This relaxed castle town (and ferry gateway to Kumamoto) flows with springs so clear that koi-filled waterways line the streets. The springs first appeared following the 1792 eruption of nearby Unzen-dake, and the town still vividly recalls the deadly 1991 eruption, commemorated with a harrowing museum. Other attractions of note include the reconstructed castle Shimabara-jō, a samurai street and a reclining Buddha.
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