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Golf In Japan Podcast Episode #9

KC, Damon, and Pro Joe discuss Kyoto Golf essentials - like being a geisha. Tour news is back with Pro Joe, and inevitably the biggest week on the golfing calendar is here: Masters week, get all of our predictions for this weekend, and hear some weird made-up stories from KC. All that and more! Pro

by gij-admin

Nagasaki Travel Guide

by Golf In Japan

Nestled in the southern reaches of the Kyushu region, Nagasaki emerges as a breathtakingly beautiful locale. Historically, it served as a crucial trade artery connecting Japan with its neighboring Asian countries. Today, it stands as a beacon for cultural and historical exploration. Comprising a staggering 971 islands, Nagasaki boasts a landscape characterized by rugged mountains, uninhabited isles, and stretches of unspoiled coastline.

Renowned for its natural splendor, this prefecture boasts 23 exquisite golf courses, considered among the finest in Japan. Beyond the greens, we'll embark on an exploration that transcends golf, delving into the captivating sights and immersive experiences that define this must-visit destination.

Where To Visit?

Nagasaki is an ideal destination for golf enthusiasts with a wide array of interests. Beyond the golf course, there's an abundance of activities to explore—whether it involves immersing oneself in the local culture or relishing outdoor experiences.

For a deep dive into Nagasaki City's rich cultural heritage, head straight to the Tera-machi Dori area, where you can explore numerous intricately designed temples. Among these, the Kofukuji Temple stands out—a 17th-century architectural marvel and Japan’s oldest Chinese temple. Keep an eye out for its vividly adorned red gate; it's a distinctive landmark impossible to overlook.

Nature enthusiasts seeking to bask in the region's splendid weather should venture beyond the city limits. The Goto Islands, nestled within Saikai National Park and steeped in historical significance, offer a haven for sunbathing and a playground for marine activities like snorkeling. Alternatively, Iki Island beckons with its pristine white sand beaches and ample opportunities for leisurely fishing.

A must-visit site during your time in Nagasaki is the Nagasaki Peace Park. This expansive memorial, a poignant symbol of the pursuit of global peace, stands at the epicenter of the atomic bombing that occurred on August 9, 1945, during World War II. Comprising five distinct zones—the Zone of Hopes, the Zone of Prayers, the Zone of Learning, the Sports Zone, and the Plaza Zone—the park hosts notable attractions such as the Peace Statue, the Fountain of Peace, a collection of Peace Symbols from across the world, and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum.

The Flavours of Nagasaki

For about two centuries, Japan adhered to a foreign relations policy known as Sakoku, or the ‘closed country’ policy, isolating itself from the outside world. Throughout this era, Nagasaki remained the portal to the wider world. Consequently, the prefecture’s culinary landscape embodies a fusion of domestic traditions and global influences.

One dish that perfectly encapsulates this diverse culinary heritage is shippoku. This banquet-style dining experience presents an assortment of Chinese, Japanese, and Western delicacies laid out on a circular table for communal enjoyment. At select shippoku restaurants, patrons also have the opportunity to relish performances by Nagasaki Kenban geisha, adding an element of cultural enrichment to the meal.

Among the regional favorites are sara udon and chanpon, both influenced by Chinese culinary practices. These dishes feature a medley of noodles, sautéed vegetables, and seafood atop the base. The noodles vary in texture, ranging from soft to crunchy, and in thickness. Typically, sara udon is served on a plate, while chanpon finds its presentation in a bowl filled with savory broth.

Festivals and Happenings

Nagasaki commemorates its rich history and vibrant culture through an array of festivals held throughout the year, ensuring that visitors are likely to encounter something extraordinary no matter the season. The festivities kick off with Nagasaki City's grand celebration of the Chinese New Year, boasting Japan’s largest lantern festival. Adorning the cityscape with over 15,000 lanterns, this spectacle, accompanied by cultural performances, illuminates late January to mid-February.

Shortly after, the quaint Dutch-inspired town of Huis Ten Bosch hosts Japan’s premier tulip festival, spanning from mid-February to mid-April. The Huis Ten Bosch Tulip Festival treats visitors to an enchanting display of diverse tulip varieties set within this Holland-themed park.

August 9th marks the solemn Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony, an occasion to honor the victims of the devastating atomic bombing. Alternatively, in October, revelers can indulge in fresh sake and explore the Breweries Tour Festival held in the charming town of Arie.

What to take back?

For the ideal souvenir to take home, indulge in the classic castella. This sweet and moist delicacy, a rendition of the Portuguese pound cake, made its debut in the 16th century through Portuguese traders. Over time, the castella has evolved into a uniquely Nagasaki creation, encapsulating flavors and traditions distinctive to the region such as macha.

Where to play?

As always, we have compiled a list of courses recommended by the Golf in Japan faithful:

7. Goto Country Club

6. Sasebo International Country Club

5. Passage Kotoumi Golf Club

4. Nagasaki Park Country Club

3. Unzen Golf Course

2. Nomozaki Golf Club

1. Huis ten Bosch Country Club

How to Get There

Traveling from Tokyo to Nagasaki offers two main transportation options. Board the shinkansen from Tokyo Station, passing through Hakata before reaching Nagasaki Station—a journey lasting approximately 7 hours. Alternatively, opt for a direct flight departing from Haneda Airport, with a travel time of 1 hour and 50 minutes, landing at Nagasaki Airport.

If starting from Osaka, the Shinkansen departing from Shin-Osaka Station, passing through Hakata en route to Nagasaki Station, provides a travel duration of about 4 hours and 25 minutes. Another swift option involves flying from Kansai International Airport directly to Nagasaki Airport, a mere 1 hour and 10-minute flight.