If you find yourself on the island of Kyushu during late January/early February, please make sure to pay a visit to Nagasaki City. This beautiful port city, situated amongst a plethora of islands – is sure to move you emotionally with its’ history, satisfy your taste buds and enthrall you with its’ night view from Mount Insa! On top of that, it has one of the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations in all of Japan.
Nagasaki, a traditional port city – has always had a flair for the exotic. Being a cornerstone in opening up to the rest of the world, this gateway to Asia and the rest of the world has a rich blend of Dutch, Portuguese and Chinese culture. Historically, it has emotional roots as being one of the fateful cities that was devastated by the horrors of nuclear weapons. A visit to the Atomic Bomb Memorial should not be missed, and is sure to be a moving experience.
The Chinese New Year is not usually observed in Japan, but can be seen in full display in Nagasaki every year! For those living in Kyushu, Nagasaki and its roots with the Chinese community are hard to beat.
Chinese culture is on full display here – and is a tantalizing experience for the senses. (tasty food, need I say more?)
The atmosphere is very festive, and is especially awe-inspiring at night. As the sunset is upon the city, all the lanterns slowly light up and produce an amazing atmosphere. Coupled with the food (which has a mix of traditional and modern Chinese snacks) and live music (traditional Chinese instruments and dance) – the festival draws large crowds every year due to its’ popularity! If traditional snacks are not your thing, I guarantee you will love the local delicate of sara-udon or chanpon noodles! If not for the taste, the stamina it will give you will surely power your exploration through Nagasaki’s many hills. Just don’t count on Nagasaki being too bike friendly – unless your calves are made out of titanium! This city prides itself on being vertical.