Its been a little more than 2 weeks since I have been in Japan and I just love it so much! Closer to the beginning of our trip we went to Nagasaki which is an old port town in southern Japan. It used to be a center of European; namely Portuguese influence between the 16th and 19th centuries. Like Miyajima, I liked this town in particular because it was by the ocean and has a rich history that is very different from other places in Japan. For example, the European influence on Nagasaki in some parts made me feel like I was in Europe instead of Japan. The mix of Japanese and European architecture in one place was incredibly intriguing. We first visited the Dejima Museum of History which featured the the rich history and European influence in Nagasaki. Dejima was once an island which was an artificially constructed island made in the 17th century. However, today it is no longer surrounded by water but it remains a very famous historic site.
We then climbed up to Glover Gardens in Nagasaki where we got to see a fantastic view of the city and ocean in the distance. It was a heck of a climb, but it was worth it!
While walking the streets of Nagasaki there were a lot of European themed buildings including a Catholic church which was built when the Portuguese were lived there.
Later we took a trip to Nagasaki’s chinatown where we were playfully ambushed by adorable and eager junior high students. Since i’ve been in Japan, this has been a really common occurrence. They seem to find foreigners very interesting ^_^.
To top off the end of the day I had dinner at a restaurant that specializes in Omu-rice which is an omelet with rice inside. I had one with Japanese curry and cheese and it was super amazing. I wish I could have one right now to be honest 😉
We also got the opportunity to visit Kyoto and stay at a traditional Japanese temple overnight. The temple; Daishinin Temple, is run by monks who allow visitors to enjoy a traditional Japanese experience in a peaceful and calming atmosphere. Our rooms were tatami (straw mat) rooms with sliding paper doors and futons for beds which I must say were extremely comfortable. If I could replace my bed with a futon I would be much happier. Being there really had an effect on my spirit in a very positive way. For one, the gardens and their intricate sand patterns were really calming to look at. Our sensei told us this was a small representation of the land and ocean and the swirling patterns in the sand were the waves.
If you ever thinking of going to Japan, I highly recommend Nagasaki and Kyoto. They have so much history and sights to see that you won’t be disappointed. Oh and don’t forget the food, its fantastic 😀