Hello! Here is another report from Hirado, in the north of Nagasaki Prefecture.
Those of you who have been to Hirado have probably been to the Bus & Ferry Terminal in Hirado Harbour. Since old days this has been the place where the ships would arrive in Hirado. After the Hirado Bridge was built, the ferries from Tabira stopped their service but there are still ferries leaving here for the northern islands of Azuchi-Oshima and Takushima. When Hirado Bridge opened it has also become the terminus for busses going to Hirado.
The old bus & ferry terminal was a rather uninspiring concrete block from the sixties. Especially on rainy days it would look drab and was not a good first impression for such a historical town as Hirado. Last year the old building was torn down and a new building was put in place which opened this April. The new building is build in a similar Japanese style like the old houses of Sakigata neighbourhood which is right in front of the terminal. It is bright and pleasant.
More importantly is now also houses not only the transport offices and ticket booths, it also has a tourist information office as well as the desk for the Volunteer Tour Guides. They are local people that can show you around Hirado on foot in 2 hours for just 1500 yen, no matter with how many people you are!
There is also free wifi available and there are a few computers that you can use. Also if you are in town for the day, there are lockers to leave your bags. The toilets are nice and modern and there are tables and chairs to take a break. There is also a large amount of pamphlets and brochures available.
So on your next visit to Hirado, it is a good place to start from when you want to discover the sites of Hirado!
Hello, my name is Remco and I will be reporting once in while from Hirado, located in the north of Nagasaki Prefecture.
I am originally from the Netherlands but I have been working and living in Hirado for 7 years now. Nagasaki city is famous for having a long relation with the Netherlands, after all the Dejima Network is called after the Dutch Trading Post in Nagasaki, Dejima.
But did you know that both the Chinese, Portuguese and the Dutch traded in Hirado long before they moved to Nagasaki city? The head of a Chinese trading network established his base in Hirado and brought the Portuguese (1550) and later the Dutch (1609) to Hirado. Eventually the English also set up a trading post in Hirado, exactly 400 years ago actually, in 1613!
Those who have been to Hirado probably know that you can still see many signs of this international history. Two years ago a reconstruction of a warehouse of the Dutch Trading Post was rebuilt in its original style. It’s a beautiful building and it is said it was originally the first real western style building in Japan, built in 1639.
It is now open as a museum where you can read all about the international trading that was going on in Hirado. They are English explanations throughout the museum and they have a free Tablets on loan with app that include all the information about what is on display and about items in the archives.
The Portuguese, Dutch and English introduced many different things to Japan while they were in Hirado. For example Bread, Refined Sugar, Paint, Tabacco, Beer but also paint and new building techniques, such as stone arch technique which they used for the doors of the warehouse. Therefore the old stone bridge that you can find in Hirado is nicknamed `The Dutch Bridge` because it uses that building method.
So if you ever come to Hirado, come and visit the Dutch Trading Post, you can learn all about how the first western nations traded in Japan.
The Hirado Dutch Trading Post is beautifully located at the entrance of Hirado harbour so you also have a beautiful view over the Straight of Hirado, where still many ships pass through. You can imagine how the old Gallions sailed here 400 to 450 years ago!