Before the Meiji Restoration, Nagasaki Prefecture was comprised of the provinces of Tsushima, Iki, and Hizen. During the Tokugawa Shogunate, the region was directly facing both China and Korea, and was therefore a traditional home to many traders.
The first missionaries and traders from Portugal arrived in Hirado during the 1500s and it soon became a home for foreign traders during the Nobunaga period. Following Nobunaga’s death though, the missionaries were pushed out and when Tokugawa Ieyasu came to power, Christianity was banned under the Sakoku policy and foreign trade was restricted to Dutch and Chinese traders.
Following the Meiji Restoration, Nagasaki became home to the major ports of Sasebo and Nagasaki. They eventually became major shipbuilding and naval centers in the build up to World War II, leading to the decision by the United States to drop an atomic bomb on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 to facilitate the end of World War II.
Immediately bordering Nagasaki are the Saga Prefecture to the east and the Ariake Bay, East China Sea, and Tsushima Straits on all three other sides. A number of small islands also make up parts of Nagasaki, including Iki and Tsushima. Multiple ports still exist in Nagasaki as well as a US naval base in Sasebo.
The following are major cities within Nagasaki Prefecture:
Additional districts and their corresponding towns in Nagasaki include:
As a mostly port prefecture, much of Nagasaki’s current industry is related to trade and import/export, as well as in fishing, shipbuilding, and other related industries. Much of the prefecture’s work force, like the rest of Japan, works in the service industry as well.
Located in Nagasaki Prefecture is the country’s oldest Christian population, dating to the 16th century and thus there are multiple religious sites in the region including Oura Cathedral and Urakami Cathedral. Additionally, you can visit the Confucius Shrine, Kofuku Temple, Sofuku Temple, Suwa Shrine, and many more similar sites.
The Chinatown in Nagasaki is among the country’s largest and sites like Hirado Castle and Shimabara Castle date back to the Tokugawa Period.