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nagazasshi

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The Gig Issue Where to get your music fix

Nagasaki Rocks | 99 Islands | Animal Antics | The Mirraz


nagazasshi Volume 8 Issue 6 May/June 2016

Editor-in-chief Jennifer Edwards

Deputy Editor-in-chief Jessica Richard

Editor

Rosie Fordham

Assistant Editors Lorna Hanson Max Epstein

Copy Editor Will Powell

Layout and Design Dylan Nordstrom Laurel Williams

Public Relations Conor Hughes

Treasurer Karl Po

Contributors

Dan Cohen Aaron Kikugawa Jennifer Edwards Char Marie Rosie Fordham Will Morgan Lorna Hanson Karl Po Conor Hughes Jessica Richard Beatrix Hutton Will Tiley Naomi Jenkins Matthew Wypycha

Founders

Andrew Morris Matthew Nelson www.nagazasshi.com Cover photo: Rock&Roll Anonymous

J

apan is a hard-working country, with its workers often reticent about making use of their annual leave. Golden Week, the cluster of national holidays at the beginning of May, is the exception. People nationwide pack their bags and take to the highways and Shinkansen for a vacation. It is with this in mind that we bring you two travel related articles in this issue. For anyone expecting visitors from abroad, our survival guide features practical tips to minimize stress while enjoying your time together (p. 10). For local travel inspiration, read about Kujukushima (p. 8) and plan a day-trip to this beautiful island network. This issue we also sing the praises of Nagasaki’s live music scene with our live house guide (p. 12), as well as feature a review of a recent gig at one of its smaller live houses (p. 14). Finally, we want to raise awareness of an incident that has shaken the Nagasaki international community. Last September, Sasebo-based Aidre Mattner was drugged and raped while holidaying in Seoul. Her attacker has not yet been apprehended, so she is bravely campaigning to bring him to justice. Please visit her campaign page to learn more, and donate if you can. 8 gofundme.com/justiceforairdre

Jennifer Edwards, Editor-in-chief


Contents Events Animal Antics

Cuddly creatures and curious critters

Kujukushima

4 6

8

The beauty of the 99 Islands explored

Hosting Friends & Family in Japan 10 The ultimate survival guide

Nagasaki Rocks 12

Get the low-down on live music venues

6

Gig Review 14

“The Mirraz� at Studio DO!

Nihon(go) on the Go 15 12

Photo credits (clockwise from top): Lemurs Jessica Richard; Crowd Pleaser Anonymous; Mirai Jessica Richard

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Events Waterfall Glade Rhododendron Festival April 2 - May 5, Urami Waterfall, Omura Enjoy the beauty of Omura’s 30m tall Urami Waterfall, juxtaposed against 6,000 Rhododendrons. Truly a sight to behold, this quiet cove looks like something out of a fairy tale. 8 nagasaki-tabinet.com/event/51775 Yukinoura Week May 1 - 4, Yukinoura, Oseto, Saikai A festival celebrating the Umiyama river’s bounty. The festival features local handmade goods and produce. 8 nagasaki-tabinet.com/event/51523 Mikawachi Pottery and Porcelain Festival May 1 - 5, Mikawachi, Sasebo Observe the crafting of handmade pottery and porcelain. Daring observers can try their hand at the potter’s wheel. There’s even an auction thrice a day, selling off local artists’ latest creations. 8 nagasaki-tabinet.com/event/51772 Huis Ten Bosch Rose Festival May 9 - June 2, Huis Ten Bosch Huis Ten Bosch houses over one million roses. Its gardens are packed with roses of every shape and color. Swing by in the evening for breathtaking light shows. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/118

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Shin-Kamigoto Firefly Festival May 20 - June 12, Goto Islands, Throughout Shin-Kamigoto The serene countryside of the Goto Islands is a thriving natural habitat for fireflies, and summer is when they come out in force. The festival is centralized along the banks of the Aiko River, and is rife with food, fun, and the dancing lights of countless fireflies. 8 nagasaki-tabinet.com/event/51533 Nagasaki Hydrangea Festival May 25 - June 16, Throughout Nagasaki City The Hydrangea blossom has long been associated with romance, love, and affection. For these few weeks in late May through early June, enjoy over 5,000 of these flowers in full bloom throughout Nagasaki as well as celebrations at the festival’s various focal points. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/103 Obama Jacaranda Festival Throughout June, Festival Peak: June 15, Obama Onsen Area With the blossoming of the Jacaranda trees, Obama comes to life with vibrant celebrations. The festival peaks on June 15 with notoriously cheap food and drink, farmer’s markets and even a fashion show! A live concert is performed later in the month on June 21. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/539 May/June 2016 | nagazasshi


Event of the Month

To No Sumi Waterfall Park Festival May 4, To No Sumi Waterfall Park, Minamishimabara, Shimabara A relatively “young� festival that only began in 1972, the Waterfall Park Festival celebrates the natural beauty of the To No Sumi waterfall. The free event features competitions and foods such as Somen Nagashi noodles served in a trough that patrons pluck out and enjoy. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/597

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A

nimal ntics

Forget the snow monkeys of Nagano or the deer of Nara. You can get up close and personal with an array of cuddly, and not so cuddly, critters right here in Nagasaki! Pet a capybara, waddle with penguins, gallop through the waves or simply sit and watch the native fish - find out where in our guide below!

Animal Activities near 99 Islands You’re bound to learn a thing or two at Kujukushima Aquarium Umi-kirara. Touchable rock-pools, a jellyfish dome and pearl harvesting, among plenty of other activities, allow visitors to explore the local underwater environment. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/641 If you want to get even wilder, check out the Zoological and Botanical Garden Mori-kirara. Gaze at penguins swimming overhead, hand-feed an elephant - there are plenty of unique experiences to be had. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/640

Nagasaki Bio Park Saikai City

Kujyuk ushima Pearl Sea Resort Saseb o City

Cuddle a Capybara Great for those who want to get up close and personal with animals, the Nagasaki Bio Park provides visitors with countless opportunities to pet, hold, and feed its many creatures. Watch squirrel monkeys swing from tree to tree, or offer raisins to a brown lemur sitting on your shoulder! Capybaras are the park’s mascot, and in winter you can see them bathing in a special onsen. Meanwhile, Pet Animal World, immediately next to the Bio Park, gives the opportunity to pet and cuddle domesticated animals in a relaxed environment. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/230

Nagasaki Prefecture Tourism Association (一社)長崎県観光連盟 8 http://www.visit-nagasaki.com Photo credits: all photos are the property of Nagasaki Prefecture Tourism Association


Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium Nagasaki City

Visit a Record-Breaking Aquarium Don’t let its sleepy suburban location fool you – the Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium recently broke the record for housing the largest number of penguin varieties in the world. As well as being able to watch an array of penguins happily waddle around the 4-meter-deep Sub-Antarctic Penguin Pool, you can also enjoy the daily feeding time frenzy. The Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium also boasts an impressive collection of the prefecture’s other marine denizens, along with exotic Mekong giant catfish from Thailand. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/217

Eco-friendly Animal Interactions The environmentally sustainable Eco-Park Ronshobaru in Minamishimabara City hosts a colorful variety of animal experiences, from small animal petting to horse riding. If you’re lucky, you may even see a few wild friends - boars, rabbits, raccoons, native birds and insects visit the grounds throughout the year.

k Ro nsh oba ru Ec o Par y Mi nam ish ima bar a Cit

Sea View Ranch Hirado City

Gallop Along the Beach Perfect for everyone from first time riders to horse-whispering professionals, Hirado Sea View Ranch offers bilingual horse riding experiences in a picturesque environment. Whether you want just a lap around the ring or a whole day galloping along the white sand of nearby Chirihama Beach, there’s a course to suit everyone. Come ride with the master trainer who worked on Akira Kurosawa’s famous Hollywood film, Ran. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/642

Not ready to go home? Cabin and campsite accommodation is available on-site, so you can continue your adventures all weekend. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/639


a m i h s u k u j u K A Beauty Explored Naomi Louise Jenkins explores the beauty of Kujukushima by sea

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ujukushima, also known as 99 Islands, is actually made up of 208 islets, all of which sit in the waters between Sasebo and Hirado. A vast beauty woven together by sea, land and sky, lazily drifting by boat through the Kujukushima islets is the perfect way to spend a sunny day. Pearl Sea Resort sits along the crystalclear water, connecting land and sea with beautiful light wood decking. Shops huddle together opposite the carpark, each one hoping to attract passing tourists through its open doors. Hidden amongst the cluster of shops stands an array of equally enticing restaurants, each one promising something different and exciting. From fresh Kujukushima oysters to Hawaiian pancakes, visitors are spoiled for choice! The deck is an especially beautiful place to eat. If chowing down while gazing

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across the iridescent water sounds appealing, Pinocchio is the place for you. A two-story Italian restaurant specializing in seafood-based pizza and pasta, this homey restaurant is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the world around you. Thankfully, they also have meat and seafood free options for all you vegetarians out there! Chase your delicious meal with some tea and cake as you sit back and watch the boats go by. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to catch sight of one of the endangered species of sea bird that only reside in Kujukushima. Painted in a striking combination of red and black, the vessel “Mirai” stands out against the breathtakingly luscious backdrop of the surrounding scenery. Her hull is carved in the image of a pirate ship, crow’s nest and all. Mirai is the first electric-powered “pleasure boat” in Japan, and she is currently celebrating May/June 2016 | nagazasshi


her first year of cruising. With four decks to choose from, each one offering a different view and environment, there is something to suit everyone.

and evolved around it. Like green stars scattered across a blue sky, they stand as a testament to the beauty of Mother Nature.

Despite her old-time pirate visage, After 50 minutes cruising, you’re Mirai is equipped with wheelchairguaranteed to feel more relaxed as your friendly elevators, so everyone can feet touch the shore once more. At a enjoy a variety of views. You can find price of 1400 yen for adults and 700 yen an old world souvenir shop on the for children (ages of 5-12), with children second floor, selling a collection of under the age of 4 riding for free, this kitsch pirate-themed cruise is the perfect paraphernalia. There’s There’s also pearl way to spend a lazy also pearl ice cream ice cream for sale that weekend, or a day off. for sale that promises promises to give you to give you beautiful beautiful mermaid-like With sunset cruises mermaid-like skin, skin and kayaking also a claim which can available from April, be personally verified by the visiting Pearl Sea Resort offers a variety of Nagazasshi writers! other ways in which to interact with Kujukushima. The water, an auroral blue, turns almost turquoise as it laps against the shore of Embrace nature with this relaxing cruise. the islands, parting like cut silk as the Watch as the seasons melt into one boat glides along its course. Sea birds another and transform the world around soar overhead as oyster farms bob in you. n the distance. Islets as far as the eye can see, a plethora of unique sizes, each Pearl Sea Resort one sculpted by time as the world grew 8 pearlsea.jp/english/

photos Jessica Richard


Hosting Friends & Family in Japan Survival Guide Beatrix Hutton gives us her top tips for staying sane when guiding visitors around Japan

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o it’s official, huh? You’re going to share this strange and wonderful country with friends and family? Here are some tips to make the most of their visit. Set travel goals Before you put together your itinerary, begin by setting goals together. What are the must-sees, the must-eats? Perhaps your visitors hope to ski down Hokkaido’s powdery slopes, or maybe they dream of ambling through Kyoto’s streets in kimono? Don’t forget to include some things that you’ll enjoy! Top tips: When traveling to Hokkaido or Okinawa, save money with Peach Airlines. For flexible times and larger baggage allowances, try ANA or JAL. Make the most of Japan’s extensive rail network for less with a Japan Rail Pass. These must be purchased before coming to Japan. 7, 14 and 21-day passes are available. Please note, residents of Japan are not eligible. 8 japanrailpass.net/en 8 flypeach.com

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photos Beatrix Hutton

Utilize your networks If you have friends and family in Japan, why not plan a visit? Make time to catch up and explore their city. Use their insider knowledge to your advantage! Your guests will appreciate the extra support and you can take a break from translating. If you don’t know anyone in a city, that’s no problem! Connect with domestic travelers by staying at a guesthouse or hostel instead of a hotel. Look for activities that foster conversation - art classes, cultural experiences, local bus tours, bars, and pubs are places to start. Top tip: Volunteer organizations like Tokyo Free Guide provide free guided activities in and around Tokyo. 8 tokyofreeguide.org

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Cash, not cards Japan is undeniably a cash based society, and visitors are often surprised that debit or credit cards are not widely accepted. With some currency exchanges and many ATMs not accepting cards created outside Japan, it isn’t always easy to access your funds. Advise your guests to bring plenty of Japanese yen. Top tip: Seven-Eleven convenience stores provide International ATM facilities nationwide, with instructions provided in several foreign languages. Amounts from 10,000円 may be withdrawn 24/7.

Rest, rinse and repeat Traveling is stressful. Your guests have to adjust to a new environment and it can be tiring hanging around the same group of people. As the local expert, you are constantly translating, planning and organizing. Make room in your schedule to rest and take a break, such as a relaxing dip in an onsen.

Let your guests know that you appreciate them coming to visit

Take pictures! There’s nothing worse than forgetting the names of the places you’ve been while traveling. Keep track by taking pictures and writing notes for yourself, as well as for curious friends and family.

Top tip: Use the One Second Everyday app to easily record snippets of your trip. Your files will automatically be cut and combined in chronological order. What’s more, your experiences will be easily shareable!

nagazasshi | May/June 2016

Top tip: find fussfree food options to ease the pressure. Choosing McDonald’s over sushi is fine if that’s what it takes to clear your head. Sushiro, Sukiya, or Ringer Hut are tasty and ubiquitous—no need to overthink it!

This might be your guests’ first time in Japan, or even their first time abroad. Remember to be patient and positive. Let your guests know that you appreciate them coming to visit, especially if they are having trouble adjusting to their new surroundings. It will make a huge difference.

As the weather improves and summer holidays approach, it’s likely that some of you will host a friend or two. Make the most of it! Best of luck, and happy travels! n

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Nagasaki

Jennifer Edwards gives us the low-down on the prefecture’s best live music venues

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f you’re looking for a way to get to grips with contemporary Japanese culture, hitting one of its many live houses is a great way to do so. Check out your local live house or plan a trip further afield, using our handy guide below.

Nagasaki

DRUM Be-7 Nagasaki City’s largest live house and part of the Kyushu-wide Live House DRUM conglomeration. Largely homegrown bands play at least a couple of evenings a week, with the occasional day-long, multi-band concert on weekends and holidays. 5-5 Sakaemachi, Nagasaki 〒 850-0875 8 live-drum.com

Studio DO! Located in a residential street close to Nagasaki City’s Suwa Shrine, Studio DO! is instantly recognizable as a music venue thanks to the dozens of flyers plastered over its entrance. Catch a local band in its cozy interior, and cool off and chat with locals on its concrete steps, which double as a smoking area. 2-2 Fūfugawamachi, Nagasaki 〒 850-0016

8 studiodo.info/top.html Astrospace (Honda Gakki) Musicians come from far and wide to music shop Honda Gakki. Yet Astrospace, the live house just around the back, is perhaps one of Nagasaki City’s least known music venues. Check out one of their all day concerts showcasing upcoming bands from Nagasaki’s local scene. 1-7 Hamaguchimachi, Nagasaki 〒 852-8107

8 twitter.com/hondagakki

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With thanks to Matthew Wypycha (Sasebo), Will Tiley (Omura), Karl Po (Nagasaki), Aaron Kikugawa and Char Marie (Shimabara) for their venue suggestions.

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Sasebo

Dazzle Puzzle This venue hosts a wide range of bands, both Japanese and international. More relaxed than many other live houses, patrons can freely dance or mosh on the spacious dance floor, and taking photos is permitted. Wander up to the mezzanine area to see the gig from above! 4-33 Miuracho, Sasebo 〒 857-0863

8 twitter.com/dazzle_puzzle_s Garnet Coffee shop by day, by night it becomes an intimate live house complete with a stage. Both the volume and the temperature are high in this underground venue, but you’re free to come up for air mid-gig. Shows are eclectic, with cover-bands, grimy metal nights, and even some international independent bands. 9-6 Shimanosechō, Sasebo 〒 857-0806 8 twitter.com/garnet_live

Shimabara

Live Café Cecilia Unmissable thanks to its striking yellow-arched entrance, the inside of Live Café Cecilia is similarly vibrant, with an enormous painted dragon adorning the wall behind the stage. A home for gigs by professional and amateur bands, and available to rent as a practice space, its charismatic owner works hard to ensure that this is a place of both musical and international exchange. 1312 Imagawamachi, Shimabara 〒 855-0046

8 hp-ez.com/hp/livecafececilia/p2

Omura

Live & bar-gThis hole-in-the-wall bar hosts on and off Jazz and Blues nights. Comfy sofas and a friendly owner make Live & bar-g- a chilled out space to see live music. There are house instruments to jam on, and you can even take to the stage for a karaoke session!

p ho to s

A no ny m ou s

Kakomachi 2 Chome 704-14-1F, Omura 〒 856-0827 8 facebook.com/Livebarg--149644751729 9087

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Gig Review:

The Mirraz

at Studio DO! James Vaughan takes us inside Nagasaki’s own Studio DO! for a listen to The Mirraz

T

he lights went dark, a man wearing a trucker hat and military-style coat walked on stage unannounced. “Is he in the band? Is he performing a sound check?” I wondered. My question was answered when the lanky figure set down his beer on an amp as others strolled on stage. Within seconds, the band launched into their first song. This was the introduction to my first Japanese gig. Prior to moving to Japan, I lived in London, a city rich with nightly live performances in which I attended almost weekly. It’s an experience I’ve missed since coming to Nagasaki so I was excited to discover “Studio DO!” The self-proclaimed “Live & Air’s rock hall” is located just off of Shindaiku Machi, hidden from the main street. The lobby, located up a short flight of stairs,

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consists of a reception and bar. Through a set of heavy doors lies the stage room, capable of comfortably fitting 50 people, unless you anticipate a mosh pit. The Indie Rock band I had the pleasure of seeing, “The Mirraz” (ミイラズ), names the Arctic Monkeys as their main influence, which can be clearly heard in their music. The members were lively and good with the audience, stopping halfway through their set to talk to their fans. One of the group members, Nagasaki born and bred, even took some time to reminisce about the city. At the heart of it I found the experience not too dissimilar from what I was used to; an energetic audience, beer in plastic cups, and tiny mosh pits. I will definitely be making a return to Studio DO! n

* do1f@yahoo.co.jp ( 095-827-6734 May/June 2016 | nagazasshi


Nihon(go) on the Go For anyone living in Japan, Golden Week is synonymous with 旅行 (ryokou - travel). Whether you are staying 国内 (kokunai - inside the country) or going 海外 (kaigai - overseas) we hope you have taken care of your 予約 (yoyaku reservations) and finalized your 日程 (nittei - itinerary). In case you haven’t, here are some words you may encounter in obtaining your 切符 (kippu - tickets).

早割 (hayawari) - Early-bird specials on airline tickets and hotel reservations. 旅館 (ryokan) - Japanese style inns usually including an 温 泉 (onsen) and 畳 (tatami) floors. 回数券 (kaisuuken) - Multiple tickets, usually at a discount. Kyushu Protip: 四枚切符 (yonmaikippu) - a 4 ticket pack sold for around 25% off are available for the route between Nagasaki and Fukuoka for both trains and buses! 往復 (oufuku) - Round trip as opposed to 片道 (katamichi a one way trip 指定席 (shiteiseki) - reserved seat; 自由席 (jiyuuseki) - nonreserved seat Purchasing tickets in person can be stressful. Here’s a dependable formula for getting your message across at the ticket counter. Just insert your destination and style of ticket.

長崎駅まで往復ください。 (Nagsasaki eki made oufuku kudasai - A round-trip ticket to Nagasaki station please.) Simply insert your destination and the type of ticket that you would like (oufuku / katamichi / yonmaikippu) and never again fear the ticket counter. Whether you’re 遊びに行く (asobi ni iku - going for fun) or 観光する (kankou suru - travelling for tourism) have a great time on your adventures this Golden Week!

Dan Cohen & Will Morgan


Nagazasshi 8.6  

In this issue, bands and beasts! Featuring our great live house guide, as well as the best places to hang with Nagasaki's cutest critters.

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