.  Hope to see you here someday and I have the best seats in town.

Come and check out the Obama Fireworks Festival Nagasaki on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Right on the marina


Spectacular

1 hour of viewing flies by in an instant








Thursday, April 4, 2013

Obama Spring Festival Nagasaki

Obama Spring Festival Nagasaki is Chinese themed in nature but offers everything that you could want from a Japanese festival.  Lots of dancing, music, parades, dressing up in costumes and of course in Japan the obligatory mascot.  Unfortunately on this particular day the normal nice warmish spring weather took a turn for the worse and Jack Frost bite at all who were ill- prepared for the freezing cool winds that turned into bone chilling gusts.

I don't know how all the participants survived but in true Japanese Samurai spirit everyone dug deep and somehow forgot about their cold hands and frozen faces and concentrated on their task at hand even though their costumes were designed for a nice spring day weather wise.  In particular the older ladies really showed a lot of internal fortitude but this is typical behaviour of the Japanese psyche, all working together for the common good.

My favorite dance of the day was the Chinese Dragon Dance which was performed to a huge round of applause but it was the ladies who got the biggest support from the crowd as they performed to perfection on this less than perfect day.  Beautifully presented in their matching Yukata's (summer styled Kimono) they showed tremendous dedication and spirit to provide the public with a wonderful display of talent.

Please check out the Obama Spring Festival Nagasaki on a map:

Please click on the Obama Spring Festival Nagasaki pictures below to enlarge:

The kids become the future leaders of the festival

The whole town gets involved

Celebrating all things good

The ladies are always spectacular

People of all ages get involved

The Dragon dance was the highlight

Always lots of mascots in Japan

Check out the performances of the Obama Spring Festival Nagasaki in the video's below:





Monday, April 1, 2013

Nagasaki Night Cherry Blossoms

Nagasaki Night Cherry Blossoms is a must do for anyone who may have just the slightest interest in flowers  and or of anything nature inclined.  I can't tell you how long I wandered around for but I just took my time, took in the sights, fragrances and general beauty of the area, all in all I was entranced by the night time views.

Everything is absolutely more enhanced at night time.  The dark night sky really brings out the intense and amazing colours of the cherry blossoms.  There is something mystical about the flowers white and pinky hues that can turn a grown man weak to his knees in anticipation of the wonderful scenery to be had.

Nagasaki Night Cherry Blossom viewing is an absolute surreal and fantastic experience.  Looking at the flowers during the day is of course incredible but at night the experience is indescribable.

Please click on the photos to enlarge in more detail:

Light up time

For all to enjoy

Contrasts aplenty

Welcome to paradise

Lanterns used to enhance the petals

Adds a different dimension

Spectacular

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tachibana Park Chijiwa Nagasaki

Tachibana Park Chijiwa Nagasaki is without a doubt one of the best places in Nagasaki, let alone the whole of Japan to stroll around and enjoy the fabulous and exhilarating Cherry Blossoms.  Thousands of cherry trees and spectators (of course) walk around this picturesque park and gaze with deep appreciation of the cherry flower.  I recommend everyone to come here and experience the park in all its glory, you won't be disappointed!

Check out Tachibana Park Chijiwa Nagasaki on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:


The cherry blossoms end up on the ground

Endless supply of blossoms

Picture perfect location

Close up of the pretty flower

Care for a stroll?


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Nagasaki Tulip Festival Huis Ten Bosch

Nagasaki Tulip Festival Huis Ten Bosch which is a theme park located in Nagasaki Prefecture, holds the Great Tulip Festival every year from March 2nd until April 8 when 300,000 tulips are in full bloom.

During the festival, there are three spots to view the beautiful tulips.  Firstly, the Island of Windmills and Flowers, secondly, the Flower Palace which features gardens colored with a variety of colorful tulips and thirdly, Tulip Square.  All three in their true right are remarkable and truly outstanding.  If you are a gardener or a flower lover then this place is for you.  Even people like me who have no real interest in gardening can be blown away by the beauty and sheer volume.

In addition to the tulip viewing, there are flower parades, flower markets and illuminations each night.  Highly recommended and of course an ideal way to celebrate the upcoming Spring Season.  But of course all this pleasure may come at a price because on weekends you will be fighting the crowds to the prime viewing season.  If you can manage a weekday visit then this will absolutely spare you of much stress due to the constant struggle of getting around without bumping into all the other visitors.  However you won't be disappointed either way as the images and joy of every one's face from the multitude of colors and different species of Tulips is the all encompassing factor.

Please check out the Nagasaki Tulip Festival Huis Ten Bosch on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Inspiring views

I like the pink Tulip's best!

Worth a look or two

Love tulips


Nice place to get married

Lots of colours

Anyone got a green thumb yet?

















Here are some video's of the Nagasaki Tulip Festival Huis Ten Bosch for your enjoyment:



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nagasaki Lantern Festival

The Nagasaki Lantern Festival is absolutely the highlight in the Nagasaki Calendar year.  The Chinese New Year is always an exciting occasion.  Fireworks and fire crackers chase away evil spirits and dancing dragons and lions invoke the blessings of the heavens.  Hands are clasped in hopeful prayer, tables groan under mountains of sumptuous dishes and lanterns burn brightly into the night heralding spring.  Every year the Famous Nagasaki Lantern Festival brings all this exuberance to life.

As night approaches, some 15,000 lanterns light up the the city and thousands of people descend upon the festive illuminated Chinatown where night stalls selling yamcha are enveloped in steam and traditional Chinese music fills the air.  On the stages throughout the city, acrobats, dancers and musicians entertain, bathed in the warm glow of the lanterns.  Nagasaki’s Lantern Festival is much more than a celebration of the Chinese New Year, it is a celebration of the city’s five-hundred-year legacy of openness to diversity, change and modernity.

For those reasons the Nagasaki Lantern Festival is held in Chinatown (also known as Shinchi) in Nagasaki City.  During the festival period, about 15,000 lanterns (Chinese paper lanterns) and paper ornaments of the Chinese Zodiac Animals, decorate the city.  They add a rich touch of colour to the urban district and attract people to the mystical world.

I implore anyone who likes a great festival to come and visit the Nagasaki Lantern Festival in February between the 7th and the 21st, you won't be disappointed but you will have to struggle with the crowds especially on the weekends, but still worth the effort!

Check out the famous Nagasaki Lantern Festival on a map!

Please click on the pictures to enlarge:


Reflections


Fully Decorated

Chinese Themed

The arcades are full of color


























Check out all the videos below of the Famous Nagasaki Lantern Festival: