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nagazasshi

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THE

Future O F E nergy

Café Cache | Health Check | Masaharu Fukuyama | Miyazaki


nagazasshi Volume 7 Issue 5 March/April 2015

Editor-in-chief Andrew Massey

Editors

Jennifer Edwards Rosie Fordham Katy Squicciarini

Assistant Editor Niel Thompson

Copy Editor Lorna Hanson

Treasurer Karl Po

Layout and Design Laurel Williams

Contributors Rosie Fordham Niel Thompson Amy Gifford Richard Railton Andrew Massey Katy Squicciarini Elizabeth Mazurok Joy Tan Karl Po Stuart Webster Laurel Williams

Founders

Andrew Morris Matthew Nelson www.nagazasshi.com

Cover Photo Light bulb at the Beach flickr.com/bastivoe

W

ith winter at a close, the world begins anew, and springtime heralds the return of many things. Warmer weather, flowering trees, and domestic insects are a few that come to mind. It is also a season that is nationally revered as one of the most enjoyable times of the year in Japan. These temperate months are positively riddled with parties and festivals that try to make the most of the pleasant weather. It’s also a time of new beginnings, with new projects and challenges on the horizon for many. In this issue, we’ll be looking back to the March 11 Tohoku earthquake with an account of the experience from Tokyo (p. 10). We’ll also look to the future with our feature on Japanese energy (p. 12). Of course, our regular articles are all here as well. There’s even a new series reviewing local cafes (p. 7). Looking forward, I’d like to welcome our newest staff members, Jennifer Edwards and Lorna Hanson. Good to have you two on board. I’d also like to give a big shout out to our long-standing copy editor, Doug Bonham. He’s been an active member of our staff for years and always did what he could when working on the magazine. Doug, we wish you luck in your future pursuits. Happy Reading!

Andrew Massey, Editor-in-chief


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Contents Events

4

My Two Yen

6

Café Caches in Nagasaki

7

Howl’s Moving Metropolis

10

The Future of Energy in Japan

12

Health Check

16

Nagasaki Notables: Masaharu Fukuyama

17

Weekends with Karl

20

Kanji of the Month

23

Check out staff recs in drama and anime Our new series uncovers a café in Isahaya

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Remembering the Tohoku earthquake Illuminating the country’s power grid of tomorrow Our new series begins with a mental checkup Learn about this famous singer-songwriter Our travel series continues in Miyazaki

7 20 Photo credits (counter-clockwise from top): photo flickr.com/boskizzi; photo flickr.com/rickharris; Coffee canisters Joy Tan; One of the Nichinan at Sun Messe, Miyazaki Laurel Williams


Event of the Month Saikai Bridge Whirlpool Festival March 16 – April 14 Saikaibashi Park

You can catch a glimpse of the natural whirlpools that form as currents from Omura and Sasebo Bays collide. There are also loads of cherry trees here, making it a great place for flower viewing.


Events 13th Annual Doll Festival Throughout March, Central Omura Traditional Japanese dolls are on display in shop windows throughout central Omura. Take a leisurely stroll and enjoy! Tulip Festival March 21 – April 6, Huis Ten Bosch Over 650 different kinds of tulips will be on display at Japan’s largest tulip festival. Take in the beauty against the picturesque backdrop of those classic Dutch tower mills. This is a great opportunity to visit Nagasaki’s cherished slice of Europe. The Kanoukaen March 28, Tachibana Park, Nagasaki City Nagasaki’s largest fire-festival. Two hundred participants in samurai warrior costume stroll through the blooming cherry trees of Tachibana Park with flaming torches in their hands, as based on a tale from a 400 year old illustrated scroll.

photo Stuart Webster

Omura Flower Festival Late March – April, Omura Park Omura Park is known prefecture-wide for its beautiful bloomage, even its town mascot is a talking flower. There are around 2,000 Omura Zakura cherry trees that flower from late March to early April, and the park will be lit up with romantic lighting during this season. If you’re a fan of the florals, you’ll definitely want to check this out. nagazasshi | March/April 2015

Hata-age Kite Competition April 5, Tohakkei Park, Nagasaki City This festival is one of Nagasaki’s older, more traditional events. Competitors coat their kite strings with powdered glass and square off in a series of aerial kite battles. Not to be missed! Nagushiyama Azalea Festival Early April, Saikai National Park The 100,000 Kurume and Hirado azaleas that can be viewed from the 234-meter peak of Mt. Nagushiyama, with the Kujuku islands in the background, is truly a sight to behold. It’s certainly worth the trek. Tall Ships Festival April 27 – May 1, Dejima Wharf, Nagasaki City Witness tall ships from all over the world as they gather in Dejima for Japan’s premier ship festival. You can watch ship drills, see fireworks, take a ride on some of the impressive vessels, and even enjoy a few hands-on activities such as rope tying tutorials and some casual canoeing. Hasami Pottery Festival April 29 – May 5, Hasami Hasami is home to Nagasaki Prefecture’s biggest porcelain market. During this festival, you can find great deals on traditional pottery. You can even give the pottery wheel a spin and try your hand at painting wares of your own.

5


My Two Yen... Drama Hi all, it’s Katy! My pick for this season’s drama rec is the highly anticipated Ouroboros or “ウロボロス.” Based on the manga series by Yuya Kanzaki, the show reunites popular actors Oguri Shun and Ikuta Toma for the first time since their 2007 drama Hana Kimi. The story follows two orphans, Ikuo Ryuzaki and Tatsuya Danno, who at a young age witness their teacher being murdered. When the case is covered up by a corrupt police officer, they become obsessed with uncovering the truth. Fifteen years later, Ikuo (Ikuta) is a kind and thorough detective. On the other end of the spectrum, Tatsuya (Oguri) has become a high level yakuza member who chases the

case through the criminal underworld. Lead actresses Ueno Juri and Yoshida Yo join Toma and Shun. The series premiered on January 16th and runs on TBS every Friday at 8 p.m. Japan is known for its excellent crime capers and police dramas, so if you’re at all interested in a show with suspense, mystery and brotherly love, definitely check this out! Image Credits: Ouroboros poster TBS Television, Inc. 8 www.tbs.co.jp/ouroboros

Anime Niel here, this issue I’m going to talk about Kids on the Slope, or Sakamichi no Aporon, an anime set in Sasebo. Kids on the Slope is about high school and the ties of friendship forged between Kaoru Nishimi and Sentaro Kawabuchi. Sentaro is a bit of a punk and frequently gets in fights. Kaoru, on the other hand, is a smart, diligent student who has difficulty getting close to people. At first there is friction between these two, but Kaoru and Sentaro find they have one thing in common: a love of music.

After realizing this shared passion, they practice together in the basement of a record shop. Kaoru plays the piano and Sentaro plays the drums. Sentaro’s favorite music is jazz, and despite his background in classical music, Kaoru learns to play jazz. The two form a bond that lasts forever. With endearing stories of sodality and a jazz soundtrack by legendary composer Yoko Kanno, Kids on the Slope is certainly not a series to be missed! Image Credits: Kids on the Slope poster Yuki Kodama and Fuji TV Network, Inc. 8 www.noitamina-apollon.com


Ca

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{New S eries}

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photos Joy Tan

K

R and R Coffee Labo

757-7 Keya, Taramicho Isahaya-shi, Nagasaki-ken 〒859-0401 ( TEL 0959-28-0920 8 coffeelabo.saloon.jp

Joy Tan treats readers to a globally minded Nagasaki coffee shop.

A

s the weather begins to slowly warm up, why not take the chance to adventure into hidden café caches around Nagasaki? You will be rewarded with delicious handcrafted nagazasshi | March/April 2015

beverages and lovely conversations with locals in new areas. This month’s uncovered café cache is conveniently located near Kikitsu Station (only 25 minutes away from Nagasaki Station by the express trains). Don’t let R and R Coffee Labo’s humble storefront fool you. Though easily missed by the many people rushing to

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and fro, those who step inside have their senses tickled by the welcoming smell of coffee and familiar English tunes.

Norio also speaks Mandarin, which he picked up when he lived and worked in Shanghai. This interest in other cultures is hinted at through the choices he gives R and R Coffee Labo opened in June his customers. R and R Coffee Labo oftwo years ago, and is fers a selection of beans Those who step from around the world, spearheaded by a true entrepreneur: Nishida such as Tanzania, Brainside have their Norio. Though his and even Indonesia. senses tickled by the zil, business is young, he Prices range from 200 welcoming smell of is determined to bring to 450 yen for coffee “coffee culture” to more coffee and familiar with homemade scones. people in Nagasaki. The English tunes Cheesecake is also availmajority of his customable. ers are foreigners but that doesn’t deter Norio in the least, as I personally like the dark roast from Tanhe takes part in various city events to zania, but come for yourself and become create the chance for many to try his part of the global coffee culture. n coffee for themselves.

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March/April 2015 | nagazasshi


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The NagaZasshi is a nonprofit, volunteer-run magazine made up of a team of ALTs, expatriates, and locals in Nagasaki, Japan. While its focus is featuring articles with ties to Nagasaki, it also covers other areas of Japan and the entire world. Join us today! www.nagazasshi.com


Howl’s Moving Metropolis Elizabeth Mazurok describes what it was like in Tokyo during the infamous 2011 Tohoku Earthquake.

I

n 2011, I was studying abroad in To- It was, to date, the largest earthquake kyo, Japan. Tokyo was a big change in recorded history. At its epicenter in of pace for someone born and raised Sendai, it registered at 9.0 on the Richter in a land-locked, agrarian Canadian scale. My location in Tokyo was a trifling province, semi-affectionately referred to 8.1. Earthquakes with a magnitude of as “Texas Jr.” Life in a bustling metropo- 5.0 or so can level poorly-constructed lis of roughly 13.3 houses and kill hunmillion was certainly dreds. At its epicenter in different – and some- Sendai, it registered at how quieter – than At the time, my 9.0 on the Richter scale my hometown of Japanese brother Edmonton. There and I were practicing was the expected culture shock, mixed singing in a school building. Imagine my with a whole heap of misunderstandings, surprise when the building started to but all of these experiences paled in com- rock back and forth. The shaking quickly parison to what occurred on March 11. intensified to the point where I didn’t

On that day, the Tohoku Earthquake of 2011 struck Japan at roughly 3:00 p.m.

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photo flickr.com/evanblaser


feel safe in the building anymore, so we sprinted outside to see the world around us as we’d never seen it before.

photo flickr.com/62739433@N00

The sea of skyscrapers Tokyo is famous for was swaying by tens of meters as the trees chattered their branches in reply. I remember the roiling of the earth and the buildings being at odds, and suddenly feeling like I was seasick. I found that I couldn’t stand up straight anymore. The air raid sirens, re-purposed from the war, blared with a wail and unintelligible Japanese, and helicopters tore through the air. I had the presence of mind to send a text message home to let my family know I was fine, which was fortunate, as my phone would become useless for the next six hours.

that cold, cold night. It was the spirit of cooperation in Japan, and truly a heartwarming sight.

This spirit continued into the international sphere in the days that followed as news of Fukushima was broadcast. Japanese friends recognized the need for information for foreigners like me who couldn’t understand everything, and organized themselves in Earthquakes with a grassroots movement A lot of things happened afterwards. a magnitude of 5.0 or to provide translations. Trains were cancelled Many of us felt more so can level poorlyfor the rest of the day, confident in making constructed houses so we walked the 14 informed decisions km to my dorm. We thanks to our friends and kill hundreds passed crowds of at who decided to help us. least 100 people pressing up against a tiny TV on a chair to try and get some Due to the level of international news about what was happening. cooperation I witnessed during this event, my passion for communication, We walked along major streets with new ideas, and helping second thousands of others like blood cells language learners grew. I recognized traveling through the body. What struck in my generation the drive for an me most was looking at the stores and international community keen to help apartments that opened their doors for those surrounding them, and I hope I people to rest and drink tea. Even busican encourage the students I’m teaching nesses handed out free hand warmers on right now to further this vision. n

nagazasshi | March/April 2015

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IN

THE

FUTURE O F E NERGY JAPAN Dam at Hydroelectric Power Plant in Nagano, Japan flickr.com/igaiga


Andrew Massey explores the future of Japan’s energy landscape.

I

n the four years since 2011’s Tohoku earthquake, Japan has seen major shifts within its energy sector. Prior to the Fukushima incident, nuclear power supplied upwards of 85 gigawatts and comprised approximately 30% of Japan’s energy grid at the time. To put this in perspective, consider the London Array – the world’s largest offshore wind-farm which has a total design capacity of 1 gigawatt. Even the Hoover Dam at peak generation produces just a little over 2 gigawatts. In the wake of the Daiichi meltdown, all nuclear power generation was categorically suspended nationwide. It’s easy to imagine the kind of impact this has had on power generation in Japan. In an attempt to fill the void left by nuclear power, Japan now imports massive amounts of liquefied natural gas (LNG). While sufficient in meeting the country’s energy needs, this has not come without cost. The imported fuel itself is incredibly expensive, selling at rates almost 6 times higher than US natural gas. Japan spent approximately 6 trillion yen on LNG in 2012 and over 7 trillion yen in 2013. Their steadily increasing LNG imports have resulted in one of the largest trade deficits in recent history. There’s also the environmental impact to consider. Without nuclear energy, Japan has fallen back on fossil fuels like oil and coal to fire up its thermal power plants. This has lead to near record levels of carbon emissions, significantly contributing to the global threat of climate change. Clearly, this is not a sustainable long term

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Nuclear Power Plant in Ohi, Japan flickr.com/iaea_imagebank

strategy. So, what can be said about the future of energy in Japan? Renewable energy is the first thing that comes to mind. If it could be properly developed, Japanese energy wealth would increase by orders of magnitude. With all of its seismic activity, Japan is a prime candidate for geothermal development. A 2011 survey carried out by the Ministry of the Environment suggests there to be 19 gigawatts of available geothermal resource potential. Despite there being twenty or so geothermal plants scattered throughout the country, less than 5% of that potential is being harnessed. Such potential is not easily unlocked however, as geothermal power is one of the most expensive methods of generat-

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ing electricity. Though geothermal plants require no fuel, making them immune to market fluctuations, the associated capital costs are tremendous. The drilling alone can cost billions of yen. With the current economic climate in Japan, those costs would be difficult to justify. Solar photovoltaics (PV), or solar power, are another viable source of renewable energy. They’re also being directly supported by the government with a feed-intariff system, which guarantees long-term, fixed-rate contracts to renewable energy producers. Thanks to these efforts, Japan has grown into the world’s second largest market for solar power. In 2014 alone, the country reportedly added 8 gigawatts of solar PV to its total power grid, largely from developments in the southwest. Solar PV is being made a national priority and March/April 2015 | nagazasshi


further increases are expected in years to come. Japan is on its way to demonstrating that it can reliably generate clean, renewable energy. Unfortunately, generation is only half the battle. The real issues lie in transmission. Most renewable energy comes from unstable sources that don’t provide a constant rate of baseload power generation. Sudden dips and spikes in levels would prove problematic and could potentially damage the power grid. This problem is further complicated by Japan’s power grid as a whole, or rather, its lack of one. Japan does not possess a nationally unified energy grid. Instead, the country is split down the middle into eastern and western grids. Though voltage is standardized at 100 volts, each grid operates at different frequencies – eastern operating at 50 hertz and western operating at 60 hertz. Converter stations do exist, but there are only three, and they only have a capacity of 1 gigawatt each. As it stands, there is no way for excess power produced in the west to be of any significant help to the eastern grid, making the added solar generation not very useful on a national level. Transmission issues have always been a fundamental problem in the energy industry. Without a reliable way to store giant amounts of electricity, or without a way to transmit power nagazasshi | March/April 2015

remotely, those issues will never go away. Until such breakthroughs are made, Japan will have to rely on interim solutions to satisfy its energy needs. The government’s most recent plan names nuclear, along with coal and hydro, as a baseload source of power. Having been approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, units 1 & 2 of Kyushu Electric’s Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima, as well as units 3 & 4 of Kansai Electric’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui are due to come back online later this year. All things considered, the future of energy in Japan is not without promise. For now however, it remains firmly in the research and development phase. n


ries} {New Se

Richard Railton reminds us to pay attention to our mental health.

A

nyone who has spent time working in a foreign country and learning in a foreign language will know that there are unique challenges experienced in everyday life. Some of these challenges can be overcome quickly, yet others seem to require continual persistence to manage. How we choose to, or are able to deal with these challenges revolves around our mindset and level of determination. This idea not only applies to living and working abroad, but to any new situation with which we are unfamiliar. We’re often able to identify the distressing symptoms that can arise from our everyday challenges. However, when our coping mechanisms start to break down and we become unable to adapt to new situations, we can easily become victims of our own minds. Namely, these symptoms are stress, anxiety, and depression. They interact and intertwine with one another, making it

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difficult to understand their cause or the impact they have on physical and mental health. As they take hold and your mind becomes warped, taking a step back to examine the situation from afar becomes increasingly difficult. For this reason, the ability to talk to someone and feel heard is a very important first step on the path to greater management and recovery. The sooner we are able to do this the better. Being strong and independent does not mean coping with the debilitating cycle of these symptoms in silence. Anonymous and confidential support is available year round from the AJET Peer Support Group. n

AJET Peer Support Group

U

8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

( 050-5534-5566 ajetpsg

March/April 2015 | nagazasshi

photo flickr.com/ggabernig

HealthdCheck


Nagasaki Notables

} U R A H {MASA [F {FUKUYAMA]}

Rosie Fordham gives readers an inside look into one of Nagasaki’s most prolific notables, Masaharu Fukuyama.

O

f all the notable people to come out of Nagasaki Prefecture, Masaharu Fukuyama may be the most multi-talented of the bunch. Fukuyama is best known for his highly successful career as a singer-songwriter. Since 2011, he has held the title of all time best-selling male solo artist in Japan, with over 22 million records and singles sold. Fukuyama is also a wellnagazasshi | March/April 2015

known film and drama actor, a radio personality, and a photographer. Born in 1969, Fukuyama’s parents were survivors of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. According to a 2009 interview in Cut Magazine, Fukuyama was encouraged to leave Nagasaki upon reaching adulthood because of a sense that there were fewer “possibilities” for him in his birthplace. He moved to Tokyo in his

Fukuyama is best known for his highly successful career as a singer-songwriter

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20s, and found his first musical success in 1992 with the release of his single “Good Night.” He gained mainstream recognition after he co-starred in the popular drama Hitotsu Yane no Shita (Under One Roof). Though he took a hiatus from music and acting between 1996 and 1998, his popularity only continued to grow in the following decades. In 2007, Fukuyama returned to screens as the eccentric professor turned detective Manabu Yukawa in the TV series, Galileo. A year later, he received the lead role of Sakamoto Ryoma in Ryomaden, NHK’s 2008 Taiga Drama.

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In 2013 he starred in the film Like Father, Like Son, which received worldwide critical acclaim and a Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Most recently, he appeared in the second Rurouni Kenshin film as Hiko Seijuro, Kenshin’s teacher. Fukuyama has explained that since turning 40, he has been trying to reach out more to his home prefecture. In 2008, he worked with a Nagasaki based youth group to organize an exhibition of his photographs at the Nagasaki Prefectural Museum, an event which attracted 70,000 people. A year later, he held two outdoor


Since turning 40, he has been trying to reach out more to his home prefecture

concerts in Mount Inasa Park which were simultaneously broadcast, free of charge, in the Nagasaki Baseball Stadium. The title of Fukuyama’s 2009 album Zankyo (Echoes) is also a reference to his feelings for his hometown. “Whenever I think about [Nagasaki],” he tells the interviewer from Cut Magazine, “I can see and hear the images and sounds very clearly in my mind… The clanking of the street cars on the tracks… the occasional piping of steam whistles… it’s not just the images I see in my memory, the scenery and sounds are imprinted in my heart as well.” It’s clear that no matter what heights Fukuyama’s career takes him to, Nagasaki is where his heart lies. n

8 fukuyamamasaharu.com Photo credits & information: Page 17: Blue Fender Stratocaster Guitar flickr.com/ rickharris Page 18 (circles – left to right): Galileo screenshot Fuji TV Network, Inc., Ryomaden poster NHK, and Like Father, Like Son poster Dir. Hirokazu Koreeda Page 18 (bottom): Guitar Closeup flickr.com/onepointfour

nagazasshi | March/April 2015

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Weekends with

Karl

Karl Po details an affordable, fully loaded weekend getaway in Miyazaki. Projected Travel Costs:

Projected Travel Dates:

R Rental car: 19,400 yen

b March 20 - 23 (3 days)

7 seat van equipped with GPS monitor for 3 days ~ 3/20, 8 p.m. to 3/23, 4 p.m. 8 http://www.ones-rent.com/ reservation/index.php? location_no=0084-001

. Road tolls: 16,000 yen

(Nagasaki to Miyazaki and back)

K Gas: 15,000 yen

(rough estimate)

Z Total: 50,400 yen

Split between 7 people: 7,200 yen

Itinerary: Friday

" Drive from Nagasaki g Takachiho area, Miyazaki U 3 hours and 50 minutes 8 https://goo.gl/maps/F1EU5

Z Guesthouse Kudo

¥ 3,500 yen per night

8 http://kudo-home.jp

Other costs (per person):

Saturday morning/afternoon

Z Accommodations: 10,500 yen

N Takachiho Gorge

3 nights (rough estimate)

\ Food, drinks, omiyage, sightseeing, etc: about 15,000 – 20,000 yen (depends on how much you want to spend)

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P Boat rental ¥ 2,000 yen per 30 minutes; maximum of 3 people per boat

N Ama-no-iwato Shrine March/April 2015 | nagazasshi


Saturday evening

" Drive from Takachihog Miyazaki City

U 2 hours and 15 minutes

8 http://goo.gl/maps/vwjSn Za Youth Hostel Sunflower Miyazaki

짜 3,500 yen per night

8 http://www6.ocn.ne.jp/~hkaikan/ index.html

Zb Super Hotel Miyazaki

짜 2,733~5,120 yen per night*

*depending on your numbers

8 http://www.superhoteljapan.com/ en/s-hotels/miyazaki Sunday

N Udo Shrine

U 1 hour and 30 minutes from the city center

8 http://goo.gl/maps/AYsjt

N Nichinan Sun Messe

짜 700 yen entrance fee for adults, 짜 350 yen for children under the age of 4

8 http://goo.gl/maps/AYsjt Monday If time permits:

N Kokusai Kaihin Entrance Plaza N Aoshima Photo credits & information: Page 20 (clockwise from left): Udo Shrine Karl Po, Driving in Miyazaki Karl Po, and Colorful Sculptures found at Sun Messe Laurel Williams Page 21 (top to bottom): Takachiho Gorge Karl Po, Ama-no-iwato Karl Po, and Aoshima island Laurel Williams

nagazasshi | March/April 2015

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H

ey, what’s up? It’s Karl again with this issue’s travel suggestion. This time around, I’ll be covering one of Kyushu’s southern prefectures, Miyazaki, and how to travel armed with some buddies and a car. I feel that when a lot of people hear the word “Miyazaki,” they automatically think of the famous director and animator Hayao Miyazaki. However, the prefecture itself has no relation to him. It is quite famous for both its Japanese mythology and its location as a surfing hub in Japan. For the countryside, explore the Takachiho Gorge, an impressive V-shaped ravine with many waterfalls cascading into it which can be explored by rented boat. Nearby also lies Amano-iwato, a cave where Japanese myth

i

states the Sun Goddess Amaterasu hid away, putting the world into an eternal night. While driving down south towards Miyazaki City, check out Udo Shrine, a Shinto shrine situated on a cliff which is located about an hour and half drive from central Miyazaki. Overlooking this cliff lies a turtle shaped rock. It is said that if you are able to throw a rock and land it within the center, your wishes will be granted. Located nearby you can find the Sun Messe Nichinan, which features 7 huge Moai replica statues similar to the ones on Easter Island. The park was a big 3-year project built as a symbol of friendship between Japan and Easter Island. n

Chicken Namban – A Miyazaki Specialty Lightly battered, deep fried chicken covered with tartar sauce made from mayonnaise, eggs and cucumber served on a bowl of rice. It is eaten all throughout Japan in various forms (supermarkets, Hotto-Motto, bentos), but I really suggest trying out the “real deal” as this dish originated in Miyazaki. photo Karl Po

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Nagazasshi 7.5  

Curious about the future of energy in Japan? Check out the latest issue of Nagazasshi! Our spring issue introduces two new series: Café Cac...

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