Tuesday, 27 May 2014

the san francisco of japan

On our second day in Nagasaki we headed to the 26 Martyrs Memorial, 5 minutes' walk from the station. It commemorates the Christians religiously persecuted killed in 1597. Behind it was a great wee museum about the history of Christianity in Japan. 

We ducked into a coffee shop round the corner to avoid the rain and found piles of gorgeous children's books. I love the "This is..." series illustrated by M. Sasek. 

And it had damn good hot chocolate too. 

Old map of Japan
Sheltering from the rain, we popped into the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture and were drawn in to a great tour by an eager old man for an hour or so. The museum has a lot of beautiful arts and crafts as well as history and traditional Japanese painting.

We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering in and out of temples under our umbrella. 

Suwa Shrine

Sofukuiji Temple was totally deserted and rather atmospheric in the rain. 

The holy grail of Cokes

Later when we wandered out for dinner we found this absolute coincidence! What are the chances?!

Our last morning was bright and blustery, and I was a little nervous as we rode up to Inasa-yama. It's apparently one of the best views night views in the whole of Japan, but it's pretty spectacular during the day too... 

I loved the size, the history and the cosmopolitanism of Nagasaki, and would have loved to have been placed there. If you visit, plan to spend at least two full days there and prepare to let go of all your preconceptions about Japan. 

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