The flag of Japan is a simple design of a crimson-red disc on a contrasting white background. Known to the Japanese as ‘Nisshoki’, the flag embodies its reference as ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’. The crimson-red disc represents the sun, which is symbolic of the legend that the sun goddess Amaterasu founded Japan in the 7th century BC. Legend holds that Japan’s first emperor (Jimmu) was a descendant of Amaterasu and was therefore known as the ‘Son of the Sun’.
One of the stops on our Far East Asia cruise was Nagasaki, Japan and our first impression was how mild the weather was in early December. We had just been in Beijing where it was literally freezing with temperatures around 0 degrees Celsius (32F) and assumed Nagasaki’s climate would be similar, but we were pleasantly surprised as it was a mild 16C (61F). Since it was such a nice temperature, Nina and I decided to walk about the city rather than take a private tour. We found Nagasaki easily walkable as we made our way from the cruise ship dock along the harbour front to the Nagasaki Ropeway, a cable car/sky tram attraction to the top of Mt. Inasa.
As we walked along the harbour we encountered palm trees, a nice park, many shops and restaurants along the waterfront, a museum with very modern architecture, and several picturesque gardens.
Nagasaki Ropeway to Mt. Inasa–
The Nagasaki Ropeway is a cable car/sky tram that runs from the Fuchi Shrine up to the summit of Mount Inasa, which stands 333 meters (1093 feet) above the city. At the summit there is a unique glass-enclosed circular domed observation deck with amazing views of the Port of Nagasaki. Marketing literature boasts a ‘million dollar nighttime view’ but we were only there in the daytime; even so, the views really were superb. It was the highlight of our day in Nagasaki–a must see if you are visiting.
More scenes around Nagasaki
We found Nagasaki to be tourist friendly and the people were very polite and accommodating. English was not widely spoken, however the Japanese people were lovely and always smiling. We used the Google Translate app on our iPhones to order coffee and cakes. We also used the app to find a souvenir refrigerator magnet and it was hilarious! The shopping mall adjacent to the central train station was quite nice.
Facts & Figures
— Nagasaki has fewer traditional style buildings than we had anticipated, apparently because the atomic bomb destroyed the entire city in 1945 and most of the rebuild effort was focused on more modern buildings
— Some 70+ years after the atomic bomb destroyed Nagasaki, today local radiation levels are no higher than the world average background radiation
— Over a 300 year period from the 1500s to the 1800s, Nagasaki was an important trade port used by Portuguese and Dutch merchants
— There is a tram system throughout Nagasaki, however it was such a nice day we simply walked everywhere, so I cannot comment on its ease of use
— The Nagasaki Ropeway up to the observatory on the summit of Mt. Inasa is definitely worth a visit; there is access to the summit via road if you do not like sky tram rides
— Currency used in Japan is the Yen (¥)
If you are a world trekker like us and want to become more ‘worldly’, then you will want to try our books below. Thanks to the former British Empire and current Commonwealth, the English language is widely spoken across the world, however it is spoken quite differently depending on where you are traveling. We believe the books below are essential to worldly trekkers and think you will find them both fun and informative. The books include a dictionary of everyday words and phrases, traditional cuisine, some history and culture, and other handy information.
Simply click on the book covers below to find out more:
Psalm 72:3 – New Living Translation (NLT)
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful.