December 4, 2008 - Thursday - Kyoto-Nagasaki
Today was mostly spent on the 3 trains I used to get from Kyoto all the way to the far western end of Japan – Nagasaki. I am now only 500 miles by sea from Shanghai, China!
A bit thin on the pictures today – but to my surprise I do have hotel internet connection for another couple days…
Most of today’s photos are taken from the museum exhibit I went to late in the afternoon in Nagasaki, but first two few snapshots.
The picture on the left is the interior of the last train carriage today - on the Kyushu Line. Notice the wood floor and the slippers. The picture on the right is a shot of the entrance to Nagasaki’s Chinatown. I took this walking home from the museum in a thunderstorm. It is a lot warmer here. There are palms and some tropical plants still in flower outside.
The museum I went to was a reconstruction of the Dejima – the only colony of foreigners in Japan for several hundred years (~ 1640-1847). The foreigners lived on an tiny artificial island created for them in Nagasaki harbor. Dejima was the one allowed trade point between Japan and the West for several hundred years – at first it was Portuguese but their missionaries got out of hand and it was handed over to the Dutch as a monopoly.
The city has since land-filled its way over the site. The first map shows Dejima as a red crescent on a current satellite picture of downtown Nagasaki. Then there a period illustrations of the island and the layout of Nagasaki as a whole – with Dejima again a red crescent at the bottom.
The whole site has been excavated recently and reconstructed to look as it did in the early 1800’s. Nice mixture of Japanese and European culture. Here is a Japanese style bedroom but with period Dutch furniture. The Dejima colony dining room – at least for the elite, and an example of the pottery made locally whose production the Dutch encouraged and then shipped back to Europe. The foreigners here were not allowed into Japan, except for the governor who made an annual trip to see the Shogun in Edo (Tokyo) It took 90 days to make the round-trip along much the same root I have taken on the railroad.
(for more history - see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dejima )
Tomorrow the A-bomb museum !