Nagasaki: July 13th-July 15th
An ordinary city!
It’s rather sobering to write this, but the last couple of days have been rather meh, although it was probably largely in part due to the rain.
For the last couple of days, we’ve been staying in a REALLY nice hotel called the Dormy Inn. It features its own sento (a Japanese public bath), a pretty good free breakfast, and free noodles after 10pm!
Suffice to say, Nagasaki seems like a rather normal city, which is actually rather odd! Every place we’ve been too so far (besides Asahikawa) has had its own distinctive feeling, but Nagasaki just seems like a normal city. Sure, there’s the site of the atomic bombing, the peace park and the museum, but those locations don’t seem as integral to the city as they do to Hiroshima (which I’ve also been to).
It could just be that I’ve been in Japan for a while now that my idea of “normal town” has morphed into a Japanese ideal for now, but I don’t believe that to be the case. In my mind, it seems as though Nagasaki ‘chose’ to simply rebuild and move on, while Hiroshima ‘chose’ to move forward and remember the past. This is evident in the Hiroshima mayor writing a personal letter of protest to any world leader following a nuclear test. It could be due to a larger presence of foreigners and foreign buildings in Nagasaki due to it being one of the only ports open to foreigners originally, but it’s hard to pin it down on one specific aspect.
As for what we did in Nagasaki, we visited the peace park and museum, visited a Catholic museum devoted to 26 Christians who were killed for practising their faith in the 16th century. Afterwards, we visited 軍艦島, otherwise known as ‘Gunkan-Jima’ or Battleship Island. It was a location in 007: Skyfall. It used to be a booming industrial island before it was shut down and evacuated.
Here are some photos from my trip to Nagasaki.
Written by Jack Fetter for 1024LAL on July 15th, 2015.