It's both unfortunate – and important – that the name Nagasaki (長崎) is synonymous with the dropping of the second atomic bomb. This history undeniably overshadows everything else, yet today Nagasaki is vibrant, charming and begs to be explored far beyond the bomb museums, monuments and memorials. Not that the WWII history can be overlooked: it's as much a part of the city's fabric as the hilly landscape and cobblestones, and a visit to the scenes of atomic devastation is a must.
You'll find, however, that this welcoming, peaceful city also boasts a colourful trading history, interesting churches, shrines and temples, and an East-meets-West culinary scene, all set prettily around a gracious harbour. A few days will only let you scratch the surface.