Heart-shaped Yusenpei ❤ “Happy Oyuppi”

15Jan 2016 tomocchi



Hello! It’s Tomocchi☆

A cute, heart-shaped Yusenpei has come out!

This is a new take on a staple souvenir sweet cracker from the Obama hot springs area





The calming likeness of “Oyuppi,” the Obama Hotspring area’s costumed mascot pictured above, adorns the yusenpei. The treat itself is crunchy with a gentle sweetness.❤



The original designer of the treat was Ms. Morisaki Yuki, a mother of three and the daughter of owners of the longstanding souvenir shop Shindou Senpeiten.



They still make every yusenpei by hand so that each one is cute and brightens your day.





They let me look at the workshop inside their store.

These are the machines that press the yusenpei.





Ms. Morisaki’s scissor-work is top-notch!

All the yusenpei came out identical even as she made them right before my eyes.





These kids’ size “BABY SENPEI” are quite new as well.

Ms. Morisaki said that her parenting experiences led her to the design. Each one is easy for kids to hold and has rounded corners, as opposed to the usually sharply defined corners of other senpei.





These are the traditional “Yusenpei.”

Inside this retro package are round yusenpei, each 10cm in diameter.


The only ingredients of yusenpei are eggs that were boiled in hot springs, flour, and sugar, so you know they can be given to kids without worrying about additives or preservatives ヾ(o´∀`o)ノ


These handmade yusenpei warm the heart.

Wouldn’t they make a great souvenir from Unzen?

I hear that they’re so popular that they sell out everyday before noon, so get yours while you can!





Shindou Senpeiten

862 Kitahon-machi, Obama-cho, Unzen city, Nagasaki Prefecture

TEL: 0957-74-2321

◆Heart-shaped Yusenpei “Happy Oyuppi” (Package of 6 for 330 yen)

◆BABY SENPEI (Package of 10 for 100 yen)

Yusenpei (Package of 15 for 540 yen)


Information on the Obama Onsen are is here at Nagasaki-tabinet↓


Hayamegawa Teahouse and Gallery

10Sep 2015 tomocchi

Hello! It’s me, Tomocchi☆
This time I’d like to introduce a relaxing shop in Nagasaki Prefecture’s Shimabara; a city of water springs and history.



In a shopping area near Shimabara Castle is Inohara’s Hardware Store (Inohara Kanamonoten) established 1877.




In the back of this store you’ll find the Hayamegawa Teahouse and Gallery.


If you have a little time while sight-seeing in Shimabara, I highly recommend this shop as a

place to take a rest and enjoy yourself.




Lunchtime is extra special when you can eat with a view of a lush green garden just after

a rainfall.


A family of Japanese pond turtles lives carefree in the garden pond. It’s said that those endangered critters can only live in the purest water. 



The “Ichijusansai” special set lunch (950 yen) is composed of seasonal ingredients from Shimabara and prepared with great care. The name means “one-soup and three-dishes” and brings to mind the idea of a balanced, wholesome meal. The menu rotates and there

are only 10 sets available per day.

Special care is taken to not over-peel the carrots or burdock root so that the nutrition in the

skin of the vegetables reaches the partaker.  



I found a whole pearl onion in my soup!

This lunch in which the genuine flavor of the ingredients can be fully enjoyed

revitalizes both body and soul☆



The menu also includes “Shimabara vegetable curry” (1,000 yen) among other delicious

and healthy fare that your body will delight in.





And of course the dessert is Shimabara’s famous “Kanzarashi” (450 yen)!

Small, sweet dumplings floating in simple syrup mixed with brown sugar makes for a treat

with a sweetness that’s smooth and nostalgic ❤





Near the shop entrance is a small, clear stream called “Hayamegawa.”

Many years ago, the shop owner Mr. Inohara turned an abundant natural spring into this

charming artificial river.



In the river live small crabs and killifish and in the summer you can even see the lights of

fireflies dancing on the water.



Everything on the menu of Hayamegawa Teahouse is made with this spring water.

It felt like the lunch made with this pure water would cleanse my body and soul (^-^)



Please stop by on your next trip to Shimabara♪






Hayamegawa Teahouse and Gallery

Address: (Inohara Kanamonoten) 912 Uenomachi, Shimabara City, Nagasaki Prefecture

Tel: 0957-62-3117

Open: 11:00〜18:00 (Last order at 17:30)

Closed: Every Wednesday and every third Thursday of the month.





Ichiba-Don at the Tsukimachi Market, Nagasaki’s Kitchen

11Aug 2015 tomocchi


Somewhere in downtown Nagasaki, a long line of people are queuing for lunch…

What are they here for?



The answer is ‘Ichiba-Don’ – this foodie event is held at lunchtime on every first and third Friday, in Tsukimachi Market (inside Meruka Tsukimachi), rightly known as the ‘kitchen’ of Nagasaki.





Sea bream, horse mackerel, octopus…

Here you can take your pick from seafood freshly caught in the waters of Nagasaki, and arrange them as a topping for your own rice bowl (donburi).

For between ¥500 and ¥1000, you can prepare a rice bowl fit for a king!



There is even free coffee and tea! (*≧∀≦*)




First, pay ¥100 and receive a bowl of nicely-cooked rice.

Then, buy whatever you want from the stalls in the market and lay it on the rice.



All 22 stores in the market participate in the Ichiba-Don scheme, so you can buy not only fish but also steak, fruit, side dishes, and much more. (´∀`)



This store is selling packs of sashimi (sliced raw fish) contained 4 or 5 slices, for just ¥110!



Homemade miso soup with horse-mackerel paste is just ¥80!

This cheap and tasty combo sells out in an instant!!



Watermelon production is booming in Nagasaki.

How about getting a sweet-looking one for dessert? ♪ 1 pack is ¥200.



The Ichiba-Don event started in October 2010.

At first, most of the customers were workers from nearby offices, but over time, word spread, popularity increased, and these days you can find many diners from outside of Nagasaki Prefecture or even from overseas!




Of course, it’s fine to go to Ichiba-Don on your own, but I recommend going with a friend or several, buying lots of things, and sharing! (^-^)





Ichiba-Don is held every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month, from 11:30 to 14:00.

Put it in your diary, adjust your schedule, and get yourself to Ichiba-Don for a delicious lunchtime experience!! ☆





Ichiba-Don at Meruka Tsukimachi
Dates: 1st and 3rd Fridays, every month
Times: 11:30 – 14:00
Place: Tsukimachi Market, B1 floor, Meruka Tsukimachi
Enquiries: Nagasaki Tsukimachi Market Cooperative
Address: 3-18 Tsukimachi, Nagasaki City
Tel: 095-824-5751



Gobou Mochi – a Local Treat from Hirado

14Jul 2015 tomocchi

Today I have come to Hirado City in Nagasaki Prefecture, located on a beautiful island off the Saikai coast. As Japan’s first port to trade with the west around 400 years ago, Hirado has long been a location for interaction with foreign countries.



Here in Hirado, there is a local sweet which has been enjoyed by locals for generations. Let’s take a look…


The name of this confection is ‘Gobou Mochi’. In Japanese, ‘gobou’ is the name for the burdock plant, usually eaten as a vegetable. Is this really a sweet?! What does it taste of?


This is the first time I have tried Gobou Mochi, even though I have wanted to for a while…





And where better place to try it than the oldest sweet shop in NagasakiPrefecture, ‘Hirado Tsutaya’.

I was surprised to find out that Hirado Tsutaya was founded in 1502 (right in the middle of the Warring States period)!

I spoke to the owner, Mr. Matsuo.





Gobou Mochi (¥648 for a pack of 12)

Apparently, the name ‘gobou’ comes from the sweets’ appearance – they resemble the burdock root. This traditional sweet is made very simply, using only rice flour and sugar.

The original recipe was supposedly brought over by a Chinese merchant around 440 years ago.



The feudal lords of the Hirado domain, the Matsura clan, used the sweet in their samurai tea ceremony, and even regular households had the custom of handing out Gobou Mochi on special occasions such as at memorial services.

In those days, the sweet was kept long, like a burdock root, and then cut into as many pieces as were needed to feed the guests.

So, as you can guess, the Gobou Mochi was a very useful product – however many guests there were, the Gobou Mochi could be made to serve them all, simply by changing the thickness of the slice! ☆





Right, let’s try it!




The texture is soft and elastic!

Crunchy poppy seeds dot the surface, and the whole sweet has a gentle old-fashioned flavour (*^-^)



As it happens, the building which houses the Hirado Tsutaya store is a merchant’s store, built 300 years ago on the site of what is said to have been the home of William Adams. Adams, also known by the Japanese name ‘Miura Anjin’, was involved in the establishment of the Dutch trading post at Hirado, and served as a diplomatic advisor to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan.

The building is also known as ‘Anjin no Yakata’, or ‘Anjin’s House’, and is open to tourists as a rest spot.





Inside the store, self-service coffee is also available for \200 (on the right in the photo above)☆

On the left of the photo above, you can see another Hirado sweet, golden and sparkling! This is the ‘Cas-Doce’, originally from Portugal (\972 for a pack of 5). This gorgeous sweet is made by dipping castella (sponge cake) into egg yolk, covering it in heated molasses, and dusting with sugar. Such a rich sweet flavour!




After a stroll around the castle town of Hirado, I highly recommend taking a break and enjoying some traditional local confectionery ☆





Hirado Tsutaya (Anjin no Yakata)

Address: 431 Kihikida-cho, Hirado City, Nagasaki Prefecture

Tel: 0950-23-8000

Open: 9:00 – 19:00

Closed: New Year’s Day




‘monne legui mooks’ – a Popular Cafe in Hasami Town

25May 2015 tomocchi

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about the Nishinohara district of Hasami Town, with its stylish cafes and variety stores.

I went for a stroll to see what all the fuss was about ☆



This building was once a huge ceramics factory covering an area of around 4950 square metres. In recent years the building has been converted into a row of fashionable stores.



Even the bus stop has a kind of retro feel!




First, let’s go to where it all started – the spark that began the Nishinohara revival – ‘monne legui mooks’ cafe.

From the outside we can see a very retro Showa-style chimney sticking straight up out of the tiled roof.



Inside, the simple yet stylish furniture is arranged very naturally.

Even though I visited during the day on a weekday, when one might expect customers to be few, the cafe soon filled with fashionably-dressed women, until every seat was taken!

Apparently, a lot of people come from outside of Nagasaki Prefecture, having heard glowing reviews about the cafe. That’s right – this cafe is charming enough that customers make long journeys just to eat here! ☆



And yet, despite the large number of people, there is no hint of noisiness here. I guess the calm atmosphere of the café is part of what makes it so popular ☆



The daily special lunch set is just ¥980, and includes a choice of salad or soup, and a choice of one out of three main dishes.

Today’s main dishes:



Main dish #1: Chicken & Fried Aubergine (Eggplant) Coconut Milk Curry

The sweetness of the coconut milk is perfectly balanced by the zingy spiciness of the jalapeno pepper. This original curry also features the unique fragrance of coriander (cilantro) which is sure to get you hooked! ☆

This one is definitely my favourite!!



Main dish #2: Chicken Soup Rice
This light dish features komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach) cooked in soy sauce and plenty of other flavourful toppings ☆
The thick chicken soup and gentle flavour of this rice dish make it a sure hit with female customers.



Main dish #3: White Fish Fritto with Seasonal Vegetables
A bittersweet sauce made with capers and mustard gives this dish a distinct moreish flavour which matches cleanly with the crisply-fried white fish ☆




After eating, I ventured upstairs, where I found some hammocks!

This room is home to a very relaxed-feeling exhibition sale of these gently swaying hammocks.

I sat down in the hammock and started to swing gently to and fro. Almost immediately I felt drowsy and soon fell into a doze…

Ah… what a perfect afternoon! I’m in heaven… zzz… 



When you visit Hasami, after you’ve picked up some ceramic wares to take home, why not stop by ‘monne legui mooks’ and pass a leisurely afternoon in this relaxing space?





monne legui mooks

Address: 2187-4 Iseki-go, Hasami-cho, Higashisonogi-gun

Tel: 0956-85-8033

Opening times: 12:00 – 22:00
Closed: Tuesday and Wednesdays

Website: http://mooks.jp/index.html