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This picturesque port city is located on the northwest coast of Kyushu, enjoying a warm, subtropical climate and an enviable position on a large natural harbor. Once a fishing village, then a bustling hub of international trade, Nagasaki is best known for its role in WWII as the second city to be targeted for a nuclear strike. Though much of the city was destroyed, today it is a flourishing cosmopolitan hub, rich in history and culture.
Thanks to centuries of trade with Portugal, Nagasaki is home to an enclave of Christianity, with Catholic and Protestant churches on the tourist itinerary. It also features a pocket of European architecture - Glover Garden - another holdover from its trading days. Naturally, the city boasts its own stunning collection of temples and shrines, and adds the anomalous Hashima Island - an abandoned former mining outpost - to its list of things to see. It goes without saying that a trip to Nagasaki is not complete without paying tribute to its past, with a trip to one of the many war memorials located around the city.
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Learn about the dropping of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki, about life before the bomb and the devastation of its aftermath. The museum also covers the history of nuclear armament, and aims to impress visitors with a visceral sense of the impact of nuclear warfare.
Visit the singular point of trade for Nagasaki during the “isolationist” Edo period, when contact with foreigners was banned. This fan-shaped artificial island was where Dutch merchants were contained while trading goods. Full restoration of the site is still underway.
Take a trip to Chinatown – one of Japan’s largest – where Nagasaki’s Chinese population was confined during the restrictive Edo period. Today, the area is home to a vibrant shopping strip festooned with lanterns, and home to countless restaurants.
Nagasaki Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
Pay tribute to the victims of the atomic bomb at this commemorative monument. The memorial hall includes memoirs and photographs; as well as a library, information corners, research rooms and an illuminated glass monument.
Stroll the tranquil grounds of Suwa Shrine, the principle Shinto shrine in Nagasaki. Built on a mountainside, it comprises 227 steps to its main buildings and two “stop lions” to which visitors can pray if they wish to cease a bad habit. The shrine was originally built to combat conversion to Christianity in the Edo period, and today hosts many of the city’s festivals.
Hop on a boat out to this abandoned island, established in 1887 as part of Nagasaki’s undersea coal-mining operations. Once the most densely populated place on Earth, the island – also known as Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) – is now completely deserted, and enjoys protection as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Take in Japan’s historically- and culturally-rich Kyushu island on this whirlwind 5-day luxury tour. You’ll shop vibrant Fukuoka’s stylish boutiques, pay your respects in the once-devastated Nagasaki, visit the iconic Kumamoto castle, and spend your nights in some of Japan’s most luxurious hotels.
This grand, stylish, award-winning hotel is a Nagasaki centerpiece. Clean, crisp decor takes modernity to the next level, alongside the hotel’s playful light displays. Room choices come in the form of the Garden Suite, Ocean Suite, Tower Suite, and Japanese Suite, all of which feature LCD TVs, iPod docks, and balconies with exquisite views of the harbor. Guests may choose to dine at any of the hotel’s three restaurants, from the French restaurant, Forest, to the Japanese Teppanyaki and kaiseki restaurant, Akizuki, and finally the sushi restaurant, Tenku. Those looking for activities will be pleased with the hotel’s open-air pool, which is especially picturesque at night as it enjoys stunning views of the waterfront, the chic club lounge, and the hotel’s own private bathroom with adjoining sauna. The airport is less than an hour away by car, and there is a JR station a short drive from the hotel.
Though far from Nagasaki’s city center, Hansuiryo enjoys lush natural surroundings from its location tucked away in the countryside. This means guests trade convenience for a feeling of being away from the tourist crowds, secluded in the midst of Unzen National Park. What’s more, there is a feeling of expansive space here, with only 14 villas built over an expanse of 65,600-square-feet. Villas have been built in the sukiya teahouse architectural style of simple elegance, surrounded by a lush, delicately-manicured Japanese garden. The restaurant serves up scrumptious Kyoto cuisine made from fresh, local ingredients. Guests may take a dip in the on-site onsen said to be over a millenium old, and highly anti-bacterial.
Those interested in exploring Huis Ten Bosch, the Japanese reproduction of the Queen of the Netherlands’ residence that recreates the country by displaying real-size copies of old Dutch buildings, will enjoy a night or two at Hotel Amsterdam, located in the park center. Here, guests can travel back in time and place, to a classic Dutch town from the middle ages. Rooms are both spacious and sophisticated, with the top floor designed by Laura Ashley, a well-known English brand. Guests can dine at the buffet restaurant, which serves up Chinese and Japanese favorites with a French twist, or the cafe and bar that overlooks the bustling street below. Outside, there are yachts docked at a marina that can be easily seen from the hotel.
This stunning seven-story hotel is located within Nagasaki’s Huis Ten Bosch theme park. The elegant structure is meant to conjure memories of a 19th century Dutch mansion. Inside, there are over 300 rooms to choose from, styled to classic European standards, with views of either the town or the ocean. Luxurious touches that come standard with the rooms include a bidet toilet and roasted Hoji tea. Some rooms come equipped with a kitchenette. Six restaurants and lounges are available for guests’ dining pleasure, serving up European and Asian delicacies. The hotel also has its own spa, which features in-room treatments for guests who desire a body wrap, a facial, or the like. This is a classy, well-appointed hotel for guests who wish to spend some time at Huis Ten Bosch.
Designed by famed architect Junzo Yoshimura, on his quest for the ultimate comfort hotel, this traditional Japanese ryokan is large and historic. The rooms have been designed in keeping with very traditional Japanese styles - simple, clean, walls with tatami mat floors, and floor seating. We recommend the Hanare rooms. The hotel is engulfed by lush, natural surroundings, with handmade water structures alongside verdant gardens. Guests will enjoy the hotel’s sauna and spa tub. The on-site Japanese bar has free-flow alcohol option for non-stop glasses of cold beer, sake, or whatever is preferred, to accompany dinner. Located in Saga Prefecture, the hotel is a 45-minute drive from Nagasaki’s city center.