Nagasaki Port of Call
Cherry Blossom © naitokz
Once a vibrant port city and Japan's only real link to the outside world, Nagasaki has a multicultural past with strong influences from Chinese and European culture that can be spotted in its architecture and food, even today. While it failed to obliterate that vibrancy, the destruction wrought on Nagasaki by the Atomic Bomb dropped in World War II has all but overshadowed it for the last seventy years.
Nagasaki, however, has worked hard to rebuild itself and today is an attractive and very popular port of call for cruises in Japan. Pretty parks and bustling markets are set in a scenic location between the busy energy of the harbour and the serenity of the mountains behind. Cruise ships in Nagasaki dock at Matsugae Pier, which is conveniently located near the city centre.
Port of Nagasaki
www.doboku.pref.nagasaki.jp (Japanese only)
Matsugae Pier is located within a 20-minute walk of most of the popular attractions in Nagasaki. For those needing a lift, the city's tram service is quick and efficient and taxis are also plentiful and relatively cheap.
Nagasaki's attractions reflect its long history as a multicultural port, with museums to Chinese culture and former Western trading posts available to tour. Nagasaki's tragic history also factors into its most prominent attractions, including the Atomic Bomb Museum and the Oka Masaharu Memorial Nagasaki Peace Museum. Those looking for a trip out of the city will enjoy hiking the scenic area around Mount Inasa.
Otsuru - tasty noodle dishes at reasonable prices
Kagetsu - traditional Japanese food served in a former Geisha house
Tia - organic restaurant with good vegetarian options
Chawan mushi (savoury steamed egg custard)
While Nagasaki isn't particularly known for its shopping, there are some good shopping malls, including Youme Saito near Dejima Wharf and AMU Plaza at the Nagasaki station tram stop, where bargains can be found.
Printed cotton and silk
Visit the ghost town on Gunkanjima Island.
Watch the birds at the Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium.
Hike on Mount Inasa.
Learn about the city at the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture.
Visit the Confucius Shrine and Historical Museum of China.