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The area between Koyu and Shinyu in Unzen is covered in white soil and called Unzen Jigoku. Jigoku is a Buddhist hell which is said to be the place where the dead are punished for the evil deeds they committed during their lifetime. In Unzen Jigoku, high temperature hot spring water and gas fumes everywhere while strong smell of sulfur and steam fills the air. This scary scene depicts the idea of a hell quite well. This unearthly scene and the unique smell is worth checking out.
- Obamacho Unzen, Unzen-shi, Nagasaki
- Take Shimatetsu bus bound for Unzen from JR Isahaya station. Ride for 1 hour 19 minutes and get off at the bus stop "Unzen Oyamano Johokan mae," followed by a 5-min walk.
- Opening Hours / Holidays
- Open all year round
- Official Website
- Admission fee
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Eerie Impact of “Hell”
Unzen Jigoku has about 30 hells. Oito Jigoku is the hell believed to have appeared after a girl called Oito was executed around the beginning of the Meiji era. While Daikyokan Jigoku is the one that shoots up extremely hot water at about 100°C and steam. Walking down the path through them will give you an eerie impact of hell.
Resting Place to Feel Geothermal Heat and Steam
Unzen Jigoku was reopened after the development of some parts of its premises in December 2015. It became “Unzen jigoku to feel” while it was “Unzen Jigoku to see” before. You can feel geothermal heat and steam with your feet at the resting place “Unzen Jigoku Ashi-mushi (foot steamer).”
Holy Cross Commemorating a Christian Martyr
Unzen Jigoku is also known as a place where Christians were tortured. When Christianity was severely suppressed, bakufu (Japanese feudal government) tortured Christians using the boiling water to force them to convert. The holy cross standing on the hill to look down on this hell is a reminder of these martyrs.
Eggs at Unzen Jigoku Shop
Unzen Jigoku Chaya has a shop that sells fresh steamed eggs high in nutrition. It is said that one egg expands your life by one year, two eggs two years, and three eggs do so until the time you die. Those eggs are so popular that they sell more than 2,000 a day during the high season.
Night Tour at Hell
If you join the guided night tour, you can walk around the darkness of Unzen Jigoku with only the light of your flash light. The smoke is dynamic, the sound of hot water gushing out everywhere, it surely feels more like hell. Enjoy the night view of hell that is completely different from the one during the day.