Asumi Hasegawa / Overseas business trainee (Chile)
* In this column, Marubeni Group staff provide a glimpse of the cities in which they are living and working.
This time, we introduce the harbor town of Valparaiso, located 120 km from Santiago, the capital of Chile.
Until the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, Valparaiso was a port of call for ships passing through the Straits of Magellan, and one of the busiest ports on the Pacific side of South America. In 2003, the maze of colorful streets of “The Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaiso” was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and continues to be a place of vibrant charm as the No. 2 port in Chile.
If you ride an ascensor (funicular) to the top of a hill, you can catch a glimpse of the laid-back daily life of the residents. Among the many hills in Valparaiso, the liveliest are Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepción. In addition to restaurants offering wonderful scenic views, these are neighborhoods that many artists call home, and graffiti art adorns almost every surface.
Because Chile has many immigrants from Germany, you can find delicious craft beer wherever you go. There are also craft beer restaurants in Valparaiso where you can enjoy a variety of types of beer. Along with your beer, be sure to sample the chorrillana, a Valparaiso specialty. This is a hearty dish of fried potatoes topped with various meats, such as sausage, fried egg, and onions. I recommend it highly.
When speaking of Chile we cannot forget the wine. Along the route to Valparaiso from Santiago is the wine-producing region of the Casablanca Valley, where you can find places to dine or take a winery tour. Among these is even a winery that uses a unique technique of fermentation by music (musical vibrations during fermentation are supposed to stimulate the yeast activity). You should certainly take a moment to savor the food and wine on the terrace at these restaurants.
Marubeni Group communication site “MS+ (MS Plus)” (March 15, 2016)