A beautiful island Hirado

Last Updated on 2021/11/03

A trip to find a beautiful beach

There must be a lot of “Beachgoers” in the world, who love the sea. They are seeking beautiful beaches while traveling. I am one of them and have visited many beautiful beaches all over Kyushu.

Hitotsuku beach – one of the best beach in Kyushu

The first purpose to visit Hirado in Nagasaki was a beach, Hitotsuku beach. It was quite a beautiful beach even though the weather was not so good, that is to say mostly cloudy and partially sunny. Moreover, around the beach remains original scenery of Japan or the atmosphere of the countryside and appeals travelers’ sentiments.

Hitotsuku beach in Hirado. The beach is a beautiful emerald ocean and white sand. It is one of the best beach in Kyushu.

The beautiful emerald ocean and white sand beach. It is also famous for the beautiful sunset. It is a bathing resort, which is not crowded because of a little-known great spot.


There is a shop for sea bathers near the Hitotsuku beach. There is a store right on the beach that sells floats and flip-flops. A shopkeeper is talking to a customer.

Bathrooms, showers, and a restaurant are available during sea bathing season in summer. You enjoy a lot of nature.

Unfortunately there are no public transportation available. Therefore a rental car or taxi should be used to go there. It takes about 30 minutes from Hirado-Ohashi.

Hirado Ohashi (Hirado Big Bridge)

Hirado Ohashi is a red suspention bridge and connects Hirado island with mainland Kyushu.

A red 665 meter suspention bridge, which is 30 meters above the sea. The bridge connects Hirado island with mainland Kyushu.

Tabira Insects Natural Park

Tabira Insects Natural Park in Hirado.

A photographer, Mr. Satoshi Kuribayashi is from Tabira town in Hirado city. Mr. Kuribayashi is world-famous for wildlife photos especially of insects.

I have seen many pictures of insects taken by him. Mr. Kuribayashi won the Lennart Nilsson Award in 2006, which is regarded as a Novel Prize of science pictures.

Tabira Insects Natural Park was built in Hirado honoring Mr. Kuribayashi, who was born here.

A butterfly perches on a purple flower and sucks the nectar in the Tabira Insects Natural Park in Hirado.
A beetle is perched on a person's hand in the Tabira Insects Natural Park in Hirado.
A staff member explains the butterfly specimens displayed on the wall in the Tabira Insects Natural Park in Hirado.

Not only children but also adults can enjoy observing a lot of insects living in the park.

Catholic Churches in Hirado

Hirado had relationships with European countries such as Portugal and Holland in trade during the 16 to 17 centuries.

Christianity spread in Japan after Francis Xavier came to Hirado in 1550. After that, Christianity had been banned during the 17 to 19 centuries but it was believed secretly in Hirado.

Still now people have kept their belief and 10 percent of the people in Hirado are Christians. There are 14 Catholic Churches there.

Tabira Catholic Church

Tabira Catholic Church. The church made of red bricks was built in 1915.

The church made of red bricks was built in 1915. I have never seen such a beautiful church!

Hirado St. Francis Xavier Memorial Church

Hirado St. Francis Xavier Memorial Church is green and white colored Gothic style.

The green and white colored Gothic style, Hirado St. Francis Xavier Memorial Church was built in 1913 as the Catholic Church of Hirado, 100 meters west of the present location. It was later built at its present location in 1931.

In 1971, a statue of Xavier was erected to commemorate St. Francis Xavier’s three visits to Hirado, and the name of the church was changed to “Hirado St. Francis Xavier Memorial Church”.

The interior of the Hirado St. Francis Xavier Memorial Church is solemn.

This is one of the sightseeing spots representing Hirado, which is a very beautiful church. You can enter the church, but please observe good manners as it is a religious facility.

Himosashi church

Himosashi church

Himosashi Church is one of the larger Catholic churches in Hirado. It was the largest church in Japan until the old Urakami Tenshudo in Nagasaki City was destroyed by an atomic bomb and rebuilt.

Himosashi church

The outside of the building has an overwhelming appearance. You will not find a better Romanesque church in Japan or any other Asian country.

It was built by an architect, Yosuke Tetsukawa, who is known as the father of church architecture. He worked on many Catholic churches in Kyushu, mainly in Nagasaki and Kumamoto, including Catholic Urakami Church, Tabira Catholic Church mentioned above, Sakitsu Church, Oe Church, and Imamura Chatholic Church.

Himosashi church
Himosashi church

The interior of the church is beautiful with arches on the ceiling and floral decorative patterns that are characteristic of Yosuke Tetsukawa. The church is also spacious with few pillars. Since he was also a Buddhist, the church also has Buddhist elements.

Hoki Church

Hoki Church in Hirado
Hoki Church in Hirado

Its stained glasses are beautiful. A structure of the church is unique among churches in Hirado.

Hirado Castle

This was built in 1718. A view from the castle tower is wonderful. You can see all over the city and look at as far as Iki Island

Hirado Dutch Trading House

This is a large warehouse which was used for trade with Holland in the past.

Usuka fishery port

Usuka fishery port

This is a small port which is famous for a location for a film. It is exactly said it is original scenery of Japan.

Kawachi Mountain Pass

This is a grassy plain, which commands scenery of the beautiful islands in the sea.

Recommended food in Hirado

Japanese flounder

It is known as a high class fish and eaten for Sushi, Sashimi or raw fish and so forth. Hirado has the one of the foremost Japanese flounder catches in Japan. Natural Japanese flounders are delicious.

Hirado Beef

This is high grade Japanese beef featuring with a distinctive sweet taste.

Agodasi Ramen noodles

Agodasi Ramen noodles

This is a kind of Ramen noodles with stock made from flying fish, which is a local product in Hirado. Soup of the noodles has superior taste!



How to make was instructed by priests from Portugal coming to Japan in the 17th century. Now it is a sweet representing Hirado.

Recommended Accommodation in Hirado “Umeyashiki Kairakuen

Umeyashiki Kairakuen
Umeyashiki Kairakuen

This ryokan, Japanese inn has rooms with beautiful ocean views. However, there is something more wonderful in the hotel. That is incredibly delicious food served as much as you cannot eat all. When I stayed here, I was served with Japanese flounder sashimi, big Japanese spiny lobster, Hirado beef and others, which were too much to eat all.

Access to Hirado

Rail and Bus

Hakata Station or Nagasaki Station–(JR、120minutes)–Sasebo Station–(Matsuura railroad, 80 minutes)–Tabira hiradoguchi station–(bus、10 minutes)–Hirado


Hakata–(express bus、130 minutes)–Sasebo–(bus、90minutes)–Hirado
Nagasaki–(express bus、90 minutes)–Sasebo–(bus、90minutes)–Hirado

There are a lot of must-see sights in Hirado.

fukuoka one day trip and walking tour
Study tour in Japan


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