Beer Garden

Did you know that Japanese literally love the Beer Garden concept and imported it in mass from Germany?

From June to September, so many restaurants and most hotels offer a 2-hour package with all you drink ! they have partnership with the famous brands and depending on the location, offer random junk food for up to elegant dinners. I tried a number of them and it is fun. This is where you see families, salary men, relaxed and friendly people in numbers.

I enjoy one in Tokyo Bay, very classy with a Thai food theme in August, the place was full of families and we enjoyed a nice evening although not quite comparable to what you would find in Frankfurt or Munich!

Nagasaki

Not sure anyone falls in love with Nagasaki at first sight however it has a lot to offer.

First, it is on the seaside, and it is surrounded with hills which makes it an attractive spot for me at least. the city lives out of tourism mostly thanks to cruise ships coming every day from Mainland China with 1000’s of visitors. Mitsubishi has a massive construction site there too and that drives the business.

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I found a pretty city with the Glover Gardens, the tiny streets, enjoying castella. It has a special feeling as in the history, anything that was not Japanese was called Dutch. therefore you have a lot of Holland this and Holland that but there is a Dutch connection and you may visit Huis Ten Bosch or have a look at some of the flemish style houses in the historical center. During the isolation period for Japan, Nagasaki was the only place still open to the world. This is why the castella cake has an inspiration from Portugal for example.

Because of the Chinese influence, the typical meal in Nagasaki Shippoku looks alike a Chinese dinner with plenty of food or a rolling table. But they also have Turoku Raisu (Turkish rice), Castella, oysters, seafood, champon, or Nagasaki beef.

I will go again as many of the sites are in distance from the city and you cannot walk around but need bus or even train

 

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Communication (or not)

So far, I take this situation as an opportunity to keep calm and silent most of the time and work on myself! Nobody understands me and I understand nobody and it makes me laugh!

For example, so far, I cannot make the difference between an add in my mailbox for a restaurant delivery service and the electricity bill, all are colourful and written in full Japanese. Ordering food at a restaurant can be challenging since in most cases I cannot read the menu. So  I have overcome the challenge with

  • Going to small family restaurants with 10 seats because there is no menu and you get what there is that day. In Japan, it is always good and clean, so why bother
  • Going to restaurants I have been on other occasions and stick to what I liked there, but it may become boring after a while
  • Benchmark with the price range
  • Take the set menu, always a good one for lunch, prices are very very good at lunch, you can get a full lunch for 1000Yens

And I learn every day of course so more to come