- Mr. Hamasaki, the chief engineer of the Nagasaki Harbor Fishing Port Office, says, ''I’m completely satisfied with the system because of its brightness and seamless image connections.'' He was engaged in the expansion plan for the wharf where the Matusgae International Cruise Ship Terminal is located, as well as in the building construction. ''I wanted to create a space that would really have an impact on visitors.'' We asked him to tell us about the process of making his dream a reality.
Since the first international cruise ship entered the Port of Nagasaki in 1958, the port has been known as one of Japan’s prominent tourist ports. However, in recent years jumbo-size cruise ships have become more prominent throughout the world, and in response the Port of Nagasaki, in 2004, initiated the planning for a wharf to accommodate a 100,000-ton-class cruise ship. This facility would be the first of its kind in Japan.
Along with the construction of the wharf, the creation of the facility for cruise ship passengers was initiated, and finally the Nagasaki Port Matsugae International Cruise Ship Terminal was completed. Of all the crucial factors in building a terminal building designed to naturally blend into the landscape, the Welcome Gallery was the most focused point. It had to be done in such a manner as not to disturb the beautiful scenery of Nagasaki, which can be seen from the cruise ship about to enter into the port. The walls of the corridor connecting to the Passport Control counters are thus filled with colorful images that introduce visitors to the charm of Nagasaki and all of Japan.
Because cruise ships are from abroad, for many passengers it is their first opportunity to visit Japan. Mr. Hamasaki says, ''We have designed the terminal to impress not only first-time visitors but also regular visitors with the charm of Nagasaki and Japan. We tried to do this in such a way that the terminal would serve as a space that evokes visitors’ expectations toward the sightseeing destinations they’re about to visit.'' During the planning stage, applications of liquid crystal and plasma displays were considered. However, Mr. Hamasaki sought advice from various experts through the ''Urban Design Experts Conference,'' through which one can receive knowledgeable opinions in regard to urban landscaping, seeking to create a space that would give an impression of devotion and unification. ''It would be hard to see multiple images projected onto multiple numbers of flat displays, because the seams between the images are too noticeable, thus hindering the achievement of realism and the feeling of unification. By projecting images over the entire surfaces of the walls, we could achieve a presentation that gives passengers a vivid impression.'' Back then Mr. Hamasaki didn’t know about the edge-blending technology used to seamlessly connect multiple numbers of projected images. ''In order to study this technology, I went all the way to Yokohama and visited the port there.'' Eventually, large-scale wall-surface images were completed using a total of 12 projectors with approximately 130-inch images per projector. The images are projected onto four left wall surfaces, six right wall surfaces and two front wall surfaces.
Mr. Hamasaki has chosen the Panasonic PT-DW6300K DLP™ projector as the unit that can project seamless images onto the entire wall surfaces, based in part on advice from the Urban Design Experts Conference. He said "Due to the doors being kept open constantly at the Welcome Gallery, the outdoor daylight greatly affects the projected images." Therefore his thought was to have at least 6,000 lm when designing the facility, this was ideal. Viewing the actual images projected on the wall surfaces, Mr. Hamasaki is satisfied with the fact that everything went precisely according to plan.
A 100,000-ton-class ship will carry approximately 2,500 passengers. Although the Passport Control procedure is conducted at 12 counters, there is some waiting involved. ''Passengers can enjoy projected images while they await their turn. Currently, there are three types of content and the programs are alternated between the morning and the evening. The passengers speak very highly of all the programs.'' Cherry blossoms are always associated with Japan. Mr. Hamasaki says some visitors even take pictures of images of cherry blossoms with their cameras. Mr. Hamasaki reports, ''Passengers are very happy. I hear them saying, ‘I’ve never seen such a wonderful facility in any other port, including those in other countries!’''
''Now that it has become an attractive wharf at which a jumbo cruise ship can dock, we’ll further improve our international gateway functions. I’ll be very happy if this effort encourages more tourism in Nagasaki,'' says Mr. Hamasaki. The terminal is open to the public when no ship is scheduled to dock, and Mr. Hamasaki wants to use the terminal for various events as well: ''The International Terminal has become increasingly recognized by citizens, and more people are requesting visits to the terminal for observation. I believe the new facility and large-scale images will revitalize the city of Nagasaki.''