Jul 1, 2014

Nicely done, Nagasaki!

Faces of Nagasaki

Chef Masaru Kamikakimoto of Pâstisserie Camille

As one of Nagasaki’s five Tourism Meisters, Chef Kamikakimoto’s expert use of the prefecture’s produce is testament of his deep love for the place and its people.


Have you always wanted to be a chef?

Being a chef wasn’t something I had considered at all! I just like the idea of donning the chef’s white uniform. In fact, I wanted to be a PE teacher! However, a leg injury put an end to that dream. The idea of becoming a chef entered my head when I saw an enrollment poster for a French culinary school. After failing twice to obtain a scholarship, I decided to fund my own training there and left for France in 1974. I was 24 years old and already considered too old to train as a chef.

What does it mean to be a Tourism Meister of Nagasaki?

Being a Tourism Meister goes beyond attracting foreign visitors to Nagasaki. It’s also about educating the locals about the prefecture and getting them excited about its produce and culture. I want to promote Nagasaki through our food because we are blessed with a wide variety of seafood and farm produce.

What is it about Nagasaki that you love?

We have a very rich history because Nagasaki was the first place in Japan to receive foreign influences for a long time, from 17th century to 19th century. Our unique geography also means we are able to produce a wide variety of food. The people of Nagasaki are extremely open and warm-hearted. We welcome visitors from within and beyond Japan because we believe everyone should be able to live together in peace.

What or where would you recommend we eat at Nagasaki?

I would like to recommend a meal that includes Nagasaki Wagyu and seafood. Our wagyu beef is No. 1 in Japan! Because of the abundance of fresh produce, it is almost impossible to find bad restaurants in Nagasaki. Most of our restaurants are really good!

Maki Fukuda of Unzen Fukudaya Ryokan

Known for its nice ambience, Fukudaya Ryokan is especially famed for its personable yet highly professional service standards. We speak with its head hostess (okami) on her brand of omotenashi (service and hospitality).


A ryokan is often fronted by its head hostess. Why is that so?

I guess it’s because, unlike a hotel, a ryokan tries to evoke the feeling of home in its guests. The okami is therefore seen as the lady of the house, someone who invites the guests in and prepares the meals.

What is so unique about Fukudaya’s brand of service?

To be honest, we don’t do anything differently so, when we got wind that customers find out service special, we were surprised. What we try to do is placed ourselves in the shoes of our guests and think how they would like to be served. Every morning, the staff also gather for a sharing session to highlight the feedback they are receiving from the guests. This way, we are constantly adapting to their needs.

What is the one must-see you’d recommend to visitors of Unzen?

This is very difficult! But if I had to choose something, I would say do check out Unzen Hell. Usually, people have to travel near the summit of a volcano to catch sight of a landscape like Unzen Hell. But this is right next to the village so it’s very special!


>>Read more about Nagasaki Food

>>Read more about Nagasaki Sightseeing

>>Read more about Nagasaki Experience

>>Read more about Nagasaki Souvenirs

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