Nagasaki Travel Blog› entry 28 of 174 › view all entries
October 10th, 2009 – by: domnicella
I then spent a delightful (read: miserable travel hell) hour trying to track down the "superbly equipped, fluent in English, wonderfully helpful" tourist information office as decreed by the guidebook.
To give you a mental picture of this afternoon's debacle, it involved no fewer than SEVEN pedestrian walkways, all raised three flights of stairs above a very busy highway, and quite a few trips up and down these F'ing convenient little stairs, hauling the pack every step of the way.
As a last resort I went back to the station's own information office (I had been there initially and without any luck); although no English was spoken, I was finally able to communicate what I was looking for and happily one of the attendants had heard of the hostel. She handed me a flyer and a map and off I went. Easy as pie at that point.
My hostel is right on the smaller river that runs through Nagasaki, and is two blocks away from Temple Street. So called because it is lined with over a dozen temples. I visited the best-known (and closest!) temple first, one of the two that were constructed in the Chinese fashion and that bookend either end of the row of temples.
Happily, I stumbled upon a nice grocery store as soon as I turned the corner. I have GOT to stop going into grocery stores when I'm starving. I come out with loads more food than I can eat (or carry, for that matter), and since everything is so cheap, I buy two of everything. At least. The final bill is never cheap.
From there, I hauled my loot through the shopping arcade looking for somewhere to eat. The less that is said about dinner the better. Suffice it to say I foolishly heeded the advice of the girl from earlier in the afternoon and the dudes at reception, all of whom hailed the local Chinese cuisine. (Chinese temples, Chinese food, they even have a Chinatown -- this place is serious about their Chinese heritage.) At first I scoffed and walked around trying to find someplace Japanese. I should have stuck to that sentiment. But instead, after finding only nice pricey places or fast food chains, I finally forfeited and popped into a Chinese restaurant next to my hostel (which came highly recommended, no less). Ugh. I ordered "champon," the local specialty, which is Chinese soup with everything and the kitchen sink in it.
Thankfully though, I have since consoled myself with the biggest mochi I've seen yet. Snagged a whole bag of these tasty pieces of heaven in the grocery store, and had one as my dessert, along with the rest of my sake from last night. YUM. At least I was able to salvage something in the food department. And on that note -- I have two HUMONGOUS (the biggest I've ever seen!) Asian pears to look forward to and an entire bunch of bananas. Not to mention a fresh rice ball and some pickled veggies for train snacks tomorrow, so my stomach doesn't eat itself like it did today. Big eyes, here I come!
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