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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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.

Hashima Island

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.

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

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.

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.

Shinchi Chinatown

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.

Suwa Shrine

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.

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