Learn about Hirado’s history of international trade
Established in 1609, the Dutch Trading Post was the Dutch East India Company's headquarters in Japan. Today, you'll discover a wonderfully reconstructed warehouse on the same site, serving as a symbol of the first encounters between Japan and the West.
Inside, visitors will find a captivating museum exploring this relationship, featuring paintings, armor, and other decorative items. In the surrounding area, you’ll find other examples of this Dutch influence, such as the Saiwai Bridge from 1702, which highlights how European building techniques had arrived in Japan.
The Matsura Historical Museum also reveals Hirado’s long-standing commerce traditions. From this enchanting hillside residence, the Matsura clan ruled Hirado from the 12th-century until Japan’s feudal system was abolished in 1871. With the family heavily involved in international trade, there’s a wealth of heirlooms to admire, including samurai weapons, maps, and ship diagrams.
In addition, the Matsura clan was one of the early Japanese families to enjoy luxuries like sugar. At the Matsura Historical Museum’s Kanuntei Teahouse, you can sip down a fresh cup of tea and snack on two types of Japanese-style confectionaries – the very same kind that the Matsura family ordered over 200 years ago.
Whether you want to visit the Dutch Trading Post or the Matsura Historical Museum, both landmarks can be quickly reached via a short walk from Hirado Bus Terminal.