Showing posts with label volcano. Show all posts
Showing posts with label volcano. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Buried Houses of Mount Unzen Disaster


Not far from the Unzen Disaster Museum is yet another memorial of the volcanic disaster from the early 1990's.

A series of houses buried under meters of material with often just their roofs showing.

These houses were buried by what is called "lahar", a kind of mudflow comprised of a slurry of pyroclastic debris, ash, rocks, etc combined with rain after a volcanic eruption.

In the eruption of 1792 a massive landslide caused enough material to flow into the Ariake Sea that it caused a megatsunami, but here the flow was much slower and everybody had safely been evacuated.

One group of houses has had a roof built over it to make a museum.

The previous post was on the architecturally intriguing Unzen Disaster Museum.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Unzen Disaster Museum


Mount Unzen in the middle of the Shimabara Peninsula in Nagasaki is a collection of volcanic peaks that erupted in 1792 in what was the worst volcanic disaster in Japanese history. The collapse of Mayuyama caused a tremendous landslide that killed thousands and then caused a megatsunami that killed thousands more on both side of the Ariake Sea.

Mount Unzen erupted again in the years between 1990 to 1995, and the disaster claimed 43 lives, many of which were media personnel covering the disaster

The eruption and pyroclastic flow destroyed villages closer to the mountains, but inhabitants had been safely evacuated.

many more houses were destroyed later by lahars, mud and debris flows with ash and other materials mixed into a slurry.

The Unzen Disaster Memorial Hall, also known as Gamadasu Dome is a museum about these disasters.

I quite liked the architecture, with most of the structure underground. It was designed by Kume Sekkei, a large design company that employs hundreds of architects.

The previous post was on shots of Mount Unzen taken on my walk to the museum.

It was too early in the day and the museum wasn't open yet, but I did visit on an earlier trip to Shimabara, so this last photo is of the interior from that visit.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Mount Unzen


Mount Unzen is a group of volcanoes in the middle of the Shimabara Peninsula in Nagasaki, Kyushu.

The highest point is Heisei-shinzan at 1483 meters, but the main peak is Fugen-dake, but the eruptions of 1990 to 1995 made Heisei-shinzan higher.

Mount Unzen is clearly visible from most parts of the Shimabara Peninsula and even further afield.

When I visited on February 20th, 2014, on day 62 of my first walk around Kyushu, a dusting of snow made Unzen strikingly clear.

Before heading over the mountains to the other side of the peninsula I headed south a little to visit a few sites connected to the major eruptions of the 1990's.

The previous post was my diary of day 61.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Kaimondake the Fuji of Satsuma

Mount Kaimon is often called the Fuji of Satsuma, for obvious reasons. It dominated my view for the whole of day 33 of my walk around Kyushu. This first photo was taken at sunset.

This second photo was taken mid morning from Nishi Oyama Station, claimed to be the southernmost train station in Japan and a popular spot for selfies.

Kaimondake is 924 meters high and almost perfectly conical. It is classified as dormant, but last erupted in the late 9th Century.

There is a trail to the top and reportedly the views are great, but I could not afford the time and so walked past.

Thursday, February 20, 2020



Sakurajima is the large volcano clearly visible across the water from Kagoshima City and a landmark of the area. It is the most active volcano in Japan with plumes of smoke and ash visible many times a year.


The name Sakurajima means "Cherry Blossom Island" though it is no longer an island. A major eruption in 1914 resulted in lava flows that connected the island to the mainland and so it is now a peninsula.


Visiting Sakurajima is one of the most popular activities for visitors to the area, and a constant stream of ferries shuttle back and forth from Kagoshima.


Obviously visitors are not allowed too close to the volcanoes but a small tour bus goes to an observation point so you can get a closer look.


A major eruption is expected within 30 years.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The view from Sanbe


Sanbe San is the name given to the highest point in Shimane, a cluster of 7 peaks.

!,126 meters above sea level, I have only climbed it one time.


Most people go up it on the trail on the north side but I went up a barely used trail on the south side.


As you would expect there are some great views once you get out of the trees.



In the distance the Shimane Hanto with Izumo Taisha at its base.

According to the Kunibiki myth the peninsular was dragged from Sila and held to the land of izumo by a rope that is now the beach you can just see. The other end of the peninsular was tied by a rope to Daisen in Tottori.


A huge caldera.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sanbe San


This is the draincover for the town of Oda, a fairly nondescript town close to the border between Iwami and Izumo. The mountains in the background are known as Sanbesan, and are the highest in Shimane at 1,126 m above sea level.

Oda does not have much to see for tourists, and is pretty much just the rail access point for visitors to the nearby World Heritage site of Iwami Ginzan, but I did wander around last fall hunting the fall colors.


This view of Sanbesan is from near my house, and must be about 25k distant as the crow flies. I took the photo on a winter walk up Maruyama.


On the lower slopes. Sanbesan is actually a cluster of 7 volcanoes, and the highest one is named Osanbesan. We were on our way to visit the Buried Forest Museum, actually a fascinating place where you can go below ground and see 4,000 year old trees that were buried in a major eruption.


This is on the south side, and its where I slept out before climbing to the top early the next morning. I had walked two days from my house to get here. One of these days I will write up that walk :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Japan from the air.


Flying back into Japan on Wednesday I was able to get a few decent shots. This first one is somewhere in north Kyushu.


Kyushu has a lot of active volcanoes, and I've studied maps to try and find which one this is, but couldn't be sure. If anyone knows, please let me know.


Kochi City on the south coast of Shikoku.


Somewhere in eastern Shikoku.


In the middle of Awajima, descending to land at Kansai Airport.