Nagasaki - The Birthplace of Champon

After arriving in Fukuoka from the trip to Okinawa on March 17, 2011, we stayed in Fukuoka for one night before taking a bus from Fukuoka to Nagasaki on March 18, 2011.

This was the second time I had been to Nagasaki. I first visited Nagasaki while I was an undergraduate short term exchange student back in 2006. I posted about that visit here and here in 2006. (Note: it is interesting to see what I wrote back then as a someone who was new to Japan compared to now where I feel like an old Japan hand)

Nagasaki, in recent history, is infamous for being the second place ever to be bombed with an atomic bomb. The first place was Hiroshima, also in western Japan. However, long before the atomic bombing, in the pre-modernization era feudal era, Nagasaki was one of the first and only places where foreign influences entered Japan. Especially Chinese and other European influences.

One of the modern symbols of Nagasaki. At the Peace Park. I personally think it looks really weird.


Okinawa Island: The Land of American Military Bases in Japan

Previously, I posted about the first 2 days of my trip to Okinawa in 2011. This post covers the last 2 days of my trip on March 16 and 17 in 2011.

We went to Ryukyu Mura, the Chatan/Mihama area and Okinawa City.


Okinawa - Naha: The Most Foreign Looking Place in Japan

From March 14-17, 2011, when my mother visited me in Japan, we visited Okinawa, sometimes known as "Japan's Hawaii". Having been to Hawaii a long time ago, I was interested to see how Okinawa compares to Hawaii.

This post covers the first 2 days of the trip (March 14-15) when we flew from Kobe, Japan to the Okinawa prefectural capital of Naha.

The shopping street aimed strictly at tourists in Naha, Kokusai-dori (国際通り). The most interesting thing is that almost everything in Okinawa, unlike on mainland Japan, was aimed at tourists. More precisely, Japanese domestic tourists, for whom, Okinawa feels like visiting a foreign country, yet everyone knows how to speak standard Japanese.


Toyama Study Trip - City Revitalization Through Light Rail Transit

On Dec. 10-11, 2010, I joined a study trip to Toyama, Japan with other foreign students of our laboratory to see an implementation of the "Compact City Development Using Public Transport" that Japan's Ministry of Land, Transport, Infrastructure and Tourism had been promoting as a means of revitalizing hollowed out (due to suburbanization and excessive reliance of private vehicles) cities in local areas.

In the case of Toyama. Japan's first implementation of light rail transit (LRT) was used as a catalyst for urban redevelopment.