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edit: It's Nagasaki of course, I didn't recheck my title. :bash: If a someone can change that, thank you very much.

Here's a photo series about the Japanese city of Nagasaki that I visited just a few weeks ago. I like to tell something about it's interesting history to give some extra live to the pictures.

You arrive in the town with the Kamome (Seagull) limited express from Hakata (Fukuoka) the main town of the Island of Kyushu were Nagasaki is located in the South West of Japan. The train looks like a German HighSpeed Train, but that's because it's designed by the same guy. This train only has a maximum speed of 130 km/h, but it has a active tilting system to make it go faster around bends.


The City of Nagasaki was just a small fishing town in the 16th century until it was 'discovered' by the Portuguese and turned into a trading post. The location on the bay was perfect, the surrounding hills made it into a natural Typhoon shelter.



Nowadays the harbor isn't used for trade anymore, other Japanese harbors have better location for the big industrial and population centers. But it's specialized in shipbuilding. Mitsubishi has some big shipyards in the town, providing many jobs to the local economy.


The Portuguese didn't only trade, they also introduced Catholicism to Japan via Nagasaki. Even today the city still has a big active Christian population, and that in a country were only 2% of the population is actually Christian.


One of the former popes also visited the town.


The Christians were considered a threat for the ruling leaders in Japan. The Tokugawa shogunate ruling the country from Edo, current day Tokyo back then above the emperor on Kyoto banned Christianity in 1614. This also meant that all foreign people were banned from Japan altogether.

The only contacts with the outside world could be done via Nagasaki and only Chinese and Dutch ships were allowed entry to the port. The Dutch were chosen because they were only out for the money and didn't have a religious agenda for the countries they traded with. So they were allowed to have a small permanently staffed trading factory called Dejima in the bay of Nagasaki. The Dutch people on the island were not allowed to leave the island without a permit that was only given for special occasions. But still the Dutch have made a mark on the history of Nagasaki, because they were basically the only contact that Japanese people could have with the Western world in the 17th, 18th and 19th century.


Dejima isn't really an Island anymore with all the land reclamation around it and it turned into just a part of the town. But luckily they've decided that Dejima was so important for the Japanese history to change it back into it's 'original' state.




11. This tree was planted by the Dutch crown prince Willem Alexander

The buildings on Dejima changed constantly, even during the Dutch period. This makes it difficult to bring it back in the original state, because there wasn't really one. The current buildings are a mix of rebuild buildings from the Dutch period and some newer buildings build by the British in the days after Japan opened up.




Holland has earned big money with it's exclusive trade with Japan, but during the last days of the closure of Japan the trade stagnated because of the problems that Holland had with Great Britain and France The British had started to dominate the international trade, making it very hard for the Dutch to keep up their position in Asia. The French (Napoleon) had occupied Holland and made it into a French controlled country. The Japanese only traded with the Dutch and therefor the new French Holland wasn't allowed in, Dejima was then the only part in the world were the real Dutch flag was still in top.

In 1868 the Meiji restoration took place in Japan, the power of the Tokugawa-shogunate was transferred back to the Emperor Meiji. It also lead with the help of the American's that Japan finally opened up to international trade again. The international history of Nagasaki helped to the town to profit from the new trade with especially the British.

On Clover Hill this period is still visible with a open air museum of the original western style villas that housed the wealthy British traders.



Clover Hill is very popular for tourist and school trips


They had a nice view over the bay, a good place to live.







24. Every year there is a festival were models of important ships from Nagasaki are carried around the town, they cannot do it without a Dutch ship of course.


During the closure of the country, the Dutch in Dejima was also the only way for the Japanese to learn about modern Western scientific studies. interestingly enough this resulted that many of the scientific studies done in that period were done in Dutch. They even produced a Dutch - Japanese dictionary that was written by hand and took more then 20 years to complete.

One of the most famous scientist that came to Japan in that Period was a German doctor named Philipp Franz von Siebold. He studied also in the Dutch town of Leiden and by pretending he was Dutch he was allowed to come to Dejima were he used the opportunity to study the Japanese Flora and Fauna.

He also collected many "souvenirs" that he wanted to take back to Europe, but the Japanese authorities found out by chance (his ship stranded in a storm) and he was banned from returning to Japan. But his studies were so important that the ban was lifted and he could return and he even started a school for Japanese people, something that was almost unimaginable back then.


The Siebolt Museum, the building used to be his school.


The Hollander Slope is also a spot with many international style buildings, I expected more of it to be honest.



30. The former HSBC Bank

31. But just a bit further along the road the usual Japanese buildings.

The Meiji restoration was not just the re-start of the internationalization of Nagasaki but also the start of the Japanese Nationalism that ultimately led to the blackest day of the history of Nagasaki. On August 9, 1945 the B-29 Superfortress "Bockscar" decided to drop the atombomb "Fat Man" on Nagasaki. The city was the second target, but the initial target Kokura (now Kitakyushu) had to much cloud cover to drop the bomb there. More then 70,000 people lost their lives because of the direct impact, the fires that spread round the city and the radiation.

This events are being remembered in the city by a museum, a peace park and many monuments remembering the people that lost their lives. The city of Nagasaki is also actively promoting a world free of nuclear weapons and war.

32. Entry to the Museum. There were many groups of schoolkids, some very young and all have to see the shocking images of the aftermath of the attack. I found it quite amazing that they let the kids see them, that's not something that could happen in Holland.


Schoolkids everywhere, learning about the importance of peace.





The Hypocenter, the bomb exploded 500 meters above this spot killing thousands of people in an instant.



The Peace Park.





43. The Urakami Cathedral, symbol of the destroyed Christian heritage in Nagasaki.




47. From up the hill a good view on the part of town that was destroyed by the bomb. It also shows the hills that protected the Southern part of the town for more devastation.

48. The station

49. the Bay

50. Dejima from above, it's clearly not an Island anymore

51. The viewing tower

52. View on the East China Sea on the other side of the hills





Nagasaki is a very interesting city to visit for international tourist (unlike many other smaller Japanese cities), if you're planning a round trip in Japan it's definitely a place to consider as a stop for a few days.

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very applause who made this thread....its great to see nagasaki at present time...
we are in Jakarta can see more clear about that city...its stunning picture for us....
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