Which area to stay in Nagasaki?

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Jan 4th, 2018, 01:30 PM
  #1
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Which area to stay in Nagasaki?

Hi Japan experts, will be spending 2-3 nights there in mid-May, trying to get an understanding of the layout of the city. Which area would you stay in and why? Would like to have restaurants in walking distance, will have been staying in lots of ryokans/onsen towns prior to getting there so I'm hoping to have more dinner options.
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Jan 4th, 2018, 03:08 PM
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I stayed at the Bellevue Hotel, which was within walking distance of the train station. It's on the main road in that area, so you should have no trouble finding restaurants. It's a nice, newer tourist/business hotel, so it may be a nice change from the ryokans. The tracks for the trolley are right outside the hotel, and it is super-easy to get around on the trolleys. You can buy a daily pass at the hotel. I also took a tour to Dejima Island, and the boat dock is close to the hotel. There was a huge grocery store at the train station, so I bought some fresh sushi there for lunch each day.

The other area that interested me was in the south part of the city, which is the older section that survived the WWII bombings. There was a really pretty hotel where I stopped in that area, but I can't remember the name.

So, in summary, any area is fine, since the trolleys are easy to use. They are "color coded," so transferring is easy.
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Jan 4th, 2018, 10:21 PM
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I googled around, and I figured out the hotel that I would like to recommend to you:

Crowne Plaza ANA Nagasaki Glover Hill

The hotel was really new and nice inside, and the hilly street it's on has some restaurants there. This is in a completely different area than where I stayed, but if I went again, I definitely would stay there.

Also, I wanted to correct that the Bellevue Hotel is near the dock to Battleship Island, not Dejima Island. I thought the tour of Battleship Island was a waste of time, except for the boat ride over. In fact, if you want to do a separate posts, I can list what I did in Nagasaki, and what I liked best. Nagasaki is a great city--so much to see and do.
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Jan 5th, 2018, 07:30 AM
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I stayed just outside "Chinatown" (so-called, not up to much) which was also near Dejima. I also spent one night a couple of stops north of the train station (in a very nice Best Western), which is closer to the atomic bomb memorials. But really anywhere near a tram station would do.
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Jan 5th, 2018, 07:46 AM
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Thanks to both of you. CL, would love to see your list.
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Jan 5th, 2018, 09:11 PM
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Since, you asked, FromDC, here's some notes:

I stayed only two nights in Nagasaki, and wished I had stayed longer. I arrived late on day one, saw sights on day 2, and on day 3, I took a 6:15 PM train to Kumamoto. Therefore, I only had 1.75 days in the city. I recommend three full days.

The wonderful ladies at the Los Angeles JNTO office sent this link to me. There is information about the one day tram pass on the site:

https://travel.at-nagasaki.jp/en/

There is a really nice government tourist office inside the train station. There have chairs and desks, and they don't seem to mind answering tons of questions, and giving out detailed maps. As I mentioned before, a huge grocery store is at the train station as well.

What I saw:

Tour of Battleship Island: The boat ride over was beautiful, but the island was a bunch of rusted building. The audio guide in English worked poorly. If you can find a boat ride around the area, without the island tour, then that might be a better alternative.

Peace museum: I had been previously to the one in Hiroshima, which I thought was newer and nice. The displays seemed repetitive to me, but if you have not been to Hiroshima, then it's worth going, at least to see the artifacts, such as melted watches.

Chinatown: I agree with Thursdays that it was not too fascinating. I can get great Chinese food in the San Gabriel valley just east of Los Angeles, so why would I want Chinese food in Japan? It's fine for a 30 minute stroll if you're in the area.

Dutch Slope: A must see. There are some cool wooden buildings in the area that you can go in, for free, and the cobblestone steps are nice.

Stroll between Kofukuji and sofukuji: This is an area with some beautiful, small temples, all next to one another. This is a must see as well.

Oura Catholic Church: Very pretty, nice if you're in the area.

Nagasaki Seaside Park: This area was across from my hotel. It was pretty to see, but only if you are in the area.

My favorite site:

Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture: I was about to visit Dejima, when the wonderful lady at the tourist office suggested this museum instead. I jumped on a tram, had a quick sandwich at the bakery across from the museum, and then entered the museum. A volunteer guide approached me, asked how much time I had (two hours), and he proceeded, in perfect English, to give me a complete seminar about the influence of various cultures in Nagasaki. Amazing museum.

Hope that helps.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 06:17 AM
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If you are near the Oura Catholic Church, make sure you go to an elegant bakery shop called eizumiya (和泉屋) to sample their version of the famous Nagasaki Castella cake and buy a small package:

http://www.n-izumiya.net/fs/eizumiya/c/kireka

I loved the green tea and red bean combination. The shop was in the square in front of the cathedral.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 12:27 PM
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CL - -thanks, that list will help me organize my time. I'm interested in Dejima because of David Mitchell's book, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Reading -- looks yummy and will definitely try the cake if I am close by.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 12:42 PM
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You're so welcome, From DC. If I had another day, I would have visited Dejima and Glover Garden. I spent quite a bit of time just strolling around, so I could have easily filled a third day. Nagasaki is pretty unique compared to other cities in Japan, because it has a long history of trade with the western world.

Fodor's is going to have private messaging starting on Monday, so if you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 12:48 PM
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I visited both Dejima and Glover Garden. Both are worth seeing, although the buildings in Glover Garden are pretty run down. Make sure you find the escalator to get up there!
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Jan 6th, 2018, 01:52 PM
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Thursdays, what did you think of Dejima? I axed it because the lady at the tourist office told that all the furniture was reproductions, and not authentic.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 01:57 PM
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It's very easy to get around Nagasaki on the streetcar, so any place you stay near a station will do nicely. There is also a cheap day pass you can use if you're going all over.
Personally I found the Dutch Slope (Orandazaka) to be quite lackluster - perhaps important in a historical sense but there is not much to enjoy. The Chinatown is certainly small, but the main dishes of Nagasaki are chanpon and saraudon - neither are typical Chinese fare, and both are superb. Even if you are from SoCal you are not going to find them easily outside Nagasaki, let alone the rest of Japan or the world.

There are many places worth looking at - the most famous of course are the A-Bomb museum, Dejima, and Glover Garden. But there is still more. Gunkanjima is completely unique in Japan and worth it, even with the led by the nose tour. And even if you are not religious, the 26 Martyrs Museum is worth a visit as well. Koshibyo is another wonderful shrine, unique to Nagasaki and shows part of the Chinese influence on the city.

One of the most unforgettable places though is on top of Mt Inasa at night, seeing what the Japanese call the "$10 million dollar view" - a fantastic look over the entire harbor.
https://goo.gl/JIyIZl

You can see the best of the city in a full day, but given the city's isolation, 1½ or 2 days might be better.
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Jan 6th, 2018, 02:44 PM
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FromDC, I also read The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet before my trip and thoroughly enjoyed visiting Dejima...
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Jan 8th, 2018, 04:45 AM
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Appreciate everyone's advice. I had some trouble getting room info for the ANA Crowne Plaza Glover Hill from the ihg website. Wondering if anyone has info about the JR Kyuhsu Nagasaki, right above the train station?
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Jan 8th, 2018, 05:08 PM
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I did not go into the JR Kyushu Nagasaki, but I can describe the area in a little more detail. The streets around the train station are extremely wide and modern, just like they are in Hiroshima, since they were all rebuilt after WWII. The result is lots of shops and restaurants all around, and less than charming ambiance. If you are travelling to and fro via train, it would be convenient.

The area around the Crowne Plaza Glover Hill is charming indeed, with pretty views. I had a snack there, and honestly, I was ready to ditch my plans for the day and just stay there. I found their email for you:

[email protected]

Hopefully, they will respond quickly to your question. If not, maybe you could call them directly via Skype, or have the folks at the toll-free number contact them on your behalf.

Truly, you should have a great time in Nagasaki, wherever you end up staying.
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