Last Saturday (April 2nd) I rented a car and drove from Nagasaki city to Hirado Island, a drive that took me 3hrs on the back roads.
The reason for my journey was to check out the Kigatsu Thousand Bamboo Lantern Spring Festival (木ヶ津千灯篭春まつり), held at Fumonji Temple (普門寺) each year in preparation for Child’s Day. I had heard about it from a friend and was eager to see the hundred-or-so stone lanterns and 4000 bamboo lanterns glowing in the temple and its surrounds.
Having arrived in the early afternoon, I decided to visit Sea View Ranch (シービューランチ) for a late lunch before heading south to the festival.
Sea View Ranch, located along the Senrigahama swimming beach (千里ヶ浜水浴場), provides the perfect setting for a relaxing meal on a mild Spring afternoon. As the name suggests, it is a ranch and also holds a variety of horsey experiences. I was lucky enough to see some of the locals frolicking among the waves just as I arrived.
Soon after choosing a seat on the balcony, I was given menu and warmly welcomed by the owner. The menu offers a range of meat-heavy meals, with the most delectable steak or curry or hamburg steak. For something lighter, there are some pastas, but I’d definitely recommend meals of the meatier kind.
I opted for the Spring Special Set (春のすすめセット）which proved a steal at only ¥2000. To start I was presented entree of scrumptious onion soup, and then this beauty-
Fresh coleslaw with a light tangy dressing, freshly-ground mince hamburg steak, pasta bake, seasoned pan-fried steak, creamy spaghetti and warm rice- I couldn’t have possibly finished it all (I made a pretty good effort though)!
After polishing off everything other than the pasta bake, I gazed out across the bay and took in the mesmerizing view along the coast. It’s hard to focus on eating when the scenery is so breath-taking.
Dessert, the last part of the course, came just as the Flick (the resident Kelpie) decided he needed some petting. Thankfully my tea remained super hot in the cute china tea set- possibly Norikake? The sliver of light chiffon cake topped with juicy strawberries and black tea was the prefect way to end a heavy meal, and my palate was left refreshed.
Upon chatting to the owner, there is an increasing amount of foreign clientele to Sea View Ranch. So much so, that she has partially translated the menu in case the English-speaking staff are not in earshot. Don’t be afraid to ask for help though; English-speaking or not, all the staff members at Sea View Ranch are very friendly and willing to help. They’ll do their best to ensure you choose something just right to satisfy your level of hangry.
If you are interested in riding a horse at Sea View Ranch, there are also English-speaking staff in the stables to assist your experience. Some days are fully booked, while others are left quite free, so call ahead to secure your place. If you don’t speak Japanese, ask for an English-speaking staff member for more information.
Sea View Ranch (シービューランチ).
35 Kawachicho, Hirado City, Nagasaki Prefecture, 859-5132
[Restaurant hours] 9:00～17:00 (7 days)
lunch 12:00 noon – 2:00pm
Site: SeaViewRanch (Japanese only)