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Let's Champ on some Champon

Dejima, Ioujima and Champon

sunny -27 °C

This morning started with a trip to Dejima Wharf. Dejima was a tiny island that served as Japan's only gateway to Europe for more than 200 years and was constructed in 1636 to isolate Europeans and the spread of Christianity. Today, only the wharf really remains, which has a row of restaurants and bars looking out over the port.
The bars were shut unfortunately, so no time for a 9:00am tipple!

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There are arcades everywhere in Japan, so to kill some time before our 11:00am ferry, we went down the musical road and rocked out playing some Guitar Rockstar and a Japanese drum game at one we found in the shopping centre. We had some trouble translating the instructions and had to get a lot of help from the employees there- there was some confusion caused by the fact that we didn't know what the machines were saying and they didn't know what we were saying. How else do you explain only playing 2 games in 45 minutes!

Next we hopped on board a ferry for our impromptu trip to Ioujima Island recommended by Shinji who runs the Casa Noda hostel we are staying in, in Nagasaki.
As well as enjoying the lovely scenery from the top of the ferry, we also made some new friends on the ride over:

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and this is us trying on their sunglasses:

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They were really energetic and happy and tres excited to find out that we were from England. They made it a really fun start to the morning for us. Every girl in that photo has a picture of us on their cameras now, the photo session went on for at least 5 minutes.

Once docked, we went in search for some bikes for hire and found some jazzy green Revo numbers:
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300 Yen later and we were hot to trot on the slightly rusty clunking Revo bikes. There were barely any cars or people around, so we were king of road. There's something childishly fun about riding bikes and it put us in a cheery mood. We cycled about, ringing the bell and waving to the people that we passed by. Here come the eccentric English:

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It was clear blue skies and blazing sun all the way, so the only thing left to do was to strip down to our bikinis on the beach and expose those pasty bodies to the world. Ioujima seems to be Japan's best kept secret as the beach was deserted. It was like having our own private beach.

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There's something really relaxing about sitting on the beach and just being able to hear the waves coming into shore. This has been one of our favourite days because of the simple pleasure of it all and a nice break before we dive head first into the big cities.

We had the bikes for 3 hours, so we explored the island a little more before dropping them back

Ioujima bridge- the Revos weren't up for big hill expeditions and Ashton nearly fell of her bike laughing at Emma throwing her whole body into getting up the hill. Emma's thighs were going 10 to the dozen and her whole upper body was rocking back and forth trying to encourage the bike to get to the top.
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A mosey past the church:
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and a nose into the more residential side streets:
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One rushed coffee later and we made a quick dash for the ferry. We returned a shabbier, sandier, greasier version of ourselves with a mission in mind to champ on some Champon. Champon is a traditional dish in Nagasaki- it's a kind of soup with noodles, vegetables and a plethora of fish in it. Emma managed to get a vegetarian version in the restaurant we went to, Ashton had to chow down an ocean of fish. Here's how it looks:
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We returned to our hostel for the last evening and were relieved to have a nice hot shower. We'll be sad to see the back of Nagasaki but new adventures await!

Posted by Ashton and Emma 10.10.2012 18:36 Archived in Japan Tagged island nagasaki ioujima dejima

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