The Port of Nagasaki ranked #2 in 2016 for Japanese Cruise Ports both for the number of total cruise ship calls (197) as well as the number of non-Japanese cruise ships (190).
“Nagasaki,” which literally means “long cape,” lies at the head of a long bay, which forms the best natural harbor on the southern island of Kyūshū. The city of Nagasaki had an estimated population of 426,087 people (as of February 2017). The city also has the second fastest declining population in Japan.
Nagasaki has a very unique history as the sole point of external trade when Japan was closed to the West from 1600 to 1868. It was also a center of Japanese Christianity until the shogun banned the religion. This period of time is the focus of Martin Scorcese’s 2016 movie “Silence” based on the book by modern literary great Shūsaku Endo. Nagasaki is also known as the sight of the second atomic bomb attack of WWII on August 9, 1945.
Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in nearby Gunkanjima (Hashima Island) nicknamed “Battleship Island” which was named as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015, as part of Japan's Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution. The island has appeared in a number of recent feature films—perhaps most famously in the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall.
Cruise passengers enjoy docking at the very centrally located Matsugae Wharf where they can easily walk to the nearest streetcar stop to start exploring the city’s numerous offerings on their own.