Nagasaki is very cosmopolitan, as you'd expect. It was really the only city that had any foreigner interaction for all those years Japan was locked away. The Dutch even had their own little island from which to base their trade. Funny, as it's now landlocked, thanks to reclaimed land, but the European-style buildings are open as tourist attractions. Quite bizarre.

The Peace Park and the A-Bomb museum were the obvious places to visit and they were informative, fascinating and sobering. The museum did not baulk from describing Japan's aggressive imperial ambitions that lead up to its involvement in WWII, including its invasion of China and SE Asian nations. No mention of the rape of Nanjing of course, but that was not the focus of the exhibition in any case. The most fascinating exhibits were the stories of individual people and what they saw and experienced that day. The sad leftover detritus of daily lives: charred metals lunch boxes with the day's rice still crumbly and black inside, singed clothing, melted glass bottles and roof tiles, charred wood. One astonishing part of the exhibition illustrated the effect of the flash light/heat that emanated from the bomb. It showed various items that had the shadows of whatever was between it and the bomb, preserved forever. A brick wall with the shape of a gas tap, another wall with a ladder leaning against it, and saddest of all, the profile of a man. Dreadful to see what people suffered and experienced, particularly as radiation sickness and its effects were not really understood at the time. Photos of people breaking out in purple spots, which in actual fact was haemorrhaging under the skin and internal bleeding. Horrific to think this bomb is about 1/2,000th of what can be done now. Incidentally, when the bombs were dropped, they were detonated about 500m from the ground to increase the bomb blast radius. This is the main reason why Nagasaki and Hiroshima are arable and habitable today. The Americans were still amazed however, to find trees and plants growing within a year of the blast.