The great Japanese cuisine has taken a particular form in Nagasaki : shippoku, a cuisine that is mixed with Chinese and Portuguese influences. Dine in the oldest luxury restaurant in Japan, Kagetsu.
The history of shippoku cooking tells of the foreigners of Nagasaki. It mixes in a kaiseki style (a succession of lovely dishes, true works of art for the eyes as well as for the stomach) unavoidable haute cuisine to Japanese and Chinese dishes crossbred with dishes of Portuguese inspiration.
It's interesting to note that the Chinese community has long-standing ties with Nagasaki (its Chinatown is the oldest in Japan), and that Portuguese sailors and missionaries were the first westerners to set foot on the archipelago in the middle of the sixteenth century.
While kowtowingThis cuisine is as elegant as it is cosmopolitan, so naturally, its largest restaurant, Kagetsu, is also one of the most fabulous places in Nagasaki.
This former geisha house, opened in 1642, a luxury brothel with quite a history, became the oldest Ryotei (deluxe restaurant) of Japan, a classy building with a beautiful garden and a small museum.
After a reception with bowing staff and a passage through the sumptuous wooden halls of the restaurant, diners are seated facing the garden and watch a dozen dishes be carried in, between which resonate few notes from a koto in the room next door.
Ozoni, soba, shells, braised pork, whale, and desserts are served in a dish as beautiful and admirable as its contents, helping to make the shippoku of Kagetsu a delight.