Many years ago, I took students to Kyushu for an exchange program and since then have fell in love with this beautiful southern island. During this visit, I made a friend who is a really good photographer. He is based in Hirado, a southern port town in Nagasaki Prefecture. Enjoy this video he made:
Hirado is a hidden gem – quiet, unassuming port town with a castle overlooking the sea. Churches started by the early Christian communities, and water so clear that you can see sea urchins lounging like mines on the seabed as you walk along the port. This is the area where Christianity first landed in Japan and the early influence of Dutch traders is still very visible. The town sits on thermal heat sources, so there are little foot relaxation pools in town where you can sit and soak your feet on a cold day.
Recommended Things to do:
- Onsens! Onsens are not too far away. Ranpu Onsen is a good onsen choice with nice pools and rooms:
2. Beaches are nice if you go in summer, but you will need a car.
3. Small museum in Hirado castle, a samurai stronghold perched on a hill overlooking the port and town.
Overall, it is a nice place to spend a night. Take a relaxing walking tour around the town to soak in the enchanting atmosphere of a almost rural town in Japan with deep historical roots. There are countless quaint little restaurants and cafes in the sleepy fishing town for you to savor.
The nearest cities are Fukuoka and Nagasaki. Buses to Hirado can be taken from these major cities.