2017年08月04日

'Unzen Onsen', lying in the mountainous area of the Shimabara Peninsula in Nagasaki Prefecture, is a graceful hot spring resort.

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Unzen Onsen hot spring resort is one of the first national parks in Japan, which was designated in 1934 together with two other ones. The origin of this resort dates back to the end of the 17th century, when the first feudal lord of the Shimabara domain built a 'ryokan' with hot spring baths in this area.
*As a passing reference, this ryokan is still running after ups and downs by the name of 'Unzen Yumoto Hotel'.
After the middle of the 19th century, when Japan's modernization had just started, Unzen Onsen was thronged with many Westerners from the International Settlement in Shanghai, China. Present 'Unzen Kanko Hotel', built in the first half of the 20th century, is a Western style classic hotel to accommodate these Westerners. The area called 'Jigoku' inferno, where volcanic steam is gushing out everywhere, offers typical volcanic scenery to the sightseers walking along the promenade. (As shown in the first picture)
This volcanic area has gradually moved little by little, so the extinct volcanic area had changed to the wetlands for rare insects and plants. (As shown in the second picture)

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:26 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年08月01日

'Unzen Fugendake' volcano, rising in the central part of the Shimabara Peninsula in Nagasaki Prefecture, brought serious damage caused by the repeated eruptions in 1990-1991.

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Unzendake volcano, which consists of 8 peaks, has erupted so many times since olden times. Fugendake as shown in the first picture is a main peak of this composite volcano. Among many eruptions in Japanese history, the greatest disaster happened here in 1712 involved some 15,000 deaths. The latest disastrous eruption of Fugendake in 1991 is still fresh in our mind. This eruption started in Nov.1990 and finally reached the worst in the following year. Sticky lava formed a huge dome on the summit then it collapsed due to its own weight to become pyroclastic flows at a speed of 100 kilometers an hour. 43 people, most of them are the press, were killed in the incandescent flows. Thereafter, volcanic ashes and rocks remained on the mountainside were washed by heavy rain to hit the many houses near the coast as shown in the second picture. As the locals had left the area in advance, no people were killed by these debris flows.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:09 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする