Dejima Island Area

Nagasaki, Kyushu

The sole trading spot with foreign countries from the 17th to the 19th centuries. An island with a 400-year history of Dutch trade.

Dejima was an artificial island built in the shape of a fan with an area of about 13,000 square meters. It was built south of the current city center during the Edo Period in order to accommodate Portuguese Christian missionaries and prevent the propagation of their religion. It also used to be the residential quarters of the Dutch, the only foreigners allowed to trade in Japan during the Sakoku (Isolation) Period, and a Dutch Trading House operated on the island. For 200 years, until Japan reopened the country in the 19th century, Dejima was its only window to the world.

Nagasaki City has been advancing an ambitious restoration plan since 1996, and is working to restore Dejima. Japan's first Protestant Seminary, built in the 19th century, was renovated in 1998, becoming the Nagasaki Dejima Museum of History. Inside the museum the culture of Dejima during the Isolation Period, including such examples as Japan's trade with Portugal, England and Holland and the eating habits seen at the Dutch Trading House, is displayed in models and graphics. Currently some 10 buildings throughout the area have been restored, and you can experience life as it was at that time at this newly enclosed fan-shaped "Dejima." There is also a miniature model of Dejima which was reproduced on a scale of 1/15 to show what the area was like before being reclaimed in 1904.

Southeast of Dejima is the Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown. There you will find four gates facing in four different directions: the Seiryu-mon; Byakko-mon; Suzaku-mon; and Genbu-mon. There are many Chinese restaurants and stores selling Chinese goods throughout the area, allowing you to enjoy a bit of Chinese flavor in Nagasaki. During the Chinese New Year this place serves as the center of the Nagasaki Lantern Festival, which is the feature winter event in Nagasaki. The whole area is decorated with many Chinese lanterns, drawing crowds of people.


From Tokyo:
[Air] 1h 50 min from Haneda to Nagasaki Airport, and 1h from the airport to Nagasaki Station by bus. 5 min from Nagasaki Station-mae to Dejima Dentei by street car.
From Osaka:
[Air] 1h 10 min from Itami to Nagasaki Airport.

Around the Dejima Island Area

More on the Dejima Island Area