The 10 Best Museums in Nagasaki

Nestled on the western coast of Kyushu, Nagasaki is a city steeped in history, culture, and beauty. It’s a place where the past and present coexist, offering a treasure trove of experiences for any visitor. Among these are the museums, each a gateway to understanding the multifaceted narrative of Nagasaki. From poignant reminders of war to celebrations of art and history, the museums here are not just buildings; they’re storytellers, holding the essence of this city’s soul.

One museum that stands out is the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. It’s a place that humbles you, where the echoes of the past resonate deeply. As you walk through its exhibits, the gravity of the atomic bombing on August 9, 1945, is palpable. The museum doesn’t just showcase artifacts; it tells a story of resilience and peace, making it a must-visit for anyone in Nagasaki.

1. Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

As mentioned, this museum is a profound experience. It’s a place where history is felt, not just learned. The remnants of the bombing, the personal stories, and the commitment to peace leave a lasting impression. It’s a sobering reminder of the past and a beacon of hope for the future.

2. Dejima Museum

Step back in time at the Dejima Museum, once an artificial island created to sequester foreign traders during Japan’s period of isolation. Today, it’s a fascinating open-air museum that recreates the life and times of the Dutch residents who lived here. You’ll find yourself transported to another era as you explore the restored buildings and exhibits.

3. Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture

Want a broader look at Nagasaki’s past? The Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture is your go-to. With artifacts that span the city’s intriguing history, from its time as a trading port to its modern-day advancements, this museum offers a comprehensive dive into the stories that shaped Nagasaki.

4. Glover Garden

It’s not your typical museum, but Glover Garden is a living exhibit of Nagasaki’s international heritage. Wander through the beautifully preserved Western-style houses, including the former residence of Scottish merchant Thomas Glover. The garden offers a picturesque view of the city and a glimpse into the lives of foreign merchants in Japan.

5. Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum

Art enthusiasts, rejoice! The Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum is a haven of creativity, showcasing both local and international works. With its rotating exhibitions and stunning architecture, it’s a place where art and culture converge, offering a refreshing break from the heavier historical sites.

6. Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum and Monument

This museum is a solemn tribute to the twenty-six Christians who were executed in 1597 for their beliefs. The Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum and Monument not only honors their memory but also explores the broader history of Christianity in Japan. It’s a poignant reminder of the city’s religious diversity and the struggles faced by early Christians.

7. Nagasaki Shipyard Museum

Nagasaki’s shipbuilding prowess is on full display at the Nagasaki Shipyard Museum. Here, you’ll discover the city’s rich maritime history and its role in modern shipbuilding. The museum is a testament to Nagasaki’s industrial achievements and its enduring spirit of innovation.

8. Nagasaki Science Museum

Got kids in tow or just a kid at heart? The Nagasaki Science Museum is a blast! With interactive exhibits and a planetarium, it’s a place where science comes alive. It’s educational, fun, and a perfect spot to spark curiosity in minds young and old.

9. Oka Masaharu Memorial Nagasaki Peace Museum

This museum may be lesser-known, but it’s a crucial part of Nagasaki’s narrative. Dedicated to Oka Masaharu, an activist who worked tirelessly to document Japan’s wartime history, the museum confronts difficult truths and promotes a message of peace and reconciliation.

10. Nagasaki Seaside Park

Last but not least, Nagasaki Seaside Park might not be a museum in the traditional sense, but it’s a living showcase of the city’s beauty and resilience. With its memorials and sculptures, it tells a story of a city that has faced adversity and emerged with hope.


  • What are the opening hours for the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum?

    It’s open from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, but these hours can vary, so it’s best to check ahead before planning your visit.

  • Is there an admission fee for the museums?

    Yes, most museums have an admission fee, but they’re quite reasonable. Some even offer discounts for students or group bookings.

  • Can you recommend a good time of year to visit these museums?

    Spring and fall are fantastic, thanks to the mild weather. However, visiting during the Nagasaki Lantern Festival in winter can add a magical touch to your museum-hopping experience.


In Nagasaki, museums are more than just buildings; they’re the keepers of stories, the teachers of history, and the mirrors reflecting the city’s soul. From the poignant Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum to the vibrant Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, each institution offers a unique perspective on this multifaceted city. Whether you’re a history buff, art lover, or simply curious, Nagasaki’s museums are sure to leave an indelible mark on your heart. So, pack your curiosity and embark on a journey through time and culture in this captivating corner of Japan.

Remember, these museums aren’t just stops on a tourist trail; they’re poignant reminders of our shared humanity and the resilience that defines Nagasaki. By visiting them, you’re not just seeing exhibits; you’re engaging with the very essence of this historic city. So, when you’re planning your trip, make sure to carve out time for these top ten museums – each one is a chapter in the rich narrative that is Nagasaki.

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