Welcome to Nagasaki – Oura Church, Glover Garden, and Chinatown

Another thing that Nagasaki has been famous for is the influence it had as a major port city. Nagasaki received lots of foreign trade, manly Portuguese, from the 15th century. For example, Nagasaki is famous for Kasutera, which is a Japanese cake of Portuguese origin.

Because of this, many Portuguese missionaries came to Nagasaki. Combined with the distance from Tokyo, there was a large resistance to the ban on Christianity that existed in Japan from the mid-17th century. Even after intense persecution led to the 26 Martyrs being executed, Christians formed underground communities, worshiping for 200 years in secrecy.

Soon after the ban on Christianity was lifted, Bishop Petitjean built the Oura Church. It is said that after opening this church, he met with a group of people who had been worshiping in secrecy. Pope Pius IX declared that the continuity of Christianity under 200 years of persecution was “the miracle of the Orient”. Oura Church is now a designated national treasure of Japan.

Next to Oura Church is the Glover Gardens. The Glover Gardens are another example of the Ijinkan (designated foreigners’ residence), similar to the one in Kobe.

The view from the top was quite beautiful. You can see that similar to Kobe and Yokohama, Nagasaki is still a robust port town.

I later went to Chinatown. Along with Kobe and Yokohama, Nagasaki Chinatown is considered one of the 3 major Chinatowns in Japan.

Going to Nagasaki Chinatown = eat Chanpon.  Chanpon is a noodle soup which is different from ramen in that the noodles are cooked in the soup. Chanpon is a regional specialty of Nagasaki.

Nagasaki Chinatown is quite small, though. Yokohama Chinatown is a huge city with a thriving Chinese community, but Nagasaki is really a tourist area with lots of good thing to eat.

Next up, my visit to Dazaifu!

xoxo, K

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