Shimabara Peninsula attractions

Top Choice Castle in Shimabara


This hilltop castle was ruled mostly by the Matsudaira clan from the 1660s and played a part in the Shimabara Rebellion. It was rebuilt in 1964. As well as lotus ponds, tangled gardens, almost 4km of massive stone w…
Top Choice Historic Site in Shimabara

Samurai Houses

In the Teppō-machi area, northwest of the castle, are buke yashiki (samurai residences) set along a pretty, 450m-long gravel road with a stream down the middle. Most of the houses are inhabited, but several are open…
Viewpoint in Unzen

Gojū-shūnen Hiroba

In the centre of Unzen village and at the base of the jigoku (literally 'hells'; boiling mineral hot springs), this plaza commemorating the national park's 50th anniversary has good views of the steaming hells and i…
Museum in Shimabara

Gamadas Dome Mt Unzen Disaster Memorial Hall

About 4km south of the town centre, this excellent high-tech museum is larger than many a good-size city's town hall. It focuses on the 1991 eruption and vulcanology in general, and is plonked eerily at the base of …
Old Town in Shimabara

Koi no Uyogu Machi

The spring water that flows into Shimabara from Mt Unzen is so pure that koi can swim in it, and in this district south of the castle you can see the fish in the drainage canals on the sides of the streets, and up c…
Statue in Shimabara


In the cemetery of Kōtō-ji Buddhist temple (江東寺) is this tranquil Nirvana statue, dating from 1957. At 8.6m, it's the longest reclining Buddha in Japan.
Museum in Shimabara

Seibō Kinenkan

On the grounds of Shimabara Castle, this museum is dedicated to the work of Kitamura Seibō, a native son of Shimabara and sculptor of the central statue at Nagasaki's Peace Park. Your ticket to the castle allows you…
Cable Car in Unzen

Unzen Ropeway

This cable car gets you close to a shrine and the summit of Myōken-dake (1333m), from where the hike via Kunimi-wakare takes just under two hours to return to the bottom of the ropeway.