The former foreign residences of Nagasaki

The exotic townscape of Nagasaki dates back to 1859 when many foreign residences were constructed following Japan’s opening to the world. You can still see most of these residences in the Higashi-Yamate and Minami-Yamate areas.
In 1858 when Japan signed treaties with five countries – the United States, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom and France – Nagasaki was selected as one of the ports open to foreign trade. The Nagasaki foreign settlement was developed to house the new residents coming from abroad.
Buildings of a range of Western architectural styles were constructed along the streets of the Nagasaki foreign settlement from the 1860s to the 1900s. Today the area is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city where visitors can view the historical western-style architecture and historic remnants of the period such as stone pavements and red brick walls.
The residents of the foreign settlement contributed to Japan’s modernization through their business activities and they also introduced a number of Western cultural traditions, particularly in the areas of entertainment and cuisine.
Residents in the Nagasaki foreign settlement came mainly from the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Russia and China. Other nationalities with a presence here included Austria, Germany and Denmark. The city of Nagasaki has a rich cultural heritage derived from their achievements.