Nagasaki is connected to Fukuoka via the JR line. JR Line train tickets are significantly cheaper than tickets for Shinkansen because it travels at a slower speed.
We decided to take a day trip down to Nagasaki during our trip to Fukuoka. If it were spring/summer, we would have headed down to places with the famous public hotsprings but the weather was to frigid!
Fat Man, a mock-up of the atomic bomb that detonated in Nagasaki
Despite our hungry tums, we immediately set out for the Atomic Bomb Museum as soon as we reached Nagasaki in the mid-morning. I don’t know about you but for me, I never really pondered over why atomic bombs had to be used to end the war. Perhaps it was the thoughts of retribution that made it seem logical to me then; that dropping these atomic bombs were a necessary evil to achieve the greater good.
Long exhibits tracing the devestation in Nagasaki and the heroic endeavours of many Japanese
Visiting this museum provided me with a more holistic view of the whole situation. It recounted the experiences of many civilians who lost loved ones overnight. It was difficult to imagine the amount of heat released that killed so many ( bottles were found melted into a clump!) when the atomic bomb first landed. More suffered and were subsequently killed by the damaging radiation from the atomic bombs. Doctors were suddenly faced with numerous patients who suffered symptoms of vomitting and loss of hair- sign sof leukemia.
Lining round the spiral entrance to the exhibits is a single piece of paper that was folded into numerous origami cranes. These origami cranes (折鶴 orizuru in Japanese) symbolise peace- in this caseI suppose, peace to the world. There is a touching story of a young girl, a victim of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, who folded cranes in hopes that she will survive. She never finished folding the 1000 cranes she hoped to complete but her friends completed it for her leaving a wreath of 1000 cranes at her deathbed. Now, origami cranes folded with colorful origami paper strung together into wreaths can be found all over the Nagasaki Atomic Museum and also at the Peace Park.
Peace Statute located in Nagasaki Peace Park which is near the hypocentre of the explosion
Chirashi from 吉宗 Yossou
We took a taxi down to Yossou from the Peace Park. I thought the yellow stuff was some form of noodles but no, it was actually shredded omelette. I liked it because of all the mirin and sugar added into it, just like how tamago is just that this is drier like our usual omelette.
Doesn’t it look just like noodles? We were misled by its appearance at first xD
This looked exactly like our hokkien pork belly but it was sweeter- I’m guessing sugar, mirin and sake 😉 Chopstick-tender, this was a lovely side dish to everything else in the set.
And the chawanmushi here is by far the best we’ve tried. Soft with a pudding-like consistency, chock-full of ingredients like mushrooms, ginkos, prawns, eel etc. The stock used was so flavourful ❤
The place was never too crowded but always just full. Old folks, young kids and adults flocked in and out quickly as the kitchen served food promptly without wasting much time. Some come alone and some with families but everyone leaves with a smile on their face and full tummies 😀
Of course you can’t leave Nagasaki without trying their famous castella cakes (カステラ, Kasutera). I think Fukusaya serves the best castella cakes in town. Here you see the original flavour, honey, which you can also buy from Fukuoka airport. The brown boxes you see in the background contain the chocolate flavour which I didn’t see in the airport.
Castella is made without any oils at all. It’s amazing how they managed to get such a smooth and perfectly browned top and a fluffy crumb. It looked just like a gold bar when we opened it!
At a grocery stall: now you know exactly who grew your vegetables!
I would have loved to spend more time in such a historical place but time was of the essence so we had to bid the sleepy town goodbye.
but before we left… we did some last minute shopping at the train station itself 😀