Nagasaki Lantern Festival is an annual festival in Nagasaki held on Chinese a new year.
The festival has been started to cerebrate a new year by Chinese who lived in Nagasaki, and it became the Nagasaki's festival since 1994.
More than 10 thousand lanterns are decorated at Chinatown during the festival.
In 2008, the festival will be held on February 07 to 21.
[Back to Nagasaki-City]
Nagasaki Kunchi is one of big-three festival in Japan, held on October 7 to 9 at Suwa Shrine.
The festival features Chinese dance including Ja-odori (Snake dance), this time dancing all around the city but especially at Suwa Shrine.
After Christianity was harshly suppressed in Nagasaki in 1624, a festival was dedicated to Suwa Shrine, the guardian god of local people.
It is believed that Suwa Shrine festival called “Nagasaki Kunchi” and danced were offered to shrine with cooperated of local people in 1634.
At the outset, dedicated dance were very simple but gradually became colorful.
During Eiho Era (1673-80), a Chinese dance with an exotic flavor offered to the shrine.
The Ja-odori or snake dance was first performed in the Nagasaki Kunchi during period 1789-1800.
In 1970, the government designated the whole of Nagasaki Kunchi dance including Ja-odori as an Important Intangible Cultural Asset.
[Back to Nagasaki-city]
Forget about Las Vegas, there are many Japanese pachinko parlors for you try your luck.
You watch little small shining metallic balls going down a vertical maze and if they end up at the right spot and time, you get more balls into your bowl.
It is a noisy, smoky and bright light and loud music experience. Many locals are addicted to pachinko and no doubt it is well run by the local gang.
Officially it is legal because it is just a game and you may get a pencil for all your balls. But that "special" pencil your way out can be exchanged an a manned window for cash.
So do not forget to trade your souvenir for cash.
When you are in the streets or restaurants, you will see Japanese words all over.
There are three different writing scripts:
1) Kanji (borrowed from Chinese characters, a few have been modified). So a Chinese can guess most of the meaning of Japanese newspaper article.
2) Hiragana - simplified strokes for Japanese words, grammatical tenses. All Kanji can be written in Hiragana form based on the pronounciation of the word.
3) Katakana - a further more simplified strokes, primarily for recent foreign borrowed words like "terebi" (television), "naifu" (knife)
Fun to learn some Kanji of names of cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagasaki and signs like entry or exit. Possible to learn hiragana and katakana as they are like alphabets.
Enjoyed collecting small bills and coins of the different countries that I visit.
Picture shows my collection of 100 yen and 500 yen coin.
Fluctuation of yen-dollar exchange is a key economic factor between Japan and US trade.
For 2006 September averages US$1 = 117 yen
Coins ¥1, ¥5, ¥10, ¥50, ¥100, ¥500
¥1,000, ¥5,000, ¥10,000
Rarely used ¥2000
Nagasaki is one of the few places in Japan where you can see Christian churches. Here already long time ago, the Portuguese tried to do some missionary work, with big consequences for the people that turned to Christian believe. The memorial for 26 marters is one of the examples of this past cruelty against Christians. Many got crusified or were killed in other horrible ways, so that the religion only could be held in secrety. Now-a-days it is here that one can find the largest concentration of Christians in Japan and several churches in Western style.
Japanese language is one of the most complicated! Three types of characters. Anyway, here's some useful phrases to keep in mind in case you need help.
IN AN EMERGENCY:Help! Tas'kete!
Call the police Keisatsu o yonde kudasai!
Thank you Arigato gozaimasu
Excuse Me Sumimasen
I don't understand Wakarimasen
Do you speak English? Eigo o hanashimasuka?
How are you? Ogenki desu ka ?
Good morning Ohayo gozaimasu
Good afternoon Konnichiwa
Good evening Konbanwa
Good night Oyasumi nasai
Good bye Sayonara