A crisp winter day in Nagasaki revealed a vibrant Japanese city mindful of its past but full of youth and beauty. One of the port city’s highlights is the series of stone bridges in the downtown area. A particular bridge is nicknamed the “spectacle” bridge for its resemblance to a pair of eyeglasses.
Nagasaki is relatively compact and is easily negotiated on foot or by hopping onto one of the city’s efficient trams. Shopping is a favorite local passion and Tanya was overjoyed when she found a Uniqlo store in one of the malls.
The heavy traffic of larger Japanese cities is largely absent here and the pace of life is more moderate.
Of course, Nagasaki will always be most remembered as the site of the second atomic bomb dropped in the final days of World War II. The horrible human suffering of that day in August, 1945 is chronicled at the Atomic Bomb Museum, just outside the downtown core and a few hundred feet from the place where the bomb actually exploded, 500 feet above the ground. Just as we were leaving the museum, Jay shot this photo. An interesting choice of clothing for the occasion.
Also near the atomic bomb site is the Peace Park, a beautiful place to enjoy the afternoon and reflect. The fragrant winter pansies welcomed visitors to the park, which naturally was a hit for Tanya.
Our visit to Nagasaki put us through a series of emotions, ranging from despair and sadness to hope and joy. But as our ship was leaving, a local drumming group gave us a farewell performance that reinforced the youthful spirit of this city which has witnessed such tragedy and perseveres as it drives forward into the 21st century.