Nagasaki developed into a trading port after Portuguese ships, the first European trading ships, arrived in 1571. Christian missionary activity also flourished, so in 1636, the Tokugawa Shogunate ordered the construction of Dejima, an artificial island, to monitor trade and keep missionary activity in check.
The Portuguese initially resided on the island, but their ships were forbidden to enter Japan, the Dutch trading post was relocated from Hirado, and for 218 years it was Japan’s only gateway to the West. Later, Dejima disappeared completely due to harbor redevelopment, but in 1996, Dejima Restoration Work Master Plan was formulated, and the work continues to this day to fully restore the island. Sixteen buildings and landscapes have been restored, including warehouses and Dutch residences, so when you visit, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Inside the buildings, you can see rooms that recreate life in those days as well as displays of excavated artifacts.