The first day in Nagasaki was mostly covered in my post about going to the doctor, but it didn’t include lots of stuff, including arriving in the really cool “Kamome” limited express train, which had a glass front that we could look through. That was a really fun train. The first class seats were huge and leather and it was a really fun train ride. I bought a bento box in at the Shin Tosu station, which was actually ok.
After going to the eye doctor, we came back and Kiddo napped for 2 more hours. We just wasted the time by taking advantage of the free internet and watch Top Chef Masters. To be honest it was pretty nice. Finally, it was time to go out and get some dinner, but we had waited so long that a lot of the things we wanted to try were closed. (Noodle shops, in particular, often close between 5 and 6:30 for the day.) We headed towards the Shianbashi area, which we later learned is the nightlife area of Nagasaki, not exactly the spot well known for EATING. Well. We would soon discover that.
We couldn’t agree on what to do. I wanted to get steamed buns and go back to the room (I was feeling supremely lazy, it was a nice room, and Kiddo wanted me to carry her). Hubby wanted sushi. So we tried a sushi bar. They spoke no English, but we told them we would have 1 sushi plate and 1 sashimi plate. Guys. That fish was so close to being inedible that we didn’t eat half of it. It was crunchy. What is it with Japan and the crunchy meat and fish?! I felt like gagging but I thought about finishing it just as not to embarrass ourselves as the crazy foreigners that don’t actually want to eat raw fish but they order it anyway. Hubby convinced me it was fine, it was inedible; we could leave with our heads held high. Then we got the bill. It was 3600 Yen, or almost $35! For maybe 18 small pieces of stringy, crunchy fish. Blegh.
After we hustled out the door, we decided to go with my original plan of buying steamed buns from a counter at the end of the street. We bought ten, which was the fewest you could buy, plus a couple gyoza or Japanese dumplings. We stopped at 7-11 for some sweets and went to the room. The Japanese dumplings were the blandest item of food I have had here in Japan. And I have eaten white rice, plan, some days. But unlike rice, they had a weird texture of the filling and were also mostly inedible. You would take a bite and your brain would be like, “Nope, no nutrients in here, are you sure you didn’t mean to take a bite of that piece of paper over there?” And then you would lose the will to eat. Luckily I´d tried a new Japanese dessert called warabimochi, which are mochi squares made with tapioca/potato/bracken root flour and dusted with toasted soybean flour, and are smooth and cool and delicious.
We watched the end of Revolutionary Road, which I mistakenly said I thought I had seen and should be okay to have on while a kid was in the room, not really watching the TV. Whoa, I was wrong. I did a lot of “oh, hey, look, here is Mickey Mouse! Wanna draw?” so that I could see it through to the end. I probably fell asleep the first time I saw it.
The next day we woke up and it was raining. We had no desire to go outside so we didn’t, for hours. We just played with some cool Japanese toys we got and hung around. Finally, I got hungry and we went to the station to reserve the seats for our next train journey. We ate Udon for three for $13 and were really happy about eating for so little money at a restaurant.
We ended up at Dejima, a reconstruction of a Dutch populated little island that was the connection point between the West and Japan until it opened up for real in the 19th century. I had no idea the Dutch East India Company was active in Japan, nor that Nagasaki was the center of this activity, and I really enjoyed going through the exhibits.
Hubby´s stomach wasn’t well and I was feeling a little off too, so we poked around Chinatown and then headed back to the hotel. I got dinner from 7-11 (160 Yen for a really good bowl of pour-in-hot-water ramen!) at 9pm, saw all the hookers out on our street (ah, so that is why the hotel had several signs saying “no outside guests allowed in the rooms” and “all guests must register at the front desk”!), and headed home to relax, which involved watching YouTube videos involving cats and race cars and anything else Kiddo deemed interesting. We got a complaint that we were too loud. WHOOPS! I guess us dancing around the room was a step too far.
All in all, we enjoyed Nagasaki, but were disappointed with the food. We had meant to try the local flavor in the tapas that are Japanese, Chinese, and European that are only found in Nagasaki, but we weren’t in the mood and waited too long for dinner the first night. Oh well, we will just have to go back some day.