I Love Nagasaki
When I was nineteen, I first came to Nagasaki with a series of host parents on a volunteer program. I had seen much of Japan before on previous visits, but Nagasaki City was nothing like what I had experienced, and I loved every second of it. The amalgam of Western port culture and rich international history was glaring: in the famous foods, Dejima harbor, the tallships, and of course, in much of the Chinese- and Dutch-influenced architecture and decorations around the city. The O-Kunchi festival with its dragon dance was perhaps one of the most memorable, and perhaps the best symbol of what makes Nagasaki unique. Using a Chinese dragon as a local city symbol of Nagasaki culture merely emphasizes its background in multiple cultures, making the area that much more intriguing. Another great memory from that time is the fireworks of O-Bon. O-Bon takes place all over Japan, but only in Nagasaki is it so boisterous, vibrant and lively.
It's been eight years since I originally came to Nagasaki, but I never forgot the experience. My obsession with getting back to this place led me to request Nagasaki Prefecture as the location for my JET placement, and I have never been more incredulous or more happy to receive that placement. This new experience of Nagasaki's inaka (countryside), with a family rather than as a teenager, has infinitely broadened my view of Nagasaki. I appreciate the beautiful mountains, the winding seaside roads, and the safety that both community and environment provide us here. My daughter speaks both the Nagasaki dialect and the dialect of our local city, which, while it makes people laugh, is adorable to watch. We live in Unzen City, Nagasaki, and have had many beautiful experiences while here.
We love Nagasaki, and we hope you do too!
Enjoy my video I made in Unzen City, Nagasaki Prefecture: