Tabira Insect Park

Various insects in Hirado have been made world famous by Satoshi Kuribayashi, the famous photographer from Hirado who takes beautiful pictures of insects. He has published over 40 books since the 1960fs making his own lenses to capture the world of insects. In 2006 he was awarded the Lennart Nilsson Award for his pioneering work. He still lives and works in Hirado.

In Tabira Insect Park an environment has been created as Japanese people would imagine a typical mountain countryside setting with rice paddies, a small river, a pond, grass fields and a heterogeneous forest. In this environment you can freely observe insects in their natural habitat. Unlike most other parks, no animals or insects have been imported into the boundaries of the park. As the newly created environment grew more mature and more rich in its diversity, more and more species have found their place in this park. One can now admire more than 3000 types of insects that have always lived in Tabira and the surrounding area.

Entrance to Tabira Insect Park
Since insects are hard to spot, and there are a lot of them that hide away, guides tour visitors around the park day in, day out. One can observe the insects all year round and with the help of the guides you can probably spot 40-60 different kinds in one hour. The observation area might just look like an unorganized area of undergrowth at first glance, but there are many insects that live here. To facilitate easier observation of the insects the grassy and woody areas along the pathways are cleaned up a few times a year.

In addition to the insects, one can admire many other things in Tabira Insect Park, such as various flowers, plants, fruit and wild mushrooms. There is also a handicraft room where different activities are held like making Christmas wreaths among others.

Please observe the following rules when visiting the park:

1. It is not allowed to take any animals into the park (including pets) or out of the park
2. Do not eat anywhere but on the designated spots
3. Do not smoke or use lighters (and anything else that can create fire) out of the designated areas
4. Do not behave in any way that will disturb the animals, damage the facilities or will cause
__nuisance to other people
5. Please keep your rubbish on you and discard it in the main building
Address Hirado city, Tabira Town, Satomen 236-2, 859-4807
Opening times Open daily from 09:00 hours till 17:00 hours
Closed on December 29th to January 3rd and every week on Wednesday
Entrance fee Individuals Groups (over 10)
Adults ¥200 ¥160
Children (6-18) ¥100 ¥80
Parking Parking space for buses and cars

Satotabaru History and Folk Museum
Telephone within Japan: 0950-57-1474 (Japanese only)


Hirado city, Tabira Town, Ogitamen 1628-4, 859-4823

Opening times Open daily from 08:30 hours till 17:00 hours
Closed on

December 29th to January 3rd and every week on Mondays (open on Mondays during the Japanese school summer holiday. The park will also be open on Mondays that are a Japanese national holiday, after which the following day it will be closed.)

Entrance fee Individuals Groups (over 20)
Adults ¥400 ¥320
Adolescents (15-18) ¥300 ¥240
Children ¥150 ¥120
Parking 70 parking spaces for cars

[1] Year pass for adults: ¥800, Year pass for 6-12 years old: ¥500
[2] Wheelchair toilet and diaper changing facilities available
[3] Group visits need to be booked 2 weeks in advance, school groups 1 month in advance.


Tabira Insect Park,
Telephone/Fax: (within Japan) 0950-57-3348 (Japanese only)

Ikitsuki Island Museum `Shima no Yakata`
Ikitsuki Island Museum `Shima no Yakata` The `Shima no Yakata` museum is located on the island of Ikitsuki. This museumfs main exhibition is centered around the Masutomi group who became one of the largest whaling communities in Japan during the Edo period. Other exhibitions include displays on the Christian faith that was passed on through generations while withstanding its long persecution and an introduction to local fishing and agricultural methods that make good use of the rich and varied nature of the island. Itfs a place where one can get to know the true spirit of Ikitsuki.
Whaling Zone
In the past there were many migrating whales that visited the waters of Saikai National Park. People used to hunt these huge whales for the meat that secured the food supply and the oil, which was used to exterminate bugs that destroy rice crop. This exhibition is centered around the Masutomi whaling group and explains the whole catching process and the historical methods they used.

Whale skeletons in the Whale Zone
Island Life Zone
Living on an island means unquestionably that the people have a special relationship with the sea. Over time the people from Ikitsuki developed many methods to catch fish that vary from sort to sort, but also had to maximize the use of the land they had. This part of the museum shows more about traditional life on the island, whether itfs related to fishery, farming or traditional dances.

Island Life Zone
Hidden Christians Zone
Christianity has been a blooming religion here on Ikitsuki island for over 400 years. But with a ban on the religion the people had to find a way to continue their believes without it getting noticed. Using video material and valuable resources, this exhibition shows how these `hidden Christians` kept their religion alive.

Hidden Christians Zone
Sea Fantasy Zone
From 1989 onwards people in Ikitsuki started to stuff fish and other species that live in the sea. In total there are now about 400 examples of 250 different types of fish on display. You can enjoy this underwater world in a relaxing setting in the `Shima no Yakata` museum.

Sea Fantasy Zone
Address Hirado city, Ikitsuki Town, Minamimen 4289, 859-5706
Opening times Open daily from 09:00 hours till 17:00 hours
Closed on January 1st and 2nd. There are some days the museum is closed for maintenance purposes.
Entrance fee Individuals Groups (over 15)
Adults ¥500 ¥450
Adolescents(15-18) ¥300 ¥270
Children (6-14) ¥200 ¥180
Parking 6 bus parking spaces, 56 car parking spaces.

`Shima no Yakata`
Telephone (within Japan): 0950-53-3000 (Japanese only)
Fax (within Japan): 0950-53-3032
Japanese homepage

Hirado Christian Museum

Neshiko beach was selected by the Ministry of the Environment as one of Japan`s 88 most beautiful beaches. The sandy shore stretches out over one kilometer. Located nearby is the Hirado Christian Museum, where various artifacts and data representing the history of the Christian faith and its suppression are on display.

The Christian faith was brought to Hirado in 1550 by Francisco Xavier and gathered many followers. However, in 1587 Toyotomi Hideyoshi issued an interdict against the Christian faith in fear of a decline in political power and started a severe suppression of the Christian community. In addition to this, Christianity was prohibited in the Edo period and torture such as gthe treading of holy paintingsh occurred regularly.

Hirado Christian Museum

Displays inside the museum There were many Christians in the Neshiko region of Hirado and in 1635, 70 of them were executed on Neshiko beach. On that location now stands the Ascension Stone to honor these martyrs. In the midst of the suppression, the Christian congregation appeared outwardly to be Buddhists, but the Nandogami god they believed in was in fact the Christian God. They were named the Hidden Christians and many of their artifacts are gathered and put on display in this museum.

Hirado Christian Museum
Address Hirado city, Oishiwaki-cho 1502-1, 859-5376
Opening times Open daily from 09:00 hours till 17:30 hours
Closed on December 29th to January 2nd and every week on Wednesdays
Entrance fee Adults ¥200, Adolescents (15-18) ¥150, Children ¥70
Parking Parking space for cars available

Hirado Kirishitan Shiryoukan Telephone:
Within Japan: 0950-28-0176
(Japanese only)

Oshima Historical Museum

Oshima Historical Museum

The history of Oshima Island goes a long way back. The `Hizen Fudoki`, an ancient written record of now defunct Hizen prefecture, which is believed to be written in 723, mentions Oshima as `Oyajima`. As Oshima is positioned at a strategic position for seafaring routes, the Oshima clan became an influential family in the region during the Sengoku period (also called the Warring States period, from around 1467 to 1600).
Later on the Inomoto whaling clan thrived on the island, for which the whaling industry was very important. It was a necessary means for ordinary people to make a living and very beneficial for the financial situation of the clan.

The Oshima Historical Museum keeps a special collection of historical and cultural artifacts and is used as a research facility and displays for the general public. Inside the museum there are special displays on excavated artifacts from the `Takenoshita` burial grounds, on the whaling history, old tools used in the daily life of the inhabitants and many old books.

Displays inside the museum

Hirado city, Oshima Island,Konoura Village, Maehira 1456,859-5802

Opening times Open daily from 09:00 hours till 17:00 hours
Closed on December 28th to January 4th and every week on Mondays
Entrance fee Free of charge
Parking Parking space for buses and cars

Oshima Historical Museum, Board of Education, Oshima department Telephone within Japan: 0950-55-2511 (Japanese only)

Satotabaru History and Folk Museum

Tabira, located on the most Northwest tip of the Kyushu mainland, is geographically close to the Asian continent and therefore and important location for research in to the origins of Japanese culture.

There are ruins of some prominent age periods, such as the Hinotake Ruins from the old stone age, the Tsugumenohana Ruins from the Jomon Period (6000 BC to around 300 BC), and the keyhole shaped burial grounds at the Kamamatsuten-jinsha Shrine, which kind are rare in the Nagasaki area.

One of the most valuable ruins in this area are the Satotabaru Ruins from which a large quantity of wooden artifacts has been excavated and which show the development of rice farming culture. This museumfs exhibits are centered around the wooden artifacts excavated from the Satotabaru Ruins.

Satotabaru Historical and Folk Museum

Displays inside Satotabaru Museum
Inside the exhibition centre