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Nagasaki, Trading port to the West

Introduction

Nagasaki City is located in Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu Island. Through out its long history, the city itself has seen many changes due to it being an important and only trading port with the West during the Edo period of Japan. If you are interested in Japanese history then Nagasaki City is for you. This place is full of history, every road you walk down and every curve you take you can see historical structures and monuments left from different eras of Japanese history.

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Food

Nagasaki is a place greatly influences by the Chinese and the West and it shows in their cuisine as well. You have noodle dishes influenced by the Chinese like Champon to Saraudon and Western influenced dishes like Toruko Rice to Castella.

Champon is a soup noodle dish that is very different from ramen. The broth is made from chicken and pork bones while for the noodles they use egg noodles instead of the normal ramen noodles. As for topping cabbage, various kinds of seafood, pork, kamaboko and is finished with a touch of green onions on top.

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Saraudon is a noodle dish on a plate. Egg noodles that's pan heated until crisp is used as base while kamaboko, chicken, pork, cabbage, and various seafood is added as topping. This dish is very similar to a dish in Chinese cuisine called 'Guangdong chow mein'.

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Toruko rice or Turkey rice is a dish with Western influence. This dish is actually a mishmash of many different things. One half of the dish is covered in white rice while the other half is in spaghetti. In the middle is a friend pork cutlet with curry sauce dumped over the whole dish. There definitely isn't anything Turkish about it but it does combine East and West together to create this dish.

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Castella the dessert of Nagasaki. Most Japanese people who visits Nagasaki will bring back Castella as souvenirs for their family, friends and colleagues. This is how famous and popular it is in Japan. It was brought by the Portuguese to Japan during the 16th century. Castella is a type of sponge cake made into a long rectangular shape. If you drop by Nagasaki and is thinking of what to get as souvenir, let me give you a hint, it starts with C.

Attractions

Since Nagasaki City is full of historical tourist attractions, no matter where you go or walk you will see one every here and there. Walking around you will see statues, Chinese related monuments, churches and shrines. By learning the history of Nagasaki you will see how it has become the place it is today, multicultural.

When people talk about Nagasaki everybody will automatically think of atomic bomb and peace park. Well they are right. The A-Bomb museum and the Peace Park are the two top attractions of the city. They are located near the tram station Matsuyamamachi and is around a 5-10 minute walk. If you are a history fanatic then I would suggest you to drop by these two places because it will make you relive that moment before and after the dropping of the atomic bomb.

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Not far from JR Nagasaki station is the Dejima tram stop. Here lies the reconstruction of the man-made island Dejima for Portuguese merchants. During the sakoku, or when Japan was closed up during the Edo period up until Perry's blackships, the West and the Chinese were only allowed to trade within this area. Dejima is really an interesting attraction to go to and have a walk around. You can feel what the traders felt back in those days under the Tokugawa regime.

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Nagasaki has one of the three only Chinatowns in Japan. While the one in Yokohama is known for fine dining and the one in Kobe known for street foods, Nagasaki's Chinatown is known for both. Champon and Saraudon are the most famous and well-known here by visitors and travelers. This Chinatown is actually the smallest of the three but still worth going to and explore. You might find something different which you cannot find in the other two Chinatowns.

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Gunkanjima or Hashima is an island near the city of Nagasaki. Though you can not head to the island alone by yourself, there are tours by several different companies who can take you there. Most of the island is off limits but there is a pathway constructed for tours to go within the island and back out. Being on the island gives you and idea on how those people back then lived.

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Nagasaki is also home to one of the three famous night views of Japan atop of Mount Inasa. You can get there from Nagasaki station by bus or take the tram to there nearest station Takaramachi and then either walk or take the taxi there. Upon arriving at the base of the mountain there is a Nagasaki Ropeway which takes you all the way up to the observation deck level. The ropeway costs 720 yen one way or 1230 yen for a round trip ticket. This is a really great scenic view and I do highly recommend it if you have the time to go up Mount Inasa and see Nagasaki's past, present and future come together as one for a special romantic view.

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Posted by Ohana_Matsumae 09:24 Archived in Japan Tagged park mountain rice nagasaki peace atomic bomb udon dejima inasa jr castella toruko_rice toruko champon saraudon abomb

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