Hiking in Nagasaki: Unzen・雲仙 Edition

Last weekend I took advantage of a train pass sale in Kyushu and made my way over to Nagasaki. I’ve had a lot of fun at a few different national parks in the area and really wanted to see Unzen, and Mt Fugen・普賢岳 (1369m), the highest climbable peak in Nagasaki prefecture. The highest peak is easily viewable from there, but is a semi-active volcano. The last eruption was in 1995 and lasted several months! It did not erupt while I was there.

My first day in Unzen I did a quick hike around the sulphur hot springs, Kinugasayama・絹笠山, Shirakumo lake・白雲池, some little hiking paths and Oshitori lake・おしとり池 with waterfalls a bit south.

The views from the top of Kinugasayama・絹笠山 were so, so beautiful. The mountain you can see beyond the white flowers is the place I would hike the next day.

While going around the hiking paths and Oshitori lake・おしとり池 I found some shrines, ume boshi・梅干し drying in the sun, and importantly: ice cream.

Then off to Shirakumo lake・白雲池 which was about a 5 minute walk from where I was staying.

Here is that days hike on Yamap.

The next day I was off for Mt Fugen・普賢岳!

The trails were all open but the ropeway and attractions were all closed so I only saw a couple other people.

I cannot pretend to understand the science of this, but a few places around the mountain have extremely cool air flowing from within the mountain. When you pass by its quite noticeable, especially on such a hot day. Feels like a ghost although I’m sure its more to do with the geothermal activity. There were also little places where it was disturbingly hot air coming out of spots but luckily there was no volcanic activity.

I made it up to the top after a bit of fun scrambling, unfortunately a little stuck in the clouds but it was still nice.

The walk down was very nice and lush and I had a little sweet potato snack I had gotten earlier on in the village. When I made it back to civilization I bee-lined for this cafe I had seen the day before. One of the specialties is a castella cake parfait with ice cream, mochi and red bean. One of the famous foods in Nagasaki is castella so I could not pass it up.

Here is the course I took on Yamap.

The next day I started making my way to Isahaya for a little bit more light hiking. I took hardly any pictures and didn’t even connect my Yamap. Maybe I was a bit more tired than I thought but it was still very nice.

One of my favorite views of Japan in the hazy rolling hills and rice paddies, and I was spoiled with views from the train.

It was a wonderful trip and I’m so happy I got a chance to check out Nagasaki a bit more.

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