Showing posts with label unzen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label unzen. Show all posts

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Unzen Hells


Unzen is a hot spring resort high in the mountains of central Shimabara peninsula on the slopes of Mount Unzen. The area was made the first national park in Japan in 1934.

During the influx of foreigners in the mid 19th century, many based in nearby Nagasaki, Unzen became a popular summer retreat during the hot, humid, Japanese summers.

Within the town are numerous areas or barren, rocky areas with steam rising from vents and bubbling springs. The unmistakable smell of sulfur permeates the air.

A network of pipes transports the water to the various hotels that make up the town, and paths and bridges wander around the areas giving visitors a chance to experience them at close quarters.

These areas are often referred to as "jigoku" in Japan, a Buddhist term that is similar to the Christian hell, though there are numerous jigoku, not all of them are hot, and the time spent in them is not eternal.

During the violent suppression of Christianity in the area between 1627 and 1631, 35 Christians died while being tortured in the "hells".

One of the larger "hells" is adjacent to the main shrine of the town which was the subject of the previous post in this series.