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Nagasaki Nagasaki

Nagasaki

Japan has long been quite open-minded towards cultures from abroad, having been deeply influenced by China and the Korean Peninsula from an early stage. From the 15th century, European nations started to assertively across borders and seas, in the time thought of as the “Age of Voyage”. Ultimately, ships from Western countries reached Japan, on the borderline of the Eurasian continent. That was the time when Japan first came into direct contact with Western culture, which was also spreading through the continent. The cultural exchange became increasingly popular, and so did trade. “Nagasaki”, as a port city, turned into the doorway of such cultural exchanges.

Trade with Western countries had started, at first, it did not spread much to the rest of the country, and it was constrained to the many port towns in Kyushu, including “Nagasaki”. It was also the time when the daimyo (feudal lords) of the Sengoku period were competing against each other for power. The drive to make the most of external influx did not cease and Western culture was steadily flowing into the “Nagasaki”. However, during the transition into the Edo Shogunate, free trade with Western nations was restricted by the ministers of the military government, and there were attempts of the daimyo to get empowered through trade. Yet still, “Nagasaki” remained the place where East-West trade happened, although initially limited to a few port towns. At the time, other advanced cultures entered the country through “Nagasaki”, and people who came to study there could learn a great, absorbing a lot of knowledge that had come through from Europe and the West. Many people who helped to end the Edo Shogunate and who pressured the country into “the Meiji Restoration” had an opportunity to get in Western contact culture, which had bloomed in “Nagasaki”.

After “the Meiji Restoration”, “Nagasaki” continued to flourish as a port town even as Japan’s modernization progressed on a national scale. “Nagasaki”, facing the continent, was a fundamental base for Japan, whose motto of the time was “enrich the country and strengthen the army”. When the atomic bomb was dropped on “Nagasaki”, at the end of WW2, the city was destroyed. A lot of effort was put into the restoration of “Nagasaki” and into reverting to its old taste.

“Nagasaki” is now a port town facing the sea, surrounded by mountains on three sides. Despite its many gradients in the soil, it developed significantly, and its trade with the West shaped its urban structure. The soul of “Nagasaki” has often inspired and become the spotlight of movies, novels and even songs, and it remains an important site within Japan to date. Please visit “Nagasaki” and have a nice walk around.

Below, we will be introducing the main touristic areas in “Nagasaki”. We will also make sure to recommend areas that are good sightseeing spots also other than “Nagasaki” in the “Travel guidebook” section. Please check it out!

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