Unzen – Shimabara

Location:

https://goo.gl/maps/JYbBV5VSQvUPq1YV6

Unzen

Details you will find here.

In 1927, Unzen was ranked 1st in the mountain category for the New Eight Views of Japan, and in 1934 was designated as our country’s first national park. Unzen’s nature has been preciously preserved since days of old, and is an encyclopedia of nature.

Mount Unzen and Shimabara City

Mount Unzen is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Japan. In 1792, around 15,000 people were killed when part of the mountain broke away and slipped into the sea. This resulted in a 20 meter high tsunami that almost completely destroyed the city of Shimabara.
After a long period of rest there was an outbreak in 1991 which claimed 43 lives.

Mount Unzen Disaster Memorial Hall

A visit here is highly recommended. You get a deeper impression of how the eruption went in 1991. Very interesting!

Shimabara Uprising

During the Shimabara uprising, Japanese peasants, most of them Christians, rose against the Tokugawa shogunate in 1637-1638.
The rebellion broke out on December 17, 1637. The main reason had less to do with their Christianity, but with the high tax burden that was imposed on them.
The uprising included up to 23,000 farmers and ronin (abandoned samurai), many of whom were women. They were led by Amakusa Shiro (also called Masuda Tokisada).
The governor of Nagsaki sent an army of 3,000 samurai to Amakusa, but it was crushed to death on December 27, 1637, with 2,800 deaths. The governor requested reinforcement from the shogunate. After subsequent fighting, the rebels had to retreat to Shimabara with around 1,000 soldiers killed.
They occupied Shimabara Castle and took over Hara Fortress.
The Shogunate troops began to fire artillery on the fortress, but this did not have the desired effect.
An increasing army from the Shogunate besieged the fortress for months and suffered great losses. On February 3, 1638 there was a surprising counterattack by the rebels, in which 2,000 samurai fell.
In the fortress, however, ammunition and provisions slowly ran out.
In March the Shogunat’s army grew to 200,000 soldiers. They faced 30,000 rebels.
On April 12, 1638, the storm on Hara followed. The army lost approximately 10,000 soldiers in fierce battles before being victorious on April 15, 1638.
No prisoners were taken. All survivors were beheaded.
Amakusa Shiro’s head was brought to Nagasaki and put on display there. The Hara fortress was destroyed.

The shogunate suspected western Catholics of the rebellion. As a result, Portuguese traders were expelled from the country. An existing ban on Christianity was strengthened. As a result, the Christians could only survive in hiding.

From that time until 1860 there were no major battles in Japan. For the next 10 generations of the Edo period, most samurai never fought in battle.

Miyazaki

Miyazaki-ken (Prefecture) is located on the southeast coast of Kyushu on the Pacific Ocean. The area is subtropical and is characterized by the third mildest climate in Japan. Details you will find here.

Miyazaki City

Miyazaki Jingu

Myazaki-Jingu is a shrine in honor of the first Japanese emperor Jimmu. The current building was renovated in 1907 and the foundations are estimated to be around 600 years old.
It is believed that the shrine as such is over 2600 years old.
According to Japanese mythology, Emperor Jimmu was an offspring of the sun goddess Amaterasu. Although the story is not accurate, it is generally accepted that Japanese emperors have ruled for more than 1,500 years and that they all descend from the same imperial family.

Heiwadai Park, or Peace Tower Park, was built in 1940 to celebrate the 2600th anniversary of the ascension of Emperor Jimmu, the mythical first emperor of Japan, on what is believed to be the original site of his capital. Inside the park stands the Peace Tower, or Heiwadainoto, a tower constructed of stones sent from all around Asia and one of Miyazaki’s most recognizable landmarks.The Peace Tower was meant to symbolize a united world. On the front of the tower is the phrase “Hakko Ichiu”, which is attributed to Emperor Jimmu and means “United under one roof”. While it is somewhat ambiguous what he meant, this was often used as a rallying cry for imperialists who believed that peace would reign once Asia was united under Japanese leadership.

Tsubakiyama Forest Park

The park is located in an area between the southwest of Miyazaki City and the city of Kitago. “Obisugi” (Japanese cedar) grow in the mountains of Miyazaki-ken. The trees were planted after World War II to boost the production of wood. And to replace cut down trees due to the beginning of reconstruction in Japan. Within the park there is a large area called “Yabu-tsubaki” because of the wild camellias that grow there. Tsubaki is the Japanese word for camellia. The “Tsubakiyama Forest Park” camellia park was officially opened on May 1990. Internationally, it was soon recognized as the “Number One Camelia Park” around the world. Around 48,000 different kinds of camellias grow in the park. In between you will find the cedar trees and occasionally a beautiful magnolia tree. The area covers over 40 hectares.

The “mountain” is at an altitude of approx. 400 m, although you have to remember that the start is almost 0 meters above sea level. It takes about 45 minutes by car from the center of Miyazaki City. A bus doesn’t run. A rental car is recommended. Drive carefully, it is on a narrow road.

Kirishima

Look back at the Age of the Gods, when deities ruled the world. Looking down from heaven, they saw “an island floating in a foggy sea,” which is said to be where Kirishima (“fog island”) derives its name. Details you will find here.

Kirishima Aera Maps

Tourist Map

Trekking in Kirishima, details you will find here.

Hiking

Details you will find here.

Kirishima Jingu

Details you will find here.

Nagasaki

Nagasaki is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. Details you will find here.

Peace Park

A visit to the Peace Park is an absolute must, it is more intensive than the site in Hiroshima. Once you are there, you are amazed at the size of this monument. The right arm points upwards: The misfortune came from there. The left arm is stretched out as a gesture of peace. The eyes are closed in prayer for the dead. It’s huge. Together with the Atomic Bomb Museum, you should plan half a day to visit this park

“Fat Man” was the codename for the nuclear bomb that was detonated over the Japanese city of Nagasaki by the United States on 9 August 1945