So after doing a lot of walking and bussing around Karatsu (唐津) it was time to head further west and check out Sasebo (佐世保)…
However I was pretty darn knackered from Karatsu that I really didn’t have the energy to trek out to perhaps Sasebo’s only selling point – the “99 islands”. So yeah, if you want to see that, you can always google it I guess? (sorry!!).
Instead I made a brief pit-stop in Saga (佐賀), and checked out the hot air balloon museum, because it sounded kind of fun, and it was surprisingly interesting.
After which I went to Sasebo, stayed the night and headed down to Nagasaki City (長崎) on a delightfully scenic seaside train.
In Nagasaki, first stop was the atomic bomb museum, which for lack of a better word was ‘harrowing’, and whilst it feels odd to recommend visiting such a place, I’d say it’s an absolute must-visit, if only for the accounts of the survivors.
Outside the museum there’s a short walk to the hypocenter (not an epicenter as I learned) of where the bomb detonated.
By the by, it’s a ‘hypocenter’ not an ‘epicenter’ because the bomb detonated ~500m above the ground.
The area has been made into a park to both document aspects of the damage, as well as a symbol of peace.
So after leaving here, I headed up to the “Skyroad”, which is a series of elevators that take you up to get a smashing view of Nagasaki.
As an aside, Nagasaki, well a lot of the Kyushu (九州) region is very mountainous, as such, Cities such as Nagasaki stretch high up the various hills and mountains in the region.
and the view from the top
At the top there’s an open-air museum-thing called Clover Garden that exhibits some of the former homes of foreign residents that were mostly involved in trading goods between Europe and Japan.
Historically Nagasaki was the only location in Japan that outsiders were permitted to trade and reside, as such there’s an awful lot of foreign influence in the town’s architecture, food and other aspects.
Thankfully the sun was starting to set, so by the time I got to my final destination for the day I could really appreciate it.
The final destination was Mt. Inasa – but don’t worry, no more mountain climbing for me at the moment (at least not in this heat!), there’s a cable-car that takes you to an observation deck for an absolute breathtaking view of the Nagasaki night skyline.
So…the only camera I own is my 3+year old iPhone, so the photos were never going to be any good (I was aware of this beforehand!!), so whilst I took photos, I highly recommend googling “nagasaki night view” for photos that are infinitely better than mine (or coming to Nagasaki and seeing it in person, because it’s even better than the professional photos!!!).
Apparently Nagasaki’s night view is ranked in top 3 in the world, behind Hong Kong and Monaco.
Pretty exhausting, but enjoyable day, so tomorrow (I guess today as I’m writing it), will be a bit of sightseeing balanced with chilling out and avoiding the heat – whilst it’s “only” 25°C, it gets to that heat super-early, so there’s not much of a window to do stuff without getting thoroughly cooked.