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Light up the Night Movies | Nightlife | Seasonal Food|Resolutions

nagazasshi Volume 9 Issue 4 January/February 2017


ith fewer holidays and events to worry about and plenty of time

before the spring rush, the beginning


of the year is a great time to get out,


promise of a clean slate. In this spirit,


full of fun communal activities to fill

Jessica Richard Rosie Fordham

Dominic Balasuriya Sophie Midgley Will Tiley

Copy Editor Will Powell

Layout and Design Dylan Nordstrom

Public Relations Melisa Ferrigno


Dominic Balasuriya Dan Cohen Melisa Ferrigno Joseph Heade Patrick Maguire Yeti Mallavi Nick Mejia Will Morgan Jessica Richard Jamaal Rowe Will Tiley Kate Williams


Andrew Morris Matthew Nelson www.nagazasshi.com Cover photo: Lantern Street Will Tiley

try new things, and celebrate the our January/February issue is chockthe dark winter nights and get you ready for the year ahead. Sharing a bubbling pot of nabe or oden is one of the best ways to connect with people during winter, and this issue’s edition of “Seasonal Specials” will tell you just where to go to meet your nabe needs (pg. 8). For even more ways to escape the wintry cold, check out our nightlife feature (pg. 10) for our hand-picked highlights of Nagasaki’s plentiful cafes and bars. Finally, when you’ve had your fill of food and merriment, take time to reflect on what the year might bring with our piece on New Year’s resolutions (pg. 13). We hope that 2017 brings you plenty of new opportunities, experiences and joy. Happy New Year, and happy reading! Rosie Fordham


Contents Events


Lights, Camera, Nagasaki!


Seasonal Specials


Nagasaki Nightlife


Make 2017 Your Year


Nihon(go) on the Go


Famous Films shot in Nagasaki

Hot pot around the prefecture


Where to drink and be merry

How to achieve your goals

Photo credits: (top) Yamaneko Sunrise Dominic Balasuriya; (bottom) Motsu Nabe Joseph Heade


Event of the Month

Nagasaki Lantern Festival Jan 28 - Feb 11. Nagasaki City Come celebrate the Year of the Rooster with Nagasaki City’s Chinese New Year festivities. Enjoy the sight of Nagasaki illuminated with over 15,000 lanterns, and don’t miss the performances by Chinese acrobats, musicians, and Dragon Dancers. 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/92

photo Yeti Mallavi

Events Nomozaki Daffodil Festival Jan 8 - 29, Nagasaki City Daffodils represent good fortune and prosperity and are associated with the New Year season. Boost your luck and bask in the sight of 10 million blooms overlooking the ocean and historical Hashima (Gukanjima). 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/89

Hirado Flounder Festival Mid Jan - Late March, Hirado City Since Hirado is one of the nation’s top producers of natural flounder, this event is sure to draw in a large catch of hungry visitors. Local restaurants will be serving this fresh fish, which is at its peak during the winter months, at very reasonable prices.

The Twelfth Annual Oyster Festival Every Sunday, Jan 8 - Feb 26, Omura City Winter is the time to take advantage of the ocean’s bounty and feast on succulent shellfish. Fresh oysters straight out of Omura Bay will be available for purchase and immediate grilling on the free-to-use barbeques provided. Grills are only open from 11:30am-3:00pm, so be sure to plan a lunch date.

8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/90

8 nagasaki-tabinet.com/



Hetomato Fishermans’ Festival Jan 15, Goto City This one day festival features a myriad of local events including traditional sumo, quirky kimono clad badminton, a mighty tug of war, and a woman in a giant shoe being tossed up into the air! Be sure to check out this memorable event. 8 goldenjipangu.com/ 160120hetomato.html nagazasshi | January/February 2017

Konaki Crybaby Sumo Feb 3, Hirado City This unique festival involves two babies facing off in a sumo match of sorts to see who will cry first. This is said to banish evil spirits and allow the crying children to grow up healthy and strong. A worthwhile experience for young and old. 8 nihon-kankou.or.jp.com/

Unzen Frostflower Illumination Feb 4 - 25, Unzen In February a special kind of hoarfrost gilds the trees and flowers of this onsen town. To celebrate, the trees are illuminated, and there’s a firework display every Saturday night. On Sundays you can even experience steam kotatsu (heated tables) right in the heart of Unzen’s jigoku (“hells”). 8 visit-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/120


Lights, Camera, Nagasaki! Steeped in history, Nagasaki is one of the most culturally diverse places in all of Japan. Its international ties and spectacular natural beauty make it a dream location for filmmakers. Here are a few of the blockbuster Hollywood movies that showcase our beloved prefecture

Feature Film Silence (2017) Nagasaki’s long history of Christianity is the backdrop for director Martin Scorsese’s new adaption of the 1966 novel “Silence,” by Endo Shusaku. The upcoming film tells the story of two missionaries searching for their lost mentor, and deals with the persecution of Christians in Japan. The original novel references Nagasaki’s own Unzen Hells, where Christians who refused to give up their beliefs were tortured. In Sotome, the Endo Shusaku Literary Museum now stands as a tribute to Endo. Visit it to learn more about the life work of this world-famous author! 8 visit-nagasaki.com/silence

The Wolverine (2013)

Skyfall (2012)| Attack on Titan (2015)

“The Wolverine,” part of the X-Men series of films, opens against the dramatic backdrop of Nagasaki Port. The film begins with the protagonist, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), rescuing a Japanese soldier from the tragic atomic bombing of Nagasaki. The port has been the site of many significant events throughout history. In particular, it was the only port open for trade with Europe during Japan’s period of national isolation. Come get your history fix for free with a stroll along the beautiful harbor!

With its battleship silhouette and ocean battered exterior, it’s easy to see how the abandoned island of Hashima has inspired filmmakers. However, it was not until 2012 that it earned global fame when it became inspiration for the villain’s base in “Skyfall,” the 23rd installment of the James Bond series. Since the movie, Hashima has earned World Heritage status and international interest. It was even featured in Japanese blockbuster “Attack on Titan.” For your chance to see the island up close, tours depart from Nagasaki daily.

8 visit-nagasaki.com/movies/

8 visit-nagasaki.com/movies/



The Last Samurai (2003)

In collaboration with

Sasebo’s picturesque 99 Islands, or Kujukushima, open the hit 2003 Tom Cruise movie “The Last Samurai.” There are actually over 200 islands in Japan’s westernmost national park, which is conveniently located near Sasebo City and popular for sunset cruises. In the wake of the film’s success, October 10, 2006 was declared “Tom Cruise Day” in Japan, because he had made more trips to Japan than any other Hollywood star. Come check out this super-star famous part of Japan! Cruises depart daily from Pearl Sea Resort.

Nagasaki Prefecture Tourism Association

8 visit-nagasaki.com/movies/ detail/39#thelastsamurai


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


N AGASAKI official visitor guide

Photo credits: Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all photos are the property of Nagasaki Prefecture Tourism Association



Will Tiley tells us what’s delicious and healthy early in the year, while Melisa Ferrigno, Dominic Balasuriya, and Joseph Heade share some key spots for oden and nabe


hile good, fresh food feels scarce in the depths of winter, fantastic produce is not as hard to find as you think, and can help keep the chills away. Sansai (山菜, literally “mountain vegetables”) is a term for vegetables harvested during the colder months, and includes root vegetables such as daikon, gobo (burdock), yamaimo (mountain yam), and renkon (lotus root), along with cabbage, cauliflower and eringi mushrooms.

These ingredients are essential to Japanese winter staples nabe (hotpot) and oden (simmered meat and vegetables). The variations for these dishes are endless, so to get started check out our recommendations below! This is also a fantastic time for sashimi as the fish lay down extra fat to withstand the cold. During these months, Shimabara produces top quality fugu (poisonous puffer fish, known locally as gamba), while Hirado brings in highly prized flounder, celebrated at the Hirado Flounder Festival in late winter. photo Joseph Heade


January/February 2017 | nagazasshi

Hana Renkon Tucked away in Hamanomachi, Hana Renkon is a delightful oden shop offering the perfect winter pick me up. Succulent root vegetables, mushrooms and, uniquely, whole tomatoes, will banish even the deepest winter chills. Be sure to order the tomatoes at the start of your meal, as they take a while to cook.

photo Jessica Richard

Melisa Ferrigno photo Dominic Balasuriya

Soba Dojo Any visit to Tsushima should include a stop at the Soba Dojo to sample a twist on two local nabe dishes. Iriyaki is a Tsushima specialty, a chicken broth with hearty mix of cabbage, konnyaku, chicken and locally-grown mushrooms with chewy taishu soba noodles. Also recommended is the sen soba, which combines local sweet potato noodles with ago (flying fish), bonito broth and crispy gobo tempura.

Dominic Balasuriya Ren Izakaya This unassuming izakaya in Omura is home to a glorious take on motsunabe. This vibrant mix of vegetables, tofu, mushrooms, noodles and pork intestines is topped off with a generous dose of garlic and, unique to Ren, seasoned with yuzu and chili. The food is not only delicious, but the process of waiting for the pot to boil and fishing through the stew to see what treats are hiding inside is fun and interactive. A perfect hideaway from the winter cold.

Joseph Heade & Will Tiley nagazasshi | January/February 2017

photo Joseph Heade




A Night in the Sauce Nick Mejia


f you’ve never been to Sasebo, you are doing yourself a disservice. The city is replete with glorious restaurants and watering holes. Want to visit, but not sure what to do? Here’s a recommendation on how to have the perfect night out! Kunimatsu Start at Sasebo station and head towards Sasebo arcade to Kunimatsu, the best damn coffee shop in Sasebo. Owner-operator Hiroki takes pride in every single cup of coffee he brews and is incredibly welcoming and friendly. His alcoholic coffees, especially the Irish Coffee, and his secret handshake also come highly recommended. 4-16 Kamikyomachi, Sasebo 857-0872

Eijiro Next, it’s time for motsunabe, served up with beer and laughter at Eijiro, near the Gobangai mall. While the horumon (pork offal) hotpot is the shop’s specialty, other nabe varieties are also available. The nabe starts with a huge mound of vegetables that slowly simmers down into a beautiful onsen of flavor and comfort. 2-3 Shiohamachō, Sasebo 857-0876

photo Patrick Maguire

Why not liven up your winter with a night (or two) on the town? Nick Mejia and Melisa Ferrigno lay out the perfect evening itineraries for Sasebo and Urakami, while Kate Williams and Dominic Balasuriya share their top picks from Saza and Tsushima

G-Rock With a full stomach and a warm heart, end the night by heading to bar G-Rock. Located in Sailor Town, the bar is very popular with foreign customers. The bar staff will be more than happy to let you spin the drink wheel, and whether you spin up a “death shot” or a “guillotine shot,” you are sure to have an (un)forgettable time! 3-15 Sakaemachi, Sasebo 857-0054

Explore Urakami Melisa Ferrigno


he Urakami Station/University Hospital area in Nagasaki City is dotted with restaurants, izakaya, and karaoke shops to entertain the commuters and the local student population. Stop off here if you want to get away from the bustling crowds in Nagasaki city center and explore some hip alternatives. Public Bar Furari Just a ten-minute walk from Urakami Station, Furari attracts a wide age range and always boasts a friendly atmosphere. During happy hour, drinks are priced at only ¥300, and Furari also has an assortment of delicious food. Try their four cheese pizza, napolitan spaghetti, and Russian roulette takoyaki. One of those dumplings is filled with hot sauce! If you’re feeling a bit more traditional they provide a tasting flight of shochu or umeshu from across Kyushu. 10-20 Hamaguchi Machi, Nagasaki 852-8107

Heiji Yakitori This popular yakitori bar has two locations within the Urakami area, one beside Public Bar Furari. Head over with a friend or two and enjoy a nama beer with some delicious skewers, or call ahead for larger groups. Try some delicious bacon-wrapped tomatoes, crispy chicken skin, or some delectable chicken thighs. They also offer a variety of grilled vegetables for non-meat eaters. 10-19 Hamaguchi Machi, Nagasaki 852-8107 2-5 Hirano Machi, Nagasaki 852-8117

Irish Pub Templebar At Templebar you’ll find plenty of homey comforts. Grab a seat at the bar or come with a group and take a table. For a taste of home, sample the fish and chips and determine for yourself if they’re up to scratch. Also available are classics like roast beef, chicken and chips, pizza, and an assortment of sausages. Guinness is available on tap (of course!), along with a variety of liquors and fresh fruit cocktails. 12-12 Hamaguchi Machi, Nagasaki 852-8107 nagazasshi | January/February 2017


Saza Gem Kate Williams Heaven’s Tavern A few minutes from Saza Station, there is a hidden inaka gem: Heaven’s Tavern. Established in 2014, it has built a reputation for having the best cocktails in Northern Nagasaki. Personal recommendations are the White Russian (Kahlua and Russian vodka with cream), and the Darjeeling Cooler (a sweet, fruity cocktail made with tea liqueur). Other popular favorites are Old Fashioned (bourbon, bitters and water with a citrus twist), White Lady (gin, Triple Sec and lemon) and Barbara (a chocolatey blend of spirits). Heaven’s Tavern also serves a range of food, from excellent pasta dishes to more traditional Japanese restaurant fare. The fried oysters (kakifurai) are heartily recommended during oyster season! 771-1 Hatsuwamen, Saza-cho, Kitamatsuura-gun 857-0341

Tsushima Surprise Dominic Balasuriya Kazeneya Step through Kazeneya’s grungy entrance, and you’ll find yourself in one of the warmest, coziest bars on Tsushima. Kazeneya’s subdued lighting, wood paneling, and cool, easy mix of Western and Japanese music have made it a favorite place to unwind. photo Dominic Balasuriya Complementing an extensive range of imported spirits, the signature Yamaneko Sunrise cocktail uses local shochu to create a drink that’s easy on the palate, but not too sweet. Kazeneya specializes in side-dishes designed to accompany a great drink, with the cheese and meat appetizers and thincrust pizzas sure to please. The yamaimo (mountain potato) teppanyaki is a delicious combination of yamaimo, cabbage and egg served on a hotplate that’s perfect for winter. For dessert, the ice cream pie is a favorite: vanilla ice cream surrounded by flaky pastry, topped with berry sauce. 1021 Izuharamachi Tabuchi, Tsushima 817-0023

pass the N3 call mother more

Make 2017

Your start on my short-story work on that beach bod

listen to new music go see more things


do a half-marathon eat less Fam-Mart

photo Jamaal Rowe

Jamaal Rowe describes how he completed the Sasebo Ultra Walk Rally, and lays out some tips for how to achieve your goals this year


t’s that time of year again - New Year’s resolution time. According to Forbes Magazine, only 8% of us achieve what we set out to. However, achieving your New Year’s resolution isn’t impossible. Last year, I completed one of the biggest physical challenges of my life through three steps – desire, goal setting, and persistence.

Desire The completion of any goal begins with a desire. Last spring, I decided to take part in the Sasebo Ultra Walk Rally, an event where 1000 people have 24 hours to walk from Sasebo to Shimabara – a distance of 105km. Before coming to Japan I promised myself I’d experience as much as I could, so this immediately made it onto my list of things to complete. The completion of this walk had become nagazasshi | January/February 2017

a desire of mine, but I soon realized that this was no small challenge. I had to prepare. But how on earth do you prepare for a 105km walk? This led me to the next step.

Goal setting The importance of setting clear goals is echoed by successful people around the world, and for good reason. All successful people set goals! And that’s not all. They stick to them. The reason why many people fail in their New Year’s resolutions is because they don’t set goals, or they set huge, unachievable ones. Naively, I had no real idea of how long 105km was when I signed up for the walk, until I looked it up on Google – 65 miles. I almost shrieked. I tried to console myself by saying it was only walking, and that, unlike running,


walking was easy. Fortunately, a friend outlined with clear goals, persist until interceded and suggested that we make a you accomplish what you set out to. plan and start training. Although this may be easier said than done, the good news is that persistence After I got my head around how is a state of mind, and that a lack of ridiculous training for a walk sounded, persistence can be overcome by effort– we decided to sit down and plan out as I learned in my time of need. some routes we could walk to help prepare us for this massive challenge. On the day of the walk, I was confident We started by setting a goal of walking due to my previous victories. However, 21km, which we did quite comfortably. something terrible happened that had Then, over the next few weeks we never happened on any of the practice gradually increased the distance of our walks – rain, and a lot of it. I was soaked walks, steadily way before creeping closer I had even to the ultimate reached 30km, I walked through goal of 105km. but despite the rain, and I walked this, I was through the night. I wasn’t Setting goals determined. prepared to give up. and increasing I changed my them slowly socks and really helped continued walking in my soaked clothes. me to keep motivated. I learned that I walked through the rain, and I walked the most important thing, no matter through the night. I wasn’t prepared what, is to start small. Starting small to give up. Even as my feet burned and is essential to preventing burnout. If my hips creaked, I continued to keep I had started practicing by trying to in mind a clear image of me arriving in walk a 64km course, I would have been Shimabara. exhausted, disheartened, and ready to call the whole thing a waste of time. No matter what, I knew that as long as I However, finishing the initial 21km kept persisting I would eventually arrive course gave me a much needed sense of in Shimabara. And it was this state of accomplishment and confidence to tackle mind that helped me to complete the more. 105km Ultra Walk Rally. A walk I’ll NEVER do again, but will probably talk Goal setting is an important part of about for the rest of my life. making sure you stay on the path to success, whatever that path is. Whatever Desire, goal setting, and persistence your ultimate goal for 2017, start small and raise the bar steadily until you get to – these three things definitely helped me to complete my goal, and I hope they will where you desire. work for you too. Persistence Happy New Year, and best of luck with Never give up! Once you have your desire your resolutions! n


January/February 2017 | nagazasshi

Nihon(go) on the Go あけましておめでとうございます!Happy New Year, everyone!

Let’s kick off this year’s first “Nihongo on the Go” with a toast. Everyone, grab a drink! How, you ask? Well, read on… ______ を一つ下さい。 ______ wo hitotsu kudasai. One ______, please.

This is the easiest way to order a drink in Japan. Just insert the name of your beverage in the blank, then sit back and wait for your tasty refreshment. Need some おすすめ (osusume - recommendations)?

生ビール (namabiru - beer) - also simply called “nama.” Ordering this will get you a glass of draft house beer, generally Suntory, Kirin or Asahi. Foreign beers are usually only available in a 瓶 (bin - bottle) or a 缶 (kan - can). 日本酒 (nihonshu) - Japanese rice wine, or sake. In the winter try it hot by ordering an 熱燗 (atsukan). 焼酎 (shochu) - a Kyushu favorite, is made from barley (麦 mugi), potato (芋 - imo) or rice (米 - kome) and usually cut with water (水割り - mizuwari) or hot water (お湯割り oyuwari) in the winter. 焼酎 differs from 日本酒 in that it is distilled, not fermented, and usually much stronger. Mix it with carbonated water and flavored syrups to make 酎ハイ (chu hai). 梅酒 (umeshu) - plum wine. Order this on the rocks (ロック rokku) or with soda (ソーダ割り - sodawari).

When picking up drinks from the コンビニ (konbini - convenience stores) or スーパー (supa - supermarkets), watch out for beer flavored liquors (発泡酒 - happoshu) and non-alcoholic beers (ノンアルコール). Now that you’ve got your drink, 乾杯 (kanpai - cheers)!

Dan Cohen & Will Morgan

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Nagazasshi 9.4  

Don't hide under your kotatsu all winter! Get out on the town and experience what makes Nagasaki shine with our jammed packed new issue.

Nagazasshi 9.4  

Don't hide under your kotatsu all winter! Get out on the town and experience what makes Nagasaki shine with our jammed packed new issue.