I go down to the area around down town Nagasaki for the morning to explore for a bit. There are some interesting sights downtown which are generally overlooked by tourist I guess - it seems like most people just come to visit Nagasaki because of its nuclear disaster history. But down in the old part of town are one of the oldest western neighborhoods in all of Japan if it is not the oldest. There are some old buildings in this part of town and because they were pretty far away from the nuclear blast site they manage to survive the fires which followed the explosion. Hence around the area of Hollaender Hill are a few old houses of European origin.
Close to this area are also some old and impressive temples which manage to survive the repeated fires in Nagasaki and one of them has survived since the early part of 1600. The shrines are of Chinese origin and they are a bit different from the other shrines around Japan. On a little hill between the two most important shrines are several other less important shrines - considering I got only limited time this morning and the two high profile shrines charge an entrance fee I opt for only visiting the first of them - because it is the first of the shrines on the hill I actually get to. And then I go visit a few of the free shrine. I got to admit there are a reason why they think they can charge an entrance fee for the first and not the following shrines - it is simply more impressive than the rest. I try to head back using the streetcars - and it is taking for ever - it is striking how a apparently short trip with a street car seems to take twice as long as a 50k dash between two cities using the shinkansen. It takes forever and I end up over staying my accommodation for a bit - again - but they don’t really seem to mind too much and I get my luggage and head to the station down the hill.
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