Mayor of Nagasaki visits Leiden

Mayor of Nagasaki visits Leiden

On September 25 2018 a delegation from Nagasaki, led by Mayor Tomihisa and accompanied by several Nagasaki city council members, visited Leiden.  The 50-man delegation also included representatives from trade and industry, cultural organisations and private individuals. The delegation’s first stop was Japan Museum SieboldHuis, once  home to Philipp Franz von Siebold, where they were received by director Mrs, Kris Schiermeier. Siebold is viewed by many as the one of the first to forge the ties between our two cities. 

Photo by Elizabeth van der Wind

Next stop on the agenda was a visit to the Hortus Botanicus where the delegation was met by the director Paul Kessler, Carla Teune and Izai Kikuchi.  A guided tour of the hortus followed highlighting the horticultural ties with Japan including trees and plants and the Siebold Memorial Garden.

Photo by Ronald Hilhorst

The group continued on foot to city hall where they received a warm welcome by Mayor Henri Lenferink and H.E. the Ambassador of Japan to the Netherlands, Hiroshi Inomata. Mayor Lenferink recalled several amusing incidents that occured while in Japan the previous year  when the official Twin City Agreement was signed.

Photo by Ronald Hilhorst

The Japanese custom of gift-giving was not forgotten. This time a special word of thanks went to Kuniko Forrer for her ourstandingwork in preparing this visit on behalf of the SLVN.

Photo by Guus Rijven

Three boats were waiting at city hall to take the group on a lunch cruise along the canals of Leiden.

Transportation and delightful sandwiches were provided by ‘Broodjes & Bootjes’.  The boat trip ended at the Museum of Ethnology where Director Stijn Schoonderwoerd and curator Daan Kok invited the delegation for a guided tour of the museum.

An energetic performance by Raiden Yosokoi brought end to the day’s activities.  This traditional Japanese Fishermen dance is extremely popular in Japan and especially in Nagasaki.  Raiden Yosokoi was was presented with a special flag from Nagasaki last year. Initially three performances were planned, however the delegation thought otherwise and cheered and shouted ‘Motte koi, motte koi’ (encore).  

Photo by Guus Rijven


Photo by Ronald Hilhorst

A closing dinner was held hosted by Alderwoman Yvonne van Delft.  Mayor Taue expressed his gratitude for the hospitality he enjoys when visiting Leiden and for the deep friendship he feels when the people of Nagasaki and Leiden meet.

Photo by Ronald Hilhorst

Japanweek @ Elementary school ‘t Klankbord

From 12 – 23 Febuary all eyes will be on Japan at ’t Klankbord Elementary School in Stevenshof. With the help of enthusiastic volunteers, organisations in the region and the Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation (SLVN), the school will hold theme days for all its students.  Japanologists, students of Japan Studies at the University of Leiden and exchange students from Nagasaki will help will participate in the programme.

Programme            In cooperation with
Visit Japan Museum SieboldHuis   Japan Museum SieboldHuis
Cool Japan Dr. Daan Kok Museum Volkenkunde
Lecture on Dejima & Nagasaki Professor dr  Matthi Forrer Emeritus Professor  
Netherlands Ikebana Club Mrs. Corrie van der Meer -Fischer Netherelands Ikebana Club
Japanese Haikus Ms.  Cécile Verburg Haiku Kern Leiden
Language and Culture of Japan Ms.  Riko Higa & Mr. Ronald Hilhorst Nagasaki University
Japanese Tea Ceremony Mr. Takahide Suzuki De Telescoop
City Tour “Wandelgids Japan in Leiden”   LVSJK Tanuki
Sister Cities Leiden, Nagasaki and the Japanese School Mrs.  Jessica Hilhorst






Sister Cities Nagasaki and Leiden Celebrate official ties

 On Thursday November 30, celebrations were held in Leiden City Hall to commemorate the signing – 5 days earlier in Japan – of the official Sister City relationship with Nagasaki. In a brief presentation, Alderman Paul Dirkse outlined

the importance of the sister city relationship with Nagasaki. Director of Japan Museum SieboldHuis and Chair of the Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation (SLVN), Kris Schiermeier gave an account of the many places Japan can be found in Leiden including a section of the ‘Singelpark’ that will highlight Nagasaki in particular and Japan in a more broader perspective.

Jessica Hilhorst then spoke of her experiences during her six month stay in Nagasaki and elaborated on the opportunities that this sister city relationship could bring to both cities.   Professor Dr. M. Forrer gave an animated account of his work on the restoration of Dejima.  A reception followed.

Media coverage (Dutch):

Gemeente Leiden Sleutelstad LD
UL KaternJapan Leiden Marketing
LeidenTV UnityFM SP Leiden

Twin City Celebrations

Since 2013 the cities of Leiden and Nagasaki have enjoyed an official Friendship Affiliation.  On Friday, 24 November this friendship affiliation will be elevated to that of Twin Cities in a signing ceremony to take place in Nagasaki.  We are extremely grateful to all those whose efforts and cooperation have led to this end, in particular to the late Aad van der Luit and the City Middelburg.

The Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation is therefore pleased to celebrate the relationship with Nagasaki on Thursday 30 November 2017.

The Speakers:

Professor dr Matthi Forrer (1948) studied Japanese Language and Culture at the University of Leiden and East Asian Art History at the University of Amsterdam. Professor Forrer is Senior Researcher Japan Collections at the Museum for Ethnology in Leiden and lecturer  Material Culture of pre-Modern Japan at the University of Leiden.

Professor Forrer has been closely involved in the restoration of Deshima in Nagasaki.


Jessica Hilhorst (1977) Studied Japanese Language at the University of Leiden and is

Senior Policy Officer for Education Innovation at the City of Leiden.  In 2016 Hilhorst spent  six months at the International Affairs Division of the City of Nagasaki.  Ms Hilhorst has been closely involved in the groundworks leading towards the establishment of a Twin City relationship with Nagasaki and was involved in the establishment of the initial Friendship Affiliation and visit to Japan of Leiden Mayor Lenferink in 2013.

Nagasaki Meet&Greet

On April 19th a delegation from Nagasaki led by the Honorary Consul General of the Netherlands Mr. Masahide Shimazaki was given a warm spring-time welcome to Leiden.

The delegation began with a visit to Japan Museum where they were met by museum director Kris Schiermeier and Kuniko Forrer. After a tour of the museum and a photo shoot in the garden, the delegation made its way over the sunny Rapenburg to the Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Garden).

There they strolled through the garden and listened as Hortulana Carla Teune gave a detailed explanation of the many Japanese plants and trees there.

While enjoying a lunch served on board, the delegation made its way by boat (courtesy of the ‘Leidse Rederij’) to the Museum for Volkenkunde and were met by director Stijn Schoonderwoerd and curator Daan Kok. In addition to viewing the permanent collection, the group also stopped to
see the recently opened exhibition ‘Cool Japan’ before continuing on to the depot where they were shown a number of exceptional Japanese prints.

Next stop, again by boat over the canals, was Het Arsenaal where the delegation was welcomed by staff and students of Japanese studies, Alumnikai association ‘Van Hier tot Tokio’, Student association ‘Tanuki’, University of Leiden, Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), City of
Leiden and representatives of corporate Leiden. Alderman for Education, Sports and Sustainability, Paul Dirkse was also present.

Guests were treated to the best herring in the Netherlands courtesy of Atlantic and refreshments compliments of Japan Museum SieboldHuis.

After receiving a special flag from the delegation for use during performances, the Leiden Dance ensemble ‘Japanse Yosokoi’ gave a spectacular performance. Jazz singer Annelies de Bruin and pianist Sophie Anglionin of ‘Just as Jazz’ treated to guests to a delightful closing
performance with their interpretation of Yuki no Hana by singer Mika Nakashima.

The delegation said their farewells and departed for City Hall where they were received by Leiden Mayor Henri Lenferink.

Many thanks to all those who worked together to make this an unforgettable day!

Leidsch Dagblad: Vriendschap Japan-Leiden bezegeld met haring



Meet & Greet Nagasaki

Meet & Greet Nagasaki

Het Arsenaal – Leiden

19 April 2017 15:00 – 17:00

It is with pleasure that I extend to you an invitation to join us at a Meet & Greet with the Nagasaki Dutch Friendship Association on Wednesday, 19 April 2017,

Meet & Greet Nagasaki Dutch Friendship Association

Wednesday,  19 April 2017

15:00 – 17:00 hours (door opens 14:30)

Arsenaalstraat 1, Leiden

You are kindly requested to register for this event no later than Thursday, 13 April 2017. As the number of participants is limited. Click here to register: online form.

The delegation, led by Honorary Consul of the Netherlands Mr. M. Shimazaki will include members of the  Nagasaki Dutch Friendship Association, corporate representation, members of the Press, Nagasaki University and Nagasaki Prefecture.

Organisers of this event are the Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation in cooperation with the University of Leiden, Japan Studies, Tanuki (Leiden Association of Students of Japanese & Korean), Leiden Alumni Association: ‘Van hier tot Tokyo’ and  the Japanese dance group: Raiden Yosokoi.

Programme details:

  • Welcome speech(es)
  • Corporate presentations (for details/
  • Meet with friends and counterparts in Nagasaki (Alumni and students will assist in overcoming Language barriers)
  • Performance by Dance Group Raiden Yosokoi
  • Refreshments

During their one-day visit to Leiden, the Nagasaki Dutch Friendship Association will enjoy a varied programme including visits to Japan Museum SieboldHuis, Hortus Botanicus, Museum for Ethnology, and Leiden City hall. Transportation by boat from the Hortus Botanicus, Museum for Ethnology and het Arsenaal will be provided by  Leidse Rederij (Leiden Boat Rental).

We look forward to welcoming you on 19th April in Het Arsenaal.

Cordially yours,

Kris Schiermeier

Chairman Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation (SLVN)

The visit of the group from Nagasaki is possible by the support of:

Cooperation The Japan-Netherlands Society of Nagasaki

The Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation called on The Japan-Netherlands Society of Nagasaki today where they met with Messrs Fuji and Nakamura and Ms Yamaguchi.

There they received an introduction to the Japan-Netherlands Society of Nagasaki and an outline of its activities over the past several years.  Mr Fuji explained in detail the society’s up-coming activities and stressed the importance of developing mutually beneficial corporate relations.

The meeting focussed on both present and future ties including the up-coming Siebold Collection Conference in October and the completion  of 6 warehouses at Deshima.  2017 will also see the opening of the land bridge to Deshima and a host of other activities highlighting the Kyūshū Year.

f.l.t.r. Ronald Hilhorst (SLVN), Izumi Fuji (JNSN), Tetsu Nakamura (JNSN), Eri Yamaguchi (JNSN)

f.l.t.r. Ronald Hilhorst (SLVN), Izumi Fuji (JNSN), Tetsu Nakamura (JNSN), Eri Yamaguchi (JNSN)

Visit of the Isahaya Agricultural Highschool

The Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation paid its latest visit to the Isahaya High School for Agriculture.  They were greeted by Mr. Hayashi, the school’s director, head teacher Mr. Maeda and Mr. Uchikawa, head of the veterinary sciences department.

They spoke at length about the prospect of establishing ties wth the Netherlands, in particular to enhancing and enriching the school’s curriculum.  Naturally their interest lies with the Netherlands – a recognized leader in the field of agriculture.
The school offers a wide variety of courses including flower arranging (Ikebana), animal care (pet shop), agriculture and horticulture, farm and livestock and bio & life science studies.  Graduates are skilled in both management and research & development sectors in these courses.

At a press briefing the results of a 2-year study (from cultivation to finished product) were presented.  The product:  AsuTaro is a joint venture between university students and locale manufacturers.

The school is interested in establishing contacts in the Netherlands, interested parties are requested to follow this link to our website for further information.







Visit of the Dejima Restoration Office

Ronald Hilhorst, Secretary of the Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation   (ライデン日蘭協会) visited the Dejima Restoration Office  recently

(出島復元整備室) and was welcomed by the director Junji Mamitsuka.

Ronald Hilhorst and Junji Mamitsuka at the main entrance to Dejima Island

Ronald Hilhorst and Junji Mamitsuka at the main entrance to Dejima Island

The two discussed the existing ties between Nagasaki and Leiden and the prospects to strengthen and further develop their mutual interests.  This year is an important one for Dejima as it will see the completion of the five warehouses on the island.  The final touches are now being added in time for the Siebold Collection Conference to be held in Nagasaki in October. Another milestone for Dejima will be the grand opening next year of the newly constructed land bridge.  In both cases all eyes will be on Nagasaki this year and next.

For more information on Dejima:


Courtesy call to The Japan-Netherland Society of Nagasaki and the Honorary Consul of the Netherlands

Today the ‘Leiden Friends of Nagasaki Foundation’  (ライデン日蘭協会) and the City of Leiden paid a courtesy call on the Japan-Netherlands Society of Nagasaki  (長崎日蘭協会) and the Honorary Consul of the Netherlands in Nagasaki.

We were given a warm welcome by Mr. Keizo Ueda, Chairman of the Japan-Netherlands Society and spoke at length about the friendly and historic ties between our two cities.

The Honorary Consul of the Netherlands in Nagasaki Mr. Masahide Shimazaki, emphasized the  importance of strengthening  and further developing the friendship affiliation between our cities.