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NAGASAKI
  • TOKYO
  • NAGASAKI

HISTORIC BEAUTY OF ARTS AND BUILDINGS

After appreciating artworks and its architectural and historical building at The National Museum of Western Art in the Ueno Park, Tokyo, take in the Oura Tenshudo, a Catholic church located in Nagasaki prefecture. It's considered the oldest existing Christian church in Japan, and was the first Western building designated as a national treasure. This journey will fully gratifies you with the historic beauty of arts and buildings.

Official Tokyo Travel Guide
https://www.gotokyo.org/en/

Local government official website
http://www.visit-nagasaki.com/

TRAVELER

  • Traveled : November 2017 Adeline Gressin
    Publisher
    Reside in Paris, France
  • Traveled : November 2017 Adeline Le Mette
    Doctoral program in oil painting course
    Reside in Tokyo
    Home country: France

Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport

ANA216 Examine the directions from your country

  • Adeline Gressin

    I took the ANA Dreamliner from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to Tokyo (Haneda Airport). The cabin attendants constantly had a smile on their faces, and the service was very attentive. I had a choice of the Japanese meal or Western meal for breakfast and dinner respectively on the flight. There was also a wide range of inflight entertainment, including contents from Europe, America, and Asia, so the 12-hour flight went by in a flash.

Haneda Airport

Tokyo Metropolitan Area

Day1

TOKYO

Meiji Jingu Shrinemore

Meiji Jingu Shrine

The shrine was established in 1920 as a dedication to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and the Empress Dowager Shōken. The extensive forest around the shrine in the center of the city was created artificially by planting a hundred thousand trees donated from people all over the country.
The shrine attracts the greatest number of worshippers every year during hatsumode" over the New Year period."

  • Adeline Gressin

    Meiji Jingu (or Meiji Shrine) was built in 1920, and is dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken. Its calm and quiet atmosphere is a stark contrast with the hustle and bustle of the city. By chance, a wedding ceremony was taking place during my visit, so I had the opportunity to see the bride and groom dressed in traditional Japanese garb. If you visit Tokyo, be sure to visit Meiji Jingu. 2020 marks the centenary of the enshrinement of the Emperor and Empress.

    Soba Nomura is a soba restaurant located near the entrance to Takeshita-dori. Both table seats and counter seats are available. The menu is extensive, and includes soba accompanied by tempura. It was very delicious and a good portion, and served on such beautiful tableware. Although the restaurant is not that far away from the lively and energetic Takeshita-dori, it is a tranquil place where you can breathe freely.

  • Adeline Le Mette

    Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine) is a beautiful and traditional place. We were shown around the place by the Shinto priest who works there, and gained an in-depth understanding of the history of the shrine, religion in Japan, and in particular, about the rituals that are carried out in the shrine. At Meiji Jingu, one will also frequently come across families dressed in kimono and see brides dressed in beautiful Japanese bridal garments.

    The noodles at Soba Nomura had a very subtle and refined taste. It was fascinating to learn that buckwheat flour is used in such a completely different way from French cuisine, and a very interesting experience for me. I especially recommend the set meal of soba with a conger eel tempura rice bowl.

JR Yamanote Line
Yoyogi Station → Ueno Station
About 40 minutes / 170 yen

The National Museum of Western Artmore

RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS

The National Museum of Western Art

A museum specializing in Western art located in Ueno Park in Taito Ward, Tokyo.
The main building was registered as a World Cultural Heritage on July 17, 2016 as an architectural asset of “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement.”

  • Adeline Gressin

    The National Museum of Western Art is located in the heart of Ueno Park in Tokyo. This building is one of 17 works designed by the French architect Le Corbusier, and is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The works in the permanent collection of the Museum span a wide range of eras and styles, with a particularly rich collection of Impressionist works. Of course, there are also works by the great artists of France and Europe, including Monet, Degas, Gauguin, Picasso, and Rodin. Despite being in the heart of this dynamic city, it feels as if time has come to a stop here.

    Ueno Park is located in a bustling area, but offers a place of repose where you can catch your breath. There are cultural facilities such as museums (including the Tokyo National Museum and National Museum of Western Art) and a zoo, as well as shrines and temples, so one could easily spend a whole day here. The park becomes crowded in spring when the cherry blossoms flower. The Ueno and Yanaka areas offer various forms of enjoyment for visitors.

  • Adeline Le Mette

    As one who is passionate about art and painting, I was held spellbound by this museum. I was delighted, and I am sure I will be back here again. However, I believe that this museum is also the perfect sightseeing spot for tourists who do not live in Japan and have less time to enjoy Tokyo to the fullest. The museum itself, designed by Le Corbusier, created a stunning contrast with the other structures around it.

    Ueno Park has always been a beautiful park to begin with, but its beauty is further enhanced when the day turns dark and its trees shine brightly with the lights of illumination. It is probably even more beautiful in spring, when the cherry blossoms bloom.

About 10 minutes

Ameyoko(Shopping Street)more

Ameyoko(Shopping Street)

A shopping street full of life now and in the old days, in addition to fresh food and candy, it also has shops offering clothes, shoes, bags, and even cosmetics. The good-humored vendors of each shop are firm supporters of face-to-face interaction. The area is always lively with vendors calling out to potential customers. While it is famous for fish and crabs, apart from grocers, there are countless shops that carry shoes, clothing, and even international knick-knacks.

  • Adeline Gressin

    Ameyoko began as a black market in the postwar era. It is a shopping district that had been in existence for a long time. Today, it has transformed into a popular and lively street in the Ueno area. As it is located directly below the elevated railroad of the JR lines, I felt as if it lived alongside with the sounds and rhythms of trains passing by. One can find clothing, computer products, telecommunication equipment such as mobile phones, as well as restaurants here. It is perhaps better described as a lively Tokyo" rather than "chic Tokyo." "

    The Ueno branch of Yoshi Zushi has seats at the counter where you can watch the sushi chef in action, and this is where I had my sushi. Across the counter, three sushi chefs provided us with an endless supply of food even while preparing dishes for the other customers. The tofu is soft, the sashimi melts in the mouth, and there is also a good range of richly-flavored sushi. There is a friendly atmosphere in this restaurant, and the sushi chefs are all very kind, living up to all our curiousity and interests. It is an eatery that you should definitely go to in Tokyo!

  • Adeline Le Mette

    Ameyoko is an area with a unique atmosphere, and completely different from other areas. There are numerous small shops, unconventional eateries and souvenir shops.

    The Ueno branch of Yoshi Zushi is the unerring choice for a restaurant if you love Japanese cuisine. The staff are very friendly and good-natured, and recommended a rice wine (Japanese sake) to pair with our sashimi.

About 10 minutes

Sutton Place Hotel Ueno

Day2

KYUSHU(NAGASAKI)

Haneda Airport

ANA (ANA Expericence JAPAN Fare) Show details

  • Adeline Gressin

    Like the service I received on the international flight, the ANA cabin attendants on the domestic flight were also superb. At the airport, all the processes were completed really quickly (check-in, security checks, etc.). The boarding process was also quick, and accompanied by the warm smiles of the cabin attendants as we boarded.

  • Adeline Le Mette

    The flight arrived right on time, and the check-in and boarding procedures were completed promptly. As is characteristic of this airline, the cabin attendants welcomed us with warm smiles. ANA is a company that is secure and reliable, and full of staff who are always thoughtful and friendly. The seats were spacious and comfortable, and the flight was a smooth one.

Nagasaki Airportmore

Nagasaki Airport

Nagasaki Airport is an international airport with regular flights to Shanghai and Seoul.
It was the first airport in the world to be built in the ocean from reclaimed land.
The tourist information desk on the first floor provides information covering the entire prefecture of Nagasaki.

Highway bus : Nagasaki Airport→Nagasaki Shinchi, about 35 minutes
Tram : Nagasaki Shinchi China Town (Tsukimachi Station) → Oura Tenshudou Shita Station, about 5 minutes

Hashima Island (Gunkanjima, Battleship Island)more

Hashima Island (Gunkanjima, Battleship Island)

This island was once site of an undersea coal mine. It is also known as Gunkanjima (battleship Island) because the sight of island’s high standing walls of steel reinforced concrete appears like a battleship.
At the height of mine production in 1960, some 5,300 people lived on the island. Coal from the mine supported Japan’s modernization, but the mine closed in 1974 after Japan switched its main form of energy to petroleum. Today the island is uninhabited.
In 2015, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as part of Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining. It also featured in the movie Skyfall.

  • Adeline Gressin

    Hashima is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered across Japan as a relic of the industrial revolution of Japan during the Meiji era. Tours depart from Nagasaki Port, via several different routes. Hashima used to have the highest population concentration in Japan, but rapidly became an uninhabited island after the closure of the coal mines in the 1970s. At the Gunkanjima Digital Museum located not far from the port, visitors can view documents such as archives and photographs, as well as projection mappings, and learn about how the residents at the time lived there without any form of inconvenience.

  • Adeline Le Mette

    Hashima (Gunkanjima) is a unique tourist destination. The island itself has been in ruins for many years. The tour itself is relatively short and may sometimes be suspended depending on the conditions of the day. Nevertheless, hordes of tourists participate in these sightseeing tours to Hashima. The headsets that are distributed to visitors provide explanations in English. To learn more about the history of the island, I recommend dropping by the Gunkanjima Digital Museum. In addition to models of the island and videos from the past, the Museum also offers virtual walks on the island, so visitors can gain a deeper understanding of Hashima's history through a fun and interactive manner.

5 minutes on foot

Oura Cathedralmore

RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS

Oura Cathedral

The Oura Cathedral is the oldest church in Japan and the first and only Minor Basilica in Japan.
French missionary Furet designed the church, while French Bishop Petitjean served as its first Catholic priest. Construction was supervised by Koyama Hidenoshin. The church was completed at the end of 1864 and officially opened in February the following year. In March 1865, the hidden Christians of Urakami visited and proclaimed their belief. After 250 years of harsh persecution.
The church was designated as a national treasure in 1933, but was partly damaged in the atomic bombing of World War II. In 1953, it was once again designated as a national treasure for being the oldest existing church in Japan. The church is a candidate to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2019.

  • Adeline Gressin

    Oura Tenshudo (Oura Catholic Church) is the oldest Catholic church still standing in Japan today. Built in the mid-19th century, it was dedicated to the 26 holy persons who were martyred in Nagasaki in 1597. The church speaks of the dark history surrounding the persecution and massacre of Christians in Japan.

    The Historic Site Japanese Restaurant Kagetsu is a restaurant with a long tradition that goes back 360 years. At dinner time, diners can enjoy all the different flavors of traditional Nagasaki Shippoku cuisine. All the soup, fish, and meat were fresh, and surprisingly sophisticated. The service is always pleasant and offered with a smile, and even we, the diners, had the chance to wear traditional kimono. This is also one of 18 places in Nagasaki where one can see geisha.

  • Adeline Le Mette

    There are few cathedrals in Japan, so I highly recommend visiting this cathedral. Unlike the cathedrals that we see in Europe, this cathedral has various unique design elements that are a fusion of Japanese and European architectural styles. The history of Christianity in Japan is also deeply interesting.

    The Historic Site Japanese Restaurant Kagetsu is one of the tourist spots of Nagasaki that I recommend most highly. Here, one can enjoy the wonderful cuisine and experience of wearing kimono, as well as watch the dance performances presented by geisha. The night spent in this sophisticated place, amidst the richness of traditional Japanese culture, is a memory that I will never forget.

The Hotel Nagasaki or Garden Terrace Nagasaki Hotel & Resort

Day3

The Hotel Nagasaki or Garden Terrace Nagasaki Hotel & Resort

  • Adeline Gressin

    The experience of looking back on the history of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki at 11:02, 9 August 1945, was one of the most moving experiences I had in Kyushu. The route from the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum to the Nagasaki Peace Park passes through the monument that marks the center point where the atomic bomb hit Nagasaki. This is the standard course taken by visitors, and provides an understanding of the history behind how the city was reconstructed, and what it has achieved to date as a promoter of peace in the region, country, and international community. The entrance of the Atomic Bomb Museum carries an inscription of the message May Nagasaki be the last atomic bombing site." This is a message that we must never forget, and which should be spread around the world."

  • Adeline Le Mette

    As Nagasaki's historical heritage is very rich and interesting, it is important to listen to the explanations of the tour guide and visit the museums, etc. in order to gain an in-depth understanding of what happened in Nagasaki during the Second World War. This was probably one of the more serious and difficult parts of this trip, and my heart ached with the poignant testimonies of the war victims that I read at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. However, the general message that I get from Nagasaki itself is a positive one that is directed toward peace.

JR
Nagasaki Station→Isahaya Station
20 minutes

Shimabara Railway
Isahaya Station→Shimabara Station
70 minutes

  • Adeline Gressin

    Once you reach the Shimabara Peninsula, the Chijiwa Fault is a place that you definitely have to visit. Here, visitors can get a view of the cross-section of the peninsula, and learn about the mountainous topography of the peninsula and how it is made up of a cluster of volcanoes. It is a majestic sight (made even more so against the setting sun). There are also many stores here selling items that one can snack on. You should definitely try out the fluffy Castella cake that Nagasaki is renowned for!

    Obama Onsen seems to have been built for the exclusive purpose of relaxation. This hot spring town is well known for its footbath facilities measuring 105 meters long (the longest footbath in Japan). First, walk into the seafood restaurant Mushigamaya, where you will find all kinds of food being cooked with the steam from the hot springs. Not only is it unusual; more importantly, it's delicious. After that, just like everyone else does, soak your feet in the footbath, moving from the hottest one (about 60 degrees) to the cooler ones (the temperature of the footbath drops the further you move from the sourcce of the hot spring). This is free of charge, so you can relax together with your family and friends. There is a sort of steamer next to the bath, where eggs, potatoes, and corn is cooked. You can cook anything in the hot spring using steam!

  • Adeline Le Mette

    The views of Chijiwa Fault are beautiful, making it a perfect spot for photography. Nearby, there are several stores where you can buy gifts and souvenirs (including Nagasaki's famous confectionery, the Castella cake).

    Obama Onsen has the longest footbath in Japan (105 m). You can enjoy the lovely view of the sun setting over the sea and Obama while soaking your feet in the hot spring. You can have a relaxing time in this wonderful environment, and even sample a wide variety of fish and local vegetables cooked in hot spring steam.

City of Swimming Carpmore

City of Swimming Carp

The Shinmachi area located below Shimabara Castle is a number of natural springs and a canal that spans 100 meters in length. It is known by the name Koi-No-Oyogu-Machi, or the City of Swimming Carp. This former castle town where colorful carp swim offers Shimeiso, where you can enjoy tea made from the spring water of the water garden, Yusuikan, where you can experience making kanzarashi, a traditional sweet, and at Seiryutei, which is a free rest area and information center where visitors can relax as they listen to the flowing sounds of the spring water.

  • Adeline Gressin

    Shimabara's spring waters and the City of Swimming Carp was truly wonderful. We were welcomed warmly by the artisans, and given the opportunity to try our hands at painting candles. After that, we visited Shimeisou, an amazing villa built as a holiday villa, complete with a garden that uses the rich spring waters of the area. Here, we received the warm hospitality of the guide. At the time it was built, it apparently offered a panoramic view of the mountains and seas on both sides of the villa, but these have now been transformed into towns. The garden of Shimeisou was truly wonderful.

  • Adeline Le Mette

    It was very pleasant to take a walk while enjoying the views of the mountains, ponds and rivers with carp swimming around, and the townscape with the clusters of old residences.

Samurai Residence→Unzen Hell
30 minutes by car or bus

Unzen Hellmore

Unzen Hell

Unzen Hell is a famous tourist destination within Unzen Hot Springs, chosen as the number one hot springs in Kyushu by tourists from around the world. It is located in Japan’s first national park, Unzen-Amakusa National Park. The area is covered in the aroma of sulfur, steam billowing from underground, and steam clouds hovering around, making it look like a scene from hell.
Visitors can explore on foot around 30 different hells free of charge, including Daikyokan Hell, Ohimo Hell, and Seishichi Hell. There is also a monument dedicated to those who martyred, which appeared in the opening scene of the movie Silence.

  • Adeline Gressin

    Unzen-Amakusa National Park, where Unzen Jigoku is located, is one of the first parks in Japan designated as a national park in 1934. Walking amongst the smells of sulfur and the steam rising from the fumaroles scattered here and there, felt like taking a walk on the moon. Take a visit there in the early morning when rays of sunlight pierce the fumaroles!

  • Adeline Le Mette

    I think that this is an unusual place that is worth visiting. The hot spring steam rising from the ground creates a strange atmosphere, and the walking trails in this area could be described as mystical ones. The narrow roads and traditional Japanese bridges are more charming than anything else I have ever seen.

Miyazaki Ryokan or Fukudaya

  • Adeline Gressin

    The modern folklore hotel, Unzen Fukudaya, is located in the heart of the source of Unzen's hot springs. It is a wonderful Japanese-style inn (ryokan). We stayed in a spacious room in the new annex of the hotel, which came in the simple and modest design typical of an inn. Soaking and relaxing in the private hot spring on the terrace, I felt all my exhaustion from the day melt away. At dinner, we had a seven-course meal comprising organic ingredients sourced from the Shimabara Peninsula. It was the most enjoyable part of the evening. I had my fill of all the local cuisines (fish, meat, rice, and vegetables, among others).

  • Adeline Le Mette

    The modern folklore hotel Unzen Fukudaya was the highlight of this trip: everything (from the lobby to the guest room and the restaurant) was elegant and comfortable. The staff was very thoughtful. We had traditional Japanese cuisine for our meals (both dinner and breakfast!), and these were a feast for our eyes and palate. What's more, the guest rooms even come with a private hot spring bath!

Day4

Miyazaki Ryokan or Fukudaya

Shimatetsu Bus Unzen Station→Isahaya Station 80 minutes
Isahaya Station→Nagasaki Airport 45 minutes

Nagasaki Airport

ANA (ANA Expericence JAPAN Fare) Show details

Haneda Airport

  • Adeline Gressin

    In these four days spent in Tokyo and Nagasaki, I had the chance to experience the historical, modern, traditional, and authentic aspects of Japan all at once. Since I only stayed in Tokyo for 24 hours, I would like to take some photographs of Tokyo's traditional aspects on my next trip. In Nagasaki, I was moved and shaken by the history of the Christians and the atomic bombing, but had a blissful time eating at the modern folklore hotel Unzen Fukudaya and Historic Site Japanese Restaurant Kagetsu. I also fully enjoyed the beautiful natural sights on my visits to the Shimabara Peninsula and hot springs. It was a wonderful journey that I savored with all of my five senses.

  • Adeline Le Mette

    This tour presented two aspects of Japan. The first was the vastness of the metropolis, Tokyo, and the second was the tranquility of Nagasaki. Nagasaki is definitely worth a visit. Its rich history and beautiful scenery make it a pleasant and interesting travel destination.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OTHER TRAVELERS

This was my first trip to Tokyo. Tokyo is a city that is both traditional and modern at the same time, and I really liked it. I even thought about living here and taking photographs. In Nagasaki, I was moved by the history of its atomic bombing, and got a taste of nature on the Shimabara Peninsula of Kyushu.

Adeline Gressin
Publisher
Reside in Paris, France
  • Hobby

    Travelling, photography

  • Number of visits to Japan

    2 times

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OTHER TRAVELERS

This itinerary is perfect for those who are interested in Japanese history and traditional culture (shrines and temples, geisha…), and particularly those with an interest in the history of Nagasaki (the history of Christianity in Japan, the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum...).

Adeline Le Mette
Doctoral program in oil painting course
Reside in Tokyo
Home country: France
  • Hobby

    Art, photography, fashion

  • Length of stay in Tokyo

    Four years

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