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Japan Hour

Road Trip On Kyushu Railway - Part 3

A three-day relay trip on the JR Kagoshima Main Line and the JR Nagasaki Main Line in northern Kyushu continues. Two travellers, Akiko Matsumoto and Yumi Morio, take over the second half of the journey along the Nagasaki Main Line. On Day Two, they check into the Kikitsu Station Hotel near Kikitsu Station before heading to a Korean barbeque place called Yakiniku House Taisho. Opened about 30 years ago, it is a restaurant as well as a butcher shop. It offers highly marbled rank A5 Nagasaki beef at a reasonable price.  

On the third and last day of this journey, the ladies head by train from Kikitsu to Nagayo, four stops away. The train runs along Omura Bay and arrives at Nagayo after 20 minutes. A local tells them about the observation deck at Nakaojo Park, accessible via monorail. The park is located on a hill on the east side of Nagayo Station. It was built 20 years ago on the ruins of a castle from the Sengoku period. Ms Matsumoto and Ms Morio take the monorail to the observation deck. From there, they marvel at the panoramic view of Omura Bay and Nagayo. 

The ladies still have time till their train at 12.35pm so they ask another local for recommendations. The person mentions the Liquor Shop Hirose, which was previously an old sake brewery. It has a historic brick chimney and also a sake shop which sells a brand called Tsuru no Minato. It is near the Nagayo River, which flows into Omura Bay. 

The liquor shop was established more than 100 years ago, while the chimney was built during the Pacific War and is more than 70 years old. When the place was a sake brewery, its warehouse was destroyed by air raids during the war. Its brick chimney was the only part of the building that survived the war. Tsuru no Minato is a great sake that represents the town of Nagayo. It is now produced by Sakuryu Brewery in Sasebo. As a souvenir, the ladies each buy a bottle of the sake, which costs nearly 1,300 yen. 

Ms Matsumoto and Ms Morio then make their way to Nishi-Urakami, three stations ahead. They arrive in 10 minutes and decide to take the 3.35pm train later. They are hungry so want to have lunch. However, two of the places recommended to them - a fish shop called Kappo Tanaka and an eatery which sells a Turkish rice set - are full due to the lunch crowd. So they go to the shopping district to get more recommendations. 

A local resident tells them that Nagasaki Prefecture has good Chinese food, with champon and sara udon being famous. They are both served with vegetables and seafood. The person suggests they eat at Tenjo. Its owner combines slightly salted light chicken bone soup with rich pork bone soup. After trying the restaurant’s speciality champon and sara udon with thin noodles, Ms Matsumoto and Ms Morio take the train to the last stop, Nagasaki Station. 

They arrive at the terminal in less than 10 minutes and head to Chuo Park. Here, they see lanterns as part of the Nagasaki Lantern Festival. It is held during Chinese New Year and is one of Nagasaki's most popular festivals, with around one million people visiting it. Over two weeks, about 15,000 lanterns can be found at Chinatown, along streets and in parks. Someone at the festival tells the ladies about Spectacle, a store specialising in chocolate. It is next to Meganebashi and has a cafe attached to it, called Bridge. So Ms Matsumoto and Ms Morio end their journey on a sweet note by going to Spectacle. It sells various sweets with fancy designs and packages inspired by Nagasaki. The duo buys matcha chocolate and lantern-shaped milk chocolates, which are among the shop’s recommended items.   


1)    Two famous dishes of Nagasaki are champon and sara udon 
2)    A popular event in Nagasaki is the annual lantern festival

Source: CNA


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