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Shianbashi is a large entertainment district located in an arcade in Hamanomachi in Nagasaki city. Nowadays, the river flows underground so there is no actual bridge as one may think from the name (the “bashi” in Shianbashi translates as bridge). The area here in Maruyama Yukaku was once known as the one of the top three red-light districts in Japan and it is said that the name “Shian” (translated as “contemplate”) came from all the guys who wondered if they should go or not to enjoy themselves. The night scene in Shianbashi is nothing less than splendid. If you come perhaps you can feel traces of the old red light district in the air.
- Shianbashi, Aburaya-machi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki
- From the JR Nagasaki Station take a Nagasaki streetcar on the No. 1 line and get off at Shianbashi Station.
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Scenes of the Nagasaki Streetcars
One could easily say that one of the main attractions of Shianbashi is watching the streetcars go by. The narrow streets are always busy with cars, buses, and street cars. For some reason, the chaos brings peace in this strange but fascinating place.
Shianbashi Yokocho, a Night Town
The Shianbashi Yokocho area is packed with delicious restaurants and bars one can enjoy just by strolling through. The area seems eerily empty during the day when most establishments are at rest for the coming of night. To taste the area’s characteristic neon nightlife, we recommend heading here after dark.
Kagetsu, a Restaurant with History
In 1960, Kagetsu was designated as an important historical restaurant, a rarity not found often in Japan, and is still running business today. During Japan’s long period of isolation during the Edo period, only Nagasaki was allowed to have contact with foreigners, so by taking elements of Belgian and Portuguese food, adding tastes of Chinese and arranging it in a Japanese style, the special cuisine of Nagasaki was born, “Shippoku Ryori.” Come enjoy this prefectural designated historical cuisine of Shippoku Ryori at Kagetsu.
Umegae-mochi Treats of the Long-Standing Shiniseki Kukusui Daitoku-ji
Shiniseki Kukusui Daitoku-ji is a sweets shop in Nagasaki city. The famous treats that can be found here are umegae-mochi. These umegae-mochi are treats with a soft and springy skin and anko sweet red bean paste on the inside which are cooked from the outside. We recommend enjoying these treats on a stroll through the surrounding retro streets.
Umezono Migawari Tenmangu
This is a shrine that was built in 1700. The “Migawari” name of the shrine (translates as “substitute”) got its name from a legend that says that on one night the founder of the temple was jumped on and stabbed in the side but instead of having marks of the wound on himself, the tenjin statue in the shrine had blood dripping down from a wound on its own side. Prostitutes of the red light district used to come here to pray for their health and safety.