Tag Archives: nagasaki

Back to work…..part one

All good things come to an end, and yeah my holiday was such a good one, that I feel like I’ve never left….

Since I was too busy to visit my home country, the Netherlands, I decided to the next best thing: visit Nagasaki. For the folks unknown with history of Nagasaki before 1945; Nagasaki was the only trading spot where foreigners were allowed to deal with the Japanese.  Not on the mainland though, there was a small island set up were the “gaikokujin” could live and set up shop. The Dutch were among the first who had the privilege to live and work there.

Still now the Dutch/ Portuguese and British influences linger in the busy city of Nagasaki. Nowhere in japan can you find as many churches  as here for example

07-IMG_8626To say that Nagasaki is a beautiful city would be a blatant lie, no Nagasaki doesn’t have the serene beauty of Kyoto, and it doesn’t have the neon “in your face” light show of Tokyo, but when you go up the hills surrounding Nagasaki and look down your heart will skip a beat…especially at night…just the city as a whole is just not that attractive.

Which doesn’t mean that Nagasaki should only be observed from far…far from that (you see what I did there..) it has some really nice spots which makes this city worth putting on your list.

02-IMG_8563The food in Nagasaki is absolutely awsome, if you have the chance you should try the kakuninman, a piece of boiled pork inside a steamed bun…..I’m drooling writing this..

or the famous chanpon noodles….

Just this dish makes it worth coming to Nagasaki!

The missus insisted we that we also visit mount Unzen, the volcano responsible for the deadliest outburst in Japan…but what I’ve learned over the years is that her “kudasai” (please) doesn’t really have the same meaning as my kudasai. So up we went.

Once you leave the city behind you’re met by a beautiful view of mountains, sea sides and forests…this is the Japan of the new years’ cards, it’s absolutely beautiful, and don’t worry if you’re scared of driving in a foreign country with signs in Kanji…google navigation gets you everywhere!

The dolphins were waiting for us when we arrived in Unzen, good chaps they were indeed.

11-IMG_8793Truth to be told, we went on a dolphin viewing trip, which was totally worth it, more than 300 dolphins gathered around our boat and I’m sure one winked at me!

Than the rain of the upcoming typhoon started to hose down on us so we moved to our hotel had a delicious meal a great bath (hot spring) .

Next up: Sasebo! (part 2)

JWS is going to Nagasaki!

After months of hard work, serving loads of satisfied customers, we are finally taking a well deserved break.

Most of our staff will spend the holiday at home of visit their “jikka” or hometown to visit and pray at the graves of they ancestors. After all it’s Obon holiday, a time when the spirits return home for a short visit.

I will take my family to Kyushu island (we live on Honshu, the “main” island) and after 24 years of thinking of going, finally visit Nagasaki and observe all its beauty!

For the second year in a row, the Japanese representative for the Miss Universe competition hails from Nagasaki, with last year’s crown holder being Keiko Tsuji. As cool as that is, the real story of the year is that the 2015 representative, Ariana Miyamoto, is half Japanese.


Mmm maybe not the kind of beauty the missus has in mind, I think her preferences are more like this…

I guess I better follow my wife’s lead on this….or should I?

Besides visiting Nagasaki’s downtown we will also drive (rental car) to mount Unzen, a volcano which most recently active from 1990 to 1995  and a large eruption in 1991 generated a pyroclastic flow that killed 43 people, including three volcanologists. In 1792, the collapse of one of its several lava domes triggered a mega tsunami that killed about 15,000 people in Japan’s worst-ever volcanic-related disaster….

That’s my wife’s idea of an active vacation…running for your life while being chased by molten lava and suffocating ash..

I had this in mind..

I see myself rolling on the beach, drinking a cold beer after cold beer working on my biceps.

Being a Dutchman, of course visiting Nagasaki has some special meaning, the first foreigners who were allowed to trade with the Japanese were the Dutch. They weren’t allowed to set foot on mainland, instead they were placed on a small island called Dejima.

The Dutch not only introduced spices and other products, they also brought the German doctor Siebold who introduced western medicine.

The Dutch influences still linger in Nagasaki, a bridge

a manhole


a randosel (ランドセル)derived from the Dutch word ransel. This a bag used by elementary school students.

And.. an attraction park:

Nagasaki Huis ten Bosch

Yes it’s Holland….but then smalller, with fewer cows, no coffee shops and shorter folks. It’s basically how MY perfect Holland would be like…(since I’m kinda short, not a big fan of cows and don’t smoke pot), now if my family and friends would be so kind to move from the lowlands to here, then it would be really perfect!

Our one week holiday doesn’t mean that japanwebshopping is completely closed, all ongoing transactions will be handled by a part time employee who has no family, friends and life, and request will still be accepted. The only part of the business which is down for the week is the “shop on on location” part, (physical shopping that is).

I will update this blog while I’m in Nagasaki during my 2 hour breakfast( I love buffet breakfasts)

We wish you all a happy summer holiday!

Nagasaki chanpon ramen….it’s so good!