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Dejima, Nagasaki

An international trading station during the era of isolation

During the Sakoku Period (1639-1854) of Japan's isolation from the world, the country kept open a single official trading post with the Netherlands in Europe.

This trading post was known as Dejima and was located in Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture. In 2016, Dejima underwent some restoration with six buildings receiving work. Dejima is quite well known in Japan as it is studied at school as part of history studies.

For example, the Captain's Quarters were reserved for as the residence for the Dutch trading post captain. Despite this, the quarters apparently received all kinds of visitors including Dr. Seibold, a German physician credited with introducing Western medicine to Japan.

The room is finely restored to its original condition and includes a beautiful chandelier in the tatami room, the Japanese traditional straw room. Visiting really feel the unique atmosphere that combines both Japanese and European designs.

During recent years, some pillars dating back to the Edo Period were unearthed. These pillars were used as part of the the bridge at Dejima and are good looking. They are currently exhibited in one of the buildings in Dejima. The pillars are quite valuable and on any visit, are considered a must-see.

Dejima is not all that large, but manages to feature quite a good number of excavated materials dating back to Japan's period of official isolation from the world. Many of these materials give a good glimpse into the state of technology at the time and there are even European coins extant from those times.

While Dejima's current surroundings are very different to what it was like in the old days, there is still a sense of history here. Many of the staff are on hand to explain various things about the trading post, helping to make Dejima great tourist attraction.

If you are visiting Nagasaki, a visit to Dejima is very much recommended.

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