You may have heard of Nagasaki, yes? The infamous site of the nuclear attack by "Fat Man", the plutonium bomb dropped in August of 1945 during World War II?

The city has been slowly rebuilt and now memorializes the devastation with the Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Memorial Park. Below are scenes from both the museum and the park, with its commemoration the brave souls of bomb victims through massive sculptures donated by countries around the world.

Hypocenter of the bomb

Entering Peace Park

Statue dedicated by ______

Dejima Island

Days Long Past

This is a small (very small) island in the center of town dating back to the Edo or pre-Tokyo, period. Originally built to accommodate Portuguese Christian missionaries and prevent the propagation of their religion, but today it is a museum of trades long past.

As you enter, this is a model of the island to guide your visit.

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My Lucky Day!

In strolling around Deiji Island, we saw a group of lovely young ladies dressed in traditional kimonos. I couldn't not take their photo so asked our guide to inquire if it would be ok. They gladly agreed! They told the guide they were on a "Memory Tour", a traditional trip for students entering their last year of high school. The two fellows below were working in the one of buildings and kindly allowed me take their photo.

Moji and the Senbutsu Limestone Caves

We took a chance and signed up for Windstar's first-ever excursion to the Senbutsu Limestone caves from the town of Moji. Supposedly an easy walk through the caves, just a stroll in ankle-deep water and marketed as "a photographer's dream."

Sign me up!

But it was not an easy stroll, not a photographer's dream. We were provided water sandals which, to our great surprise, were Crocs! The twisting and turning required to maneuver through the narrow passageways in loose-fitting Crocs made the trek much more difficult than expected. All survived and I was just happy that I managed to keep my camera dry and unscathed.

Tomo No Ura

Delightful Day

We spent a delightful day in this picturesque seaside town located on an inner bay of the four islands that make up Japan. We were headed towards Osaka and the much-anticipated Kyoto.

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A bit of a crazy adventure...

A Malaysian tourist approached us on the street and asked if we'd be willing to share a taxi to Abuto Kannon, a Buddhist Temple located outside the city. We hadn't heard of the temple, and it was a rather bold and unexpected request. We considered her offer and ultimately agreed, using a local shopkeeper to confirm the arrangement and order us the taxi.

We were absolutely delighted to find a lovely temple perched high on a hill. We couldn't figure out the theme of the temple until we saw the small room filled with what appeared to be breasts. It was a fertility temple!

Abuto Kannon, a Buddhist temple dedicated to fertility

View from the top

It's a fertility temple!

local scenes

The seaside village of Tomonoura had not seen visitors since early 2020, pre Covid. They were delighted to host us, providing volunteer locals as guides and setting up demonstrations of local talent. Below is a short concert by two local professional musicians, one playing a traditional Japanese Zoto and the other a flute.

Typical home and garden


Cemetery for local family members. They are buried one on top of each other to minimize the number of graves needed.

Final stop: Kyoto