2016 Grand Opening! A Kingdom of Robots
Robot Kingdom is not a single location within Huis Ten Bosch, but several facilities, such as Robot House and Henn-na Restaurant ROBOT. It showcases a collection of cutting-edge robots that children and adults alike can interact with and experience some of the newest technologies.
Have Fun Playing with Robots!
First, head to the Robot House to make friends with robots! There you’ll find displays by companies researching and developing robots,. You can learn about the history and the latest robotic technology, as well as see all kinds of robots in this house. You can control robots and play at the Robot Game Corner. You can operate the soccer robot with a controller that makes it go through a maze and shoot a ball-so much fun! At the Robot Stage, enjoy watching a dance show by robots, performed in 30-minute intervals. The Robot Shop, with over 200 kinds of robots, is not to be missed.
In the Children’s Robot House right next door to the Robot House, you can enjoy the “Battle King.” Here, children and adults can operate a driving type robot to fight battles. The facility staff will teach you how to ride the robot. However, it’s recommended that children younger than six years old ride with their parent or guardian. The total weight per robot must be 100kg (220 lb) or less.
Fun for the Eyes and Mouth! A Restaurant Where Robots Cook
If you’re hungry after all that playing, try the restaurant! The Henn-na Restaurant ROBOT inside Robot Kingdom is staffed with a concierge, store manager, chef, and bartender—all robots. It’s a buffet-style restaurant, so you can eat as much as you want of your favorite dishes.
The highlight here is the kitchen, where robots work busily. One thing that especially catches the eye is the great spatula technique for flipping the Okonomiyaki pancakes. An Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake made by mixing a batter with meat and vegetables, and then heating it on an iron grill. You have to flip the pancake while cooking, and make sure both sides are well browned. The robot head cook does this skillfully while other robots prepare various dishes, such as fried foods and soft-serve ice cream.
You can also drink cocktails at the Henn-na Restaurant ROBOT. Of course, the bartender is a robot that can make around 20 types of cocktails. You can also order soft drinks, so it is appropriate for your children.
Dinosaur Robots Welcome You at Henn-na Hotel
If you have the chance to visit Robot Kingdom, we strongly recommend you to stay at the Henn-na Hotel. It is a 10-minute walk from Huis Ten Bosch, and a free bus is also available. Once you enter the hotel, you are welcomed by… dinosaurs!? They are actually robots, too. When you finally see a human, you discover that this is also another robot, humanoid this time. Yes, this is the world’s first robot hotel.
Henn-na Hotel is full of the latest technologies so services can be provided with the greatest efficiency. For example, it uses facial recognition for customer identification. Once customers register their faces, they can enter their rooms without using a key or key card. In addition, Porter Robots (only available in the East Arm building of the hotel) will carry your luggage to your room. The window washing, lawn mowing, and housekeeping are all performed by robots, and customers can be comfortable from check-in to check-out.
Robot House Supervisor: Masayuki Okamoto of Robot Yuenchi
Let’s Go Sightseeing in Sasebo City!
Once you have enjoyed the latest robotic technologies, you should go out and enjoy the natural beauty, history, and food of Sasebo City. Sasebo City is on the northwest edge of Kyushu, about two hours train ride from Nagasaki. Boasting a deep-water harbor, it is surrounded by the sea and islands of varying sizes. Everywhere you look, you will see splendid scenery. You can enjoy nature and have fun experiencing the historic port city.
Kujukushima has Islands of all sizes
This northwestern area of Nagasaki Prefecture has 288 kilometers (approx. 179 miles) of coastline and 400 islands of varying sizes. The entire area is designated as a national park, and is protected and managed by the government. The Kitamatsuura Peninsula west coast, which includes 204 islands between Sasebo City and the neighboring Hirado City, is called “Kujukushima.”
The Kujukushima Pearl Sea Resort is a large resort park where you can enjoy a wide range of activities in Kujukushima. In addition to an aquarium and cruises between islands, you can try sea kayaking to a desert island. This is not a grueling challenge: you can reach the desert island in 10 minutes. Time flies while you look up at a sheer cliff created by the ocean tide, observe the island’s native creatures, and feed red sea breams from a raft. If you want a panoramic view of Kujukushima, the Ishidake Observatory is recommended. It is at an elevation of 191m (622 feet), close to the seashore, and has a 360-degree view that was used in the movie, “The Last Samurai”.
Location: 2277 Funakoshi-cho, Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture
A Special Stone Created by a Large Demon!? The Meganeiwa Rock
Sasebo City has eight scenic spots, collectively called the “Hirado Hakkei” (Sasebo was under the influence of the Hirado Clan until the mid-19th century), which feature unusual rock formations. One of them, the “Meganeiwa, literally eyeglasses rock,” is 10m (approx. 33 feet) tall, 20m (approx. 66 feet) wide, and 6m (approx. 20 feet) thick, with two large holes side by side. It is thought that these holes were made by waves when this area was under the sea. Legends have it that an Oni demon lived in this area a long time ago, and it created the Meganeiwa by kicking open the holes when it straightened its legs when awakening from a nap.
The Meganeiwa Rock
Location: 1266-1 Setogoe-cho, Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture
A Good Natural Port, Sasebo Port has a Great Night View
The Sasebo Port next to Sasebo Bay utilizes the natural landform of the area, and has been in operation as a port since the mid-16th century. Later, the base for trade moved to Nagasaki Port, but the former Japanese navy started using this place as a military port toward the end of the 19th century, which revitalized the port town. In the evening, you can see the orange lights around the shipbuilding dockyard from the Yumiharidake Observatory. You can also enjoy the night view from a different angle from the Tenjinzan Park, on the other side of Sasebo Bay.
Address: Ono-cho, Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture
Address: 95-16 Higashiyama-cho, Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture
Enjoy Sasebo’s Gourmet
Kujukushima is famous for the most desirable puffer fish, the tiger puffer. Sasebo City has recorded the highest production levels of cultivated tiger puffers since 2013. The recommended way of eating tiger puffer is Sashimi. The chewy tiger puffer is sliced to the ideal thickness by local chefs. The texture is exquisite.
When it comes to Sasebo City gourmet food, the Sasebo Burger must not be missed. After the war, when the U.S. Navy occupied the area, various restaurants, bars, and night clubs emerged to cater to base personnel in Sasebo City. Around this time, the naval officers and servicemen talked longingly about American hamburgers, and restaurants from all over Sasebo developed their own answer to this need. The definitive Sasebo Burger is made to order, but beyond that, they are all different: each restaurant serves its own unique version. In addition to the Kujukushima Pearl Resort, Sasebo City hosts a plethora of stores, restaurants, and cafes that serve their version of the Sasebo Burger, so trying all the different kinds is a delightful way to discover Sasebo.
Sasebo City is full of cutting-edge technology, nature, history, and gourmet dining. Exploring the Robot Kingdom, Sasebo City, and the beauties of Kujukushima is a perfect adventure for travelers who are looking for a wide spectrum of great experiences.