Nagasaki is a bustling port city in the south west of Japan. Despite the fact that it is built around trade it's a lovely city and has some really cool things to see.
First up - Imagine yourself as a Bond villan!
It's called battleship Island because from the sea the structures give it a perfect battleship silhouette. It's quite uncanny. I'm sure that before Skyfall it was probably a tourist attraction already, however the movie can't have done it any harm that's for sure.
While the coal mined was of decent quality the pit eventually reached almost a kilometer below the surface meaning that eventually the cost to pull it out overrode the profit from the ore. Because of its location the workers lived on the island, hence all the multistory buildings. The mine was closed in 1974, everyone was removed from the island and it just started to decay.
In its prime in the mid 60's they say around 5½ thousand people lived on the island and the population density was nine times higher than Tokyo at the time. There was a hospital, schools, shops, services and even a movie theatre.
33 years later in 2009 boat tours were established to visit the island and almost 80% of tourists to Nagasaki now visit this ghost town.
The tour is a short boat ride from the main port and even though it was a pretty brisk day, getting a spot to take a decent photo of the silhouette was a bit of a challenge. Lets just say that me being 6 feet tall enabled me to get at least one.
Check out the info on this The Gunkanjima Concierge Company's English website.
AFter such a rainy night I wasn't expecting the next day to be a great day but glorious sunshine arrived and I spent the day wandering the streets and parks of Nagasaki. I didn't do the Atomic Bomb park and museun as I'd already done Hiroshima and quite frankly I just couldn't do it again.
I wandered around and up and down the streets of Dutch Slope and while it was a pleasant walk, its not really amazing from an architecture perspective. There was one house open, Higashi Yamate 13, which was worth the visit but again you wouldn't feel like you'd missed out on anything if you didn't' visit it.
What I did love however was Glover Gardens.
The other homes in the park have been relocated there from other parts of the city and the park itself has a great view of the port and city area and is a lovely area to walk around, sit and while the day away. There are restaurants and cafe's and moving walkways for those less able to avoid walking up the steps and hills. The entry fee was around 600 yen and really worth it. I had a lovely morning wandering around checking everything out and then of course, had coffee and cake!