Nagasaki, Japan, April 2018: After having just spent a sobering hour in the Atomic Bomb Museum its time to explore a little further into Nagasaki. According to Google, the cities other attractions – Chinatown, temples, architecture etc are located South in an area not so obviously effected by the nuclear blast. Back through downtown then and towards the port area means a tram ride since its way to far to walk. To the Chinese area then a stomp around the hill districts I think would fill the next few hours.
The trams seem pretty easy to navigate. According to the map displayed here at the stop Its just one tram South, the blue line covers just about all the places I have in mind for this afternoon. While most of these tram cars are modern, one or two look like some historic relics – in a nice sense of course. A throw back to the 20th century when getting around on electric trams was the pre-cursor to modern day mass transit in most cities of sizeable populations. Here in Nagasaki, its still the tram and of course buses as the main method of transit around the place. The fare is a flat 80p for any journey making this 20 minute trip down to Chinatown pretty good value I’d say!
Chinatown Nagasaki isn’t going to be the mind-blowing experience i’d hoped – infact its the most un-Chinese of Chinatowns I have ever seen! A few shops exist on a single street and if it wasn’t for the Chinese arch marking the start of proceedings I’m sure one wouldn’t even know they were in Chinatown. There’s nothing here to hold my interest, even for 10 minutes so I’m heading to the hills just behind!
When one stops to take a breather after walking up the hilly slopes of Nagasaki hills only then does one realise how vast the place really is. Its also surprisingly calming up here away from the busy city and its throngs of tourists. Yes, I’m up here on my own, getting a few nods and smiles from the locals. This is of course where the locals live out their days away from the gaze of tourism down below. Communities constructed post 1945 I would suspect, and perhaps older communities too since the terrain here offered protection against the bomb blast and ensuing aftereffects.
Hurrah for the sun, yes at last there’s a little afternoon sunshine to help boost my photography efforts a little. So, without further ado lets take a stroll through the urban hillsides of Nagasaki.
This is a great way to spend a few hours away from the city. The surrounds are pleasant with some fine local architecture and neatly kept gardens to view. As much as I would like to hang around here all day, I really must start heading down into the city again and make steps towards the bus station. Carefully following Google maps to the nearest tram stop, about 10 minutes I’ve suddenly realised I need a cup of coffee. Well, thankfully there’s plenty of options around here including the American chains. A street turned shopping arcade has the option of a quick coffee – Macdonalds! well, its the quickest and actually the cheapest coffee I’ve found thus far in Japan, tastes OK too! Better grab a tram and find the bus station, somewhere opposite the railway station hopefully.
So that was Nagasaki in a day. There are of course more sights to see than the few I did. Temples, parks and then there’s the natural harbour to look at. This would have meant rushing around and getting annoyed at tourists all to frequently. My style today was somewhat relaxed while achieving the main objective of discovering and learning the effects of Nuclear war first hand conveyed by those that were there, albeit in a museum.
Cost – £30 return bus, £2 Museum entrance, £1.50 pumpkin soup lunch £1.80 tram fares, £1.10 Macdonald’s coffee