Ever wonder what a Dutch village would look like if constructed in Japan? ...Well, a Dutch village of course, packed with Japanese tourists! There are windmills, tulips (in spring), wooden shoes, Japanese restaurants, canals, tall ships, museums highlighting the Dutch-Japanese history, classic European cars, and little Japanese kids running around yelling "Sugoi!!!
" ("Wow!!!"). It is quite the site!
This past Saturday I was down in Nagasaki watching a friend play baseball and decided that while I was in the area I would check out Huis Ten Bosch
("House in the Forest"). With beautiful blue skies and a temperature of around 25 C, it was the perfect day to 'escape Japan' and travel to the Dutch-inspired grounds.
Constructed in 1992, this reconstruction of a Dutch village offers everything from beautiful gardens, bicycle rentals, and cute riverside cafes to 3-D theatres, wedding chapels, and 5-star hotels. With a tulip festival in the spring and various exhibitions throughout the year even the regulars are continuously entertained. There are 4 or 5 museums throughout the park featuring porcelain, ornamental glass, tall ships, and Von Siebold (a central figure in the Dutch-Japanese history); and the main attraction of the park is Palace Huis Ten
Huis Ten Bosch
"Huis Ten Bosch is a residential-style resort built after a mediaeval 17th century Dutch town.
Palace Huis Ten Bosch, built with special permission from the royal family, is a reproduction of the residence of Her Majesty the Queen of The Netherlands."
Bosch, a reproduction of the Queen of Holland's palace. After wandering the spacious rooms of the palace I am a little envious of Queen Beatrix! In addition to the classic woodwork and lighting within the palace, a glance out of any rear window will impress visitors. The rear garden of the palace, "Gaia's Garden," features decorative mazes, ancient Greek god statues, and a beautiful fountain. As I walked along the paths of this Baroque-style masterpiece it was impossible not to be sucked into the tranquility of my surroundings (... and I suppose that that is one thing the Queen of the Netherlands can envy me for, as the 18th Century plans for this elegant garden were never realized in Holland!)
After my relaxing stroll through the palace grounds I headed back towards the village to take a few more pictures and enjoy a cruise along the Rose Canal before having to call it a day and head back to Hiroshima.
With the entry fee only being $32.00 (basic), a day trip to this foreign little village is a wonderful and affordable experience. (And actually, if you can't afford a plane ticket out of Japan, Huis Ten Bosch
Huis Ten Bosch
"This spacious 152-hectare resort, roughly the same size as Monaco, is striving to become the top flower resort in the world and flowers in full bloom can be found all throughout the year. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter, each season transforms this European resort into something completely new."
the perfect solution!) My only complaint of the day would be that -although I searched high and low, I couldn't find the chocolate sprinkles!! Brief History of the Dutch - Japanese Relationship
Japan was closed to the outside world during the Edo period, but after much hesitation decided to open a single port in Nagasaki for foreign trade. In 1600 the Dutch ship De Liefde
arrived at Kyushu Island and initiated exchange between the two countries. Trade with the Dutch became very popular and Dejima
, a man made island, became an area for Dutch traders and their families to reside. As a result of this relationship, Nagasaki was extremely prosperous during the Meiji Period (late 19th century), but modern advances eventually surpassed it and the advantage was lost.
In the 1980's historians, architects, oceanographers, and environmentalists all came together with an appreciation for the shared history and culture of Holland and Nagasaki, and with the backing of the government of Holland and many Japanese corporations the Huis Ten Bosch project was formed. (Opened on March 25, 1992.)
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