Nagasaki Lantern Festival

Brighten up your evening in Nagasaki

By Rey Waters   Mar 2, 2018 - 2 min read

During our recent visit to Nagasaki we made an appointment to meet our close friends at Minato Park to view some of the lantern festival activities and then enjoy some Champon, a popular Nagasaki noodle dish, inspired by the Chinese. Miwa loves Champon and during our three day visit we almost overdosed on this delectable dish.

The Nagasaki Lantern Festival started in 1994 as a way to increase tourism in the Chinatown area. It is part of both the Chinese New Year celebration and the Spring Festival. This year it runs for 17 days and features over 15,000 colorful lanterns. They are placed at seven different areas throughout the city of Nagasaki.

Minato Park was transformed into thousands of colorful Zodiac, Dragons, Samurai Warriors, and Air, Sea, and Land creatures. While waiting to meet our friends we enjoyed an Erhu performance, which is a Chinese two-stringed instrument. The music was very soothing.

This was a Tuesday night and it looked like half of Nagasaki’s population was in attendance; and of course it cannot be a festival in Japan without hundreds of food booths serving up delicious cooked onsite delicacies.

Upon meeting Masao and Sachiko we headed down the main street of Chinatown in search of Champon. Most restaurants had very long waiting times. We finally found one that if we purchased the expensive set a table would immediately be available! Thank you Masao for an enjoyable meal (company included!)

We headed back to Minato Park for one last look and came upon a Chinese acrobat hand-standing on chairs way above the crowd. With each additional chair you could hear the large audience gasp and make sounds of encouragement.

This was just one of many fun and interesting places to visit in the Nagasaki area. There are all types of festivals held throughout the year. Check out this web site for what is available during your visit.

Getting there

From Nagasaki Station take Trolley Number 1 to Tsukimachi. Switch to Trolley Number 5 and get off at any of the next stops for Chinatown, Nijima, Glover Garden, The Wharf, and Hollander Hill.  The Trolley is only 120 yen.

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