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 compared to the rest of Japan that lived in complete isolation from all things foreign.
Today, Dejima Island has been preserved and is an excellent example of what life was like in Japan and particularly Nagasaki 300 years ago. The buildings have been painstakingly reformed to their original condition and the gardens are well looked after. Someone could spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours just strolling around and being transported back to past. Inside Dejima Island there is a model replica of the entire island that has been made in order to show exactly what the island looks like in tiny detail with retaining wall and moat to boot. This replica by itself took up about 20 minutes of my time as I studied and screened everything. Absolutely amazing!!
Dejima is another one of those locations that is situated near the International Port Terminal thus walking distance and an easy to find attraction. Combined with Glovers Gardens this make a perfect half day walking and history tour of Nagasaki.
Click on the link to see Dejima Island in Nagasaki on a map!
Here are some pictures of what Dejima Island looks like today:
Click to enlarge:
|The old ships at Dejima Wharf
|A typical Dejima Building
|A restored Church
|Lots of important info
Check out Dejima Island Nagasaki on a video below: