Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Nagasaki

Afternoon in Nagasaki

After our visit to the Nagasaki Peace Park, we were ready for a snack. We decided on a lunch set. Dave enjoyed the sushi lunch set and I enjoyed the tempura lunch set. Oishi des!

After we were refueled, we were ready for more exploring. Next on my list of things to see was the Mt. Inasa Ropeway. I’m a sucker for a Japanese Ropeway. I’m not sure why, but I get such a kick out of them! We had a little time before the next car arrived. This allowed us time to walk around a nearby Shrine. The fall foliage made me so happy!

Finally, it was time for our 14:00 gondola ride to the top of Mt. Inasa. As we were boarding, we paused for a quick photo with the gondola driver. There were two professional photographers taking pictures of the gondola, but not riding. I asked one of them to take our picture. While he was snapping away, his partner was snapping away, too! On their camera. Dave and I laughed at the possibility of our picture ending up in some Japanese advertisement.

The ride to the top was very quick. Only five minutes. I snapped a few pictures during our ride up. Don’t you just love the pink house? And did you notice all the stairs the people have to climb if they live at the top?

As we rode in the gondola to the top, we were informed that Nagasaki was ranked as one of the three cities with the best night views in the world in 2012. The other two cities were Hong Kong and Monaco. Obviously, we came to the city only for the day and didn’t have the opportunity to see the spectacular night view. We saved something for the next time we visit. During the day, the view was pretty spectacular, too!

The ride down provided us with beautiful views as we were lowered back down to the city. I included a short video of our trip down. I wanted you to experience the beauty and hear our gondola driver speaking to us!

The third place I picked for us to visit was Meganebashi or Spectacles Bridge. It is the oldest arched stone bridge in Japan. It also has the claim of being the most photographed bridge in Japan. It was built in 1634 by a Japanese Monk. It was badly damaged during a flood in 1982. It was repaired and restored using most of the original stones that were retrieved from the river.

Two pictures with people on the bridge. The first one – us. The second one – Japanese school children.

And one selfie for good measure. Doing our part to help it remain the most photographed bridge.

We had a great time exploring Nagasaki. I left a lot open on my to do / see list. Enough to potentially make a second trip. In hindsight, I probably should have booked a room so we could have spent the night. This would have not only given us more time to explore, but also broken up the two long train rides. Live and learn and always keep exploring!

Nagasaki Peace Park

Another place on my “must see in Japan” list is Nagasaki. It is about a 2 hour train ride from Sasebo.

This was Dave’s first time riding the Sasebo trains. We had a giggle as we boarded. We caught the 8:27 train from Sasebo Station. Clickety-clack we went!

When I stopped by IACE travel on Monday, she gave me a plethora of helpful information to plan our visit. The travel agent provided a suggested itinerary for our trip as well as train schedules. Getting around the city of Nagasaki is easy because they have a trolley / streetcar. There are four different lines making it easy to navigate around the city.

Based upon the list of places to visit I was provided, I knew we weren’t going to be able to see / do everything. So, I made a priority list. The first and foremost location I wanted to visit was the Nagasaki Peace Park. It was surreal and serene. As you walked up several flights of stairs, you passed several statues leading you towards the Peace Park Fountain.

I know it is hard to see, at the other end of the fountain is the Peace Statue.

Here is a picture of the Peace Statue up close.

There is so much symbolism in the Statue. We didn’t quite understand the meaning at first. Fortunately, there was an information plaque in English near by.

The park’s crowds would ebb and flood as one tour group arrived and another would leave. Here is what the park looked like when we first arrived.

When we had an ebb in the crowd, we snapped a quick selfie.

The magnitude for the desire for peace was felt from the moment you entered the park. Ropes of paper cranes were prevalent everywhere. Each one, a prayer for peace.

The next spot within the park was the Nagasaki Monolith. The Ground Zero of the explosion.

I find it fascinating to visit places we learned about in history class. My memory isn’t too good at remembering exactly what I was taught so many years ago, but I feel like there was only a glossing over of the attacks. Do you remember learning Nagasaki wasn’t the intended target. But, the cloud cover on August 9th, 1945 caused the plane to reroute further south. Through a break in the clouds, the pilot saw the Mitsubishi factory in Nagasaki and recognized it as an intended landmark and dropped “Fatman”. Ground Zero of the explosion was a Catholic Church. I don’t remember learning that in my history class. This is a picture of church’s corner stone is reconstructed. The lions at the bottom are not.

It is interesting to see history from a different perspective. Even more so to realize the Japanese’s desire for world peace. The Japanese don’t want this to happen again – anywhere.

Our final stop in the Peace Park was a visit to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. The antique clock when you enter is permanently stuck at 11:02am – the time when Bomb detonated. The re-enactment video is intense. The stories of the victims are heartbreaking and the stories of the survivors incredible. Neither pictures nor my words give them enough weight. It truly was a somber and surreal experience.

We left Nagasaki Peace Park feeling sad and yet hopefully. Hopeful for world peace.

One prayer at a time.

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