A family day in Nagasaki

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Following my interview in the Nishi Nippon newspaper  of January 1st, I was contacted by the Nagasaki Prefecture's Industry, Food and Local products promotion Department. They wanted to invite me to discover the regional specialties.

Abris-bus fruit de Nagasaki
A tomato-shapped bus stop in Hisahaya, Nagasaki

After receiving this kind invitation, I started thinking about the day when I could go there and after thinking about my move and my already planned Hokkaido trip, I decided on February 20th. It fell perfectly to see the Nagasaki Lantern Festival !
February is one of the best times to visit this city with this great festival. It is very new (established in 1994), however it is the second largest festival in the city and attracts hundreds of thousands of people. Hakata Station is even decorated with lanterns for this occasion ! I didn't have the opportunity to go yet so it was the greatest day to go.

On the 20th, I rode on the  Kamome express train bound for Nagasaki city. When I arrived, I was greeted by my contact of the Nagasaki prefecture as well as his wife and three children aged 13, 9 and 7. As we were at the weekend and as he kindly took on his day off to show me around he decided it would be nice to visit together. So I was about to spend a day exploring Nagasaki in family!

Soon, I sympathized with everybody, especially with the wife as well as their two daughters. We started with the covered streets and walked to the  Iwasaki Honpo store (岩崎本舗) selling delicious kakuni-manju (角煮まんじゅう, pork bun ) . Right after we were on the Dejima port for lunch at a fish restaurant . Yes, just after  our kakuni-manju swallowed we went to have lunch  The day promised rich culinary discoveries.  I chose a classic rice bowl with tuna but I was able to try a new local specialty : Goto island udon noodles. What a discovery! They were an incredible sweetand soft. If I had been very hungry , I could finish the enormous portion that we were served.

A kakuni-manju to start the day
Le port de Nagasaki
Nagasaki port
Menu kaisendon : bol de riz au thon rouge, Nagasaki

While discussing, I expressed my desire to go see the fruits shaped bus stops in Isahaya city. Discovered in 2011 from the train , I had almost forgotten until last summer and I was waiting for warmer days to reproduce the nice walk that a fellow French blogger made. Since I knewnagasaki city quite well and the Lantern Festival hadn't begun yet, theprefecture person decided to take us to Hisahaya ! During the journey, I talked to the mom and I could also watch for the first time in my life Hannah Montana whose children are addicted in. In any case it was weird to see American dubbed in Japanese, especially with all this fake laughs that Americans love.

The journey passed rather quickly and we arrived near the bus stops. They are obviously super- cute and we had fun to try to find all the kind of fruits : tomato, melon, etc ... These bus stops were built over 30 years ago and we could see that, especially oxidation because the sea which  just across the road. I was captivated by the view from the road where are the giant fruits : a breathtaking view of the Ariake Sea and Mount Unzen... which was behind a thick layer of clouds.

On our way back, we made a stop in Unzen city to eat delicious pastry in a very cute cafe called Neo Classic Clover. I ate a rare cheese and blueberries tart which was the most delicious thing ever in the adjacent café area. With its old dark wood furniture and doilies, it was just like being at my grandma's house. The shop also sold biscuits, madeleines and other delicacies to take away and everything was absolutely adorable. I really regret to not bought anything. Well, it will give me an excuse to come back ( I know I always say that).
La mer Ariake et le mont Unzen derrière les nuages
Mount Unzen is hidding
Abris-bus fruit de Nagasaki
A giant melon in Hiyahaya
Tarte fromage frais - myrtilles chez Neo Classic Clover, Nagasaki
Rare cheese and blueberries tart
Pâtisserie Neo Classic Clover, Nagasaki

Back in town, we send off their son to his basketball practice before going to the Lantern Festival! We arrived just for the parade and then we we went to see some lanterns and a dragon dance demonstration. There were a lot of people. Since we came auite late the crowd was impressive and it was quite painful. I couldn't even seen anything of the dragon dance as we were behind and it was also impossible to take decent pictures. The younger children felt tired too and she wanted to go to the Megane-bashi to see the carps. I jumped on that chance to escape from the crowd.
We quickly arrived near the bridge and we walked along the river by jumping from stone to stone. A nice lady offered us carp seeds we have happily thrown it to the colorful fish. We also had fun crossing the river on non-submerged rocks and looked for those heart shaped while laughing. It was a great time.

Parade du festival des lanternes de Nagasaki
The parade
Nagasaki is full of charms
Festival des lanternes de Nagasaki

Festival des lanternes de Nagasaki
Some lanterns from the festival
Festival des lanternes de Nagasaki

Megane-bashi Nagasaki
Pierres du Megane-bashi, Nagasaki
Will you find the heart-shapped rock ? And the sock-shapped one ? 

Les carpes de Nagasaki
Nagasaki's carps
Coucher de soleil sur Nagasaki

To end this gastronomico-touristic day, my one day family  took me to dinner at a famous chawanmushi restaurant (茶碗蒸し, Japanese egg custard), called Yosso . This place is so famous that there is always many people waiting in front of it. In fact we tried to go in the morning but there were already about fifty people queuing. And the restaurant wasn't open yet !
The chawanmushi is a dish that I love so I was excited to go there even if I was not hungry (I guess you understood that I am someone who doesn't eat that much. I ordered a chawanmushi and a trhee colors (pork, egg and fish eggs) rice bowl set.  The chawanmushi was delicious, the best I've eaten in my life. And it was just huge! I really recommend this place.

After the meal, the person of the prefecture handed me a packet with some Nagasaki noodles and a lot of explanations on these products. it was too kind ! As it was already late, we separated after dinner. I wanted to see lanterns at night but I decided to go back to Fukuoka as it was taking 2 hours by train. I tried to shoot the lanternes I saw on my way back to the station.

Chawanmushi chez Yossô
Dinner at Yosso
Festival des lanternes de Nagasaki

Festival des lanternes de Nagasaki
Chinatow's lanterns...
Festival des lanternes de Nagasaki
and megane-bashi ones.
This family day made ​​me feel good. I wasn't considered as a guest but as a true family member. I can't thank them enough for their hospitality and I hope to see them again.
About Nagasaki, every minute there reinforces my love for his place. It is an amazing city that shoudn't be summed only to its atomic past.

This day could be possible thanks to the kind invitation of the Nagasaki Prefecture's Industry, Food and Local products promotion Department. I was free to write whatever I wanted on this article.


Neo Classic Clover (ネオクラシッククローバー) | hom page (jp)

Adress : 21-1 Azumacho Furushiromyo, Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture 859-1104
Phone : 0957-38-2013
Prices : cakes from 220 yens
Opening hours : everyday from 8am to 9pm

Seafood market Nagasaki Port Dejima Wharf shop (海鮮市場 長崎港 出島ワーフ店) | home page (jp)

Adress : 〒850-0862 Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki, 出島町1ー1
Phone : 095-811-1677
Prices : around 800 yens
Opening hours : everyday from 11am to 11pm

Yossô (吉宗) | home page (jp)

Adress : 〒850-0853 Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki, 浜町8-9
Phone : 095-821-0001
Prices : from 756 yens for a chawanmushi
Opening hours: everyday from 11am to 9pm

How about this posts?