Many people in Japan consider Nagasaki to be one of the country's most beautiful cities. It is also one of Japan's most cosmopolitan cities, with a unique blend of outside cultures interwoven with its history, architecture, food and festivals. The port of Nagasaki resembles an amphitheatre looking out to the sea. Its matsuri (festivals) are renowned throughout Japan for their exuberance and authenticity. These festivals can feature everything from dragon boat races to lantern festivals to kite fights and usually have elaborate parades with brightly coloured floats.Find Cruises Sailing to This Port
Peace Park (Hirano-Machi) is located north of Nagasaki Station, and serves as a reminder of the infamous day of destruction suffered by the city. A large statue stands as its centrepiece, with the left hand outstretched to remind us of the devastation caused, and the right hand pointing skyward to serve as a warning that the bomb was dropped from a plane. A peace demonstration is held in Peace Park every year on the anniversary of the bombing. The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum can also be found here.
During the summer months you can catch the Peiron (dragon boat) races. These exciting boat races with teams of rowers in long shells are held throughout Asia. This is the Japanese version, which was introduced by Chinese residents in the mid-17th century.
Nagasaki's most famous food is called shippoku. It's generally shared by a group of four or more people and includes such dishes as fish soup, sashimi, and fried, boiled and seasonal delicacies of meat and fish. Another Nagasaki speciality is champon, a thick Chinese noodle usually served in soup with meat, seafood and vegetables. Champon is made by frying pork, seafood and vegetables with lard; a soup made from chicken and pig bones is added. A ramen noodle made especially for champon is added and then boiled. Unlike other ramen dishes, only one wok is needed as the noodle is boiled in the soup.
There are great places to shop along the busy Hamano-machi shopping arcade. For Japanese visitors, the present they always bring back is katsutera (a Portuguese-influenced sponge cake).
Japan's currency is the yen.
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Learn more about this port city with these tourist information guides.