A cosmopolitan Japanese city
In Japan’s third-largest island – Kyushu – an MSC cruise will help you discover the city of Nagasaki.
Gathered in the tucks and crevices of steep hills rising from a long, narrow harbour, and spreading its tentacles along several tributary valleys, Nagasaki is one of Japan’s more picturesque cities, and one of the most popular with international visitors.
This appeal is furthered by an easy-going attitude and an unusually cosmopolitan culture, resulting from over two centuries of contact with foreigners when the rest of Japan was all but closed to the world.
On an excursion you can visit GloverGarden, as well as offering some of Nagasaki’s best views, it features seven late nineteenth-century, European-style buildings, each typically colonial with wide verandas, louvred shutters and high-ceilinged, spacious rooms. The houses also contain odds and ends of furniture and evocative photos of the pioneering inhabitants they once housed.
The best approach is to take the“SkyRoad”up to the garden’s upper entrance and work down. Glover’s house, the oldest Western-style building in Japan, is worth a look around, as are those formerly belonging to Frederick Ringer, founder of the Nagasaki Press, and tea merchant William Alt. The exit from Glover Garden takes you through the Museum of Traditional Performing Arts, which displays the beautifully fashioned floats and other paraphernalia used during the Kunchi festivities.
Nagasaki is not short of good viewpoints, but none can compare with the spectacular panorama from Inasa-yama, a 333m-high hill to the west of the city. A ropeway, or cable-car, whisks you up there in just five minutes. From the top, you get stunning views of the contorted local coastline, as well as the confetti of nearby islands and islets.