9 Days of Rustic Kyushu, Day 3 (Part 3): Glover Garden

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Day 3: Atomic Bomb Museum + Peace Park --> Hashima Island --> Glover Garden (グラバー園) --> Mt Inasa Night View --> Hotel
After the day's earlier sobering itinerary stops, it was refreshing to just take a relaxing stroll and enjoy some pretty scenery.  Glover Garden was hence the perfect next pit-stop on the itinerary.
Glover Garden is a lovely garden park located on a hillside that overlooks the Nagasaki harbour. It was built for and named after a Scottish merchant Thomas Blake Glover, who had apparently contributed quite a fair bit to the industrialisation of Japan. Its location provided a lovely view of the city.

Tip: Take the escalator to the top and then walk down to enjoy Glover Garden. It doesn't make sense to walk up and then take the same route down.

Glover Garden houses the Glover Residence, No. 2 Dock House, the Ringer House and the Alt House. All these building are open exhibits. However, we only managed to tour the Glover Residence and the No. 2 Dock House as we got delayed by some fun, and had to skip the last 2.

So what exactly happened? Well, this:

Yup. There was a lovely koi pond in front of the No. 2 Dock House. Initially we were only admiring the (seriously) huge-assed koi fishes. However, when we found out that we could purchase fish food, that's when we completely lost track of time. My dad enjoyed feeding the koi fishes, while I was just busy snapping pictures of all that action!

Heh. Yeah, even the pigeons were attracted by the food! My mom ended up scolding us for messing our pants as we didn't realise that we were sitting on some fresh bird shit!
Well, if you're there, just make sure you don't sit on the ground!

We also took the time to walk through the No. 2 Dock House. I highly recommend that you take the effort to climb to the second storey. Firstly, you get a bird's eye view of all the fishy action that's going on in the koi pond right below. But most importantly, is this amazing view of the Nagasaki harbour from the deck:

Once we were done at the No. 2 Dock House, we proceeded to Glover Residence itself. There were some pretty scenery along the way, which contributed to slowing us down further.


The Glover Residence is thought to be the oldest surviving Western styled house in Nagasaki, and is noted for its fusion of Western and Japanese style architectural elements. Indeed, it makes for a very pretty postcard type picture!

Interesting fun fact (1):
It was thought that Glover Residence and its surrounding gardens were the inspiration for Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly", which is also set in Nagasaki.

Statues of Puccini and the actress Miura Tamaki, who played the role of the female protagonist Cio Cio-san can be found within Glover Garden.

Interesting fun fact (2):
Given the setting of the love story, it should not surprise then that there is also a popular legend that has to do with romance. It is said that there are 2 heart-shaped stones that have been built into the gardens. Those who are able to find one heart stone will have their dreams of love come true, find both and touch them will bring about good fortunes.

And this was the main reason why we were delayed at Glover Garden. I was so adamant on finding those heart stones that even though my parents were sceptical about the presence of those heart stones, they joined in the fun as well!

Unfortunately, we only managed to locate one of the heart stones. Even my tour guide is clueless about the location of the second stone! I'm not superstitious, but I would think that at least some part of the legend must be true. So I would think that since there is one, the second heart stone must definitely be somewhere around.

Let me know if you can find both!

By walking down the hillside attraction (instead of up), we ended our tour of Glover Garden right back at the shopping street. We spent some time looking around since we didn't have the chance earlier and my parents ended up buying some really juicy loquats from the stall below.

Apparently, they had heard from someone that there was a fruit stall (near the Oura Catholic Church)selling loquats that were pretty decent. Since this was the only stall that we could locate, we just assumed that it was the one. The loquats were quite good but the ones that we bought from a supermarket later in the trip were even better.

By the way, the Oura Catholic Church is right at the base of the hill, just next to Glover Garden. So those of you who are interested in churches, you may wish to put this together with Glover Garden on your itinerary.

Tourist Information

Glover Garden
Website: http://www.glover-garden.jp/foreign/english.html
Address: 8-1 Minami-yamatemachi, Nagasaki 850-0931
Local Address: 〒850-0931南山手町8-1グラバー園内
DID: +81 92-822-8223
Refer to website for admission fees and opening hours

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