Glover Garden

Our next stop was Glover Garden on Minamiyamate hillside overlooking Nagasaki harbor. It was here that the influential Scottish trader Thomas Blake Gover built his house in 1863. The park also encompasses the homes of other merchants from that period.

Glover lived through interesting times in Nagasaki. Royalist revolutionaries were plotting the overthrow of the Shogunate, and Glover supported them in their efforts. In the course of his life, he began the development of Japan's first coal mine, became one of the founders of the shipbuilding company that later became Mitsubishi Corporation, and helped establish the Japan Brewery Company which later became Kirin Brewery.

The character in the picture on the left appears at the site of tourist attactions in Nagasaki. The picture on the right is taken at the entrance to the park.

"Take a stroll through the good old days", the brochure says. Some people embrace this concept and dress in period costumes.

The building in the picture on the left below is known as the Mitsubishi No. 2 Dock House. It was used to house crew members while their ships were being repaired. The pictures below are taken from the upper porch.

A statue of Tamaki Miura in the role of Madame Butterfly stands in the garden. The opera was staged in Nagasaki.

These are pictures of some of the other historic buildings in the garden. The building on the bottom right was a mission school.

This is the Glover house. The sago palms, reputed to be 300 years old, were a gift to Glover from the lord of Satsuma province.

I doubt that this sun room with orchids existed in Glover's time, but it provides a pleasant setting for statue of the guardian lion-dog used on the Kirin beer label.

The Glover house contains several interesting things. The picture on the left is a trapdoor which provides access to a windowless attic room. It is believed that revolutionaries such as Ryoma Sakamoto sometimes sought refuge here. The brochure claims that the majority of people who stand in front of the mirror on the right cannot see their faces. This is, perhaps, because it is mounted so high.

By this time it was late afternoon. Time to return for to return to the hotel for a brief rest before embarking on our final adventure of the day.