Port Hoorn Nagasaki has Opened!

17Jun 2016 tomocchi


Hello! It’s Tomocchi ☆

A theme park reproduction of a Dutch street has been created out of a part of the former Nagasaki Holland Village and opened on April 16th as “Port Hoorn Nagasaki”!!

Allow me to show you around♪





Entrance to Port Hoorn Nagasaki is completely free!

This new “village” has something for everyone with its 20 shops and stores which include places to relax, places to do activities, souvenir shops, and shops that sell local foods!








At Restaurante Hoorn guests can enjoy a bounty of delicious local seafood prepared in a blending of Japanese and Western styles.

There you can find the Bouillabaisse with Fan Lobster (bottom left, \3,200), the Sakurazaka Hoorn Rice Bowl Dinner set (bottom center, \2,500), the Soymilk-base hotpot with sumptuous sashimi (bottom right, \4,000), and many other dishes that sing the local flavors of Saikai.





Hmm? Those three boys… What are they looking at over there? Let’s go through this arch and check it out!





On the other side of the arch is Bloemen dam Square, a line of casual dining shops along this stretch of water. In this open area you can barbeque seafood with a great view of the ocean♪

My favorite shop is this one:






It’s called “Yukiura Panini, Shuuichirou”.

Paninis from Italian cafes have become so popular lately and I love the ones they have here! The adorable image on the sandwich wrapper looks just like the owner of the shop who studied his craft in Milano. He even has dishes that include wild boar!





I’m feeling a little hungry… I think I’ll have one of these rich, creamy ice cream cones (\500) from “Fruit Café”. They are planning on adding more and more options to their menu that feature fruit from Saikai!







Now that my tummy is full it’s shopping time ♪

At this shop you can get everything from souvenirs from Saikai and around the prefecture to cheese, wine, and sausage from the Netherlands ヽ(´▽`)/





In the background of this gorgeous townscape is photography studio☆

It’s ¥2,980 per session and comes with one photo.

But that’s not all! You also get to keep the dress you wear in the photo!

Isn’t that an amazing deal!?

They seem perfect for children’s piano recitals and other events like that. Please take a look!





You can also safely enjoy sea-kayaking on the calm waves of the Omura Bay.

Guests are also free to travel about the park on rental Segways and bicycles.

(Sea Kayak rental: ¥1,000 / Segway rental ¥1,000 per half-hour)





The Nagasaki Biopark, where guests can interact with all kinds of cute animals, is only a 10 minute drive away. There is even a free shuttle bus that runs between Port Hoorn and the Biopark. Don’t miss your chance to meet some capybaras! (The shuttle runs three times a day)



Port Hoorn Nagasaki is a place where you can in turn sight-see, eat, play, learn, and relax.

Entrance is free, Wi-Fi is free, and pets are allowed!

Consider taking a trip out to Port Hoorn Nagasaki soon and take advantage of the beautiful weather ☆






Port Hoorn Nagasaki


Address: 1683-4 Jikibago, Seihi-cho, Saikai city, Nagasaki Prefecture 851-3305

TEL:0959-27-0209 / FAX:0959-27-0219

Homepage http://www.phn.jp/

Please give us a “like” on Facebook and stay connected https://www.facebook.com/porthoorn/





The Shimabara Springs Group & the Todoroki Mountain Stream

25May 2016 tomocchi

Hello! It’s Tomocchi ☆
This time around I’ll be introducing the charms of Todoroki Mountain Stream and the Shimabara Springs group which were both chosen by the Ministry of the Environment’s “One Hundred Famous Waters of Showa”!




◆ Shimabara Springs Group (Shimabara city) ◆


Shimabara: The land of pure water.

Shimabara’s Jouka-machi is blessed with over 50 springs that dot its landscape.



The Japanese style mansion named Yuusuiteien Shimeisou (Spring-water garden Shimeisou)was built in the late Meiji Period (around 1910) and is growing in popularity among tourists from all over. It is a registered Tangible Cultural Property of Japan. “The water looks so clear that the fish swimming in it look like they’re flying through the air!” was a comment recently made on the internet about the facilities.



Japanese Carp swim lazily in this pond which can boast of producing 1,000 tons of spring water daily.

Each of the four seasons bring unique changes to Shimeisou and it’s sure to become a spot that you’ll want to visit time and time again ☆





A great way to enjoy Shimabara is to stroll around tasting the water in the different springs that dot the Jouka-machi area. There’s even a spring in the middle of the main shopping area, if you can believe it!


The spring water is so clear and refreshing ヾ(o´∀`o)ノ Depending on the spring, the taste and composition of the water is different so I highly recommend tasting a bunch to compare them ♪



This is “kanzarashi,” a famous sweet made from the spring water here. The white balls of mochi float in this amber-colored sweet syrup are soft with just a hint of sweetness ❤


This is a delicious flavor that can only be found in the land of pure water: Shimabara.



Among these numerous springs, one stands out as being unmistakably integrated into the local’s lives: Hamanokawa Spring.



If you follow the winding roads towards the back of this small residential area, you may even be lucky enough to encounter a scene of children playing!
The Hamanokawa Spring community washing area has designated places for different washing activities. For instance, the farthest one upstream is reserved for consumption whereas the lowest one can be used for laundry. These rules have been handed down for many years and are still in effect here ☆



Why not visit Shimabara’s Jouka-machi with its famous and plentiful spring water where beautiful carp swim?




◆ Todoroki Mountain Stream (Isahaya city) ◆

The Todoroki mountain stream of Isahaya city connects around 30 waterfalls deep in the forests of Mt. Tara and boasts dynamic and beautiful views created by nature and accented with immaculately clear water.



The waters of the Todoroki Waterfall make a rushing sound as they plunge into the picturesque emerald green waters of its basin. Let’s take in some negative ions with a few deep breaths (´∀`) !



The water of the Todoroki mountain stream is exceptionally pure and clear and is naturally delicious. Many people travel long distances just to get a taste ♪



I also highly recommend listening to the sounds of the forest and its birds while trekking the surrounding area!


The Todoroki mountain stream, brimming with minus ions is a popular spot for outdoorsy types as well as people just looking for some relaxation. This place is sure to leave you refreshed and feeling great ヾ(o´∀`o)ノ






Address: 125 Ni-chome Shinmachi, Shimabara city

Admission: Free

Business Hours: 9:00~17:00

Closed: Open year-round




【Todoroki Mountain Stream】

Address: Zenjuji Oyama, Takaki-cho, Isahaya city

Open Hours: Open year-round




Kimono Rental Salon “Kimono Hoppen”

20Apr 2016 tomocchi

Hello! It’s Tomocchi ☆




Antique kimonos are a perfect match for Nagasaki’s exotic nature.

Situated in the main area of Nagasaki city among specialty restaurants and shops “Kimono Hoppen” opened on February 1st!




This salon, which exclusively rents kimonos, is sister-store to “Nagasaki Kagamiya” which is popular among foreign tourists as a guesthouse that also rents kimonos.





“Welcome!” (o´∀`o)ノ



The lady with the lovely smile is the okami, or store proprietress, Ichihara Yukari.

This vivacious lady quit her job at an event company and put her wide travel experience to use by opening a guesthouse and kimono rental store with her husband.




“Whether it be everyday sightseeing or a date with a special someone, I want to make our guests’ occasions just a little more memorable with these unique ‘Nagasaki style’ antique kimono♪”





Let’s take a look at these kimonos!

As we open the sliding stain glass door…






Whoa… ❤  ❤  ❤





Look at all these antique kimonos!!!





These are casual kimonos meant more for everyday-use.

They also have an abundance of cute hair ornaments ☆ They even have kimonos for men!

All undergarments are included in the rental price so don’t worry about bringing anything with you.




The casual kimonos are perfect for sightseeing and dates!

They can add something special to any occasion ヾ(●゚ⅴ゚)ノ




Also popular at Kimono Hoppen is their “photo tour” where an in-house photographer will go around and take pictures with you and up to three of your friends (12,000 yen, excluding tax).




  • These photos are from 2 years ago when I did the photo tour from Nagasaki Kagamiya during the Nagasaki Lantern Festival.





Lantern Festival at Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown (photo: Toyokazu Kuwahara)






Lantern Festival at Spectacles Bridge (Photo: Ayako Kitamura)






Coming from the Hamanomachi area towards Soufukuji (picture above), you’ll find Kimono Hoppen among some other very fashionable shops on Soufukuji-doori.

Kimono Hoppen will be on the right side of the street on the third floor.




Why not make your date or your day of sightseeing extra special by wearing one of these modern, yet retro, Nagasaki kimonos? ☆






【Kimono Hoppen】



Nagasaki-ken, Nagasaki-shi, Kajiyamachi, 6-25 Amity Soufukuji-doori 3F


Hours:10:00~19:00 (Last call at 18:00)





◆ Kimono Rental

Everyday Kimono 5,000 yen (excluding tax) / Antique Kimono 10,000 yen (excluding tax)

◆ Photo Tour

Up to 4 people per group, 12,000 yen (excluding tax)




Kyushu Olle – Minamishimabara Course!

11Mar 2016 tomocchi

Hello! It’s Tomocchi ☆



Today I’m introducing the “Kyushu Olle” which is an offshoot of “Jeju Olle,” a popular trekking course that originated in the Jeju Islands of South Korea.

In November of last year, the Minamishimabara Course was created and became the 17th course in Kyushu and the 2nd course in Nagasaki prefecture after the Hirado Course!



“Olle” in the Jeju dialect is “the narrow path between a road and a home.”

The charm of these courses is to feel the coasts and mountains with each of your five senses, and to enjoy trekking at your own paceヾ (o´∀`o)ノ




Entry is free and no reservation is required.

Just follow the PDF course guide at the end of this blog and enjoy this unfettered trekking experience ☆




“Warm port town” is the motif of the Minamishimabara Course.

This 10.5km nature course starts at Kuchinotsu Port, passes Mt. Noroshi, Sezumesaki Lighthouse, a famous community of Japanese sea fig trees, and finishes at the Kuchinotsu Museum of History and Folklore.





How to do Olle Follow the path markers set along the course.


◆ Top photo – Red and blue ribbons are tied in the branches of trees to mark the course.

◆Bottom right photo – This sign post takes the motif of a Jeju horse, called a “kanse”. The course proceeds in the direction it’s facing.

◆ Bottom left photo – These wooden arrows also indicate the direction of the course. Blue arrows are the normal course and red is the reverse.



When we head out, the first thing we get to do is enjoy layout of Kuchinotsu which once thrived as a port town.

In front of the Torii gate at Yakumo Shrine we spotted a unique pair of upside-down Komainu (guardian lion-dogs) on top of the stone lanterns ヾ(●゚ⅴ゚)ノ





These narrow paths befitting a port town were simply delightful.

The town was dotted with Hokora, which are small Shinto shrines and are very important to the people of the area.

And now the woods have come into view.

We’ve finally plunged into nature!






When we popped over the hill, a lettuce patch appeared!

The luscious pea-green leaves are so pretty!




The dry leaves on the dirt path make a crunching sound as we advance through the woods.

As we head toward Mt. Noroshi our lungs are getting charged with negative ions.




On our right we could see the ocean.

Over this hill is the Matsuo Shrine.

With a very old, very large pine tree nearby, it’s said that this has been a power spot for people for a long time ☆




Just as you start getting a little tired…

At the 3.9km mark on the course is the Family Shop Kodama, a little store that sells breads and drinks.

It’ll give you the recharge you need ☆





We’ve approached the Sezumesaki Lighthouse.

Being on the southern tip of the Shimabara Peninsula, from this lighthouse you can see Amakusa Shimoshima 5km away on the other side of the Hayasaki Strait.

The Hayasaki Strait is famous for its fast-moving tides and from March to June you can see majestic whirlpools with 20m diameters in the spring tides.

It’s also famous for having a beautiful view of the sunset!






I definitely recommend taking a break on the breezy rock area near the Sezumesaki Lighthouse.




Are we in the jungle?!

We found a sea fig tree with a hole big enough for a person to crawl through!

The area around the Hayasaki fishing port has many huge Sea fig trees.

They’re so big that you can’t get the whole tree in a picture ~ヾ(゚д゚)ノ゛





We took the thrilling route of walking along the rocky area on the coast!

Be careful not to slip ~ヾ(゚д゚)ノ゛

I felt renewed sense of appreciation for the volcano on Minamishimabara after walking on those rugged lava rocks.

※ You can only pass through here when the tide is low. At full tide there is a detour that you can take so please confirm your route on the sign posts.




A bright red bridge has come into view! It’s Nanban Bridge!

We’re almost to our goal!




We did it!!

We have arrived at the Kuchinotsu Museum of History and Folklore ヾ(o´∀`o)ノ

Articles from when Kuchinotsu Port was thriving in trade are displayed in this museum, which was built in the Meiji Era in a Western style.



Kyushu Olle “Minamishimabara Course”

Wouldn’t you like to feel the breeze of the tide in the Ariake Sea and use each of your five senses to experience the cityscape of the once bustling trade area of Kuchinotsu and the surrounding peaceful countryside?  ☆






Kyushu Olle – Minamishimabara Course

Distance: 10.5km

Required Time: 3-4 hours


Course map in Japanese(PDF)

Course map in Korean(PDF)



◆Here is the Kyushu Olle homepage!




http://www.welcomekyushu.or.kr/kyushuolle/ (Korean)







“Ryugyu” Aquarium Bath at the Hirado Kaijyo Hotel☆

15Feb 2016 tomocchi


Hello! It’s Tomocchi! ☆

Brrr, it’s still so cold outside, isn’t it?

It’s times like these that call for a rejuvenating trip to a hot spring☆

That’s why this time I want to introduce a unique hot spring bath that was just on a certain popular TV program.




Can you believe this?! There are fish swimming around the outside of this bath area!

It’s like bathing in an aquarium щ(゚▽゚щ)!!

Inside the water tank that hugs the circumference of the building swim giant turtles, sea bream, horse mackerel, and many other types of fish that live in the waters around Hirado.


This is the Hirado Kaijyo Hotel.

Inside is the “Ryugyu,” Aquarium Bath, which is named after an undersea palace of Japanese folklore.

Below ground surrounding the hotel is the aquarium, and on the inside are the baths.

In other words, the fish swim in circles around the bathing areas ヾ(●゚ⅴ゚)ノ

The bathing area is divided in half, one side for men and one side for women.

Such a unique design! щ(゚▽゚щ)



It’s so soothing to soak in a bath and watch the fish swim lazily by ❤



My heart jumped a bit when this keen-eyed giant turtle met my gaze.

They say that there’s a turtle here that’s over 30 years old!

So interesting!


They say that you’ll find true happiness if you see all five of the turtles that live in the aquarium.

I got caught up searching for the other four and ended up having quite a long bath (lol).

Bringing your family to the Ryugyu Aquarium Bath is sure to be a hit!

If you have the chance, please come and experience this unique combination of an aquarium and public bathing area ☆



Every room in the Hirado Kaijyo Hotel has an ocean view.

Visible from any room are the Hirado Strait, Hirado Ohashi (bridge), and Hirado Castle☆

The above picture is from the common area of room 417.

The classical atmosphere of the room is very relaxing.



This is a morning picture of the view from the room I stayed in, room 569.

This ferryboat commuting through the Hirado Strait wrapped in the morning mist let out long blasts from its steam whistle. The whole scene was so rustic, like something out of a classic movie❤



The natural hot springs that fill the Hirado Kaijyo Hotel’s “Ryugyu” Aquarium Bath also fills the bathing areas with views of the sea and even private outdoor baths too!

This picture is of one of the outdoor baths with a sea view.

Come spend a few lazy hours in this open bath and enjoy the view of Kuroko Island, which is a natural monument.


Next time you visit Hirado’s Joka-machi, which is teeming with history and romantic scenery, consider making some time for relaxation at the Hirado Kaijyo Hotel ☆


Hirado Kaijyo Hotel

Address: 2231-3 Okubo-machi, Hirado city, Nagasaki prefecture 〒859-5102

TEL:0950-22-3800  FAX:0950-23-2829

URL : http://www.hiradokaijyohotel.co.jp