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Photo By: PIXTA/ Skylight
Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Nagasaki
Population
1,516,536

Dutch Slope

This historical gem is a must-see when visiting Nagasaki. 

By Elizabeth Sok

Dutch Slope, or Oranda-Zaka in Japanese, refers to a cobble-stoned street ascending a hillside in Nagasaki where foreign residents first lived when the city opened up to trade in 1859. This historical gem, close to other landmarks of cultural exchange, like Glover Garden and the Oura Cathedral, is a must-see when visiting Nagasaki. 

A History of International Exchange

Dutch Slope

Photo by: PIXTA/ Skylight Learn about the hilly area where foreigners made their home after Nagasaki opened to trade.

Nagasaki is often known to visitors mostly as the site of the second atomic bomb dropping in World War Two. But, as the nexus of maritime trade with the Portuguese and Dutch since the late 1500s, it was long one of Japan’s key windows into the outside world. The Portuguese were the first major trading power in Nagasaki, introducing many Western items with lasting cultural influence, like the castella sponge cake and the origins of tempura. 

Yet, Dutch trade in Nagasaki in particular had a powerful influence on Japan. After the Portuguese were expelled in 1638 due to worries about the spreading of Catholicism, the Dutch took up residence on the artificial island Dejima and enjoyed a privileged trade relationship with Japan that lasted almost two centuries until the dawn of the Meiji Era. Dutch Slope, the hilly area where foreign residents made their home after Nagasaki opened to trade, is a testament to this relationship. It was so-named since most Western foreigners at this time were known as Oranda-jin (Dutch person) in Japan.

Higashi Yamate 13 

Dutch Slope

Photo by: PIXTA/Skylight You can try Dutch coffee and Nagasaki-specialty castella cake sandwiches here.

With its stone-paved street and old western-style houses, Dutch Slope feels like stepping into another world altogether from the rest of the city. To dive deeper into this rich history, why not visit the two buildings here open to the public?

Higashi Yamate 13 is the former residence of a wealthy western family which has been carefully preserved with its room layouts and much original furniture still intact on the second floor. On the first floor, the garden’s heart-shaped leaf is a common photo spot for visitors while you can relax in a small cafe that offers Dutch coffee and Nagasaki-specialty castella cake sandwiches. 

Higashi Yamate 12 

Dutch Slope

Photo by: PIXTA/ papa88 Built in 1868, this is the oldest western building in the Yamate district.

Higashi Yamate 12, a stunning blue western style building, was home to both the Russian and American consulates throughout its history. Now, it contains a wealth of historical records on the many private western schools that dotted the area in the Meiji period. As the oldest original western structure in the larger Yamate district, built in 1868, this building deserves a visit! 

Things To Know

HOURS AND FEES

Dutch Slope is always open to visit. Higashi Yamate 12 and 13 are closed on Mondays and open 10 a.m.–5 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. 

Admission is free.

How To Get There

Address

By train

 Get off at the Medical Center stop and walk for five minutes. 

Where To Stay

Hotel Monterey Nagasaki
  • 1-22 Ouramachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 850-0918 Japan
  • ¥10,093 - ¥14,792
  • 4.35/5 (2,138 reviews)
  • 0.2 km
ANA Crowne Plaza Nagasaki Gloverhill
  • 1-18 Minamiyamatemachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 850-0931 Japan
  • ¥9,060 - ¥39,700
  • 0.4 km
Hotel JAL City Nagasaki
  • 13-10 Shinchimachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 850-0842 Japan
  • ¥9,500 - ¥14,535
  • 4.49/5 (2,393 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
Nagasaki Bus Terminal Hotel
  • 1-14 Shinchimachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 850-0842 Japan
  • ¥7,790 - ¥11,210
  • 3.86/5 (1,758 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
Pension Minamiyamate Jubankan
  • 2-6 Minamiyamatemachi, Nagasaki-shi, Nagasaki, 850-0931 Japan
  • ¥4,800 - ¥4,800
  • 0.5 km

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