The Former Local Customs House at Sagarimatsu

During the Edo Era (1639 to 1858) Nagasaki was the only port in Japan open to foreigners, but even after other ports were opened up to the outside world Nagasaki retained its status as an important trading port, and customs houses were subsequently constructed.


It is thought that this particular customs house was built in 1898. The office building is a brick-built single-storey structure displaying boards that from triangular pediments on the ends of each side of the façade. The centre of the façade features two semicircular arched entrances, emphasizing the building’s seafront location. The entire central part of the building consists of a wide earth floor inspections area, surrounded by warehouses, offices and so on. To the rear of the building is a toilet, connected by a covered corridor, and a brick wall surrounds the whole building.


The building is small but compact, with its own toilet and the brick wall around it providing an excellent display of what a customs house looked like in the Meiji Era. Not only is it important from a historical perspective, the customs house also excels as an example of the townscape created by buildings on the waterfront.  

Key information on the cultural property

Designated category
Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property
Registered date
March 19, 1990
4-33 Matsugaeda-machi, Nagasaki City
Proprietary rights
Nagasaki City

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