View from the Tenkaiho observatory in Sasebo, Japan
The Kujukushima Islands — the name translates to "99 islands," although there are actually 208 — are a beautiful sight to behold. Ranging from tiny to massive, each island features a jagged shoreline, a rocky base and abundant green forestry. See each island up close with a boat tour or view from above at the Tenkai-ho observation deck.
Colorful flowers in the flower road zone inside Huis Ten Bosch Theme Park in Sasebo, Japan
At the Huis Ten Bosch Theme Park, you can enjoy recreated Dutch landscapes, buildings, canals and gardens. Celebrating the beneficial relationship between the Netherlands and Japan, the park doubles as a beautiful botanical resort — a different array of flowers blooms each season in rows designed to resemble Dutch tulip fields.
Spend the day at the Kujukushima Pearl Sea Resort: Explore the aquarium, learn to sail, or take a guided island tour. Learn how to harvest a pearl with a hands-on experience, and check out the Jellyfish Symphony Dome, where you can see jellyfish swim alongside a video, music and light show. During winter, you can taste delicious Kujukushima oysters at the Oyster Festival.
An outcome of the town's history as a U.S. naval base, Sasebo Burgers are a delicious fusion of Japanese and Western tastes. Made to order, vendors entice you with topping combos like egg, cheese and bacon. Try other favorites unique to the Kyushu region, like nanban fried chicken brined in vinegar and topped with tartar sauce or Hakata-style ramen with its creamy white broth and chewy, straight noodles.
Near the dock, you'll see Sasebo 5bangai, an air conditioned mall with everything from fashion outlets to trendy restaurants. During your Sasaebo cruise vacation, head to Tonneru Yokocho shopping arcade to see the small shops built in wartime and protected by metal doors. Vendors often sell novelty naval-themed trinkets, traditional kimonos and lacquered wood homeware and decorations.
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