Sasebo Travel Guide
Home to an American military base in the present day, Sasebo is a destination that is remarkably friendly to English speakers.
While in the area, check out its gorgeous islands, museums, and a theme park that will make you wonder if you stepped through a portal to Holland.
Come check out our Sasebo travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Sasebo, Japan.
Sasebo is situated in Nagasaki Prefecture; during the Edo Period, only three foreign nations were allowed to trade in the port of Nagasaki – China, Korea, and the Netherlands. Over the centuries, this part of Japan was exposed extensively to Dutch culture – this explains the existence of Huis Ten Bosch, a Dutch-themed theme park that attracts throngs of Japanese on a yearly basis.
Taking its name from one of the palaces of the Dutch Royal Family, this park recreates a Dutch town, complete with every Dutch cliche you can think about regarding this nation. Filled with traditional Dutch architecture, flower beds filled with tulips, and windmills, this place feels about as far away from traditional and modern Japan as you can get.
In addition to the hotels and restaurants contained within the park, you’ll find a number of amusements – these include 3D theatres, a haunted house, a Ferris Wheel, and a recreation of the famous Dom Tower of Utrecht.
Back in the city of Sasebo, make time to check out the Maritime Self-Defense Force Museum. As the name suggests, this institution focuses on telling the history of the Japanese navy.
In addition to exhibits which build a bridge from the fleets of the past to today’s navy, there are models of ships used in previous years, as well as a boat simulator, where you can try to pilot a navy ship into the harbour of Sasebo. While some displays lack English translation, the lack of an admission charge still makes this attraction well worth a visit.
Looking for a great place to enjoy a beautiful day in Sasebo? Make your way over to the Kujukushima Pearl Sea Resort. This tourist draw boasts a number of attractions that include an aquarium, restaurants, and souvenir shops.
In the aquarium, you’ll find animals that are commonly found in the waters off Sasebo. Of them, its collection of jellyfish stands out, for there are over 100 different types of this gelatinous life form.
While Sasebo is somewhat lacking in cultural attractions, its natural beauty makes up for its deficiency in this department. After checking out everything there is to see and do at Kujukushima Pearl Sea Resort, book a cruise out to the Kujuku Islands.
Literally meaning the ‘99 islands’ in English, there are actually more than 200 of these craggy, small islets in reality. For this reason, the Kujukushima area has been inducted into the ‘Most Beautiful Bays in the World’ club, making it a cruise through these isles a must for ocean lovers.
Japan is a nation that embraced many facets of American culture even after their defeat in World War II. Baseball was among them – soon there were leagues across the country, giving rise to a new type of athlete in this sport.
It was only a matter of time before one broke through to Major League Baseball in America – Masanori Murakami was the one who did it, starring in his first major league game for the San Francisco Giants as a reliever in 1964.
Many more followed in his footsteps, including catcher Kenji Jojima of Sasebo. It is him who graces the name of the Kenji Jojima Museum, which is dedicated to the baseball star and his rise to the major leagues. Learn about his early life and his playing career in Sasebo, in Japan’s major leagues, and his successful career in Major League Baseball for the Seattle Mariners.
Take in an amazing view of Sasebo and the Kujuku Islands from the Tenkaiho Observatory. Favoured in any season for its sunset views, it is best visited during the spring and fall months for its views of canola fields and fall foliage respectively.
Exhausted after a long day spent exploring the Sasebo area? Spend some time unwinding in Nagasaki Prefectural Saikaibashi Park. While your kids play on the many structures found in its playground, relax on the grass and take in the amazing coastal views that are possible throughout this park.
Photographers should take care not to miss the whirlpools that form in the adjacent channel during changes in the tides, or the spectacular bridge that crosses it.
Christianity a minority religion in Japan – only 1-2% practice nationwide. However, that number is highest in Nagasaki prefecture, with about 5% practising thanks to missionary activities during its status as an open port during the Edo Period.
Combined with the fact that Sasebo is home to a US military base and the presence of Miuracho Catholic Church shouldn’t come as a surprise. While it is nothing too spectacular compared to other Christian places of worship around the world, it is still aesthetically pleasing inside and out and is a great place to pray if you are a believer.