Matsūra Historical Museum

Museum in Hirado

Across the bay from the tourist centre, this museum is housed in the stunning residence of the Matsūra clan, who ruled the island from the 11th to the 19th centuries. You'll find armour that you can don to pose for photos; byōbu (folding screen) paintings; and the thatched-roof Kanun-tei, a chanoyu (tea ceremony) house for the unusual Chinshin-ryū warrior-style tea ceremony (¥500) that is still practised on the island.

If you can get here on a sunny day, be sure to participate in the tea ceremony offered between 9.30am and 5pm. Clothed in a traditional kimono, you'll partake in a tea service very similar to those served when this custom was first brought to Japan from China centuries ago. Along with the tea, old-style Hirado sweets are also provided.