Monday, June 29, 2009

Japan Trip - Day 3 - Nagasaki

Monday, June 22, was our second full day in Nagasaki. Again, we started with traditional breakfast made by Kiyoko, this time featuring a kind of dumpling.

Then it was off to Dejima Wharf - the main harbor area in Nagasaki. Nagasaki was home to the port through which the rest of the world entered Japan. When Japan was closed from outsiders (mid 17th century until 1855), Dejima was an island where Dutch traders could live and a small amount of trading could still go on. Now the wharf has some shops and restaurants and pretty views - it's surrounded by green mountains.

After seeing the wharf, we went on a walk around the area, with Drew and I navigating based on his knowledge of the area and my trusty Lonely Planet guide.

We happened upon Chinatown, where we tried a delicious pork roll.

We also stopped at "Fukusaya Castella Cake Shop, which has been in business since 1624. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to see, but we did buy one of the cakes. Later, we saw a billboard with three foods we'd had - Champon, the cake from the store, and the pork roll.

We attempted to find "temple row," and only partially succeeded before heading back to the main streets.

We did find a river that was crossed by a number of 17th century bridges. Incredible they can last so long!

After spending all morning walking, we decided to head back to Cocowalk mall for some food court udon noodle soup followed by a movie. (Mamie opted out of the movie, preferring to spend a bit more time shopping.) We saw Transformers with Japanese subtitles and some Japanese trailors. The movie theater is fairly similar to in the U.S., except it has assigned seating, the ticket prices are sky-high ($18 for an adult, $15 for a student), and popcorn is cheaper.

We went back to Kiyoko's house after the movie to celebrate her grandson Nozomi's birthday (he was turning 9). We had make-your-own sushi, which was really fun, followed by cake - which was great. Mamie had brought gifts for him and his two cousins, and he was very excited to get the T-shirts and candy from the U.S.

That evening, my mom and I went with Kiyoko to an Onsen (public bath) at a place on top of one of the mountains over-looking the city. I had been a bit unsure whether I wanted to go at first - exploring a new country and culture can make you feel a bit exposed, and the idea of exploring a new place in my birthday suit seemed particularly daunting. But I figured, "When in Rome..." In the end, I was glad I decided to go. The onsen was really nice - it had multiple types of baths - hotter, cooler, some with water jets, some just still. There were a few that were outdoors, overlooking the city (with one-way glass), which was provided an amazing view at night.

1 comment:

Drew said...

Wait, the women's side has glass? The men's side is just a big opening overlooking the mountain.