A Late New Year's Rambling and Nagasaki Sightseeing

First, before it’s WAAAAY to late, let me just say あけましておめでとうごいざいます (akemashite omedetou gozaimasu). Or Happy New Year as some of you might know it by.

I’ve had a lack of updates as you can see, do to the fact that I was back in the US for the holidays. It was great to be back, but at the same I am glad to be back in Japan. I have a lot to do this year! And now let me get to the meat of this post.

Before the end of the year—actually before I went to the Aso Farm Land—I had a business trip to a ryokan (Japanese Inn) called Taishyo, in the small town of Ureshino, part of the Saga prefecturate. It’s located about 30 mins or so from Nagasaki. The town is famous for its onsen (hot springs). I was told that most of the houses there have their own personal onsen!

Unfortunately, my mind was elsewhere and I didn’t get any pictures in Ureshino. I had the Tom Cruise look going when he was in “Last Samurai”, with my yukata (summer kimono). And yes, men do wear kimonos on occasion!

But don’t fret! I did manage to make a trip to Nagasaki after the business meetings for a short sightseeing session at Glover Garden, and a quick bite to eat in Chinatown. I put on my tourist hat and snapped a few photos that I’ll share below.

First, a little history about Glover Garden: Glover Garden is an open air museum that displays buildings that were home to Westerners living in Nagasaki. Westerners ventured to Nagasaki in the late 1800s, when Japan finally opened its doors (with a little nudge from an American admiral) to the outside world. Some westerners settled on the hill where this museum is located at. The family for which the musuem is named, Glover, was headed by Thomas Blake Glover. His fame in Japan was achieved by helping take down the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Meiji Restoration, and by contributing to the industrialization of Japan.

The musem path first guides you to the top of the hill. After a short walk, you’re greeted with the former Mitsubishi No. 2 Dock House. Included with the house is a neat pond full of fish and an excellent view across the bay.

Walking up and down the hill, you get to see a variety of western style homes and peruse their interior.

This building was the former Glover Residence.

Besides the Glover Garden, I had a chance to take a quick walk through Nagasaki’s Chinatown to grab some lunch. Nagasaki is famous for their chanpon (also spelled champon), a Chinese noodle dish that has a ton of vegetables and seafood. It was delicious.

Finally, leaving Chinatown:

My next trip to Nagasaki I hope to visit at least the Confucian Shrine, Dejima (a former island for Dutch traders), and if I feel strong enough, the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum.

Oh, and what post isn’t complete without a little cuteness: