Saturday, December 9, 2017

Karimizu Geopark: Obama, Nagasaki Prefecture

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 of 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

Temple Street: Nagasaki City

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

Okunchi Festival: Nagasaki City

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.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Nagasaki Seafood

Without a doubt the best seafood in all of Japan is right here on my doorstep in Nagasaki.  We are blessed with an abundant amount of fresh fish and just about any type of crustacean that you could want and or name.

So, of course when my brother and mother visited me here in Nagasaki, Japan one of their first requests is to eat sushi and sashimi to their hearts content.  Well in fact, more my brothers request rather than my mothers but at least she came and checked out our local fishmonger.

Tanaka San is a bit of a legend in these parts of Nagasaki.  Always going that extra mile to satisfy a customers desires and requests in regards to all things fishy.  My brother got down and dirty and too his credit did a fine job for a first time beginner.  No matter how badly the fish was cut and prepared, in truth it tastes just the same as the impeccably prepared and presented version that Tanaka San does routinely on a daily basis.

Don`t know it this experience will become a regular Tour Nagasaki event but the pictures and video are well worth a look.  Hope you get some pointers and or ideas for your next fish eating and preparation adventure.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Shusaku Endo`s Literary Museum

Please click on the video below to see the trailer of the original author`s new Hollywood Movie called Silence directed by Matin Scorcese.

Please click on the video below to see more of the Shusaku Endo`s Literary Museum

The Shusaku Endo literature museum was established in May 2000, with the cooperation of his widow and family, under one premise, that it in built and commands a view of the calm Goto-Nada Sea.  The Museum is located in Sotome, Nagasaki and is known as the area where the Nagasaki Christians were persecuted during the ban on Christianity.  While not originally from Nagasaki, Mr Endo felt a strong bond with the district, in fact he referred to Sotome many times as his 2nd home.

The Museum contains more than 25 000 exhibits as well as the traces of his life. It also displays items connected to Mr. Endo's literature. Born in Tokyo in 1923, Shusaku was baptized as a Catholic at the age of 11. As an adult, he pursued the question of Japan's spiritual climate and Christianity. He was an author who, throughout his lifetime, used the approach of literature to investigate the issue of religion in depth.

My time at the Museum was enjoyable and educational.  I learnt many a new thing about the region, the history of Japan and Nagasaki as well as about the writer of course.  Someone could easily spend 3 or 4 hours just at the Museum itself but with many new attractions in and around Sotome linked to the Hidden Christians of Nagasaki, maybe 1 to 2 hours would be a more than necessary in order to fit more destinations into one`s itinerary

The area is in a rural setting outside of Nagasaki City, so of course a private tour would seem to be the best options in order to navigate this rather out of the way region.  There are buses that frequent the area but they are limited and don`t allow for very much flexibility.

A real find this place especially if you are looking for stories and information about Nagasaki’s Hidden Christians.

Please click here to see the Shusaki Endo Literary Museum of a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Amazing views

The Museum


Mr Endo`s desk

A picture of Martin Scorcese 

The man himself

The Library

Well presented

Plenty to see

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Nagasaki Fat Man Atomic Bomb

The Nagasaki Fat Man Atomic Bomb is the code name for the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.  It was the second of two nuclear weapons to be used in warfare to date (the other being The little Boy over Hiroshima) and its detonation caused the third man-made nuclear explosion.

Nagasaki Fat Man Atomic Bomb was an implosion type weapon with a plutonium core compared to Hiroshima that was a Uranium type weapon therefore its intensity and detonation impact was expected to be many times more powerful and destructive than that of Hiroshima days earlier.

At the moment of the explosion there was a brilliant flash of light, ten seconds later an enormous roar sounded and a fearful blast swept across the area.  Sharp rays of heat emitted massive amounts of radiation all over Nagasaki within seconds and because there were no barriers to the spread of radiation huge amounts of Nagasaki, were destroyed almost instantaneously.

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

The Fat Man Bomb

 English Subtitles

Teary stories

Interesting displays

People didn't feel anything abnormal, as this radiation didn't produce sound or heat but in actuality it had permeated deep into their bodies and affecting them greatly.  The temperature directly under the explosion was estimated to be somewhere from 3,000 to 4,000 degrees Celsius.  The force of the blast and the heat rays unleashed immediate destructive power and then fires broke out which severely damaged one third of the buildings in the city with all buildings inside a 2 kilometer radius of the explosion burnt to ashes.

Above are a coupe of images that i took from the Nagasaki Peace Park Museum that shows the full destructive powers of the Nagasaki Fat Man Atomic Bomb and its course of destruction.

Please check out the Nagasaki Fat Man Atomic Bomb at the Nagasaki Peace Park Museum here on a map:

Our Private Nagasaki Tours can include a visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum however I warn everyone before hand that some of the exhibits and stories can be quite powerful and tear jerking.  Proceed with caution!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Nagasaki Peace Park

The view of this peaceful park

Nagasaki Peace Park was born from the infamous day forever etched into history and the minds of those associated with this disaster.  The death toll was 74,000 people, with another 75,000 suffering injuries.  Within a 1 kilometer radius of the hypocenter almost 90% of the people died.  Burns caused by the heat rays of the atomic bomb were severe, with the surface skin being completely burned and falling off thus leaving tissue and bone exposed.  People were thrown by the force of the blast and countless pieces of glass and other debris pierced their skin.  The radiation penetrated deep into people's bodies causing them to suffer injuries and diseases such as cancer and leukemia to this very day.

Remnants of the Urakami Cathedral

The original target for the bomb was the city of Kokura but obscuring clouds necessitated changing course to the alternative target, Nagasaki.  However because of poor visibility due to cloud cover the bomb missed its intended detonation point which was the Mitsubishi Shipyards and exploded over the suburban area of Urakami,  in effect killing mostly women and children and not the factory manufacturing area of War Machinery.  In many ways it is this misfortune that will label Nagasaki forever in history!

Nagasaki Peace Park today is a very peaceful place to stroll about and reflect on this frightening event in mankind's history.  Let's hope that the mistakes of the past are never repeated again and the world can live peacefully without Nuclear threats of destruction.  A walk around this solemn but special place always provides me with the strength and resolve that the mistakes of the past happen again and we should always do everything humanly possible to make this happen as a human race.

Our Private Nagasaki Tours will finish the day here at the Nagasaki Peace Park as its a great place to fully reflect on what a great day was had in NAGASAKI.

Check out the Nagasaki Peace Park on a map!

Symbol of Peace

Haunting statue of Mother and Baby as time stands still!

Please have a look at the video below to see more of the Nagasaki Peace Park:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Obama Footbath Nagasaki

The Obama Footbath is the highlight location on the Tour Nagasaki`s Full Day Shimabara Peninsular and Nagasaki City Highlights Itinerary.

Just imagine, the location right on the waters edge.  The picturesque seaside views combined with the healthy steamed vegetables, various snacks, alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages as well as the chance to soak these weary feet in the 40 degree celcius footbaths equals a magical and mind boggling experience that stimulates all the senses.

The other day I had 4 cobs of corn that i could have steamed or boiled at home but i decide to have a stroll down to the Footbaths and steam them the natural and healthy way that mother nature intended us to.  What can I say?  The finished product is not only fresh and juicy but the salty Hot Spring steam infuses itself into the corn and seasons the vegetables naturally.

Corn, Asparagus, Sweet Potatoes, actually any vegetables and seafood of any kind are magnificent to try and taste.  Let`s give it a go together when you come to Nagasaki next!

Check out the videos below of the Obama Footbaths in Nagasaki:

Check out the photos below of the Nagasaki Footbaths in Obama:

My daughter loves Obama

What a sunset

Too hot?

Family shot


Foot Bath scene

Time for pictures

Trump vs Obama

Snacks and drinks are complimentary

All Happy!

40 degrees celcuis

Beautiful backdrop

Steaming of the foods

Plenty of variety