The Preservation District of the Group of Important Traditional Buildings in Nagasaki City’s Higashi Yamate District
長崎市東山手伝統的建造物群保存地区 (Nagasakishi Higashi Yamate Dentoteki Kenzobutsugun Hozonchiku)

In 1858 Japan concluded treaties of amity and commerce with America, Holland, Russia, Great Britain and France. The Higashi Yamate district spreads across one corner of the hills on the right bank of the Oura River, part of the foreign settlement agreed upon in these treaties. A foreign settlement is an area designated for use by foreigners to live in. The foreign settlement in Nagasaki was built by reclaiming land from the sea to the south of Dejima and the hills behind it. It was loaned out from 1860 until the abolishment of the settlement in 1899.
The settlement at Higashi Yamate was situated on high ground overlooking the merchant offices at Oura and the sea, and it was once known as the “consulate hill” due to the presence of consulates and churches built there by the Portuguese and Americans. After the settlement ended an increasing amount of mission schools built by missionaries sprung up over the district, and remain there today.
As the buildings and structures erected in the settlement create an integrated and historical cluster of buildings the preservation district covers the majority of the hills of Higashi Yamate and part of the coastal area of Oura-machi.
Most of the buildings in the preservation area are brick built with wooden clapboard facing (slightly overlapping horizontal wooden panels), painted in color, and open verandas facing the sea adjoining the main rooms. The centerpieces of this group of buildings include the Higashi-yamate No.12 Building, a Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property, and the former British Consulate. There are many other sites including the stone-paved “oranda zaka” (“Holland Hill”), its stone walls, stone drains and stone signs, wooden structures redolent of the day and age of the settlement, and many large trees.
The townscape of Nagasaki City’s Higashi Yamate is highly valuable as an historic reminder of the zoning of the foreign settlement, and an area with numerous well-preserved Western-style residences.

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Key information on the cultural property

Designated categoryNational Preservation District for Important Traditional Buildings
Registered dateApril 30, 1991
Address7.5 hectare area containing Higashi Yamate and part of Oura-machi, Nagasaki City