This was a trip that the Tan Tans had during the golden week holiday in Japan in their goal to cover all parts of Japan. Having been to the furthest south of Okinawa and the top of Kyushu (Fukuoka – earlier in 2006), the Tan Tans proceeded to cover central Kyushu and thereafter Shikoku. This was a trip that took weeks to plan. Air tickets were booked at least one month in advance to take advantage of the Tabiwari discount (Air tickets promotion by both JAL and ANA) where air tickets can be cheaper by 70%.
First stop in our plan – Nagasaki – the place of rich cultures. But surprisingly, imported cultures as it was one of the earliest port that was opened to trade in Japan. With that, it was no surprises that there was a strong European influence as well as Chinese influences.
How do we know that? Well, the most popular dishes in Nagasaki is ちゃんぽん Chanpon (some also known as Champon) as well as Sala-Udon which was well, invented by Chinese and the Chanpon is like Hokkien mee whereas the Sala-Udon seems somehow similiar to our 生面 (san-mee). The most popular snack here is カステラ (Castella cake) which was introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
Alright, other than the food, there were the sights. We visited a few places in Nagasaki, namely
- Nagasaki Peace Museum – Our must visit stop. After visiting both Hiroshima A-Bomb Museum and Nagasaki Peace Museum, I can only say one thing. Stop Nuclear Warfare or there will be no more Human Welfare.
- Nagasaki Memorial Park – A short walk from Peace Museum. Nice park and plenty of Nagasaki ice-cream carts around
- Urakami Church – One of the church that spent over 20 years building which was greatly damaged by the A-bomb.
- Chinatown - One of the 3 Chinatowns in Japan. It was interesting to walk around chinatown and found that the same activities was being carried out here. Chess, Food and Breaking the Laws.
- Clover Garden – Clover garden. One of Japan heritage site where the ancient house belonging to this Clover guy was preserved. Nice place with great view of Nagasaki but not really interesting. There is a touristy street with lots of Castella and Braised Pork Bun for free tasting.
- Oura Church – Happened to walk pass this church on the way from Clover Garden to Chinatown. Seems to be the oldest standing church in Japan.
- 26 Martyrs Memorial & Museum – A memorial regarding the 26 martyrs that was prosecuted when Christianity was outlawed in Japan in the 15th centuries. Very near to Nagasaki station and it’s worth a visit.
- Mount Inasa - One of Japan best 3 night-view and it was worth a visit.
We had decided not to visit the popular Huis Ten Bosch which is a spin-off of Holland as we did not come to Japan to see the sights of Holland as well as to save $$.
Anyway, Nagasaki was really a great place to visit and after 2 nights there, we took the highway bus and made our way to Kumamoto, being stuck in the infamous Golden Week jam for additional of 2 hours. wahahahaha…