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Getting There

By Plane -- JAL and ANA serve Nagasaki Airport (NGS; tel. 0957/52-5555; www.nabic.co.jp/english) from Tokyo's Haneda Airport. Flight time is 1 hour and 50 minutes, and the regular one-way JAL fare is around ¥39,000, though tickets purchased 28 days in advance can cost more than half that on certain flights. Skynet Asia Airways (SNA; tel. 0120/737-283 toll-free in Japan; www.skynetasia.co.jp), a local airline connecting a few cities in Kyushu with Tokyo, offers a regular one-way Nagasaki-Tokyo fare of ¥31,600, with cheaper fares if you book 2 months in advance for selected flights. Airport buses travel to Nagasaki Station in about 45 minutes for ¥800.

By Train -- Trains depart Hakata Station in Fukuoka approximately twice an hour, arriving at Nagasaki Station about 2 hours later at a cost of ¥4,410 for an unreserved seat. From Tokyo, take the Nozomi Shinkansen bullet train to Hakata Station and transfer there for a train to Nagasaki; travel time is about 7 1/2 hours, depending on connections, and the fare is ¥23,420 for an unreserved seat.

Visitor Information

Pick up the leaflet "Nagasaki, Unzen, Goto Islands, Iki and Tsushima" from the Tourist Information Center in Tokyo or Kansai or Narita international airports, or download it from JNTO's website at www.jnto.go.jp by looking under "Browse by Destinations." In Nagasaki, the Nagasaki City Tourist Information Office (tel. 095/823-3631; daily 8am-8pm) is located just outside the main ticket gates of Nagasaki Station, to the right in the Seattle's Best coffee shop. Information on Nagasaki is also available online at www.at-nagasaki.jp. See www.nagasaki-tabinet.com for information on Nagasaki Prefecture, including Unzen.

Internet Access -- Located in the Hamano-machi covered shopping arcade in the heart of downtown Nagasaki, Internet Café Cybac, 2-46 Aburaya-machi (tel. 095/818-8050), open 24 hours, charges a one-time ¥300 fee and then ¥300 for the first 30 minutes, plus ¥100 for each additional 15 minutes.

Orientation -- Along with Kobe and Sapporo, Nagasaki is one of Japan's most navigable cities, with lots of English-language signs pointing the way to attractions. City layout follows natural boundaries set by the Urakami River, the long and narrow Nagasaki Bay, and the many steep-sloped hills. Nagasaki Station, along with AMU Plaza next door offering shopping and dining options, isn't located in the downtown part of the city; rather, most nightspots, shops, and restaurants are located southeast of the station, clustered around an area that contains Shianbashi Dori and Kanko Dori streets, the Hamano-machi covered shopping arcade, and a newly developed waterfront area called Dejima Wharf that includes restaurants, the Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum with Spanish art and art related to Nagasaki, and Seaside Park. Nearby is Chinatown, with Chinese restaurants and shops selling Chinese-made souvenirs and clothing. Farther south is Glover Garden, where many foreigners settled in the 19th century. Nearby is Hollanders Slope (Oranda-zaka, also referred to as Dutch Slope), undoubtedly Nagasaki's prettiest street, a cobbled lane lined with wooden houses built by former European residents (a century ago, the people of Nagasaki referred to all Europeans as Hollanders). Peace Park and its atomic-bomb museum are located north of Nagasaki Station on the other end of town.

Getting Around

By Streetcar -- Streetcars have been hauling passengers in Nagasaki since 1915 and have changed little in the ensuing years; they're still the easiest -- and most charming -- way to get around. Four lines run through the heart of the city, with stops written in English. Because streetcars have their own lanes of traffic here, during rush hour they're usually the fastest on the road. It costs a mere ¥120 (half-price for children) to ride one no matter how far you go; pay at the front when you get off. You are allowed to transfer to another line only at Tsukimachi Station (ask the driver for a transfer ticket, a norisugi, when you disembark from the first streetcar); otherwise, you must pay each time you disembark. If you think you'll be riding more than five times in 1 day, you can save a few yen with a ¥500 pass, sold at the tourist office and at many hotels, which allows unlimited rides for 1 day. Streetcars run from about 6:15am to 11:30pm.

On Foot -- With the exception of Peace Park, you can also get around Nagasaki easily on foot, which is certainly the most intimate way to experience the city and its atmosphere. You can walk from the Hamano-machi downtown shopping district to Glover Garden, for example, in 20 minutes, passing Chinatown, Dejima, and the Dutch Slope on the way.

By Bus -- Destinations are in Japanese only -- stick to the streetcars.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.