We lived in Sasebo, a Prefecture of Nagasaki on Japan's southern island of Kyushu from August 2009 until January 2011, loving every minute of it. We knew nothing of Sasebo and minimal amounts about Japan when we moved here and after much exploration we became very familiar with Sasebo and all it has to offer.While a big city it is not, you find many great ways to experience Japan at it's finest. What Sasebo lacks in skyscrapers it makes up for in culture and kindness. Here are the things that we loved most! If you have any questions about what it's like to live in Sasebo [English site] or Japan - please, don't hesitate to ask.

Here are our 15 favorite things about Sasebo, in no particular order of course; except for #1.

1. Tonchinkon, Shimanose-Cho

Tonchinkon is our favorite Japanese restaurant. Featuring simple, ingenious combinations of food. Plus, really big beers and a hilariously grumpy, old Japanese owner.

2. Donq Patisserie

Sasebo is home to hundreds of bakeries, but our favorite is located inside Tamaya Department Store. Enter the first floor and follow the smell of fresh bread to pure gold-in bread form.

3. Bio Park: an interactive zoo at it's best.

4. The Sasebo Burger

While many Americans stray away from this Sasebo delight because of the insane amount of mayonnaise it's actually quite genius. We are definitely fans of food and this is something that we will recreate for years to come. Minus 3/4 of the mayonnaise of course. Plus, who doesn't like an article of food that comes with a mascot?

5. Nila Kamal Thai Restaurant: Great food, great view.

6. The Pearl Sea Resort Cruise

7. The souvenir shop across from Tamaya's side door, next to the bike shop.

9. Seasonal flower festivals at Huis Ten Bosch Theme Park.

10. Ron's Sasebo Burger Shop, Kyonotsubo-Cho. 

While this line is generally for the burger we were frequent customers for the Chicken Teryiaki Sandwich and the company of owner's Koichi and Mia.

11. Christmas light extravaganza & fireworks, Huis Ten Bosch Theme Park.

12. Orange House

13. Jazz Bars

14. The beautiful country side

15. Ishamura Bakery, for the best cakes in Sasebo.

Bonus Picture: Mt. Yumihari Observetory. Sasebo's claim to fame. This is where they filmed the opening credits to The Last Samurai.