I rediscovered Nagasaki

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Last Thursday, I finally quit my job. On Friday, I started what I call my "holidays marathon.
First step : Nagasaki city.

Nagasaki is a place I had visited in 2011. Despite a few things that left me some bitter memories (and which now seem futile), I really liked the atmosphere and architecture of this city. Of all the major cities in Kyushu, I think it is the one that has the most charm and I could not wait to go again.
This time, I wanted to focus on the southern part of the city where gather the Dutch-inspired neighborhoods, dozens of temples and shrines and streets full of small neighborhoods.

Bouée sur Dejima, Nagasaki

My day started at 8:05am when I got on the highway bus. Buses are a very good alternative to trains on Kyushu. Often as fast as trains or even more (except shinkansen), they are a very economical way to travel. For this trip to Nagasaki, the round trip cost me 4,630 yens, twice cheaper than  train, for an equal travel time (about two hours).

Arrived in nagasaki,  I quietly headed south, to visit the garden Glover garden (グラバー園). The weather was not very nice, we are in the rainy season but the time I reached the top of the garden, the clouds over the hills were gone and the beautiful view of the harbor proved.
The garden in itself is very nice: built on floors with lots of old buildings, greenery and flowers. Too bad the main building was completely under tarpaulin for renovation. Without that, it would have been almost perfect. As there was hardly anyone, I took my time and stayed for almost two hours.
After a lunch break, I went back in the Glover's neighborhood to explore the small streets nearby.
Did you know that in Nagasaki very few people own a bike? The city is built on hills and the streets are often on slopes and / or with stairs, impossible to cycle. So I had fun getting lost in the endless maze of alleys. There is nothing touristy but I think they are the essence of Nagasaki.

Glover garden
Glover garden
Panorama du port de Nagasaki
Click to enlarge

Musée des livres d'enfants, Nagasaki
Illustrated books museum
Click on the pictures to enlarge
Musée des livres d'enfants, Nagasaki
Eglise Oura, Nagasaki
Temple dédié aux gâteaux castella, Nagasaki
Petites ruelles de Nagasaki

Panorama de Nagasaki

Going down, an obligatory passage was the Confucius Temple (Koshi byô ,孔子廟), the only temple of its kind to be built outside of China by Chinese workers. Having never been to China, I am not used to all this colors in temples. Red, orange and yellow, it looks like a jewel  in the heart of a neighborhood that suddenly seemed bland. I found the place beautiful but I prefer the discretion of wood and stone of Japanese temples.
Again there was no one and I could take my time to photograph ... and do calligraphy (free of charge) !
Speaking of temples, my next step will be the  Kajiya machi district (鍛冶屋町). For this, I went through the Dutch slope (オランダ坂), a small area on a hill with beautiful Western-style house. As it was already late, I didn't visited it though.

Temple Confucius, Nagasaki

Calligraphie au Temple Confucius, Nagasaki

Entrée du Temple Confucius, Nagasaki
Temple Confucius, Nagasaki
My first visit was the Kiyomizu Temple. Yes, there is one (very nice) in Nagasaki too ! Not only in Kyoto.  The temple in on a small mountain, with old stones (including a heart shaped one, find it during your visit), charming details and some very cute predictions (omikuji), enclosed in a small tube covered with Japanese paper. The view is also beautiful.
For the following temples, you just have to follow the road and open your eyes to find the steps leading series on the heights where are temples and shrines. Sometimes we discover little treasures.

Kiyomizu-dera, Nagasaki

Pierre en forme de coeur au Kiyomizu-dera, Nagasaki

Kiyomizu-dera, Nagasaki
Hortensias au Kiyomizu-dera, Nagasaki
Sôfuku-ji, Nagasaki

Temple Dojindô, Nagasaki

Vue depuis la station de tramway Shokakujishita, Nagasaki
Temple Daiko-ji, Nagasaki

Finally, I came to Chinatown through the glasses bridge "Megane-bashi" (眼鏡橋). If I am still fascinated by this beautiful bridge, I was a little disappointed by Chinatown, which is quite small and quite uninteresting. I just ate a kakuni-manju (角煮まんじゅう, pork bun ), a specialty of the city before going back slowly to the station to catch my bus back.

Megane-bashi, Nagasaki

Pierre en forme de coeur près du megane-bashi, Nagasaki
Plan du quartier, tout en faience, Nagasaki
Jolies fleurs près du Megane-bashi, Nagasaki
Glace en forme de rose, Nagasaki
Near Megane-bashi, you can eat a rose shaped ice cream (150 yens)
Entrée du quartier chinois de Nagasaki
Chinqtown entrqnce
The day passed at breakneck speed ! Of late, I had to speed to complete everything I wanted to see. I seem to have slowed down recently. Maybe it's the fact that I try by bestto take good pictures and it takes time ? Anyway, I really regret not having been able to spend the night here to continue my exploration the next day. I think I fell in love with this place, I had the feeling to have truly rediscovered this city, as if I had never went before. I already can't wait to come back again, maybe in August.
See you, Nagasaki, I will come back soon.

Panorama de Nagasaki
 View from Kiyomizu-dera temple

Three small tips to enjoy your Nagasaki trip :
- provide for at least 2 full days on the city itself  to go around quietly, there is so much to see!
- provide good shoes : you will have to walk a lot and there are a lot of stairs and slopes;
- have a good paper map with you. Google maps is really not enough, especially in the hills because the tiny streets are not indicated.

- 観光地が多いので一日が少ないです。せめて一泊した方が良いです。
- 階段が多いし、結構歩きますので良い靴を用意してください。
- ググールマップはスマホで見れるので便利のですが、小さい通りが書いてありませんのでガイドブックも要した方が役に立つと思います。

bannière mes petites adresses
Nagasaki is a city where there are plenty of excellent foods. From sweet to savory , one counts no less than half a dozen specialities but the main dish  is undoubtedly  champon (チャンポン).
Healthy, this dish inspired of Chinese and Fijian cuisine  is popular throughout Japan thanks to, among others, Ringer Hut chain.
It consists of pork, seafood, kameboko (fish paste), vegetables and noodles (which is like ramen). Everything is served in a broth made from chicken bones and topped with sliced ​​eggs .


Champon, spécialité de Nagasaki. Restaurant Shikairô

There was no way I would spend the day in Nagasaki without enjoying a good champon. For this, I went to Shikairo (四海楼), the restaurant which created the dish in the 1800's. I have not been disappointed. This is really the best champon I ever ate .
The broth was very tasty and not greasy at all. If you come on Nagasaki, it is a place not to be missed. There is also the option to buy the noodles and the broth in the small shop and visit the champon museum,  all in the same building.


Restaurant de chanpon Shikairô, Nagasaki

titre accès
Adress // 住所: 4-5 Matsugaemachi, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture // 〒850-0921 長崎県長崎市松が枝町4-5

Phone // 電話番号 : 095-822-1296

Prices // お値段 : 972 yens for a bowl of champon // チャンポンは972円から

Opening hours // 営業時間 : everyday from 11:30am to 3PM then from 5PM to 9PM (L.O at 8PM)
11時半〜15時 -  17〜21時(L.O 20時)

Access // アクセス : 5 minutes à pieds depuis la station de tramway Ôura tenshudô shita (大浦天主堂下)

Official homepage

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