How to get to Hirado

The Matsuura Railway operates trains from Sasebo to Tabira-Hiradoguchi Station (80 minutes, 1340 yen one way) from where travelers need to walk about ten minutes to the Hirado-guchi Sanbashi bus stop (ˌV) and catch a bus into Hirado's city center (12 minutes, 260 yen one way). An easier and cheaper approach is to take a direct bus from Sasebo Station to Hirado (90 minutes, 1500 yen one way). There are hourly connections via either route. JR passes are not valid on the Matsuura Railway or the buses to Hirado.

Sasebo can be reached by hourly JR limited express trains from Fukuoka's Hakata Station (two hours, around 4000 yen one way) or hourly JR Seaside Liner trains from Nagasaki (100 minutes, 1680 yen one way), while Nagasaki Airport and Sasebo are connected by airport buses (90 minutes, 1400 yen one way). The JR trains are covered by the Japan Rail Pass and the Kyushu Rail Pass, but the airport buses are not.

Above fees and schedules are subject to change. Be sure to check current yen exchange rates.

Getting around

Hirado is an island in northwestern Nagasaki Prefecture, about 30 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide. It is connected to the mainland of Kyushu by the Hirado Ohashi Bridge. Hirado is also the name of a city whose center lies at the island's eastern end, not far from the bridge. The rest of the island is rural. Hirado City also extends a little bit onto the mainland of Kyushu where the Tabira Church can be found.

Many of Hirado's major sightseeing spots, including the Dutch Trading Post, Hirado Castle and the Matsura History Museum, are found around the city center which good walkers can navigate entirely on foot. The bus terminal is called Hirado Sanbashi (ˎV) and is located not far from the Dutch Trading Post. Hirado's other sites, however, are spread out around the region and are generally not well served by public transportation. A rental car is highly recommended for visiting these sites. Rental car outlets can be found in Sasebo or Nagasaki.