Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Touring Nagasaki with my host and eating delicious Champon

Today was yet again a successful day I think. I am a bit thrown out of loop by the absence of internet at the house since
I can't post these blogs and specially my daily videos when I want to.

I woke up at around 10 today and felt a bit tired as usual since I usually don't go to bed early.
We skipped breakfast since we were going to eat at Hiromis University where we were going to go from the house since she had
to make a test at around 1 p.m. and it would only take an hour and we had made a plan to go and tour the city a bit together today.
We took a couple of buses and trams and arrived at her university around 11.45 or so and went to the cafeteria to get something to eat.

It reminded me a lot of last months visit to Nagoya University and remembered the cafeteria there. There I ate some curry
and this time I ate some curry soba. Just a funny coincidence I think.

After finishing eating Hiromi took me to the library where I could use the computer for the hour she would be gone.
I wished her good luck as she left and I started searching for new places to stay for next months travels.
I still have a lot of places I am going to visit but I don't have any accommodation there yet.

I didn't find much but as Hiromi came back she helped me to book one hostel in Yakushima island where I was planning on going on the
3rd of August. It is a very famous island and is included as a UNESCO heritage site.

We then went to take the bus and tram towards Meganebashi or Spectacles bridge which I wanted to go and see it.
It is basically just a normal bridge built in a European-ish style. We walked along the canal and I found it very relaxing and
peaceful. It is a great place for a walk and I bet it is beautiful in the mornings and evenings.

From there we continued on to a shopping arcade just to look around since we didn't have much planed. But I had fun since I was not alone.
We went to the Don Quijote store there and browsed around.

After finishing our little tour there we walked to the Sofukuji temple. It is known for it's picturesque red entrance.

The surrounding area is called Teramachi which literately means temple town. We didn't tour around it but
went straight towards the china town area where I visited yesterday.
It was already getting late and we were hungry and I wanted to taste the famous "champon" thatI had heard so much about. It is basically a ramen like dish but made with different type of noodles and it has cabbage and various other things added to the broth that you would not find in traditional or Japanese style ramen. It is said that a student in Nagasaki came up with the dish in order to serve it to a Chinese student who was studying abroad in Nagasaki at that time.
He wanted to make it look like a Chinese dish but used the ingredients that he had at hand at that moment. It became very popular afterwards in Nagasaki as a "Chinese" dish.
Champon (left)

So I had some of that and it tasted GREAT! It was very delicious and filling.
After finishing eating we went to the Starbucks nearby to just sit and relax for a while before Hiromi had to go to work.
I in my turn went to the internet cafe to spend my time there waiting on her to finish her shift. I checked out some accommodation options and places to stay but found only a couple that and booked them. Still have a lot "empty" spaces in my calender before I leave Japan.

I sat there for 3.5 hours and the time flew by. I like the internet cafes since they are generally very cozy and they have a soft drink bar from where you can drink as much as you like. There is usually sodas, energy drinks, coffee, tea etc.

When my time was up I went outside to wait for Hiromi and she came pretty soon and we then left together to take the tram and taxi back home.
Tomorrow it is time for Beppu which is known for it's hot-springs.