Updated: Feb 11
When we heard about a lantern festival in Nagasaki,Japan. My husband and I rushed to sign up. We had never experienced anything similar before, and neither of us had been to Nagasaki so we went...
On the 6 hours bus ride from Yamaguchi to Nagasaki we passed through some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen in Japan. Oceanside towns with traditional houses and agriculture (that was somehow thriving despite the snow).
When we arrived in Nagasaki our first stop was to visit the Atomic Bomb Musume. Reading the historical accounts and seeing the photos was a truly profound experience. I felt that what I saw made a deep impact on both my heart and mind. It's definitely somewhere I recommend others to visit.
The primary reason for our journey was the lantern festival. So despite the snow and bitter cold, we went to see the Lanterns in Chinatown and Shrines. The lanterns were incredible! My expectation was to see lots of bright paper lights everywhere. I expected beautiful displays, but my expectations were beyond surpassed!
There was music, colorful lanterns, and food everywhere. Everything felt festive and joyous, and all around us people and their loved ones were enjoying the night.
The lanterns were glowing goldfish, dragons, roosters, elephants, and more. Every corner and street had something new. We stopped at a street vendor and my husband got grilled beef on a stick. There were lots of other options for food at different booths regardless of the cold, there were long lines (I think it's important to mention that the local police were very much present and I felt much safer with their diligence and expert crowd control measures in practice.)
We stopped at Mister Donut for a quick refuel ( I recommend the honey-dipped doughnut)! Unfortunately, we called it a night early because my hands and feet were hurting badly from the cold. I mention this because if you are not from a cold region and you visit during the winter, warm clothes will make a big difference!
The next day I bought warmer clothes andI was able to enjoy being outdoors a lot more. We walked through the city and went shopping at AEON and Yume. There is a Starbucks in Yume, and a pet store so I was overjoyed because I have been looking for a new laser pointer toy for my cats and I finally found one.
Nagasaki is extraordinary. The city has a rich history as a port that has been a vital site for trade since 1571; its historical importance in World War II and the devastation that transpired here, and its distinctive identity today draws from all aspects of its past make Nagasaki a place like nowhere I have ever been. And definitely, somewhere I'd want to visit again.
Safe Travels 🧳