Huis Ten Bosch is a Dutch-style theme park in Sasebo, Nagasaki. Spread over 152 hectares, it is about the same size as the Tokyo Disney Resort.
In addition to the popular theme park, there is also a small enclave of canal-front homes and apartments that can be purchased.
The gated residential estate is called Wassenaar – named after an affluent suburb in The Hague. There are 130 houses and 10 apartment buildings containing 120 apartments housing as many as 800 residents. As Huis Ten Bosch is only 30 minutes from downtown Sasebo, some residents live here full-time while others use their home as a weekender or on holidays. The homes were all designed in keeping with the Dutch theme, and have landscaped gardens, boat moorings and some have swimming pools.
The residential area has a separate entrance from the park. There is a gatekeeper and 24hr caretaker so park visitors cannot wander in for a look.
Sales of the homes began during Japan’s bubble economy in the late 1980s. They were hugely popular with the sales office flooded with inquiries and a long waiting list of buyers. The original plans were to build 3,500 homes and apartments housing up to 10,000 residents, but the economy crashed before the first canal estate was completed in 1992. Many buyers cancelled their contracts and plans were scaled back to what we see today.
- 2-Bedroom apartments range from 15 ~ 30 million Yen
- Houses range from 30 ~ 180 million Yen
The homes are on large freehold blocks of land, and each home has canal frontage. Monthly neighbourhood association fees are around 25,000 ~ 50,000 Yen. There are architectural and landscaping guidelines in place to preserve the character of the area.
A renovated house:
About Huis Ten Bosch
Huis Ten Bosch was built on land that was originally reclaimed during the Edo period and used as water-filled rice paddies. It was confiscated during WWII and briefly used as the branch of a naval academy. Nagasaki Prefecture later planned to convert the land into an industrial park but could not find any buyers. It was eventually purchased by the owners and operators of the Nagasaki Holland Village (now closed).
The park opened in 1992 and has been a popular setting for dramas, movies and commercials. In 1994, Janet Jackson performed at a concert in the park and both Janet and Michael Jackson stayed at the park’s guesthouse – a VIP hotel containing just 8 suites which are reserved for VIP’s such as the Dutch royal family and the Emperor of Japan.
The park’s operators filed for bankruptcy in 2003 due to a downturn in visitor numbers and management was taken over by travel agency H.I.S. The president of H.I.S. is said to reside in one of the park’s hotels.
By 2013, the park had almost 2.5 million visitors.
Huis Ten Bosch Homepage:
- 10 min walk from Huis Ten Bosch Station (83 minutes direct from Nagasaki Station)
- 30 minutes drive/train from downtown Sasebo – a port town and the second largest city in Nagasaki. There is a US Navy base in Sasebo, and the town has a number of shops catering to westerners.