Mitsukoshi running Nagasaki products & tourism exhibition

Nagasaki’s “Castella” sponge cake is famous throughout Japan.

Nagasaki Chanpon – seafood and vegetables on fried noodles.

Another Nagasaki delicacy – Kakuni Manju

Sweets and foods, agricultural products and a daily dish drawn from Nagasaki’s arsenal of famous dishes, are on tap at the 12th Nagasaki Products & Tourism Exhibition now in progress at Mitsukoshi Department Store in downtown Naha City.

Castella, a well known Nagasaki sponge cake, is one of the top sellers at the exhibition, which runs until next Monday at the department store’s 6th Floor Event Plaza on Kokusai Street.  Admission is free.  On sale at the exhibition are not only foods, but handicrafts such as accessories of amber and camellia oil.  Running concurrently with the exhibition is a “Woven Belts in Hakata Style Exhibition”.

Nagasaki’s been a key region of Japan since the Edo period, when the Tokugawa shogunate reigned.  China and the Netherlands, however, were able to trade luxury goods for the ruling classes, with most of the Netherlands trade performed in Dejima in Nagasaki.  The trading was tight, with Dutch merchants not allowed to travel outside the city, leaving many exotic articles and foods exclusively in Nagasaki, which ultimately began prospering as an overseas trade base.  The castella, the sponge cake, had spread across Japan through the trade dealings, making Nagasaki the castellan mecca of the country.