Hello! It’s Tomocchi ☆
One of the longstanding popular spots of Hirado’s tourism is the Matsura Historical Museum. The building itself is the former residence of the Matsura Clan which ruled over Hirado, making it the museum with the most history of all of Nagasaki.
It’s a treasure trove of important cultural artifacts. There you can find many National and Prefecturally designated items related to international trade and Christianity, as well as very old, important documents.
I have been many times before, but I was happy to go again to introduce it to you.
These tall and wide steps on the right were for horses. All humans please use the stairs on the left.
(You can also get there by car if you approach from the rear.)
First thing on our itinerary was to grab lunch on the grounds at the “Choubou-tei Kitchen”, where you can look down on the entire town below Hirado Castle ♪
(眺望 – Choubou is Japanese for “view” or “look out on”)
The restaurant design is elegantly Japanese, but they serve Western food. It seems like a great fit for this area that blossomed due to trade with Portugal ☆
Just as the name implies, the restaurant has a commanding view of Hirado Castle and the surrounding town.
The menu is centered on Italian dishes that use local produce. They visit markets every morning to deliver their guests the freshest seasonal ingredients.
For lunch, they have several options around 1000 yen, like the Pasta Lunch or the Pizza Lunch. Go for dinner and have some wine for an extra fancy time ♪
Bacon Egg Burger (950 yen)
First of all, the bun is irresistible. It’s made of rare Hirado flour.
The texture is delightfully crunchy. And the smell!! The garlic butter they add does some good work.
The main player here is, of course, the Hirado Beef burger, which is rich and flavorful. Topped with soft-boiled egg and delicious bacon, this burger is sheer happiness ♪
Hirado Island Pork Cutlet Curry and Rice (1,250 yen)
I heard that Mr. Ogawa, the chef at Choubou-tei, decided to move to Hirado because he fell in love with Hirado Pork.
At my first bite, I was completely blown away by how delicious the cutlet was! At first it was tender and just a bit sweet. But then the umami flavor comes through!! It’s a perfect match for the mellow, European style roux. So, this is the sort of rich flavor that can make you want to move house.
For dessert, we had German style pancakes ♪
Dutch Baby (900 yen)
They top this carefully made hot pancake with cool ice cream with bits of fruit inside. You can choose from either “mixed fruit and berry” (which we went with) or “chocolate banana”.
Crunchy and fluffy. The secret to its popularity is its texture which is similar to the outside of a chou a la crème. Dig in before the ice cream melts to enjoy that luxurious hot and cold dessert experience ♪
Now that our tummies have been satisfied, it’s time to check out the museum!
Look at all these cultural artifacts!
Just as one would expect from the actual former residence of the lords of Matsura, the building itself has an atmosphere about it.
When the Princess of the Aoyama family married into the Matsura Clan, this is the carriage she arrived in. The pictures on the inside of the carriage are simply gorgeous! But it’s so small! The princess must have been quite a petite lady.
These adorable dog shaped boxes with their exquisite human facial expressions were a wedding gift from the princess. It’s said that they used them to keep blades for self-defense in them near their bedside ☆
Also on display were games that were played by the ladies of the home, like Kai-awase, a shell matching memory game.
They also have artifacts connected to Koxinga, a hero from Hirado.
Koxinga (or Zheng Chenggong) is a historical figure who was born of a Chinese merchant and a Japanese lady. He is known as a hero of East Asia for helping Taiwan throw off occupation by the Dutch.
I love this picture!!
This is part of a painting of a battle. But if you look closely you can see one soldier that seems tired and doesn’t want to be there (lol). The artist must have had fun with this one ☆
They also have a room where you can try on bridal gowns, armor, and helmets to take pictures in! I felt like I was in a period drama!!
Start your tour of Hirado at the Matsura Historical Museum, where you can find the history of the area all condensed into one place!
Matsura Historical Museum
Address: 12 Kagamikawa-cho, Hirado-shi, Nagasaki-ken, 859-5152