Of the 10 most visited countries by international tourist arrivals (at least, according to pre-coronavirus pandemic data), five are in Europe: France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK, respectively. Given these destinations’ rich histories and cultures, it is easy to understand why they appeal to a diverse array of tourists.
But flying to Europe is expensive and purchasing a ticket needs to be justified by spending enough time there. Sometimes you may want a small taste of European culture without actually doing much travel. Or maybe you call a country in Europe home and you’re itching to visit. Luckily, several places in Japan have been designed to provide a European atmosphere.
Here are five places you can visit in Japan if you can’t (or don’t) want to go all the way to Europe.
1. Huis Ten Bosch (Nagasaki)
Craving a taste of the Netherlands? Arguably the most famous Europe-like destination in Japan is Huis Ten Bosch, a recreation of a Dutch town that also happens to be Japan’s largest theme park. The park is named after one of the residences of the Dutch royal family. However, it is basically a small city the size of Monaco.
The idea may seem kitschy, but it is a beautiful park with windmills and Dutch-style architecture, cobblestone streets and a canal leading to the ocean.
Visitors on a day trip can enjoy viewing seasonal flowers, eating at one of the park’s many restaurants and watching a musical show. Staying the night in the park is also possible and visitors can choose from several European-style hotels and see the nighttime illuminations.
Huis Ten Bosch - Map
Admission: ¥7,000 for a one-day park ticket
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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