We have been in Japan for 2 days but it feels like a week has passed. We flew to Fukuoka (from Bangok, Jetstar airways) and immediatly took a bus to Nagasaki. The countryside to Nagasaki was beautiful – hills with thick forest and green grass. I was trying to stay awake but caved in because we had a rough couple of days in Bangkok preparing for the trip, not to mention the night flight.
Nagasaki is known to the world for the atomic bomb that erased the city on 9.8. 1945 at 11.02. The city has been rebuilt and is almost the exact opposite of Bangkok. Clean up-and-down streets with little people around and quiet traffic. Do you know that feeling when it’s so quiet it hurts your ears? 🙂 We found a Nagasaki Catholic center youth hostel on Agoda for 14 eur/person one day before and decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, they removed it off Agoda (regular price is more than 3000 ¥) but after a few smiles the reception lady gave us the lower price (2000 ¥). It took me one hour to find the shower. Japan is really big on sento or public baths. There’s a protocol you have to follow (peeing, showering and then taking a bath with other ladies). Like a spa but non-fancy one 🙂 Shampoo, shower gel and conditioner is available and free of charge.
We were tired but this hostel has cleaning time from 10 – 16 h and so we took of to explore the city. We visited Nagasaki Atomic Bomb museum which tells the shocking and interesing story and holds several items from the destruction of the city (like famous broken clocks that stopped ticking at 11.02). There is also Memorial Hall with 12 pillars of light representing peace. You can see origami paper cranes (one thousand of them) representing hope and send a prayer or a thought for the victims. We actually got a coupon for all the attractions at the hostel (50 % off entrance fees) that’s valid for 3 days. Entrance fee for the museum was 100 ¥ per person (instead of 200 ¥). Outside of the museum there’s a statue that represents the hypocenter of the atomic bomb and 500 m away there’s Peace Park with several beautiful statues.
I must say that people in Japan are very friendly. They don’t speak much English but are always willing to help if you ask them. There was even an older man who spoke to us and gave us a map. Aaaaaw, so sweet!
Our next project: hitchhiking to Kumamoto!
Information about budget traveling in Nagasaki:
- Bus from the Fukuoka airport to Nagasaki city center (last stop, 2 h 30 min) was 4600 ¥ for 2 people. There is some discount if you buy more than one ticket.
- If you know where your hotel is you don’t need to go all the way to the end. We had to go with a tram some way back to get to the hostel. Tram ticket costs 120 ¥ and can be purchased on the tram (when exiting).
- Catholic center youth hostel is located near Urakami cathedral, just across the street. People will know where it is. It has female and male dorms.
- Your hotel/hostel should provide you with a coupon for 50 % off entrance fee for several attractions.
- Family Mart, 7/11 and other stores have noodle cups for 150 – 250 ¥. They also have hot water so you can eat them in front of the store. These shops also have public toilets 🙂
- 100 ¥ shops (some items 200 ¥) are a perfect place to buys small itmes like umbrellas, white boards, pens and wipes.