Off the Beaten Path in Nagasaki
Nagasaki is surrounded by hills.  It is said that there are seven main hills that surround Nagasaki.  I suppose that’s true, but it seems a little too convenient a number, no?  Rome, after all, was the city of seven hills.  Whatever their number, Konpira Mountain is certainly among the hills that frame Nagasaki.  It’s set right between the Shindaiku area and the university hospital area.  If those two parts of Nagasaki seem so spatially cut off, the fault lies with Konpira Mountain.  Its woods, streams, and waterfalls make you feel like you’re in a different world, far removed from the bustle of the city that lies below.  It’s hard even to get a glimpse of the city through the trees and over the hills, but there are views to be had - if you look hard enough. Konpira is easy to get to.  Take the tram to Suwajinja-mae.  Get off and walk north on the street that parallels the river.  Stay on the west side of the street, because the road diverges into the Nagasaki Bypass (a highway) and the local road, which veers left.  The trail up the mountain begins right at the bypass tunnel area, at a temple called Murouji. CAUTION.  The trail is at times steep, and it can be slippery even a day or two after a rain.  The ascent is no problem.  The descent will give you trouble when it’s wet.  Wear shoes with good traction, and plan for a descent twice as long as your ascent. BACK NUMBERS Wakamiya
Copyright 2013, Guy Healy, Japan
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