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February 2, 2009

Nagasaki part 1 (Megane Bashi)


Megane Bashi (or Glasses Bridge) is the oldest brick bridge in Japan.  It was the first of it's kind built in 1634.  
The day I took this picture the winds were pretty strong so, there are small waves on the surface of the river.  If there were no waves, then the bridge would have reflected more clearly on the water...making it look like a pair of gigantic  eyeglasses staring right at you.  It is 22 meters long.  In 1960 it was designated as a national cultural asset. 

 If you stand on the bridge or around it and start taking pictures of it, one of the nice citizens of Nagasaki is bound to come forward and explain all of this to you.  It happened to me...twice...  I didn't have the heart to say that I already knew all of that.  The people of Nagasaki are really nice.  I know it is ridiculous to stereotype, but everywhere I went there was always somebody willing to explain the history of the city and it's buildings...and I don't even look like a traveler!

Many people who travel to Japan will visit Tokyo and Kyoto.  Some people will even try to get to Hiroshima...(even Che Guevara has been to Hiroshima!) but in my opinion, not enough people travel to Nagasaki.  One of the reasons is because the bullet train (shinkansen) does not go all the way to Nagasaki.  (There are mainly two reasons for that and I will try to explain that some other day...)  But I still think that Nagasaki, although it is rather inky dinky in size, is a good place to learn about some of the most interesting and devastating times of Japanese history.

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