Monday, February 28, 2011

Traveling - Nagasaki

I find myself in Japan yet again and taking advantage of EVERYTHING that I could possibly see.  Over the weekend I hoped on the train with one of my co-workers and traveled down to Nagasaki.  On the ride I certainly had mixed feelings as to what I would find there; wondering how the locals react to American tourists and what exactly there was in this city for the 'tourist' to do/see.

I was certainly surprised.  I started my tour traveling down to Glover Garden where I could get a panoramic view of Nagasaki Harbor and the city.  Absolutely beautiful!  The Glover Garden overlooks the harbor it is the area where all the foreign merchants lived starting during the mid 16th century.  It is really amazing the influence of the British, Portuguese, and Spanish in this area.  In the Nagasaki area about 20% of the population is Catholic.  There are Catholic Churches scattered all over the city and they are beautiful, like the Oura Church.  Named after the 26 martyrs who lost their lives during the ban of Christianity in the late 16th century.

View of Nagasaki Harbor

View of Nagasaki Harbor - and City
Oura Church

Probably the most interesting part of my excursion to Nagasaki was visiting the Hypocenter; where the atomic bomb hit.  At the Hypocenter is a large statue: an arm pointed up to warn, the other arm extended horizontally as a symbol of world peace, and closed eyes praying for the souls of those lost as a result of the bomb.
The next stop I made was to the Atomic Bomb Museum.  Not sure what to expect when I stepped in, the message of the museum is to understand and work towards world peace; to rid the world of nuclear bombs.  On display were the events leading up to the mass destruction, relics salvaged from areas around where the bomb exploded, stories of survivors, pictures of the desolation and wounded, information pertaining to the side affects of the radiation that people are still living with today and the continuous discovery associated with that.  And the museum ends with articles, pictures of peace rallies and hope.  Truly touching.

On a less intense note...the architecture of the museum was AWESOME!  Check out some of my pictures!
The Entrance to the Atomic BombMuseum
Lobby (I so need a wide angle lens...this picture would then be slammin)

Roof of the Atrium and water feature.
Another view of the roof garden back towards a statue and atrium.