The First National Park of Bright Nature with a Dark history
A summer retreat for foreign visitors since 1889, protected nature flourishes in all seasons in the eight mountains collectively called Mount Unzen. Japan’s First National Park since 1934, and protected since ancient times discover wild birds and highland plants. Enjoy seasonal sweeps of color and the natural therapeutic properties of acidic springs at an early Meiji era resort.
Glide from Nita Pass to Myokendake at an elevation of 1333m in a ropeway cable car to cover a distance of about 500m in three minutes.
In early May the Mitsuba azaleas mix with the pale yellow color of Hikage azaleas, by mid-May scenery shifts to brilliant shades of red in vivid clusters of fantastic pink Miyama Kirishima azaleas and and Yama azaleas called Houbaru and Ikenohara.
The mountain is covered in dogwood flowers as refreshing breezes cool the air in summer. Yellow and red return with autumn leaves of maple trees. A national natural treasure, the Fugendake autumn leaves cover the forest with over 120 species of autumn leaf plants. Such as the Komine, Urihada, Kouchiwa, and Uri maples, and Doudan azaleas. In winter, mist and fog blown by freezing winds are known as “Hana bouro”, bring a mystical hoarfrost to encrust nature with a silver light that glistens in the morning sun.
Shadows of a dark past appear as hot vapors hiss from the surface of more than 30 geothermal fields, the Unzen Hells. Monuments pay respect to early Christians from 1627 to 1631, when the Unzen Hells brought death and suffering by the hands of the Shogunate.
Having toured the sights refresh weary feet in one of the ten free seats at the Unzen Foot Onsen. Then sip some Unzen Lemonade after eating nourishing eggs steamed in the natural vapours.
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