Today I will be introducing Nagasaki which is located on the island of Kyushu in the southern part of Japan.
You can fly to Nagasaki from Haneda Airport and it takes around 2 hours. It is also easy to access from other areas of Japan.
Our first destination after arriving in Nagasaki is Huis Ten Bosch, a theme park. It takes about one hour to get there from the airport by car.
The park was made in likeness of the Netherlands and has many real size replicas of Dutch buildings. The park is divided into nine sections such as Flower Road and Thriller City. The park has many events throughout the year. From February to April there is the Tulip Festival, the Flower Art Festival, Masquerade Carnival, Cheese and Wine Festival… you get the idea.
Now, the Festival of Roses is being held until June 13th. Upcoming festivals include the Festival of Hydrangeas and the Kingdom of Robots.
I really want to make sure you check out the the Kingdom of Flowers and Light. To put it simply, it is an illumination display but it is really amazing.
Over 13,000,000 LED lights are lit up in this display! Only blue LED’s are used so the contrast at night time is really pretty.
To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting much but once I saw all the lights, I was so moved that I spent 20 minutes just sitting on a bench while gazing at the illuminations.
There are plenty of restaurants at Huis Ten Bosch to fill up your stomachs 🙂
After spending all day at Huis Ten Bosch, I recommend you spend the night there at one of the hotels.
The park directly operates three hotels and there are another three hotels that are run jointly.
If you have a taste for luxury, then I recommend the Hotel Europe! There is even a boat just to take guests to the hotel from the harbor.
If you are looking for a family friendly hotel, then it is the Hotel ForestVilla.
The hotel is made up of two story duplexes so your whole family can stay together in the same room.
Although I highly recommend staying at one of the hotels directly operated by the park, if you are looking for a cheaper option, I recommend the Hotel Amsterdam.
If you pay a little more, you can get access to the Club Lounge which provides drinks and light snacks.
Also, there are collaboration rooms with Laura Ashley that are decorated with floral patterns. They are quite cute.
This is the only hotel located inside the park so it is quite convenient.
After a good night’s sleep at the hotel, let’s go out to enjoy some nature. Located 40 minutes by car from Huis Ten Bosch is the Kujyu-Ku Islands (99 islands).
You would think that there are 99 islands but there are actually over 100.
It is quite enjoyable to take a boat and sail from island to island. Feel the wind blowing through your hair and truly take in the nature of Nagasaki.
After the 99 islands, let’s head into Nagasaki City.
Even during the time when Japan forbid trade with other countries, trading was still enthusiastically carried out in Nagasaki. This led to Nagasaki’s unique atmosphere which is like a mix of the East and the West.
Nagasaki’s famous local dish is Nagasaki Champon which is a hot noodle dish kind of like ramen. People say that it originated in Nagasaki’s Chinatown. It has a tonkotsu (pork) broth and plenty of vegetables so it is a well balanced meal. It is popular among Chinese exchange students for maintaining their health.
I also recommend you try this sweet called 一口香 (ikkokou). Although it looks like a manju (a Japanese steamed bun with filling), the inside is actually hollow. The outside is soft and chewy and the inside has a sweet caramel flavor. Unexpectedly, this this is not well known even in Nagasaki.
The sightseeing spots in Nagasaki are very unique.
Places such as Glover Garden, buildings built with Western style architecture where English merchants lived or Oura Church have really unique atmospheres where the East and West intermingle.
After eating lunch and exploring the various sights around the city, it has probably become time for the sun to go down.
After sundown, there is place you I highly recommend you go, Mount Inasa. You can get there in 20 minutes by car and then take the rope-way from the bottom of the mountain to the observation deck. The view from the deck is truly breathtaking!
And that concludes this two day trip to Nagasaki. I hope you enjoyed this post and that it will inspire you to visit this beautiful place someday!
Translated by Christine