Sitting on the northern tip of Omura Bay lies the spectacular, if slightly bizarre, Huis Ten Bosch. Both named after one of the three official residences of the Dutch royal family and a faithful recreation of a Dutch town, the Huis Ten Bosch resort and theme park is a sight to behold.
Huis Ten Bosch is well-served by JR rail links to Hakata (Fukuoka) and Nagasaki. Most trains are limited express, with most from Hakata needing a transfer at nearby Haiki Station. Factor in up to 110 minutes for your journey.
Alternatively, arrive via Nagasaki Airport. High-speed boat services travel direct across Omura Bay to Huis Ten Bosch. The journey takes about 50 minutes.
Huis Ten Bosch, or “House in the Forest,” was built in March 1992 to commemorate the long and rich history between Japan and the Netherlands.
Arriving at Huis Ten Bosch' shores, you are transported into a world of windmills and tulips, life-size replicas of Dutch buildings and breathtaking illuminations. There is much to explore, with playgrounds, shops, theaters, and restaurants lining the streets. For a one-of-a-kind experience, take a boat tour, reminiscent of journeys you can make in Amsterdam, along the park's canals.
The resort itself is divided into two areas: the Theme Park Zone and the Harbor Zone. Both include free and paid attractions, with most located in the Theme Park area. Regular admission tickets grant entry to both zones, but a cheaper and separate ticket is available for only the Harbor area.
With millions of LEDs illuminating Huis Ten Bosch from roughly February to May, the resort comes alive after dark. From the sonic wizardry of projection mapping to award-winning light displays, be dazzled by splurges of color.
If you're visiting in other months, however, don't be disappointed. Instead, be amazed by some of Kyushu's largest fireworks festivals. Most displays take place during summer, with special events occurring throughout the year.
In addition to its observation tower, the resort has invented fun new ways for you to see it from above. A 20-meter bungee jump over the Art Garden lights offers a wonderful chance to view the park from a completely new perspective: upside down.
Spring sees the Dutch-styled resort busier than ever for its famously photo-worthy annual tulip festival. Greeting visitors on their way in along “Flower Road,” the tulips spread across the entirety of the park, covering it in an array of reds, yellows, pinks, whites and sometimes, even purples.
While it's possible to see most of the park's main attractions within a day, consider staying at an in-house hotel to both save time and savor the local atmosphere. Ranging from European-style accommodations to lakeside villas to a lodging staffed only by robots, there are accommodations options for everyone.
The park is open daily from 9:00 - 21:30, or until 20:30 from December through February.
A Day 'Passport' costs 5,600 for adults and 4,400 for children.
Be aware that prices may vary during certain festivals and it's always good to check online beforehand.