Shimabara Hatsuichi (Shimabara’s first market), a spring tradition in Shimabara

Shimabara’s first market was held in 1618, when Shimabara Castle was built by Shigemasa Matsukura, the feudal lord of Shimabara, the market is said to have started when merchants, farmers, and fishermen from the suburbs held a barter market in the Otemonban square for laborers who were gathered from all over the region. Later, markets were held on the 3rd, 13th, and 23rd of each month, and came to be called “Hatsu-ichi (first market)” because it was the first market held after the New Year.
The diary of the Shimabara domain, dated February 4, Kyoho 8 (Kyoho 8), as follows

The number of people is over 10,000.
The number of fairs: 55 (including 4 doll fairs).
The amount of business was about 6 kan-monme.
The record of the time is as follows.

The record of those days still remains.
This was the first market that is known from documents. This record dates from the reign of feudal lord Tadao Matsudaira, and the word “yesterday” in “Machibukyo Notification” means yesterday, i.e., the first day of the market on February 3. It is said that it was not until 1879 (Meiji 12) that the first market was held in March as it is today.
People in Shimabara and people in Shimabara Peninsula looked forward to the Hatsuichi because they could visit the castle (town) once a year. The arrival of the first market marks the beginning of spring in Shimabara.



March 3 (Sun) ~ March 10 (Sun), 2024 Ended


Weekdays: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Friday, March 10: until 6:00 p.m.


Lingqiu Park

Parking lot
  • Reikyu Shrine Grounds (Exclusive for disabled and physically challenged)
  • Seaside Park Temporary Parking Lot

*A drop-off point for wheelchair users will be set up next to the Reikyu Park Gymnasium parking lot (parking is not available).
*Since the dedicated parking lot is limited, please use public transportation.


About a 3-minute walk from Reikyu Park Gymnasium Station
About a 4-minute walk from the Shimatetsu Bus Aeon Shimabara Store bus stop
About a 7-minute walk from the Seaside Park Temporary Parking Lot


Shimabara Hatsumachi Promotion Association (Shimabara Chamber of Commerce and Industry)