Thursday, February 27, 2020

Shimabara Castle: Shimabara City, Nagasaki Prefecture

Shimabara Castle is located between the Ariake Bay and Mount Unzen on the Shimabara Peninsular.  The outer moat is 15 meters deep and between 30–50 meters wide, extends 360 meters east-west and 1260 meters north-south.  The main building has five stories,  a height of 33 meters and is connected to two secondary buildings, each with three stories.

The Arita Clan (Christian ruler) ruled over the domain from Hinoe Castle and Hara Castle.  After the start of the national isolation policy the Tokugawa Regime banned Christianity from 1614 and replaced Arima with the Matsukura Clan.  Matsukura, who strictly enforced the prohibition against Christianity with mass executions, also severely raised taxes to pay for the construction of his new Shimabara Castle from 1618-1624.  This oppression of the peasants was a major factor leading to the Shimabara Rebellion.  Shimabara Castle Nagasaki came under siege during the Shimabara Rebellion but was not damaged.

Today only the moat and stone walls remain from the original structure.  In 1980, a memorial museum was opened in honor of Seibo Kitamura, a noted sculptor and designer of the famous Peace Statue at the Peace Park in Nagasaki City.  In 2006, the Shimabara Castle was listed one of the 100 finest Castles in Japan by the Japan Castle Foundation.

Sometimes I am in awe when i am driving down the hill from the mountain and the Shimabara Castle suddenly appears in the foreground.  A real Castle that operated over 400 years ago and still remains today albeit a restored type but really portrays the history and the real life setting of what life was like in Japan in the 17th century.

An absolute must visit for visitors to Nagasaki to inspect its history and beauty.  Always rated very highly by our Private Tour Groups.

Check out the Shimabara Castle Nagasaki on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Private Family Tour Group

One of the Outer Buildings

The view

Another view

The entrance

With Plum blossoms

Click on the videos below to see some performances by the staff at the Shimabara Castle:

Check out Shimabara Castle Nagasaki on this videos below:

Friday, February 14, 2020

Mount Inasa Nightview: Nagasaki City

The Mount Inasa Nightview in Nagasaki is a unbelievable place to visit.  The daytime views are in a world of there own but in relation to the nighttime view it rates rather poorly in my opinion.  Words don't explain this incredible place like the way they should and this view needs to be seen to be believed. Without a doubt one of the most scenic views in all of Nagasaki and probably in all of Japan.  It is a place that I try to bring every visitor and customer that comes to Nagasaki as it really brings out the highlights of everything Nagasaki has to offer in terms of beauty and nature from its scenic location to its panorama.

There is even a restaurant at the top of the lookout that offers spectacular views all through your dining experience.  The food isn't gourmet but the scenery more than makes up for the lack of dining quality.  As for me, I like to bring some coffee and snacks to the top of the Mountain sit back and watch the sky slowly turn into a million stars, virtually untouchable on all levels.  Depending at the time of year this transition from dusk to night can take minutes to hours so please come prepared with the right amount of clothes, snacks and drinks, the alcoholic kind is acceptable as well as drinking in public in Japan is the norm, and not necessarily frowned upon.

On our Private Nagasaki Full Day Tours, the Inasayama Night time view is always on the agenda as the last attraction of the day, unless the weather is bad of course.

Have a look at Mount Inasa Nightview in Nagasaki on a map!

Million dollar views from Mount Inasayama
Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Please look at the videos below to see Mount Inasayama in the evening time: