Nagasaki's Chinatown or Shinchi Chukagai is one of the largest Chinatowns in Japan and the oldest. The history of Shinchi can be traced back during Edo period when Chinese people were allowed to do trading activities in Nagasaki for the first time. It is located on the southwest of Dejima and now there are more than 40 restaurants and shops in the area. Due to the long history of the place, Shinchi is now one of the main tourist attractions in Nagasaki.
Enjoy the Local Specialties and Festivals at Chinatown Nagasaki
1. Nagasaki Lantern Festivals
This is one of the most waited attraction in every Chinatown in the world. Like the Chinese Lunar New Year which is celebrated every year, the dates for the lantern festivals are also varied each year. Most of the time, the festival is held for the whole two weeks between January and March. There will be a lot of lampions with various sizes and shapes hang in every restaurant and shops. Not only that, all of the visitors will be given an opportunity to write a wish on a piece of paper placed in the lampion and the fly it away to the sky. Foreign tourists love to do this.
2. Tojin Yashiki
This is the former Chinese settlement in Nagasaki. Visiting the place will give you a deeper look at what the old Chinese people life was like. The Tojin Yoshiku still features many buildings as the remainder of the past history of the place. To make the area with has a more modern look, there is a large entrance main gate in Chinese-style to welcome the visitors. The Tojin Yoshiku comes with a tranquil neighborhood to give a feeling of peace to everyone come to the area. There will be also a small Chinese temple in the settlement that can be visited by the tourists.
3. Souvenir Shops
Chinatown is also very popular with its shops that provide souvenirs for the visitors. There are various options for local handicrafts you can find there. One of the nicest things about shopping in the local shops is that you can bargain to get the best deal.
4. Herbal Shops
If you are interested in herbal medicine, visiting Shinchi Nagasaki will give you a lot of herbal options to choose from. If you are fond of herbal tea, the herbal shops in Shinchi are such paradise!
5. Goma Dango
Visiting Chinatown will not be complete without tasting the traditional food of Chinese people and one of them is Goma Dango. This is actually sesame balls with a sweet taste and will be perfect for dessert or simply for snacking. This fried food comes with a round shape about 3 cm in diameter and covered with sprinkled sesame. There is sweet bean paste added as the filling and will be served best while the food is still hot. The fragrant sesame seeds will rise your appetite and you can have it for 100 to 160JPY each.
6. Nagasaki Champon Noodles
Are you hungry and need something heavier than Goma Dango? The Nagasaki Champon noodles will be the right choice. The food comes with thick noodles which is called Champon Men or Champon Dama. The noodles are made of white flour and topped with squid, carrots, shrimp, and cabbage. The cuisine is then seasoned with pepper and salt while the stock used for the soup is exceptionally delicious. If you are interested in tasting the delicious food, there is one place to visit, the Kouzanrou Nagasaki Chinatown Branch. The restaurant is considered to be the only place in Shicnhi that has the best recipe of the Nagasaki Champon Noodles. Not only healthy and filling, the dish also vivid colors. To enjoy the food, you only need to pay for 1,500 JPY.
7. Nagasaki Sara Udon
Nagasaki Sara Udon is another dish to taste in Shinchi. The plate noodles have various toppings such as bean sprouts Chinese cabbage, kamaboko (boiled fish plate), and some stir-fried food. It is seasoned with soy sauce, pepper, salt, and then added with a delicious soup. To make the dish thicker, there is diluted potato starch added to the dish and the thick soup will be poured the stir-fried noodles. One of the restaurants that are very popular with its Nagasaki Sara Udon is the 'Lao Lee Group Nagasaki Shinchi' and you should pay 800 JPY for the dish.
How to Get Tickets?
How To Get Around?
The best way to enjoy all of the attractions in Shinchi is by walking along the streets around. The area is also designed to enable the tourists to enjoy things around on foot comfortably. Walk through the crowds, take time as much as you need, stops to every attractive stall, take pictures, and enjoy!
What Should I Wear?
Best Time to Visit
Most of the shops and restaurants in Shinchi open at 11 am every day. But, take the note that the opening hours will vary by the restaurants and shops. However, the tourists will enjoy more things in the evening when the lanterns are lit up and all the fun is begun.
Will I Need a Guide?
You might use a guide service to show you things in the Nagasaki Shinchi Chukagai and explain. But, it will be more interesting if you do things all by yourself since you can take as much as possible. Joining in a tour, especially in a large group, will give you less flexible time and more expensive. In addition, there are lots of things you can buy in the Chinatown and you will not like if somebody makes you in rush.
How To Get There?
The best way to get to the Shinchi Nagasaki is by taking Tsukimachi tram stop on line 1 and 5. This is the nearest stop to the Chinatownyou can find and it can be reached from Nagasaki Station for about 8 minutes.