Kyushu trip: Nagasaki 九州の旅:長崎

DSC_0643The second day of our Kyushu trip we went on to Nagasaki. My friend from Japanese University, Hanako, met up with us and guided us around town. First we went to Glover Garden. Thomas Glover was a Scottish merchant who came to Nagasaki in the 19th century and introduced the first locomotive and other things that helped the Japanese industrialization. He built a beautiful house with a great garden, which is now available to the public to visit. In the same area there are plenty of other western style houses belonging to other foreign merchants. From there Glover garden there’s an absolutely fabulous view over the entire Nagasaki harbor. A place worth visiting indeed.
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In the evening we met up with Hanako’s cousin, Seika. She brought us to a cute cafe in down town Nagasaki where she’s working part time. The cafe is made partly of an old tram and was super cute. You can see the handles over our heads even =) We got ice coffee and water melon. I think ice coffee is one of the reason as to why I’m able to survive in this extreme heat and humidity of the Japanese summer.
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Our second day in Nagasaki we went to Dejima. It’s an artificial island built in the 17th century to constrain merchants. Japan didn’t want Christianity to spread but never the less Japanese were interested in the goods that the foreign traders brought. So, on Dejima, more or less a ghetto for the Portuguese and later Dutch traders was formed. The people living there though, probably didn’t have a too rough time. The houses were very spacious and in a mixed Japanese and Western style. I was really impressed by the wall papers. I wonder if it’s possible to get hold of similar ones somewhere… It should be mentioned that all the bulidings on Dejima were reconstructed some 10 years ago. So in other words, all of it is new. But the Dutch made really detailed drawings of how the island looked to bring home to their relatives in Holland, so the appearance should be close to the truth. Nevertheless, 50 years ago there was nothing on this place, just a normal road for cars.
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The same day we also visited the Nagasaki atomic bomb museum. It was extremely depressing to see the exhibitions, but at the same time interesting. I think that the exhibitions were made in a very good way, so you could not only get insights in the devastating results of the bomb but also some back ground history on the war and what roles Japan, USA and other actors played. I think the museum is definitely worth a visit. After the museum we walked around in town, and suddenly I felt the smell of someone roasting coffee. It smelled just like at my parents place when my mums roasts coffee beans. And just around the corner, there was a nice little coffee shop. We had great ice caffe latte. I would have liked a normal cafe latte, but it didn’t seem so pleasant in the 37 degree hot weather.
After two nights in Nagasaki we moved on to Fukuoka, but more about that in the next blog post!

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