Sightseeing for Nagasaki,Sasebo,Hidado
The first day - March 15
Huis Ten Bosch(ハウステンボス）
Huis Ten Bosch which means forest house in Dutch, is the largest extensive theme park in Japan. The area is 152ha and the same size as the total area of Tokyo Disney Land plus Tokyo Disney Sea. The park features many Dutch-style buildings such as hotels, villas, theaters, museums, shops and restaurants, along with canals, windmills, amusement rides and a park planted in seasonal flowers. Huis Ten Bosch, which opened on March 25, 1992, is located southern part of Sasebo, facing Oomura Bay. The park recorded the peak of 4.25 million visitors in 1996. However the number of visitors were decreasing since then, so a travel agency, H.I.S took over the business in 2010. At that time the visitor's number was only 1 million. After taking over, the number of visitors is gradually recovering and has now reached 3.5 million visitors. One third of the area which is called Harbor area is now offered as a low price zone - 1,000 Yen per person. We visited this area and stayed only 1.5 hours for lunch.
Hirado is a island located north of Nagasaki Prefecture.In 1977, the Hirado bridge was completed and has made easy to drive from the mainland. Hirado has been a port of trade between the Asian countries and Japan since the Nara period. During the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, the local Matsuura clan held the rights to trade with Korea and with Song-dynasty China. During the Sengoku and early Edo periods, Hirado's role as a center of foreign trade increased, especially with Ming-dynasty China and the Dutch East India Company. After implementation of national seclusion policy in Edo period, the international port was moved to Dejima located in today's Nagasaki city.
We visited Hirado Dutch Trading Post, Hirado Castle, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and also walked along the old townscape. On the way to Sasebo, we stopped over at some nice view spots of "kujyu-kushima" - 99 islands. We stayed at a hotel in Sasebo city on the day.
The second day - March 16
Sasebo（佐世保 & 教会巡り）
Sasebo was a small fishing village under the control of nearby Hirado Domain. After the start of the Meiji period in 1886, it became the major port for the Japanese navy. After the end of the war, part of the base facilities were taken over by the United States Navy. Some parts of the base are shared with the Japan Self-Defense Forces.The city includes a part of Saikai National Park. Located in the southern part of the city is the Dutch-styled theme park Huis Ten Bosch.
Last night, we had supper at Sasebo downtown and ate local famous dish "lemon steak". Before leaving the hotel, we walked around the Harbor Park and Miura Cathedral Church. By chance, we were entertained warmly by the priest, receiving the service of coffee and confectioneries. After checking out the hotel, we visited the Marine Self Defense Force Museum and met young defense force school students and asked their tasks and their future. They looked to be fresh and hopeful.
On the way to Nagasaki city, we drove along the sea coast line and had lunch and visited several old churches. When we arrived in Nagasaki city, we visited Inasayama park which is one of the three biggest night view in the world. It was certainly a breathtaking view even visiting in the day time. We also visited Nagasaki peace memorial park and Uragami Catholic Church - one of the largest church in Japan and the number of believers of this church is about 7000 now. In the evening, we met Mr.Noguchi and his wife and had dinner with them. This is the highlight of the trip. We had a pleasant time while taking this trip topics, local foods and our recent state. After having a nice time, they sent us to the hotel. I appreciate their hospitality.
The third day - March 17
It was fine and a good day to walk around the noted sightseeing spots. We went to the Glover Garden (グラバー園), a world culture heritage in Nagasaki built for Thomas Glover, a Scottish merchant who contributed to the modernization of Japan in shipbuilding, coal mining, and other fields. Other old buildings are also relocated in this place. So it took about 1 and half hours to see this place and learned the history of Japan's modernization --those involved the modernization were not only Glover but also many foreign merchants and Mitsubish's founder Iwasaki, Sakamoto Ryouma. We also visited China town, Kameyama Shatyu（亀山社中）- Ryouma's company, Oranda-zaka（オランダ坂） -- the slope where many foreigner's residence existed，Dejima(出島） --once old world trading port island and so on. We had a late lunch at Nagasaki Air Port and flew back to Tokyo. We arrived home in Yokohama at about 8 pm.
These three days trip was replete and very enjoyable.