Hollander Slope in Nagasaki

Foreign settlement in Higashi-Yamate

By Alena Eckelmann    - 1 min read

Nagasaki was international well before Tokyo, Yokohama or Kobe appeared on the scene as Japan's trading places with foreign nations. The city's rich foreign heritage is apparent wherever you go in Nagasaki. The former "foreign settlements" in Nagasaki's Higashi-Yamate, Minami-Yamate, Oura and Dejima districts, established in 1859 when Japan was opened to the world after centuries of isolation, are places steeped in history. They tell the stories of those Western settlers, mainly merchants and diplomats and their families, who settled here and often became successful in business or influential in politics. Although this slope is called "Hollander Slope", it was not just Dutchmen who lived here but people from a great number of countries. There is a little museum in one of the buildings and another building houses a cafe. The cafe's terrace is a nice open-air place to sit down and have a coffee after a walk up the slopes.

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Alena Eckelmann

Alena Eckelmann @alena.eckelmann

Founder of Kii Monogatari, my story and the story of the Kii Peninsula of Japan. Originally from East Germany, I came to Tokyo, via Berlin and London, in 2005. In summer 2011 I moved by choice to remote Kumano in the south of the Kii Peninsula where I live, work and play now, and explore every day.The whole of the Kii Peninsula is a Healing Hub for me with its abundance of forest, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, the ocean, friendly rural communities and sacred places. This is where nature meets spirituality, and tradition meets sustainability, the new paradigm for travel post-pandemic. My deep interest is in Japanese nature & spirituality. I love being in nature, in the forest and in the mountains, and I love spending time at temples and shrines.  I am building my life and my work around these two passions. I am a Licensed Forest Therapy (Shinrin Therapy) Guide and a Licensed Kumano Kodo and Koyasan Guide. I am also a Licensed Retreat Facilitator and I am planning retreats on the Kii Peninsula. Last but not least, I have been the Japan Travel Partner for Wakayama and Yamagata since the conception of the platform in 2011! These two prefectures are close to my heart because they are the centers of Shugendo, a spiritual tradition of mountain ascetism. I am a Shugendo Practitioner for over ten years now and received Tokudo in 2016 at a Shugendo temple on Yoshinoyama. Please kindly connect via my Facebook Page Kii Monogatari. Take care, keep well, stay safe!