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Winter Wellness Stay happy and healthy as the weather turns cold

nagazasshi Volume 9 Issue 3 November/December 2016


Jessica Richard

Editor-in-chief Rosie Fordham


Sophie Midgley Will Tiley

Copy Editor Will Powell

Layout and Design Dylan Nordstrom

Public Relations Conor Hughes


Dominic Balasuriya Dan Cohen Leslie Davis Cassandra Fegert Rosie Fordham Beatrix Hutton Naomi Louise Jenkins Patrick Maguire Yeti Mallavi Sophie Midgley Will Morgan Jessica Richard Will Tiley


Andrew Morris Matthew Nelson www.nagazasshi.com Cover photo: Nagasaki Snow Patrick Maguire


inter is tough for many of us living abroad in Japan. When you’re far from the comforts of home and confronted with the prospect of seemingly endless cold weather, it can be easy to succumb to depression, isolation, and unhealthy habits. That’s why in this issue, we’re focusing on mental and physical wellbeing in the winter months. First, spice up your meals with the opening installment of our new series on local specialties (p 8). With great local produce like mikan from Saikai, sake from Sasebo, and sea cucumbers from Omura in your diet, you’ll be healthier and happier in no time. Next, take a moment to consider your mental state during the cold winter months. In our article on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), we lay out some ways to prevent and treat this common but little understood illness (p 10). Finally, get a taste of home with three unique recipes for the holidays (p 12). Just because you’re far from home doesn’t mean you can’t eat like you’re at home! With your belly full of great food and your mind at ease, you’re sure to get through winter without a hitch! Happy holidays, and happy reading!

Rosie Fordham Editor-in-Chief

Contents Events


Mountain Madness


Seasonal Specials


Banish the Winter Blues


Holiday Recipe Special


Nihon(go) on the Go


Our pick of Nagasaki’s best hikes

Local Winter Delicacies


Overcoming SAD

Eat your homesickness away

Photo credits (top to bottom): Mikan flickr.com/kohrogi; Gløgg flickr.com/lemsipmatt; Minamishimabara Olle Nagasaki Prefecture Tourism Association

12 6

Events Misogoro Giant Festival Nov 5-6, Nishi-Arie, Shimabara Shimabara is known for producing many works of folklore about giants. One such tale is that of the jolly giant Misogoro. A massive statue of him is paraded through the old shopping district of Nishi-Arie during this merry, food-filled festival. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/607

Ninety-Nine Islands Oyster Festival -Fall EditionWeekends and Holidays in Nov, Saikai Pearl Sea Resort, Sasebo Come enjoy the seasonal oyster harvest! Smell the sea-salt air and the charcoal burning on the grills as you relax by the scenic Ninety-Nine Islands. The festival can accommodate up to 1600 people! 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/114

Maruyama Women’s Festival Nov 12-13, Umezono Migawari Tenmangu, Nagasaki City A festival to celebrate women, Japanese geisha and courtesans. The festival features traditional dress, makeup and stunning dance performances! All participants are typically women in traditional dress, and there will also be a featured Onnamikoshi - a portable shrine carried and attended to strictly by women. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/115

Church Week in Kamigoto Dec 6-11, Kamigoto, Goto Islands In commemoration of its Christian heritage, all the churches of Kamigoto are filled with lights, music and song. Regardless of your personal religious affiliations, the warm atmosphere and rich history of the island are something to behold. Perfect timing for the Christmas holidays. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/117

Kazusa Dream and Craft Festival Nov 20, Kazusa, Shimabara This event showcases local agricultural and handmade products, as well as fresh seasonal fish and fishing goods. There’s freshly made traditional mochi, performances from schoolchildren, and even a tug of war! 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/608


Huis Ten Bosch Kingdom of Light Nov-Apr, Huis Ten Bosch, Sasebo What better time to enjoy a wonderful display of illuminations than the holidays? For the winter months, Huis Ten Bosch conducts one of the most massive light shows in the country on a nightly basis! Over ten million bulbs glow in the night in a sublime spectacle. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/116 November/December 2016 | nagazasshi

Event of the Month

Festivitas Natalis First Saturday of Dec, Kita-Arima, Shimabara This festival commemorates the start of Japan’s relationship with the western world. 400 years ago, a group of Jesuits created a Christian secondary school in the local area. The festival primarily focuses on foreign relations, but it also features two 30m tall Christmas trees, as well as other Christmas-related and Christianity-inspired decorations and traditions. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/611 photo Minamishimabara City Hall

Mountain Madness As the weather gets cooler, get your blood pumping by taking a hike up one of Nagasaki Prefecture’s abundant mountains. Autumn leaves, or koyo, make for some spectacular views among the trees. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and pack appropriate gear as the temperature atop some of the higher summits can drop suddenly. Always let someone know where you’re going before you head out and immerse yourself in nature! Fugendake & Heisei Shinzan Volcano Enjoy the autumn colors of Mt. Fugendake while hiking up to the 1359m summit. From the top of Nita Pass cable car, the newly opened trail gives an up-close look at Japan’s most recently formed mountain (and active volcano), Heisei Shinzan. The full circuit of Myogendake > Hatoana-wakare > Fugendake > Azamidani Valley takes approximately 4 hours. Wear sturdy trainers or hiking boots as the path can be quite rocky in some areas. Level: Intermediate - Advanced| Time: 3-5 hours 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/673


Photo credits: Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all photos are the property of Nagasaki Prefecture Tourism Association Mt. Shimizu Dominic Balasuriya | Background photo Jessica Richard


November/December 2016 | nagazasshi

Hirado Olle Course Travel back in time by exploring one of Japan’s first internationally influenced towns. Hirado Olle offers a light stroll through some of Nagasaki’s most historic attractions, including Saikyoji Pagoda, St. Francis Xavier Church and the Hirado Dutch Trading Port. The view from Kawachi Mountain Pass changes with each season, keeping tourists coming back all year round. After completing your walk, soak your aches away at the arm and foot hot spring. Level: Beginner | Time: 4-5 hours 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/674


Mt. Shimizu Explore Tsushima’s rich history while enjoying stunning views of the port town Izuhara. Start your journey at the Tsushima History & Folk Customs Museum, then follow the signs for Shimizuyama Castle Ruins. During this hour round trip, you’ll walk past the crumbling walls of Mt. Shimizu Castle, built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century, and enjoy the sweeping views of land, sea, and sky from the top. For those who want more of a challenge, the 4-5 hour ascent to Mt. Ariake can also be reached from the same starting point. Level: Beginner | Time: 1-1.5 hours 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/675


Minamishimabara Olle The Minamishimabara Olle course is a great walk for all experience levels. The 10km marked trail begins in the town of Kuchinotsu, leading walkers around the charming little port town and through woods and rolling hills, before coming to an end along the beautiful coastline of the Ariake Sea. Sights not to miss include the Sezumesaki Lighthouse and the chance to walk along the rocky volcanic coastline at low-tide. This course can be accessed by car or bus from Shimabara, Obama or Isahaya. Level: Beginner | Time: 3-5 hours 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/677 ENDLESS DISCOVERY

N AGASAKI official visitor guide


ina m

Nagasaki Prefecture Tourism Association


8 http://www.visit-nagasaki.com

a ar ishimab

Seasonal Specials Will Tiley introduces Nagasaki’s wintry local delicacies in this first installment of our new feature


n this feature, we will be exploring

Mikan (Mandarin Oranges) are plentiful

some of the fantastic seasonal

and incredibly cheap in winter, and

produce available around Nagasaki,

provide some much needed vitamin C.

leading you to some tasty treats and

Carrots, pumpkins and hakusai (Chinese

possibly helping keep that supermarket

cabbages) are also at their best right

bill in check.

now, and for more adventurous eaters,

Even in winter there is still plenty of fresh produce to feast on, and no harvest in Japan is bigger than the November rice harvest. Whole communities take to the fields to gather the year’s crop, which also makes it a prime time to make mochi and brew sake!

the sea has some unusual and delightful treats including iidako (tiny octopus) and namako (sea cucumbers). Special thanks to Beatrix Hutton for writing about Saikai Mikan Dome Photo credits: background image flickr.com/raita; sake flickr.com/ markdoliner; mikan flickr.com/kohrogi; namako flickr.com/richardsummers

U me gae S huz o S a ke Bre wer y Founded in 1787, Umegae Shuzo, a brewery near Sasebo, has been designated an important cultural property. It’s also more than willing to open its doors (and, more importantly, bottles) to the general public. Calling in advance is recommended, but once you arrive they have tours in English and are more than happy to show you the complex process of producing sake. There is of course a shop on site too, offering a range of nihonshu and shochu for all budgets and tastes. S aik ai Mik an Dome Are you a mikan fan? Saikai’s Mikan Dome provides anything and everything mikan related. You can buy bags of fresh oranges year round straight from local farmers. Since it’s never too cold for ice cream, make sure to try the mikan soft serve for less than 300 yen. Too sour? Try orange milk mix to balance it out. Fresh orange juice is also available, and for those back home, orange castella or orange drops make the perfect presents. Omura Nam a ko Omura is famous for producing some of the finest sea cucumbers in Japan. With a bluish, translucent appearance and a slightly al dente texture, they are as unusual to look at as they are to eat, but despite appearances they have a delicate, earthy flavor. If you want to try some yourself, Kansakusan (勘作さん) in Omura is a great little izakaya offering namako and a range of other delicious treats. nagazasshi | November/December 2016


Banish the Winter


Naomi Louise Jenkins explains how to identify and overcome the symptoms of SAD


ith winter already in our midst, many of us are wrapping up warm and keeping our cupboards full of medicine to fight whatever bug dares to creep into our weakened immune systems. Every year there is an emphasis on taking care of our bodies, but there is little mention of the mind. Thousands of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, aptly known as SAD, each year. SAD is something that people need to be more aware of. The specific cause of SAD is still largely unknown. However, there are two particularly important hormones that are affected by reduced sunlight in the colder months: • Serotonin – Sunlight helps fuel the production of serotonin, a chemical that has a critical impact on your mood. A lack of serotonin can lead to lethargy and depression. • Melatonin – The change in light also affects production of melatonin, a hormone associated with a healthy sleep cycle. The shift in daylight hours “confuses” your natural body clock, causing an effect similar to jetlag that can strongly impact your mood.


November/December 2016 | nagazasshi

As you can imagine, these are factors that many of us living in colder countries cannot avoid. Luckily, there are many ways to combat SAD, but first let’s familiarize ourselves with some of the major symptoms. The Mayo Clinic describes seasonal affective disorder as “a sub-type of major depression that comes and goes based on seasons.” If you believe you’re suffering from SAD, keep an eye out for symptoms associated with major depression, such as the following: • Feeling depressed on most days and throughout the day • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness • Low levels of energy • Lack of interest in your favorite activities • Difficulty sleeping • A change in your weight or appetite • Feelings of agitation or sluggishness • Trouble concentrating • Thinking about suicide or death

Spring & Summer SAD Some symptoms are more closely associated with summer-onset SAD, or “summer depression.” They include things like: • Depression • Insomnia • Weight loss • Lack of appetite • Agitation or anxiety

Fall & Winter SAD Some symptoms are more closely associated with winter-onset SAD, or “winter depression.” They include: • Irritability • Exhaustion or lack of energy • Difficulty getting along with others • Being more sensitive to rejection • Feelings of leadenness or heaviness in the limbs • Oversleeping • Changes in appetite, particularly, cravings for high-calorie foods • Weight gain As you can see, many of the symptoms are overarching. If you feel like you have been suffering from these symptoms as of late, it’s probably best you go to a doctor. However, if you feel able to deal with it yourself, the solution is simple – get outside! As a condition that is most directly caused by lack of natural light, getting out in the sun will go a long way toward curbing the effects of SAD. Even sitting by a sunny window can help, or failing that, therapy lamps that emit similar light frequencies to the sun are available. Exercise is also a good way to kick-start your serotonin production, even if it’s just a case of going for a walk around your local park. So with winter setting in, there is never a more critical time to look after yourself and, more importantly, to stay active! Originally sourced from:

8 teatimewithnaomi.com

photo flickr.com/alexander_mueller_photolover


Holiday Recipe Special

Eat your homesickness away with holiday recipes from around the world! Sophie Midgley explains how to make mulled wine, Rosie Fordham shares a recipe for latkes, and Cassandra Fegert shares a recipe for cassava pone cake.

Sophie’s Mulled Wine

photo flickr.com/jamesonfink

With a Japanese twist • • • • • •

Ingredients 2 bottles of red wine Spirit such as whiskey or brandy, to taste (I like a good healthy glug) 200g caster sugar 1 cinnamon stick Half a teaspoon of each: powdered cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg Fruit cut into quarters, such as mikan, persimmons and apples

Method Put the sugar in a saucepan on a medium heat. Add the fruit and spices and just enough wine to cover the sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until you have a syrup. Now turn down the heat and add the rest of the wine, plus the whiskey or brandy. Gently heat on a low simmer for about 5 minutes – not too high or you will cook off the alcohol! Ladle into heat-proof glasses (or less classy mugs) and start feeling festive! Serves 3 – 4 (depending on how much merriment is desired!) Tips & Notes • I have been able to find these ingredients in Nagasaki City – check out A Price • Making your own spiced sugar syrup is a great idea – you can make a batch and then keep it refrigerated so that you can make mulled wine at the drop of a hat • If you can find whole cloves, they can be pushed through the skins of the mikan for an added infusion

Rosie’s Latkes

photo Yeti Mallavi

Potato pancakes served on the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah Ingredients 450g potatoes 1/2 medium onion 1 medium carrot 1 large egg (or as many as needed) 1 tbs white flour Salt, pepper to taste Vegetable oil (canola, grapeseed, or peanut) for a thin layer • Applesauce and sour cream (or plain yogurt), as desired • • • • • • •

Method Grate the potatoes, onion and carrot into a colander. Sprinkle with salt, and mix together. Leave the mixture to drain for 10 minutes. Move the vegetables into a mixing bowl. Beat the egg a little and then add to the vegetable mixture. Add flour until the mixture is the texture of a very thick pancake batter. Add more salt and a little pepper. Prepare the frying pan by heating it and then adding a thick coating of oil. When the oil is hot (but before it begins to smoke) place a golf ball-sized dollop onto the pan. Flatten the dollop to the desired diameter. Repeat until you have several pancakes. Start flipping when the underside of the first one is golden brown. When both sides of a latke are crisp and brown, remove it from the pan and drain on paper towels. You may need to top up the oil between batches. Serves 6-8 (depending upon size of pancake) Tips & Notes • Most ingredients can be found in your local supermarket (check out Aeon or Elena) • Sour cream is tough to find, so try substituting with plain yogurt • Applesauce can be found at import stores such as Kaldi Coffee Farm. Otherwise, try substituting with apple jam, or try making your own! • For better deals on vegetables, check out smaller, grower-run stores and stalls Special thanks to Leslie Davis (Rosie’s mom) for providing the recipe nagazasshi | November/December 2016


Cassandra’s Cassava Pone Cake

photo flickr.com/stuart_spivack

A popular dessert eaten in Trinidad • • • • • • •

Ingredients 900 g of cassava (yucca) 1 dry (drained) coconut (or coconut shavings) 125 g of sugar (brown sugar substitute is okay) 1 stick of butter/margarine (115g) 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger 235 ml of room temperature water

Method Have a basin at hand. Peel the cassava and dispose of the skin. In the basin, grate the cassava, followed by the coconut. Use your hands to mix the cassava and shredded coconut together then add the sugar, cinnamon spice, and ginger so that everything is mixed in the bowl. Soften (but don’t melt!) the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Place the butter into the basin and mix the ingredients until they come together into a dough. Following this, add water to the mixture so that it softens just enough to loosen the stickiness of the ingredients. Finally, butter the pan and place the dough into it. Be sure to even out the form. Place into the oven and bake at about 180°C. Bake the cake for about 40 minutes until it gets brown. After this, stick a fork in it. If it goes in smoothly, it’s finished! Just be sure to note that it’s brown on top. Serves 6-8 Tips & Notes • No flour or eggs required for this recipe! • You can add raisins and cranberries for an even fruitier taste • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence can be added for a richer taste • Cassava pone cake is often gooey in the center, so be sure not to overcook it • Since the widely sold hangover drink, Yukon, is made from cassava, you’ll likely be able to find it at import stores such as Kaldi Coffee Farm


November/December 2016 | nagazasshi

Nihon(go) on the Go

Brace yourselves, 冬 (fuyu - winter) is coming! Whether you

are a 寒がり屋 (samugariya - someone who is sensitive to the

cold) or not, here are some ideas on how to stay あったか〜い (attaka~i - warm).

When you’re at home:

こたつ (kotatsu) - A low table with a heating unit underneath and a blanket on top to keep your legs toasty

ホットカーペット (hotto kaapetto) - An electric carpet with

adjustable heat settings. A good alternative if your place is too small for a kotatsu.

暖房 (danbou) - The heater in your house attached to the wall. ストーブ (sutoobu) - A small space heater that runs on electricity or kerosene depending on the model.

When you are out and about:

カイロ (kairo) - Hand warmers that fit nicely in your pocket.

マフラー (mafuraa) - A scarf… or car muffler… either should keep you warm.

手袋 (tebukuro) - The kanji mean “hand bag” but in English it means “gloves”

長靴 (nagagutsu)- “Long shoes,” or “boots” if you fancy. Central heating in Japan is so rare that asking how many

layers of clothes someone is wearing has become a kind of winter small talk. Take a look at the question and answer below to get prepared!

Q: 何枚を着ていますか? Nan mai wo kite imasu ka? How many layers are you wearing?

A: 4枚を着ています。 Yon mai wo kite imasu. 4 layers.

Have a great winter and don’t be a こたつ虫 (kotatsu mushi -

kotatsu bug, or someone who stays inside under the kotatsu all winter)!

Dan Cohen & Will Morgan

Profile for Nagazasshi

Nagazasshi 9.3  

Stay healthy and happy this winter! Keep your body, and your mind, in tip-top shape with info about hiking, local food, and combating SAD. W...

Nagazasshi 9.3  

Stay healthy and happy this winter! Keep your body, and your mind, in tip-top shape with info about hiking, local food, and combating SAD. W...