The city of Hirado is located on Hirado Island in
the northwestern part of Nagasaki Prefecture. It
prospered as a castle town ruled by the feudal
lord Matsu'ura. In 1609, the Hirado Dutch Trading
House was established there, and as the area had
an excellent natural port, Hirado became the
central stage for trade with other countries, such
as China, Holland and Portugal. At the site of the
Hirado Dutch Trading House there still remain old
stone walls, called the Dutch Walls. The walls,
which were built in the early 17th century, are 2
meters high and 30 meters long. Also located
nearby is the Dutch Well, which was built around
the same time as the walls.
Sakikata- koen Park commands a superb view of Hirado Port and is a famous spot for Hirado tsutsuji (azaleas). The tombs of William Adams, an Englishman who contributed to the development of foreign trade in Hirado (taking the Japanese name of Miura Anjin), and his wife are located in the park. Also inside the park is a monument to St. Francis Xavier, the man who first introduced Christianity into Japan.
Attractions include the Hiradojoka Kasen Toro-matsuri Festival, a lantern festival that is held every fall. During the festival there are performances of the Tasuke-Haiya-no-So-odori Dance and the Hirado Kagura (Shinto dance and musical numbers), which is designated as an important intangible cultural asset. You will also see many shops displaying colorful lanterns and curtains. Enjoy these performances and decorations while strolling through the historic castle town of Hirado.