Sitting atop the Minami Yamate hillside in Nagasaki, Japan, lies Glover Garden. Completed in 1863 for Thomas Blake Glover, this location offers a beautiful view of the Nagasaki harbor. With the shogunate opening trade for Japan, Thomas Glover came with the knowledge and perseverance to teach Japan about the innovations from the Western world. Thomas Glover was said to contribute heavily to the coal mining and ship building industry of Japan.
To get to Glover Garden, start at Nagasaki Station and make your way onto tram line 1. From tram line 1, make your way to Tsuki-Machi. From here you will have to transfer to line 5 and make your way to Oura Tenshudo-shita. When making transfers, do not worry, you just need to tell the operator that you are going to Glover Garden and he will give you a paper to use for the next train so you will not have to pay again.
Alternatively, you can buy a 1-day tram pass for 500 yen, which is my personal recommendation (just buy from Nagasaki Station)!
Entering The Park
There are two entrances to the park. If you go by tram, you will start at the front entrance, but my personal favorite way to get here is by the rear entrance. From this entrance, you will take an elevator that will ride along the natural slope of the mountain. This offers great views of the city. A bonus to entering through the rear entrance is that you might meet cat-chan, always keeping a watchful eye over Nagasaki!
Here we can see the view from right outside of the rear entrance. It is absolutely beautiful isn’t it? It is really easy for time to pass by while looking at this view, and almost forgetting you haven’t even entered Glover Garden yet!
When entering Glover Garden, you will come across many luxurious buildings with a beautiful array of flowers. Above is Former Mitsubishi No. 2 Dock House. Built around 1896, this was a resting place for crew members to stay as their ships were being under repair.
This courtyard features a statue of Puccini, and in the distance a statue of Tamaki Miura. Most known for her work in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. This is the perfect place to take a rest and enjoy the surroundings.
Here we can see Glover’s place of residence, an impressive building that stands out among all the others. This building, is in fact, the oldest wooden Western-style building in all of Japan!
This view is from just behind the Glover residence. Here you can see the importance of nature by all the trees and flowers placed about. Across the way, the harbor of Nagasaki is visible as well as Mount Inasa! A truly spectacular view and one that will be hard to forget.
Glover Garden is site to the very first asphalt road constructed in Japan, the first lawn tennis court in Japan, as well as Jiyu-tei, which is said the be the very first western-style restaurant in Japan.
Here we can see the Former Alt House, a house built for William Alt, in 1865. William Alt introduced green tea to the rest of the world and created a very sizable business, as noted by the luxuriousness of his residence.
From Glover Garden, the top of Oura Church is also visible. Oura Church is also accessible by foot from Glover Garden, so I would recommend to see both, one after the other!
If you are coming to Japan, I would put Glover Garden as one of my top destinations to go see along with Dejima. These two places and the people that were a part of it, brought so much to Japan, not just in terms of things such as beer, tennis, or billiards, but also in ship manufacturing, coal mining, advance medicine, etc.
Price and Hours
Hours: 8:00 – 20:00 (times may fluctuate during the season)
Price: 610 Yen
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