{Japan: Plan} Our Itinerary for a 3-Day Trip to Nagasaki, Kyushu

gunkanjima island

Gunkanjima…..alas, we will not be going there on this trip.

On our upcoming Japan trip (now less than a month away!), we will be staying in Nagasaki for 3 nights.  What make this city so interesting, in my opinion, is how heavily influenced it was by European and Chinese traders from the mid-1500’s thru the Meiji Period.  As the rest of Japan was isolated from the outside world during this time, Nagasaki has elements that makes it unique from any other Japanese city.  Unfortunately, Nagasaki is probably best known for having been destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II.   So we will definitely be visiting the Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Museum.  Where we won’t be visiting is Gunkanjima, the famous abandoned island off of Nagasaki’s coast.  M suffers from motion sickness and we’re worried that the 2 hour boat ride will make him sick.  But that’s OK, there’s still plenty to do in Nagasaki and we’re going to try and cram it all into 3 days!

September 28, 2013 (Mt. Inasa)

  • Arrive in Nagasaki @ 4:50 PM.  From JR Nagasaki Station, we’ll make our way to the hotel: Crowne Plaza ANA Nagasaki Gloverhill.
  • Dinner at Shikairo.  You’d think that with all the Ringer Huts we’ve passed by during prior trips, we would have eaten champon long before this.  But actually it’s a good thing we waited since Shikairo is where champon originated!
  • Mt. Inasa (via ropeway).  The views from Mt. Inasa are supposed to be one of the three best in all of Japan.

September 29, 2013 (Glover Garden, Oura Church, Dutch Slope, Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum)

  • Breakfast at combini.  Google Maps revealed that there is a Family Mart right next to our hotel yay!  Combini onigiris are one of my favorite ways to start off the day in Japan!
  • Glover Garden.  Featuring the Westernized homes of wealthy, foreign merchants back in the day.  More great views of Nagasaki.
  • Oura Church.   M, being Christian, has great interest in seeing Oura as it is the oldest Christian church in all of Japan.
  • Dutch Slope.  This is where I want to get my castella on!  Castella, a specialty of Nagasaki, is a sponge cake that Portuguese merchants introduced to the Japanese.  Bunmeido is supposed to be one of the best castella shops.  However, I’m not picky, I’m used to the cheap stuff from Japanese supermarkets in Southern California!
  • Lunch at Shippoku Hamakatsu.  This restaurant serves up affordable course menus of shippoku ryori (a blend of Japanese, Chinese, and Western cooking).  It can get pricey at dinner time so we’re going to try and go for lunch.
  • Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum.  I’ve heard that the museum is especially excellent as it is both informative and interactive.
  • Dinner at Tsuruchan.  I am so excited to eat Toruko Rice (Turkish Rice) here!  This strange dish combines rice pilaf, tonkatsu, and spaghetti all on one plate.

September 30, 2013 (Dejima, Huis Ten Bosch)

  • Dejima.  Long ago this used to be an island where the Portuguese and Dutch were sequestered to.  Today, many of the original warehouses and homes remain although they’re in the process of being reconstructed.
  • Lunch at Sasebo Burger Log Kit.  I am feeling a bit leery about eating any more hamburgers in Japan.  Mos Burger, Lotteria, and Freshness Burger have all disappointed.  But supposedly Sasebo burgers originated at a US base in Sasebo with the American soldiers teaching the Japanese how to make them.  So they ought to be good?
  • Huis Ten Bosch.  I love theme parks so I’m looking forward to this.  This recreation of a Dutch town should be a good way to wind down our trip in Nagasaki.
  • Dinner at Pinoccio.  According to Trip Advisor this is the best restaurant in Sasebo, where Huis Ten Bosch is located.

If there’s any extra time, we’ll try and make it to Chinatown, Sofukuji Temple or Kofukuji Temple, or Meganebashi Bridge.

Photo credit: mab-ken / Foter / CC BY-SA