Kyushu day 1- Nagasaki

15 12 2009

Well, I’ve been a little lax with updates these last couple of weeks, but with good reason! School exams have been happening, the JLPT was on the 6th, and my parents have come for a visit! Right now we are holidaying in Kyushu, where it’s surprisingly colder than Tokyo!
So our Kyushu trip has started in Nagasaki, home of Champon, Plate Udon, and Castella, to name a few food items. Today we went to Glover Garden, which is the site of a former residence of a foreign businessman. The gardens have been expanded and a number of other historically significant western style buildings have been moved there. It was very beautiful and reminded me of English gardens. Nearby is the Oura Catholic Church, the oldest Catholic church in Japan.
From there we walked to Dejima, the site of the former Dutch settlement. This tiny island was the only official contact Japan had with the western world during it’s isolation period. The original island and buildings had been lost due to land reclaimation and construction, but the reconstruction of the site is really well done. The best word I can find to describe it was fascinating. Quite a mix of Japan and the west.
Next it was a walk along the local shopping arcade and a quick look at Sofukuji Temple, a temple built in Ming dynasty style. It has surprised me how much Chinese infulence there is in Nagasaki. Not only is there a Chinatown, but it also appears that they have dragon dances quite like lion dances. And there are Chinese style restaurants everywhere!
Which brings me to food. Nagasaki is famous for Champon, a ramen soup dish with very salty broth, lots of cabbage, and mixed seafood. The other dish it’s famous for is Plate Udon, which is dried noodles with cabbage, seafood and sauce served on top. Both are very yummy! I’ve tried to attach photos, but as I’m doing this from my phone I don’t know how successful I’ll be.
The other things we tried today were Castella, a sponge cake with a slight sweet cheese flavour, and a type of manju (of which the name escapes me). The manju is unusual as it’s savoury not sweet. Instead of bean paste in a steamed bread bun is was a very juicy, tender, fatty piece of pork. Oh it was yummy!
Okay, that’s all for tonight, more adventures (and food) tomorrow!


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One response

16 12 2009
Jeremy

Mmmm ramen…..

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