The Nagasaki Tour

Today, five showed me around Nagasaki to the places that i will probably be visiting quite a bit. While waiting for five to get ready i got a stroll around the block to check out the elementary school. It was closed since it was saturday, but i still took a shot from on top of the staircase leading to the back of the school. There was some stone of the side of this staircase as well:

I'm not quite sure what it says.. but, i decided to venture forth to see what i could see..

And i came across that huge-ass cemetary/shrine again. So i took a couple panoramic shots: one, two, three.. There was also a stray cat hanging out.

Wandering around nagasaki is pretty easy. There are tons of back paths, and alley ways that are all publically acceptable to walk along. Usually if you come across a stair case with a bunch of white paint on the edges, it'll lead to another neighbor or block of houses rather than a single house. It's a pretty good indicator ^_^, though i think they do that so you can see the steps at night easier.

here's the road that goes past the front of five's apartment building:

It's so narrow, yet people fly by in their cars or moped's at around 30 mph, when the speed limit clearly says 20km (12mph).

zoom zoom..

i went back to the apartment to see if five was ready.. then we took off. Showed me further down his street this decrepid house:

It's completely grown over. The front door is open a little bit as well, and it's just completely full of garbage. It seems like the type of place that would be abandoned, but there's a bike out front, so someone is obviously in there. There was a stray kitty sitting on the bike.

Continuing along, there's also some neat little thing to take a picture of.. like this drainage system that goes back down to the river, or just the corner of the street. We went past the most modern looking japanese house i've seen yet. I took another panoramic shot of the corner.

Check it out! .. Japanese Mt. Dew exists:

whooo, now Kyle won't die of thirst. The vending machine was in a little pay parking lot with some weird parking meters:

Apparently when you drive over the bump, it'll lock in the car. The meter will keep track of the time. When you come back it'll tell you how much you owe. When you pay the meter, your car is released and you may leave.

Anywho.. we took the street car to the end of the Nagasaki blvd, back to where the Nagasaki school is located. This is the area i'll be hanging out at quite a bit. Here's their local shopping arcade:

We went to the japanese dollar store, so i could find a little coin purse to hold my change. They had a bunch of useful crap, like kana magnets. They had a bunch of other magnets too. They had a bunch of buttons. Some include these cute little monkeys, animals drinking beer and telling secrets, and pandas taking a crap. I was wondering what the January 19th, 1999 was on that one button. five had no idea. When i got home later i used the rakubiki jiten on it. Apparently it is Panda Strawberry Milk Day... O_o

The dollar store also has a kickass hamster manga, with the goku's extendo pole and flying cloud. The grocery store on the bottom level had some delicious sweat for sale.

We continued walking along the shopping arcade and came across a toy store, which has some escaflowne gashapon figures, a Hard Gay figure thing, and some weird pants.

There are plenty of beautiful looking building everywhere you look:

We came across a used book store, which had a couple of games. They had the whole series of Akira for a cheap $130 and this game which i have no idea how to play.

Next up, we went the local arcade. Five showed me the huge Virtual Fighter 5 arcade units. They also had this massive Soccer game:

Apparently you play using a deck of cards. You play your team on the playing field, and move your cards around to where you want your players to go. This game supports 8 players, and shows highlights on the big screen in front of everyone. Very extravagent.

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Five showed me another game which i found QUITE interesting. It's called Quest of D, and here's some guy playing it. It's a fantasy adventure type game, that plays a bit like diablo, but it also uses a card system. To even begin playing Quest of D, you must purchase an ID card to save your character.. that's about $5. Then you must need to buy a starter deck of items, which is about $4. Then you need to create your character which costs one credit, or $1. That's $10 to start the game, and you haven't even played yet. They have a separate machine for creating a character.

Once you've created your character, and you're set to go. Then you can plop your down on a real machine, like that guy was on. You need to insert cards from your starter deck into the machine which can be used as items. You get potions, armor, weapons, etc this way. You'll get a menu where you build your inventory for the upcoming quest and take items from your deck and place them on your person.

Once item selection is complete, it's time for the quest. For each quest you're given an objective and a dungeon to complete that objective in. You can take on the quest alone, with a friend, or you can do net play and team up with 3 others from across Japan.

The controls are pretty simple. You have a joystick for movement, and buttons for attacking. The display is a touch screen, and you touch the screen to use items, move around items, pick up loot from killing creatures, opening up treasure chests, and a few other things.

When you defeat levels, the game will spit out booster packs of cards for you. You can also buy booster packs for your deck as well.

Very interesting... i'll probably start playing it once i get settled in my dorm room. Though, i can see this getting rather pricey. I might set myself a limit from the beginning, like $25 max, and then see where i'm at when i get to that limit.

Quest of D is made and distributed by Sega and looks like it runs off the Xbox arcade board. Here's a pic of the card vending machine. (it's in the middle).
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We went off the beaten path a little bit, and five took me to a couple of touristy sights.

First up was the Torii Arch of the Sanno Shinto Shrine:

The arch once stood tall as the entrance to the Sanno Shinto Shrine, but was blow slightly apart when the Atomic Bomb hit Nagasaki. When you walk up to this Arch, it's actually turns a bit slightly from the blast, which partially led to it's topple. The rest lay against the wall down the sidewalk a little bit.

Continuing along the path was the new Sanno Shinto Shrine built on the site of the old one after it was blown away. Here's a panorama of the entrance way..

At the top of these steps are the famous Camphor trees of the Sanno Shinto Shrine, which survived the atomic blast as well. Here's a panaroma of the right tree. Most of the tree's bark was completely stripped off from the force of the bomb. The exposed areas of the tree were painted black to prevent them from rotting, and stand as a symbol of perserverence and a shrine to those who were killed. They also have plenty little paper cranes hanging from them ^_^

Past these trees was the new Sanno Shinto Shrine:

Here's a panoramic shot of the front of the courtyard. and what sacred area isn't complete without a stray cat wandering around.

We ventured forth to the hypocenter of the Atomic Bomb blast:

Here's a bigger pic, but it looks kinda crappy.

Anyways, (from the plaque) on August 9th, 1945 at 11:02 AM, the US dropped the Atomic Bomb entitled "Fat Man" at this location, which exploded 500 meters above the point the Black Monolith stands. The monolith was the first "structure" built after the massive blast.

It's surreal to stand it this area considering the destruction that occured 61 years ago in this very spot. Around the corner, and down the stairs was part of the earth that was excavated it showed bowls, dirt, building materials all compacted together, crushed together from the blast.. amazing... though not very photogenic :/

There was a river that passed around the hypocenter memorial. Another plaque stated that after the blast, when people drank from the river they would collapse and die from the amount of poison that water had obtained.. So many japanese died from the river.. So many corpses would be washed down the river and brought into the Nagasaki bay. Eventually the river was so littered with corpses that it formed a damn of rotting flesh.. "it was hell on earth," some guy said.. Once people realized the danger, everyone became afraid of drinking water.. many also died of thirst because they were too afraid of getting poisoned..
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Anyways... we continued along and found another little niche arcade. The next stop was the Peace Park dedicated to those who had perished in the Atomic Bomb blast. Here's the steps leading up the hill, and the next staircase after that one. At the top of the hill were the wings of water.

A symbol of doves immortalizing those who have died, created with water, the symbol of life. Here's some more shots: one and two. The peace park is filled was statues and gifts from foreign countries offering their condolences to nagasaki on the bomb hit.

The peace also has the outline of a prison that was completely destroyed along with all of its inhabitants. At the head of the peace park, opposite the water wings is this massive statue:

This is statue that the people of japan made for Nagasaki.. i think. i dunno, i missed the plaque that described this one. Around the corner was another little shrine, that was built in the 60s to commerate those who have died in, for and were effected by the blast of Nagasaki.
Nagasaki is really quite an amazing place. The city itself is so rich in history, but it's set within a culture that is quite connected to it's age-old traditional routes. Everything just has this deep rich aura to it that just completely escapes me. It's magical my friend... lemme tell you. ^_^

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Anyways, we made our way back to the strip for shopping primarily. We came across a used book stores that had some porno visible from the window. It also had some used DS games, so we had to take a look. The store was so tightly packed, i really couldn't find much beyond the games section. I did, however, find a used copy of Bible Black though.

Around the corner and past the bridge was the north-side You-Ing. I had gone to the Downtown You-ing the other day. This place has QUITE a bit of great stuff: An Aqua Gamecube controller, and some DS GO game (back) which actually looked really good. Unfortunately, not $49 good. If it's $30 by the time i leave, i'll pick it up. Let's see.. they also had Rumble Roses with a shiny cover, Aerobics Revolution, Radiruji, Gunbird 1+2, Psyvariar Complete, Trizeal, XII Stag, the new, crappy 3D Metal Slug game, Namco X Capcom for cheap, the awesome ness of Ouendan, Itadaki Streeet Portable, Evangelion on PSP, and the DS USB Power connector, which i purchased ^_^. I'll probably pick up Namco X Capcom before i leave, but those shooters wouldn't really be worth it. Those are great shooters, but i'd really only play them for about 30 minutes at a time. They couldn't sustain the purcahse, even though they are pretty cheap at around $20 each.

After spending about an hour in You-ing, we made our way to the electronics store for a power cord and some delicious food as well. We found a yakitori stand on the way there:

It was pretty cheap at 80c each, so i picked up some 㝭�㝾 and ����. The ���� was absolutely delicious. It tasted exactly like bbq ribs. MMmmmmMmmMMmmMMmmmm....

We got the power cord before dinner. It signed up for a Point Card at the same time, which five recommended since this in my neighborhood near the university. For those who don't know, most large electronics stores have a Point Card system that will award you credit at their store. You get a certain percentage of your purcahse back on your card, and you can use points to pay for your purchase. Also, they have little contests and games to award yourself points on your card to spend at the store. It's their way of hooking you as a customer, so that you keep spending your points back in the store rather than going elsewhere.

Afterwards i finally had some of Nagasaki's famous champon noodles:

It was so good.. very delicious.

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Afterwards, we decided to go downtown.. like downtown downtown, to the bar areas.. though, five was getting a bit sleepy, so once we got off the street car, we went to starbucks.. They had a pretty japanese menu, i picked up a Green Tea Frappicino, which was quite delicious.

We went past a SPAM sashimi bar. -_-;;

Downtown was pretty brightly lit up:

We didn't go anywhere to drink though :/ ... next week, when Brett and Kyle are here, we ALLL gotta go downtown and get torn up..
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To end the night we stopped off at yet another arcade..

The had some pretty niche stuff like Castle Shikigami 3, Exelica, and the recently released, Metal Slug 6. It wasn't that bad of an arcade, but the only bemani game they had was Pop 'n Music.. :/

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Overall it was a pretty slick day ^_^




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