There are some places on earth that are so overshadowed by history that on an everyday basis it could be used as a sad example. But people don’t realize that there is so much more. It’s basically like a relationship, if you constantly think of the past baggage – you wouldn’t be able to see anything good the boy/girl presents. When discovering places there aren’t a lot of people who relate this place to beauty – Nagasaki. Ravaged by WWII, it is seen as one of those places that will forever be inscribed in our minds as the city where time stood still.
First off, the surprise this city throws at you is quite marvelous. They have embodied their past and made sure it can’t be forgotten against its beautiful landscapes. Think of this city as your mother – she does the best for you without you having a clue. She does get to you sometimes emotionally, but that is the beauty of the relationship you share with someone that special in your life. She wraps you in her arms and comforts every time you go through something without asking questions. And if there are moments you don’t have an answer, she asks you the question because that’s the only way you could learn (my mom is probably smiling and being emotional at the same time – oh mothers).
The city rose from the ashes, quite literally (even a phoenix would bow down). With each passing day Nagasaki built its city up with togetherness. Everyone in the city is obviously hurt over the past and have no reason to be welcoming to strangers, but my time was in the arms of hospitality beyond measure. Every monument has a sentiment that inscribes learning in ways you can never imagine. The beauty of a place is determined by the character is portrays (Nagasaki National Peace Memorial)
When I was walking around I was reminded of Karate Kid. The cobblestone bridges inspired me to channel my inner ninja and strike poses that the locals would probably do in their sleep (I do have a Karate Black Belt, so don’t laugh too much) but the point being that the tranquility this city offered against its blossom trees was breathtaking. Churches, temples and shrines – every place that people believe god is, you will find in Nagasaki. The city boasts a rich history of trading and you can experience that in the markets that light the city up.
In the car, on the way to visit some monuments I had met the most delightful man. His humor was the highlight to the entire conversation. He was talking to me like I was a local (like I could look any more Asian – ha ha) and his broken English served as a device for me to just laugh at his punchlines (I think he was practicing his stand-up material on me). He did take a moment to point out the importance of various places in and around the city and told me the best places to party (yes there is a night life – and not like what Russel Peters had mentioned about Middle Eastern bomb shelter parties) these were at some extremely swanky hotels.
A day or two would not be enough to take in everything this city has to offer. From monuments to memorials – there will be a lot of places where you have to pay your respects (because you will want to) but then also rejoice the beauty you are surrounded by. Pack your bags and travel to Nagasaki for a holiday filled with surprises and respect.