Saturday, October 17, 2015

Kita Arima Christian Monument: Nagasaki Prefecture

The Kita Arima Christian Monument is a symbol of the many Christians who died for their Christian faith mostly during the 17th century.  There are many of these statues, monuments, reminders, posts, tombstones and the like all over the Shimabara Peninsular in Nagasaki as this area of Japan was a hive of Christian activities during the 16th and 17th centuries.  I have been discovering and searching for these site for a while now and more keep popping up all over the place.

In 1549, St. Francis Xavier and two other priests arrived in Kagoshima to bring Christianity to Japan from Spain. There were an estimated 300,000 Christians by the end of the sixteenth century. Problems arose and Christianity was suppressed and the first Martyrs of Japan died in 1597.  250 years later, when Christian missionaries returned to Japan, they found a community of Japanese Christians that had survived underground and were approached cautiously by the descendants of the Christians after their suppression.

There were 205 Japanese Christian Martyrs between 1597 and 1637.  One of these incidents is documented with a Nagasaki Christian Monument in the town of Kita Arima on the Shimabara Peninsular.  Here 29 Christians were martyred in the Arima River, death by drowning for not renouncing their Christian faith, in times where Christianity was banned throughout all of Japan by the rulers.  It was quite an intense feeling to be at the site of such atrocities that were committed so many years ago but as with all shocking incidents it is better to learn from our past rather than hiding the real truth!

Please check out the Kita Arima Christian Monument on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Remembering the dead

29 Christians died here

The place where the Christians were drowned

Remembering the turbulent times

Please click on the video below to see the Kita Arima Nagasaki Christian Monument:

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Nagasaki Streetlife: Nagasaki City

Nagasaki comes alive at night!  As the sun sets and the streetlights start to take effect, the whole city seems to jump to life and take on another character.  The streetcars seem to be everywhere, ruminating the city as they transport hundreds and thousands of passengers to their destinations of choice.

People are moving, cars are weaving in and out of traffic and the smells of various food waft into the air to tempt those passerby's into entering the establishments.

Nagasaki is a sight to see and behold and I try and make it into the city once a month to feel and interact with her.  The tasty morsels sold by the street vendors are more than you have ever bargained for.

Check out Nagasaki Streetlife here on a map:

Click on the pics below to enlarge:



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Somen Noodles: Nagasaki Prefecture

Nagasaki Somen noodles are long thin white flour noodles that are predominately eaten in summer time, usually cold but always delicious.  They are a delicacy in Nagasaki and are usually served in a vessel of extremely cold water to enhance their flavor and normally this vessel will have swirling or running water to allow the noodles to flow freely and thus be eaten continously.

Without a doubt Somen Noodles are one of my favorite foods in summer time, they provide some respite from the summer heat and are definitely a refreshing and healthy eating option.

Click to enlarge these Nagasaki Somen Noodle photos below:

Special Somen Table

Our restaurant

Grilled to perfection

Ready to eat!

Our table

Click here to see how to eat Nagasaki Somen Noodles in the video below:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture: Nagasaki City

The Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture opened in 2005 and is an excellent, modern museum dedicated to the theme of "Overseas Exchange" in the 17th and 18th century, namely between Dutch and Chinese merchants and Japan through the medium of this port city.

The museum holds 48,000 items in its collection, including historical documents and arts and crafts, that tell the story of Nagasaki as the sole window opened to foreign countries during the period of national isolation  The Museum also shows the role Nagasaki played in post-restoration Japan in the diplomatic sphere, as well as being at the forefront of modern medicine, printing, ship building and industrial technology.

On this day I had time on my side which is a bit of a rarity, so in essence I was able to let the history and culture of Nagasaki seep into my consciousness and really feel the effect and continued residual flow that Nagasaki has created and fostered to allow Japan to get to where it is today, a economic superpower on the worlds stage.

I will use this facility on my private tours with forecasted rainy days as it will give many people a great background on many historical facts about Nagasaki especially on my 2 or 3 day tours which allow for more time to explore and investigate.

Click here to see Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture on a map:

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Depiction of earlier times

Nice finishes

Magnificent Folding Screens

Ancient scroll

Lots of interesting facts

One of the buildings

Tensho Embassy Journey

View from outside

Nagasaki Industrial Age

Click on the video below to see Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture in more detail:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Myohoji Temple: Omura, Nagasaki Prefecture

Myohoji Temple in Omura Nagasaki is one of those places that you always wonder why someone would put such a unique structure in such a unique place and the simple answer is, because they can.

Perched up on top of a small mountain in the rural confines of Omura City this temple definitely has one of the most beautiful and picturesque views of the Omura Bay in the foreground as well as the magnificent mountain ranges in the background.  It is designed to have sweeping 360 degree views and has a walkable terrace to not only enable a perfect view of its surroundings but also as a way of creating a sense of infinity from within.  I think that i encircled the structure 2 or 3 times but in reality it could have been 4 or 5 times, such is its ability to suck you in and be enshrined in its aura of magnificent.

The walk up to its entrance is one of excitement and wonder and the feeling perpetuates itself during the entire visit.  I left the temple feeling satisfied and of course wanting to come back again soon.  I wonder what kind of feelings you will have?

Please check out Myohoji Temple in Nagasaki Prefecture here on a map:

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Impressive Temple 

Amazing scenery

The scene

Intricate details

Add caption


Omura Bay below

Golden Buddha

Check out Myohoji Temple here on a video:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

WW2 Submarine Training Center: Nagasaki Prefecture

There are a lot of well known WW2 associated sites in Nagasaki relating to the Atomic Explosion such as the Peace Park and the Mitsubishi Shipyards but hardly any places relating to the everyday historical sites that were used obviously for many projects and purposes relating to WW2.

I have kept hearing about this one site off the beaten path that was supposedly used by the navy as a submarine training center.  I few feeble tries to locate this long abandoned site didn't come to fruition and as a result it was put on the back burner.  However an article in a magazine perked my interest again and i made it one of my goals to track down this elusive place and document it once and for all!

It seemed like I had been searching for this ghost town for hours on this one non discript day and many many questions to the locals who thought I was a crazy person for mentioning anything remotely about WW2 was testing my patience.  However when all looked lost suddenly out of nowhere someone comes to the rescue and mentions that there is an abandoned factory not too far away and obviously this was the place that I was looking for.

A couple of wrong turns here and there but eventually I located the empty building and explored. What I found was beyond expectations!  A massive empty building that was the school`s training facilities with a dock nearby which was the mooring station for the submarine or submarines.  Not a lot is known about this place especially in regards to written material but just through visual inspection and using my imagination I could truly picture a scenario where once this place was a running and fully operation Submarine Naval Training Center.

Click here to see the Nagasaki WW2 Submarine Training Center on a map:

Please check out the pictures below and click to enlarge:


A solidary tree

Inside the building stands trees now

Building in ruins

Submarine Dock

Needs of repair

Docking station

Perfect sunset

Please check out this Nagasaki WW2 Submarine Training Center here on these videos below:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Isahaya Spectacle Bridge: Nagasaki Prefecture

Every now and then whilst conducting one of my tours something special and unexpected happens which gives all my customers and even me a thrill.

On one of the last Private Nagasaki Tours I did, the first stop of the day was at the Isahaya Spectacle Bridge and the High School Cheer Squad nearby decided to give us an impromptu perform and belt out a couple to massive cheer songs.

Well I can tell you everyone was captivated by their enthusiasm, excitement and of course their voices.  It can be viewed as passion but more likely a sense of pride of their school and specifically their team that drives these students to show the amount of dedication and spirit that they do.  This was easily conveyed to the viewer and we were left with a positive outlook of the situation, place and atmosphere of the performance.

A great start to the day!!

Check out the Isahaya Spectacle Bridge on a map:

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Isahaya Spectacle Bridge

High School Cheer Squad

On the bridge

Picture Perfect Park

Please check out these videos below:

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mount Inasayama: Nagasaki City

Mount Inasayama in Nagasaki City is a 333 meter high mountain in close proximity to the city center. Yama in Japanese means Mountain and Inasa Mountain is the King of all the peaks in Nagasaki. It is for this reason that you should make this location a priority

The summit can be reached by ropeway and car and offers 360 degree views over the city especially on a clear day.  The night views from Mount Inasa are ranked among Japan's three best night views. The observation platform provides spectacular views of Nagasaki's "10 Million Dollar Night View". It is a view that you can't forget in a hurry as well because the sights and the scenery from this location so close to the city is undeniable.

Mount Inasayama Nagasaki`s location is a wonderful way to start your tour of this amazing city by understanding its special geography and topography which makes it a unique place. Without a doubt, on a clear day, unobstructed views of the seas and mountains make this lookout spectacular and a must on anyone's itinerary whilst they are partaking in some leisurely sightseeing whilst in Nagasaki. I usually stay away from the ropeways as I prefer to walk or drive up to the summit but for those without a vehicle or who have limited time in fabulous Nagasaki the ropeway is the choice of transport needed.

Well worth a visit, comes highly recommended especially on a super clear day where Mount Unzen to the east and the outlying Goto Islands to the west some 60 to 80 kilometers away can be seem with ease!  I have been lucky to capture the sights on just this sort of day!  The question is, will you be as lucky as me when you join one of my Private Nagasaki Tours?

Please check out Mount Inasayama Nagasaki here on a map!

Please click on the pictures below to enlarge:

City Center

Cruise terminal below

Megame Bridge

Check out this video of Mount Inasayama below and see why the daytime view is so spectacular: