Does this look like the centre of atomic destruction? It was hard to imagine that these sakura, just coming out, are in the park that marks the hypocentre of the Nagasaki atomic bomb explosion. Nagasaki has recovered and is now a very scenic, cosmopolitan, thriving city.
This is the third in a series of Nagasaki posts, from my weekend visit to Nagasaki a few weeks ago - the others are here and here.
Just like I did for Hakodate, I’ve created some panoramas of the view of Nagasaki from the top of Inasa-san, a mountain just to the west of the city. A cable car runs to the top, so it was up there for sunset and spectacular views over the harbour and city centre. I’ve seen this billed on tourist advertisements, along with Mt Hakodate and Rokko-san in Kobe, as one of the three “million dollar” night views of Japan. That’s why I expected gazillions of people up here enjoying the views – just like the night a few weeks earlier I was on Mt Hakodate – but there were only a few people, and it was rather peaceful.
When many Westerners think of Nagasaki, they think only of the second A-Bomb. Although that’s an important part of Nagasaki’s history, its earlier history of contact with the outside world is far more interesting and engaging. For around two and a half centuries (roughly 1600s to 1850s) , Nagasaki was the only place in all of Japan where foreigners were allowed to visit, and even then it was extremely limited. The Dutch were allotted a postage stamp sized artificial island in the harbour called Dejima.
Today, Dejima is no longer an island, after land reclamation. The original site is now an historical museum and recreation of the original facilities on the island, from which the Dutch used to trade (largely sugar) as an extension of the Dutch East Indies Company’s route. (more…)
Here’s a shop in Nagasaki that appears to be selling things carved from whale bone. Guess I’d better not bring this home to Australia as souvenirs!
It’s kind of surreal to be enjoying cherry blossoms at what was the hypocentre of atomic destruction.
The cherry blossoms have started to bloom. These ones are at a shrine at the bottom of the Mt Inasa ropeway.