Kyushu Part 3 Nagasaki
Sunset at Iojima island. Brightness and contrast adjusted.
Before we visited Nagasaki town proper on the last leg of our journey, we headed over to Iojima resort island. We took a ferry there from Nagasaki port to the Iojima. It is a small island with a small town but is famous for its resort hotels and beautiful beaches (I don't know how beautiful it is cause we had no time to see the beach).
Waiting for the ferry
We drove from Sasebo back to Nagasaki and immediately bought the tickets to Iojima island. While we were waiting for the ferry, we ate at a restaurant at the harbour. Picture taken at the restaurant.
Sunset near the Iojima lighthouse
The resort was wonderful, something like a 4 to 5 star hotel back home in Malaysia. And the price was extremely reasonable for our one night stay! We stayed in individual chalets overlooking the beaches. The resort is the first thing you would see when you board off the ferry. White and red tiled buildings, spread across a wide area. It has a nice onsen/spa, with an outdoor onsen overlooking the sea as well. Swimming pool, basketball court, children play area, tennis courts, golf area.....
Our dinner at the hotel's restaurant
Then there was this series of fantastic rooms for you to relax, decorated with different materials from wood to bamboos etc. Each had a balcony where you can enjoy the sea breeze and view. Best used after the onsen....you can even sleep in there.
Iojima Okinoshima Tenshudo Church
There are a few places to see while at Iojima. One of which is this church which is lighted up at night. Sort of gives it an eerie feeling.
Sunset on a hazy evening
Another place is the lighthouse area. A nice place transformed for visitors to walk, relax and enjoy the scenery. The area is best for sunset viewing. All the pictures above are taken around that area. Very relaxing, very calm and peaceful. Hazy though.
Basak and Ismail
And romantic as well...hehe
Shiori and Hashimoto-san
They were feeling lonely and decided to follow Basak and Ismail!
We had a nice time over at Iojima. Since it was autumn then, there was no way we could go swimming at the beaches since it was cold! So we had to skip that part. The next day we took the ferry back to Nagasaki. We only had a few hours to kill before taking our airport bus. So we had to decide where to go. It was between the atomic museum and memorial or the Glover Garden. In the end we chose the Glover Garden.
Glover House, Nagasaki
Glover Garden consists of mansions belonging to Western merchants who settled down in Nagasaki after Japan finally ended its seclusion period and who contributed heavily towards the modernisation and economy of Japan. The most famous of which belonged to Thomas Glover, a Scottish merchant. The others are the Alt House and Ringer House, both are examples of early stone architecture in Japan. Glover Garden is designated an important cultural asset and is an open air museum. Glover house is the oldest Western style house in Japan. You can tour inside the houses. Glover House for example had funitures, ornaments etc arranged according to the period. Others had photos, documents pertaining to the owners of the houses.
Did you know that the famous Italian opera, Puccini's Madame Butterly, supposedly originated from here? The house is believed to be the setting for the opera. However, there are many stories floating around about the true Madame Butterfly. One is that Thomas Glover married a samurai's daughter who was widely believed to be the inspiration for Madame Butterfly because of the butterfly prints on her kimono. (Source: Times Online) There is a statue of her near the house.
Another story was that one of the Glover brothers had an affair with a Japanese woman who worked as an entertainer in a teahouse under the name Cho-san (Miss Butterfly). She became pregnant, he dumps her and she gave birth to a boy who was later adopted by Thomas Glover and Tsuru. Both the opera and this story are marked with tragedies. (Source: Playbillarts)
Fact or fiction? Which is the real story? No one knows.
View of Nagasaki harbour from the Mitsubishi Dock House, Glover Garden.
Thomas Glover was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, the first non-Japanese to receive it due to his contributions towards modernising Japan. He introduced modern shipping and mining techniques and constructed a Western style shipyard, which later on, would be owned by Mitsubishi. He was also the owner of the Takashima Coal Mine. Mr Glover introduced the first railway locomotive and was instrumental in importing weapons and warships from the West. In short, he was, in those days, a very powerful businessman. He had close ties to the samurai clans, one of which whose son rose to become Japan's first prime minister Hirobumi Ito, whom Mr Glover had helped sent to Britain for studies. Mitsubishi eventually took over his business but retained him as a consultant. Because of the Mitsubishi shipyard which was greatly involved in the war effort during World War II, Nagasaki was the target of the plutonium bomb, Fat Man. They missed the target and the bomb exploded one mile off, if not, the situation would have been much worse than Hiroshima.
Nagasaki was not the first choice but Kyoto was. However, Kyoto was objected because it was a cultural city and the heart and soul of Japan. It was feared that by destroying it, it would turn the citizens of Japan against the Americans after the war.
Nagasaki harbour view.
Glover Garden has an excellent view of the harbour. Especially at night I think, when everything is lighted up. Beautiful. You can also go around dressed up in old western costumes, for a fee of course and have a photographer take your pics. We saw a couple doing that. Also, it is a favourite of tourists, about 2 million or more visit this place each year.
Probably the most famous catholic church in Japan, it is the oldest one in the country. Situated along the way to Glover Garden. This church was built in 1865 as a memorial to 26 christian martyrs who died under Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1597. Designated as a National Treasure. Bad picture of the church....no tripod!