Where once Japan segregated the Dutch, today she embraces their culture. So much so in fact, that the Japanese have painstakingly recreated the Netherlands in a 152- hectare theme park located in Sasebo, Nagasaki. The park is called Huis Ten Bosch and was named after Huis ten Bosch, a royal palace in The Hague, which serves as one of three official residences of the Dutch Royal Family.
Opened in March of 1992, the park features numerous Dutch-style buildings including hotels, villas, theatres, museums, shops and restaurants, along with canals, windmills, amusement rides and seasonal flowers throughout. Established as a tribute to the shared history and culture of the Netherlands and Nagasaki, it took five years to build on reclaimed land. Huis Ten Bosch is home to over 400,000 trees, 300,000 flowers and six kilometers of canals. The park consists of two areas: the Theme Park Zone requiring paid admission and the Free Zone.
The Theme Park Zone houses various amusements, many of which are modern theaters featuring 3D technology. There is also a Michael Jackson museum, haunted house, mirror maze, Ferris wheel and a replica of the Domtoren (Dom Tower) of Utrecht offering panoramic views from its observation deck. The original Dom Tower is a Gothic-style tower in the Netherlands, which stands at 368 feet high. It was a part of the Cathedral Saint Martin whose unfinished nave collapsed in 1674 making the Dom tower a free standing tower.
The Free Zone’s main attractions are a theater and boat ride related to the hit comic series, One Piece, and a replica of the Palace Huis Ten Bosch, which houses an art museum.
There are several European themed hotels including the Watermark Hotel and Hotel Nikko. Guests staying at these respective hotels are advised to check at the counter for discount tickets to the Theme Park Zone.
Huis Ten Bosch is currently managed by H.I.S., a travel agency who invested 2 billion yen to revitalize the park. The park hosts various events during different times of the year, including a tulip festival, which takes place in spring and a fireworks competition, which occurs in summer.
Park hours are from 9:00 AM to 9:30 PM daily (9:00 AM to 8:30 PM from December to February). A day passport ticket, covering entry and a number of attractions costs ¥6,100 for adults and ¥3,800 for children.
Web page: http://english.huistenbosch.co.jp/