Day 9 / Nagasaki

Veröffentlicht in: Tour 2012, Wanda 2012 | 0

I’ve seen quite some Japanese cities and most don’t really look very different, when you don’t look at size and sightseeing or other particular places. Of cause, people are more fashionable in Tōkyō and Kyōto has more older houses and traditional shops and people wearing Kimono than others, but mainly the cities are more alike than expected. Nagasaki is different though. You can feel the touch it’s history left behind. And I don’t mean the atomic bombing, but the fact, that the city was opened to the world while others were completely closed.

Honoring this fact, we started by visiting one of the numerous churches in Nagasaki – the Oura catholic Church. A very interesting building including a quite beautiful madonna in the enterance. And a small garden with a Christ on it’s cross behind a pond, which is so typical for Japanese temples. It’s a quite strange feeling to see people kneeling down in front of this kind of pond to pray. A small museum tells about the christian history in Japan including the percecution of christians (of cause without any word saying about their missionary work).

Also the second part of our Nagasaki trip was tributed to the fact, that the city was the harbour being opened to also western countries. In the Glover Garden several western houses brought from other parts of the town are shown. It’s a quite interesting place recalling that this is part of Japanese history too. We also enjoyed to rest in the shadow of a wisteria with a sweet breakfast and a talk about plans for the future. And the museum displaying festival wagons with amaaazing figures and colors as well as beautiful dragons. I wonder of they are so typical for the city, because it had a closer connection to China too. Nagasaki also has a small Chinatown we visited before going back to our hotel in the evening.

But before that we went to the Atomic Bombing Memorial Museum. It’s smaller than the one in Hiroshima and less impressive, but it makes one angry in absolutely the same way. I’m not saying much more on this platform as this topic needs a real talk.

We didn’t went to the peace park with all the statures I’ve already seen, but to the memorial at the epicenter. I think, it’s really good as one part looks like a massive empty sarcophagus with the number of over 15.000 dead people on it – some of them pulverized to dust with nothing left but a shadow on a wall… The flowers layed down the day before, which was the anniversary of the bomb dropping, only added meaning to this feeling.

Against atomic bombs and nuclear energy for a safer world!!



Day 6 / Adachi Art Museum and Matsue

Veröffentlicht in: Tour 2012, Wanda 2012 | 0

We were allowed to get a little more sleep and enjoyed a delicious breakfast alltogether. Our first tourist point than was the stunning Adachi Art Museum, which not only shows some amazing pieces of Japanese art, but also has presents a couple of Japanese gardens of absolutely superb quality. Everything very high-class and deeply inspiaring!

I cannot imagine, that anyone of us could have been hungry at that point, but we drove to a restaurant of a Ryokan, where we had a massive lunch. It was really delicious, but I still felt a little bit like being fatted. Speciality was mixed squish on rice with broth. Another idea to try to recreate at home.

We went to two tea houses. In the first we „just“ saw the beautiful garden and the tea house itself, in the second we also had some sweets and matcha. The sweets were delicious, one with ginger flavor, the other some kind of mochi with a green sugar crust. The woman who served us the tea bowed in a different way than we learned. I was told, that they also wear their Fukusa (a cloth used for cleaning the tea utensils in front of the guest) not on the left, but the right side as the other side was reserved for the sword. It is so amazingly interesting to learn all these details. With every element added to my knowledge the wish to continue the way of tea when I’m back in Germany grows.

In a short „free time“ break of not even one hour we visited three houses and museums such as the house, where Lafcadio Hearn lived in for some time. He wrote a lot of books about Japan in the late 19th century, which were published in the western world. It was quite interesting to see how a western person lived a Japanese life around that time.

You might think, this already is enough sightseeing for one day, but nope – we went to the Gessho-ji, a temple surrounded by a beautiful, deep forest. Impressive graves of the Matsudaira family, which ruled the area, and a giant turtle stature create the feeling of visiting an important monument. The moskitos were a little… well, moskito-ish.

Only after all this program we returned to the Ryokan, had a break and then another mouthwatering, extended dinner. And sometimes it’s good to always switch of, when people around you talk in another language – they can really surprise you, such as the Musabi tea club did, when they handed me a paper board with small messages and a cute drawing of me. They were preparing that over the day and I totally had no clue. Man, so heartwarming.

It’s a bit sad, we didn’t had this trip before the end of the semester. I got to know many of the students better than before. But what a wonderful experience. And language might be a barrier, but it’s still possible to talk about politics and socials. Me like that! 🙂