During the period from the 17th to the 19th century, Japan adopted a policy of national isolation from the outside world. This was called “sakoku”, and it meant that only very few foreign nationals were allowed to enter Japan; accordingly, it was not possible to engage freely in financial transactions and the buying and selling of goods in the way it is now. The site of the Hirado Dutch Trading House is a precious historic site that offers visitors an insight into the Edo period (1603-1868), when this policy of national isolation was in place.
The trading house was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1609. Over the course of approximately 32 until trade was relocated to Dejima in Nagasaki, this was the sole trading base linking Japan with the West. It was subsequently demolished on the orders of the government of the time, but a fully-fledged excavation survey commenced in 1987 and academic research is progressing.
The trading house site was formerly home to a dozen or so buildings. One of these, a stone warehouse that was the first Western building in Japan, has been recreated and is open to the public as a museum. Why not come and reflect on the progress in Japan and the rest of the world over the last 400 years or so, as you discover the history of this site?
- 2477 Okubo-cho, Hirado City, Nagasaki
- 0950-22-4111 (Cultural Heritage Department, Hirado City Office)
- 08:30 - 17:30
- 3rd Tuesday-Thursday in June