After the Tokugawa shōgun banned all
Portuguese, the only foreign merchants allowed in Nagasaki
were the Dutch and the Chinese.
China obviously had a huge geographic advantage, and they weren't as strictly controlled as the Dutch. At times the population of Nagasaki may have been as much as 30% Chinese.
Rāmen is a Chinese dish. It's very popular and commonly available throughout Japan. Places have their own local versions, like the tonkotsu rāmen in Fukuoka.
One of the specialties in Nagasaki is chambon, a more traditionally Chinese form of rāmen.
I'm in central Nagasaki. There's a chambon shop across the way. Let's get lunch!
Champon is derived from some other language — Southern Min Chinese, or Malay or Indonesian. In Japanese the word must instead be chanpon, or チャンポン in the katakana used to phonetically spell foreign words. There it is, at the top right of the menu!
I'm seated at a counter in a busy soup shop.
Here it is!
Champon is made with a soup based on chicken and pig bones. The rāmen noodles are boiled in that broth. Then fried seafood, vegetables, and pork are added.
On the Streetcar
On another day I'll take the streetcar from the train station to the center, then find a different chambon shop.
Enter at the rear, pay as you leave at the front.
Here's the ミハ or Mi-Ha soup shop. The menu lists:
Three noodle dishes, fried or steamed dumplings, another noodle dish, and something that is a complete mystery to me.
I'm seated at the counter, so I can watch the chambon chefs work their magic.
I can add a raw egg, or hot peppers.
Here's the Mi-Ha version of chambon.
This place is a combination of far enough southwest in Japan and non-touristic enough to use Chinese numerals in the posted menu of drinks and side orders.
In the EveningUnryutei Gyoza Restaurant
Now for a late dinner.
I'm going to a great gyoza place I visited most of the evenings I was in Nagasaki.
The entrance is the frosted glass door behind the banners with the magic word spelled out phonetically in katakana: ギヨーザ — gyo–za.
Above is the super friendly staff.
Below, that's me on the right.
Some evenings I had gyoza, fried dumplings.
The little pitchers say ソース.
Other nights, オメル.
Or, gyoza and omeru.
The above is specific to Nagasaki. Or maybe you want to explore other places in Japan.
Akihabara, Tōkyō's Electric Town
Electronics parts and tools, the otaku lifestyle, cosplay, anime, and manga
Travel through Kyūshū, the Harbor, Temples, Shrines, the Samurai Path, and a World War II Bunker