Sunday, February 3, 2019

Shitsu and Ono Village in Sotome Nagasaki

As promised in a recent post, I am attempting to visit and report on as many of the new UNESCO Hidden Christian Heritage Sites so as to provide as much information in English as possible to prospective clients but also for those people who wish to come and check out these sites on there own accord.

Actually 4 years ago now I did a little bit of research into these prospective UNESCO sites when they were being analyzed as a candidate site.  I can tell you this, the sites were difficult to find, there was hardly any English literature or pamphlets, signposting was minimal and in all honesty I struggled to find most of the main attractions and heavily doubted that they would one day become a fully fledged UNESCO listed Heritage Site.

Well, upon my second visit, I was pleasantly and very surprised to the lengths and efforts that the Nagasaki Community has gone thru to get the message out to the world of the plight that the Nagasaki Christians endured during the decree to ban Christianity and kill anyone who defied this order by the all powerful Shogunate.

The signs are strategically placed, the roads have been widened, car parks installed and even cafes strategically placed along the way to act as rest stops to throughly create a feeling of wellbeing and to make the sites a well designed and thought out sightseeing location.

Not all is perfect yet!  There still needs to be some more improvement but from what I have seen to what now is in place, a big thumbs up from me is absolutely given.  I will be back to do some more documenting and plan to blog in more detail about each building and attraction in these villages.

For now, please check out this video below:

Monday, January 14, 2019

Umegae Sake Brewery Nagasaki

Every now and then in my travels around Nagasaki Prefecture you come upon a special place that instantly makes a strong and lasting impression on you.  Umegae Sake Brewery is just one of these places and as a result of this positive and uplifting experience we intend to make this location a regular attraction on our full day tours.

To tell you the truth, for quite a few years now, I have been intending to visit this location and highlight its wares but for some reason it never did fit neatly into my schedule on the day.  Luckily a few hours opened up for me and my original plan had to be changed, however the god`s shine on me and my chance to check out my first Sake Brewery in Nagasaki came to fruition.

The rest is history!  Right from the beginning the friendly ladies welcomed me with open arms (not figuratively) allowed me to wander around on my own device, allow me to ask a multitude of questions and to basically give me full access of their facilities in order to make this report.  Even though I was here for only 45 minutes or so, it felt so much longer as there was some much information that i was able to digest and use.  Unfortunately there is not a huge amount of written and spoken English in this environment but the warm hearted smiles and manners of all the staff members really hopes to overcome any language communication difficulties.

I was not able to drink on the day (zero drinking and driving policy in Japan) but the range of Sake (Japanese Rice Wine) Shochu (Japanese Distilled Spirits) and Liquers is more than enough to satisfy everyone`s requirements.  So I am absolutely sure that I will be back as a non driver to sample at my hearts content in order to be the best guide and provider of information on the day.  It`s a hard job but I am sure I can handle it!

Please check out the Umegae Sake Brewery here on a map:

Here is a video of my experience at the Umegae Sake Brewery that I am sure you will enjoy: