26-27 October 2008

The spectacles bridge was nice but not that spectacular (just like the way to the confucian temple was not that confusing...). The japanese name is "Megane Bashi" and was given because the view of the bridge, together with its reflection in the water is said to look like a pair of glasses. I'm pretty sure it must be bifocals...

Going to the Glover Gardens, I went by the Ogura church which has a nice ard-deco interior (but taking pictures was not allowed and it was crowded with groups of bus tours all the time), then I went back a bit, took the sky-road inclined elevator, and "hiked" up the Nabekanmuriyama, a little beyond the upper entrance of Glover garden. The observatory there (free) provides a good view over Nagasaki and the harbor

[HDR] Then I walked down and through Glover Garden, a garden with several old European style houses of the Scot Mr. Glover and his friends.

[HDR] It is literally impossible to take a picture of the main house without including a full school class...

From there I walked to the Dutch part of town... that is... in that time they called all western people Dutch.

[HDR] It is said that especially these slopes were crowded with foreigners long long ago, which is the reason why they called it "Olanda zaka", the Holland slopes.

Finally I got to the "real" Dutch part: Dejima (Decima in Dutch) [wiki link]. It was the trading post the Dutch used from 1641 to 1857 while they had exclusive trading rights with Japan. The "island" has largely been rebuilt and is now a museum explaining about the island itself, the trade and the things introduced by the Dutch. This gate connected to mainland Japan via a bridge.

In the evening I took the ropeway up Inasayama and waited for the sunset. There is a free observatory, but you have to pay the ropeway to get there of course.

At the observator I got to talk with a woman living in Nagasaki who said that her grandmother still had to stamp on an image of Christ or the Virgin Mary to show that whe was not Christian (which was forbidden until 1873). Another custom at that time was that once a year everyone in the city opened the hous to any visitors, so everyone could see there were no hidden signs of Christianity inside. The woman said this festival still exists these years, but now everyone can participate without having to be affraid of prosecution. She said even Christians take part these days!

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