10 Things to Do in Omura, the City of History and Flowers in Nagasaki, Japan

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  • Discover Omura City’s rich history and its deep ties to Christianity. Symbolized by a rare kind of sakura, this city in Nagasaki is also popular for its flowers. Here are 10 things to do in the city of history and flowers!

    1. Meet Japan’s first Christian daimyo

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    Get to know the feudal lord, Omura Sumitada, and his contributions to feudal Japan at the Omura Sumitada Historic Site Park. Built at his old residence where he passed away, the park’s rock garden and fountain cannot be missed.

    Omura Sumitada Historic Site Park Website
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    2. Go on a Christian pilgrimage

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    During the reign of Omura Sumitada, Christianity set its roots in Nagasaki. However, Christians began to be persecuted when Toyotomi Hideyoshi issued the Bateren Tsuihou, also referred to as the Christian Deportation Edict, in 1587. The martyrdom of Japanese Christians are kept alive at various sites in Omura. These include the Houkobaru Martyrdom Site, Execution Ground Site, Dozuka Site, and Kubizuka Site.

    3. Take a stroll in the castle town

    Omura City prospered as a castle town under the rule of the Omura clan. Feel transported to the feudal age as you walk along the streets that surround the remains of the Kushima Castle.

    Don’t forget to visit the old residence of Kusumoto Masataka, a prefectural Tangible Cultural Property that still maintains the traditional architectural style of a samurai’s residence.

    Omura Castle (Kushima Castle Ruins) Website
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    4. Find the historic road of Nagasaki Kaido Highway

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    The Nagasaki Kaido Highway was an important route that connected Nagasaki and Kokura during the Edo period. With 25 stations along the path, the highway became a passage for both trade and communication.

    Nagasaki Kaido Highway Website
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    5. Witness the dances of victory

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    The Three Dances in Kori, namely the Suko Odori, Okita Odori, and Kuromaru Odori, are designated Intangible Cultural Properties of Nagasaki. These were performed in celebration of Omura Sumikore’s victory in regaining the domain he lost from the Battle of Nakatake.

    The Three Dances in Kori continue to be performed today. If you manage to watch the Kuromaru Odori, try to pass under the large flower wreaths shouldered by the dancers for it is believed to bring good fortune.

    6. Enjoy the seasons at Omura Park

    Omura Park is a popular destination particularly in spring for over 2,000 cherry blossoms that blanket the park, making it one of the Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Japan. The Omura zakura or Omura cherry, with 60 to 200 layers of petals, is a designated natural monument which can be found in Omura Park. Between May and June, over 300,000 Japanese iris fill the former moats of Omura/Kushima Castle where Omura Park now stands.

    Omura Park Website
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    7. Go fruit picking in Fukushige

    Enjoy the fruits that are abundant in the farming village of Fukushige. Go grape and pear picking from mid-August to early October. The best time for strawberry picking is from mid-December to early May.

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    8. Relax around nature at Nodake Lake

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    A man-made lake constructed in the Edo period, Nodake Lake today is a destination for relaxing. Recreational activities that can be done in the area surrounding the lake include camping, cycling, and pedal boating.

    Nodake Lake Website
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    9. Bring home traditional crafts of Omura

    The handiwork of Omura craftsmen are products of tradition passed on from generation to generation. The durable Matsubara sickles and cooking knives were first made by descendants of master swordsmiths. Sansai wares are created from of a revived style of ceramic art. Pearls cultivated from Omura Bay have also become specialty products of the city.

    10. Taste Omura Zushi

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    This local dish unique to the city traces its origins to Sumikore’s victorious battle in 1480. The residents of Omura prepared a special type of sushi for the soldiers of Sumikore and it is said that they used their short swords to cut the sushi into squares before eating them.

    Experience the charm of Omura as you walk through its streets, see its important sites, and relish its local delicacies. A trip to Omura will certainly be enjoyable in any season!

    Omura Navigation Website
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    Would you like to stay in Omura? Check out all the hotels in the area here!