« 今次、TPP交渉参加の問題点 | トップページ | 100th Anniversary Celebration of the MIT Association of Japan »

Visit to Huis Ten Bosch

We, some 20 members of the Shimada Juku, visited "Huis Ten Bosch" in the neighborhood of Nagasaki city in Kyushu in late October. Huis Ten Bosch is Dutch expression of House in the forest. This is the largest pleasure park in Japan. The width is 152 ha, which is comparable of the width of Disney Land and Disney Sea combined in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo. As the single pleasure park, Huis Ten Bosch is by far the largest in Japan.

Cimg0625_2

Huis Ten Bosch was originally planned and constructed in late 1980s and opened operation in 1992. It was planned to replicate the Palais Huis Ten Bosch where Queen Beatrix recede in Holland. The plan was to construct a comprehensive and self contained town of Netherland. Along the sea side, many buildings resembling palace, hotels, commercial buildings, shopping site are constructed in accordance to a compact city planing. In spite of a far-fetching ideal of creating a dream town, the business of Huis Ten Bosch did not run well. It continued to run deficit and accumulated the dept. exceeding the asset and in 2003, it applied to Corporate Reconstruction Law.

Under the regulation of the law, several corporations and funds tried to reconstruct the company, but they never succeeded and the debt kept accumulating. In January 2010, it was determined that the company by the name of H.I.S., which is a major tourism service company, would support the revival project. In June 2010, Mr.Hideo Sawada, the chairperson of H.I.S. took the office of Huis Ten Bosch and launched a vigorous program of revival and reconstruction, and amazingly turned to yield the profit within a year for the first time for the last 18 years. HTB seems to have been reborn as a new viable pleasure park under the leadership of Hideo Sawada.

Cimg0615_2

The reason of our visit of Huis Ten Bosch was largely to witness what is going on there under the leadership of Mr.Sawada, particularly because Mr.Sawada is our proud member of the Shimada Juku, and also to enjoy the best service and attractions of HTB taking advantage of this opportunity.

Mr.Sawada took care of us very well and also explained why he accepted and launched this job. He told us that many of his close friends advised not to take this risky task. There were myriads of negative factors: compared with Disney Land, HTB is 1.6 times larger than Disney land, which means it costs 1.6 times. Disney Land can takes advantage of huge amusement consumption demand of the greater Tokyo region, whereas HTB is far away from there and only next to small consumption market of northern Kyushu, and inconvenient accesses to HTB, etc. On the other hand, there are justifying reasons largely not to terminate this monumental facility of HTB for the benefit of Japan's tourism and amusement business. The most critical reason for him, however, to have accepted the job was his "challenging" spirit to challenge the most difficult task. His passion to try to climb the highest and most difficult mountain in front of him.

As a condition of acceptance, he wrote off all the shares of the old HTB, and created a new company where HIS funded 67% of the capital. This practically meant that he purchased the asset which costed 200 billion dollars with only 2 billions. HTB restarted with no burdens of net debt and depreciations.He also obtained agreement from local government to exempt any asset taxes. With these conditions, he started the new job. It meant that he already won the game of financing and taxes before he started the game.

However, there were even more heavier challenges before him. One was the " defeat mentality" of some 1000 employees who never experienced "victory" during the successive deficit prone period. Mr.Sawada asked (1) to clean every corner of the park every day, (2) behave gayly even if you don't feel like it, (3) reduce cost 20% and increase sales 20%. He encouraged employees everyday and the culture became increasingly positive. Another was to produce visible and attractive program successively. The most notable of many he tried was a world gardening competition, which increased half a million visitors relative to previous years. Our friend, Mr.Masatoshi Miyagawa, another member of Shimada Juku who runs flowers markets on his own business, played a critical role to reduce costs and increased quality of flowers. HTB turned to a shining flower garden throughout the year. These seem to be critical reasons behind the quick turn around of HTB from deficit prone park to profitable business.

We enjoyed visiting many amusement facilities, exhibitions, mini-concerts, short boat trips, nice restaurants, enjoyable talks at HTB for two days. This was an enjoyable, amusing and enlightening tour of an October holiday.


Cimg0680_3


|

« 今次、TPP交渉参加の問題点 | トップページ | 100th Anniversary Celebration of the MIT Association of Japan »

コメント

コメントを書く



(ウェブ上には掲載しません)


コメントは記事投稿者が公開するまで表示されません。



トラックバック

この記事のトラックバックURL:
http://app.f.cocolog-nifty.com/t/trackback/1441035/42926634

この記事へのトラックバック一覧です: Visit to Huis Ten Bosch:

« 今次、TPP交渉参加の問題点 | トップページ | 100th Anniversary Celebration of the MIT Association of Japan »