Nagasaki, Japan

Sunday, March 25th 2018

We visited this great city four years ago on the ms Amsterdam and just fell in love.

As usual I was up for our early morning sail in. Light fog partially obscured the surrounding hills of the small islands near the entrance to the magnificent harbor, as I spoke by cell phone with our daughter Lisa back in Washington. It was so cool to be in that place, yet still be connected to loving family.

Are we passed under the massage cable stayed bridge just outside the harbor, the fog lessened and the industry’s ship building/repair facilities lay as a stanch reminder as to the importance of this port to the commercial prosperity of this island nation. However it was somewhat disconcerting to me as I recognized several of the ships were liquid natural petroleum transporters.

As our deck and navigation departments brought the Volendam to ‘all stop’ and made her fast to the cruise pier, a magnificent sunrise treated those gathered on the weather decks.

Barbara was certainly looking forward, salivating really, to get back to the cruise terminal gift shop. This morning she found the same shopkeeper that she dealt with during our last visit. After she purchased what’s she had missed before, we departed for our destination; The Glover garden on a hill overlooking the harbor.

Years before, we did not have enough $$ to pay the entrance fee, but today we intended to enjoy the garden to the fullest. Confident in our years of finding our way, we set out on a ‘Siri” provided course, only to late to realize ‘Siri’ was as lost as we were. So we retreated to our tried and true pathfinder abilities. Follow our noses!

We were huffing and puffing when we finally reached the ‘remembered’ exit and with some direction from a security guard the escalators to the entrance office.

Our tired legs certainly appreciated the ‘flat’ escalators and gentle wheel chair pathways as we continued our way upward to the beautiful building with an usual name “Former Mitsubishi No 2 Dock House”. This 1898 building had served as a dormitory for crew members while their ship underwent repairs.

My or my, what floral beauty and vistas of the city and port treated us. While Barbara investigated the treasures inside the ‘Dock House’ I chose a comfortable spot on one of the benches overlooking the harbor. Since it was Sunday, families were out celebrating the beautiful weather and the coming together for family photos. I have observed that Asian folks love to show the peace sign or thumbs up during those photo sessions.

The love that the families, large or small exhibited to each other, brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of how blessed I am, even though my family is thousands of miles distant.

The large trunk to the right of this ‘ flower wall’ is an ancient Wisteria

There were three teenage girls that seemed to be enjoying their outing and were moving at our speed throughout the garden, so I approached them and asked if I could take their picture to show to my daughters/granddaughters of their style of clothing, and they most unabashedly gave me a very sweet pose. I shared this photo on our family ‘text’ thread, however to protect their privacy, I have chosen not to share it on this public forum.

Reluctantly we departed this garden treasure and headed for lunch in a place where we ate on our last visit – a place we dubbed “Denny’s” because the fare and family atmosphere were so similar. We loved it before and it sure did not disappoint this time.

Departing “Denny’s” we our next destination was the city trolley to use the all day passes we had purchased for $5 that morning in the terminal. We had no particular destination, just what ever we could see from our seats on the vehicle. We rode the ‘green’ line to the end and thought we would just stay on for the return, but the conductor was very adamant that we had to ‘get off’ and take a differed line back to the ship. Okay!

There did not seem to be any load limit for these trolleys as soon we packed together like sardines in a can, along with some folks from the ship, and several school girls dressed in immaculate blue uniforms.

After we reached our destination, Barbara still had a ‘yen’ to spend her ‘yen’ at the shops inside and outside the terminal, while I returned to the ship through Japanese departure immigration and turned in my passport to ships company.

Although the picture above might appear to be a painting, it is a live plant clinging to a white column of an abandoned building.

While the ‘gathered at the rails’ on deck 3 were entertained by the “Swing Hope Big Band” all female very professional musicians, there was a call thought out the ship for those passengers who had not presented themselves for the mandatory ‘departure immigration’ check immediately do so! Our ship could not sail until all were on board. Of course this requirement had been given to every passenger earlier the night before. Some folks just feel that some things don’t apple to them because of their ‘status’. Our skipper did not sound to happy when he made his ‘ready for departure’ announcement.


Everything considered, it was a grand day, and a perfect memory maker.

As I write, we are sailing through very calm, yet foggy seas on a course for Shanghai, China, with a 9 PM scenic sail in.

Jack W. Cummings – Far East Asia Adventure 2018

3 thoughts on “Nagasaki, Japan

  1. Love your account of riding the bus to the end of its route. GK and I did the same thing with our all day bus pass and had the same experience the last time we were there too. As I recall that was on the Amsterdam, same trip with you. Marvelous to be able to visit there again with both you and lovely photo of Barbara.
    Lynn Keegan

  2. What a fun day. Beautiful photos. The first time I was there I visited a local hospital. Explained that I was a nurse and could I have a tour. Boy you could have eaten off the floors, the place was so clean. My bonus was being in Operating Room to observe a thyroidectomy using Accupunture as the anesthesia. No bleeding, and when surgery was over the lady just hopped off the table to a whhelchair. Unbelievable.
    So keep heading to all those great ports and building super memories which you are kind enough to share with those of us on land.

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