Nagasaki was the only port in Japan open to international trade between the 17th and 19th centuries. China and the Netherlands were Japan’s exclusive trading partners during these two centuries. You will see reminders of this period in the city’s exotic townscape and numerous former foreign residences. Meanwhile, Nagasaki is a city with a tragic history. In spite of the brief spread of Christianity throughout the city, missionaries and followers were severely suppressed and persecuted. During World War Two, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The city has been leading the world in calling for peace ever since.


Nagasaki is the foundation of Japan’s modernisation.

When our country’s modernisation started after the long age of the Samurai, we learned extensive knowledge and techniques from the West, and rapidly developed iron, steel, shipbuilding and coal mining industries.

A number of industrial remnants of the beginning of Japan’s industrial revolution have been designated as UNESCO World Heritages. Eight of the twenty-three of these World Heritage Sites are in Nagasaki including famous Hashima(Battleship Island) .

Oura Catholic Church

The miraculous story behind this world-famous church

Nagasaki once flourished as the headquarters of missionary work in Japan following the visit of St. Francis Xavier and other missionaries. Trades and Christian culture prospered in the city until the introduction of a 250-year ban on Christianity.
Hidden Christians continued to practise their faith in secret while suffering persecution and pretending to be Buddhists or Shintoists.
After the long and desperate underground period, Christianity was eventually revived here.

Today, as the home of Christians praying for their ancestors, Oura Catholic Church presents the world with a unique story of resurrection after centuries of persecution. The church is a collective candidate for UNESCO World Cultural Heritage status in 2018.

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