The ancient port city of Nagasaki was destroyed by the second atomic bomb dropped by U.S. forces in World War II. Today, this city on the western coast of Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's main islands and 594 mi/956 km southwest of Tokyo, is a thriving industrial port and a pleasant mixture of East and West, as well as a confluence of Japanese and Chinese cultures. Without the presence of the bomb memorials, a visitor would never know the city had been mostly destroyed.

No other port in Japan rivals the significance of Nagasaki. Not only was it the most convenient harbor for ships coming from China, it became the only port open for international trade when the shogunate closed the country to foreigners in 1633. Thanks to this steady trickle of foreign culture, Nagasaki retains an old international atmosphere not found in most of the country.

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