Kyushu Online Media Center

Visit Kyushu
The Official Kyushu Travel Guide



Trip Overview

The Shimabara Peninsula is a peninsula tucked away in the sea on the western side of Kyushu. Recognized as a UNESCO World Geopark, the Shimabara Peninsula was formed by the eruption of the Unzen Volcano, one of the world's most active volcanoes. The Unzen Volcano has erupted three times in recorded history and has had a significant impact on people's lives. The most memorable eruption was in 1991, when Unzen Fugen-dake erupted and the new Heisei-shinzan was created on its mountainside. During this journey, you can get a sense of the lives of people who have faced the repeated eruptions of the Unzen Volcano, recovered from these disastrous times, and lived on while making use of the blessings of the earth created by it. The Unzen Hot Springs, symbolized by the fumaroles and hot springs rising from the earth, are the base for this tour, which offers a wide range of experiences.

●Area: Unzen City,Nagasaki Pref.
●Main Activity: Climbing the three peaks of Unzen to witness the new-born volcano
●Difficulty: 3
●3 nights 4 days
●Accommodation: Please make your own arrangements.
●Guide: An English speaking guide.
●PAX: Minimum 2 / Maximum 8
●Price: JPY 168,000(Accommodation not included)


・Trekking to visit an old volcano and learn about its vegetation and its relationship with people.
・Trekking across three peaks to see a new volcano that erupted 30 years ago.
・Downhill cycling to experience the blessings of the mountains and the sea.


The journey begins in the afternoon at ‘Unzen Jigoku (Hell)’, the center of Unzen Onsen. Here the origins and topography of the Shimabara Peninsula are explained. The way the energy from underground appears on the surface of the earth is truly breathtaking. People can be in awe of this natural wonder and learn about the earth's blessing and how to utilize it. The activity of the day is a 1.5km walk around Unzen Hell, which takes about 90 minutes.


The mountains of Unzen are known as the 'Three Peaks and Five Mountains'. Today you will climb one of these five mountains, Kusenbu-dake, 1,062m above sea level. Kusenbu-dake is a mountain located northwest of the 'Three Peaks' that you will climb on the third day. It is a mountain where the white flower ‛Yamaboshi’ (Japanese Flowering Dogwood) blooms in June. In the past, the mountain was also used as a 'Shugendo' (path of spiritual training and testing) mountain. The moss-covered stone steps along the way give a sense of this past.

From the top you can see many of Unzen's mountains, including Mt. Sanpou, which you will also climb on the third day, and Tachibana Bay, which spreads out before your eyes. It is said that the magma supply to the Shimabara Peninsula comes from beneath Tachibana Bay. Here you will eat your packed lunch while viewing the scenery. In addition to this, your guide will cook local food for you.

You will descend the mountain, looking at the remains of the Shugendo just below the summit. During the descent, you can also see the other seas, Omura Bay and the Ariake Sea. After the descent, you will return to Unzen Onsen Town by private car. You will then have some private time to relax.

The activity of the day is 5.1km trekking, with an elevation gain of approximately 440m and a duration of 4 hours 30 minutes.


On this day, you will traverse three of the trip's highlights, Myoken-dake, Kunimi-dake and Fugen-dake of the ‛Three Peaks and Five Mountains’. First, you will climb Myoken-dake. Myoken-dake can also be ascended by ropeway, but this time you will climb it on foot, feeling the breath of the mountain. From the top, you will have a 360° view of the landscape below.

Walk along the ridge path to the second mountain, Kunimi-dake. Just before the summit, you will have to climb over a rocky terrain, which can be a bit nerve-wracking. The feeling at the summit is special. You can enjoy the view of Kusenbu-dake, which you climbed yesterday, below you.

Afterwards, descend through the valley, go around the mountain and climb up the steep path to see a jagged mountain in front of you. This is Heisei-shinzan, which erupted suddenly from the flank of Fugen-dake in 1991.Heisei-shinzan cannot be climbed for safety reasons, but you can go right up to it. You will have lunch at the spot where the fumaroles are still active. You will also be able to taste the guide's cooking here.

After lunch, you will climb the last mountain, Fugen-dake. This mountain is the center of the Unzen volcano. Heisei-shinzan was born from Fugen-dake, and now they are sitting next to each other in harmony.

The tour then descends and returns to Unzen Hot Springs from Nita-toge (mountain pass).

The activity of the day is a 4.3km trek, with an elevation gain of 766m and a duration of approximately 6 hours.


The last day is downhill cycling. You will start from Unzen Onsen, your accommodation facility. You will cycle down the mountain with the mountains you previously climbed in the background. On the way, you will see the agricultural fields of the Shimabara Peninsula. The most famous are the potato fields. You can see a series of terraced fields where the potatoes are cultivated.

The end of the cycling tour is the Kunisaki Peninsula. It protrudes out into Tachibana Bay. You will realize how close the high mountains and the sea are. The last trip, where you can also feel the blessings of the sea, will end around noon.

The activity of the day is cycling 24.5km, mostly downhill, taking about 3 hours.

・UNZEN Destination Service
・Address:320 Obamacho Unzen,Unzen-shi, Nagasaki-ken 854-0621 Japan

UNZEN Volcano story ~ Sky・Sea・Earth ~

  • UNZEN Volcano story ~ Sky・Sea・Earth ~


Book your perfect stay in Kyushu with thousands of properties to choose from

Share this Page

You may also like...