Eine Woche ist es her, dass ich den Beitrag zu Nagasaki geschrieben habe, leider hatte ich danach keine Zeit den englischen Beitrag zu verfassen, was einige nicht davon abhielt den Beitrag bereits zu lesen =). Wie dem auch sei, jetzt bin ich in Beppu angelangt, wo ich die nächsten zwei Wochen dann wwoofen werde, analog zu Nagasaki. In der Woche nach Nagasaki war ich noch in Karatsu (Saga Präfektur, wird vielleicht noch nen Beitrag folgen) und nochmal zu meiner Hostfamilie in Oguni, wo ich dereinst, während der Erdbeben gewooft hatte. Grund war erstrangig, dass ich mein Handy und meinen mp3-Player dort vergessen hatte und diese wieder einsammeln wollte. Entschied mich aber für 3 Nächte zu bleiben und ein wenig auszuhelfen =). Nach der Zeit in Beppu gehts dann geradewegs nach Tokyo (wo ich hin hitchhiken will) um meine Studienkollegin samt Tochter abzuholen, die am 4. Juli ankommen =). Da wir drei Wochen lang unterwegs sein und halb Japan (Tokyo abwärts) bereisen werden, werde ich in der Zeit keine Möglichkeit haben meinen Blog zu updaten. Heißt alles was wir sehen bleibt euch fürs erste verwehrt. Einige Sachen die wir zusammen sehen, werde ich später nochmal alleine besuchen und dann ausführlich darüber berichten. Anderes wird dann darauf noch folgen. So nun erstmal viel Spass mit Nagasaki =).
Nagasaki is beautiful city and ranks #1 among my favorite japanese cities so far in Kyushu. Its location, right at the sea and surrounded by mountains makes it a rather long stretched city with a rather small city core. Reminds me of my university town, Jena in Germany, which is but located inland on a river. However, I stayed with the Casa Noda Hostel (twin Hostel to Casa Blanca) which is a mere 5 minutes walk from the main train station. The staff (all japanese woman who are able to speak english, and many more languages!), welcomed me very warmly and invited me right away for dinner on the same evening. So we went to a malaysian restaurant, which was the first time for me, but proofed to be really delicious!
I wrote a small summary on their webpage about my stay there, check it out.
What is there to see in Nagasaki? Well, it has some sad reputation for being the second city ever bombed with a atomic bomb, 3 days after Hiroshima on the 9th of August 1945. Therefore, go and visit the atomic bomb museum in Nagsaki. though the photographs they exhibit can be really hard for some people (burned (child) corpses on the road and such), you nevertheless get a good insight in how it happned, and what the consequences were. There are many pieces which are affected by the explosion, or related to it. For example, the first piece is a wall clock which is quite deformed and stopped to work at 11:02 am and shows the time of the explosion. When you come in and see this clock, it somehow became real and the before unimaginable and far far away happening (in space and time) builds up a connection with you and you begin to relate to what happend. The whole museum was really impressive and they even had a replica of the atomic bomb (which had the disgusting name ‚Fatman‘) and how it worked. Also a timescale with the most important happenings before the bomb was dropped, all related to this one matter of course. For example was it Kokura (north Kyushu) at first, which was targeted, but because of bad weather conditions, they targeted the second city on their list, Nagasaki. Don’t just rush through there, but take your time. I took 2 hours, read a lot and made some photographs (to be seen within the first link in the german Version). By the way is the admission fee, just 200 Yen, so no excuse at all to not go. Big plus: with the Nagasaki discount Card (which is available for free at the Information Center or in a Hostel), you get in for half the price. It is also availabe for some other sight seeing spots and totally recomendable.
Another place I went to is Dejima, an artificial island, which was inhabited by dutch merchants during the Meiji era and the time of japans isolation to other counrties. In Fact, Nagasaki was the only city which was more or less open to foreigners. So in Dejima, you can see some european houses and how it looked inside. There too, you can get admission for half price with the Nagasaki discount card and only pay 250 Yen. Unfortunately it wasn’t that good. Worth to see yes, but nothing that really sticked to my mind, untill I found a store which I always wanted to find! A childhood dream of mine came true as I saw the rental shop for Kimono and Samurai clothes! Yes, you heard right, I could rent a samurai costume (for a mere 2000 Yen!), and walk around Dejima :D. How cool is that! I was clad by one of the female clerks and looked super cool. Please see the pictures in the link above. They went around with me and shot heaps of pictures for me =). Such a good service. I am a bit ashamed to say, but I was the one, people stopped for to throw a gaze on or to even do some pictures themselves :D. That was definetly the Highlight of Japan up till now. 2000 Yen could make me reaaaaaal happy that day!
I also went to Mt. Inasa, which is very famous for tourists. From up there you have one of the three best views about a porttown in the world. HongKong and Monaco are the other two. Especially at night you should go up there (take the ropeway, again for half the price), and see the sparkling city underneath you, but also the surroundings. With a 360° view, one can even see up to Mt Unzen on very clear days. I spent another 2 hours up there from 7 to 9 pm, while night fell upon the city. I was purely amazed by the city and it had some magic on it. There are also pictures with the first link in the german version =).
The last thing I will mention is my trip to Mt. Unzen on my day off. Mt. Unzen is a volcano and located on the Shimabara peninsula where I arrived at, coming from Kumamoto with the ferry. It takes around 1,5 hours to get there with the Bus (3.240 Yen Roundtrip) and it was worth it. Just that I didn’t have enough time to climb up to the crater was a real shame. Because I was dependent on the Bus I had to be back at Unzen town, before 4 pm. So I could just check out the observatory and have a glance upon the volcanic dome which formed in 1991 during the last eruption period. The wind was too strong, so the ropeway further up the Mountain closed off and I was bound to walk back to town, which is actually nice to look at, but not much there to see. If you go there, buy yourself a bento in Nagasaki, the small restaurants are not that good actually, though I just tried one. I also went into a Sento (public bath) in which I enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere of a real good onsen, together with some old men. A nice, but very short stay unfortunately. I really regret to not have had more time. Next time I will do better, if not for Mt. Unzen than for some other one =).
Aside of this there are some more things to see in Nagasaki. I highly recommend the harbor at night. Really beautiful (if you have some good weather), and also recommend to stay with either Casa Noda or Casa Blanca. The staff is awesome, the Hostel very clean, and the owner, the most relaxed and nicest guy I’ve met in Japan up till now! Thank you Nagasaki and Casa Noda, for this great experience, I’ll be back!