Welcome to Shimabara, a charming city located on the north-eastern tip of the Shimabara Peninsula, facing Ariake Bay in the east and Mount Unzen in the west, in Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan. This city has a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and numerous onsen, making it a popular tourist destination. Join us as we uncover the many treasures of Shimabara and reveal why this enchanting destination should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
Shimabara is a castle town, which was the capital of Shimabara Domain during the Edo period. It was the site of considerable foreign trade and missionary activity during the late Muromachi period, and in the early Edo period, a large percentage of the population were Kirishitan. Due to misgovernment, high taxes and persecution of Christianity, the population rose up during the Shimabara Rebellion of 1637, which was suppressed with extreme severity by the Tokugawa Bakufu. Shimabara was ruled by a branch of the Matsudaira clan from 1668 to 1774 and from 1774 to 1871. Modern Shimabara City was founded on April 1, 1940 by the merger of former town of Shimabara with several surrounding villages. On January 1, 2006, the town of Ariake (from Minamitakaki District) was merged into Shimabara.
The most popular tourist destination within the urban area is Shimabara Castle and the nearby Samurai Street. Shimabara Castle is a beautiful castle that was built in 1624 by the Shimabara clan. It is one of the few castles in Japan that has a Christian chapel inside. The castle is surrounded by a moat and has a beautiful garden. The nearby Samurai Street is a street that has been preserved to look like it did during the Edo period. It is lined with traditional Japanese houses and shops.
Shimabara is also known for its natural spring water, both hot and cold, that it runs through the streets. On Carp Street, koi swim in the canals. The city has numerous onsen, or hot springs, which are a popular attraction for tourists. Some of the most popular onsen in Shimabara include Unzen Onsen, Shimabara Onsen, and Kuchinotsu Onsen.
Shimabara is located in Unzen-Amakusa National Park, which is a beautiful park that is known for its hot springs, mountains, and scenic views. The park is home to Mount Unzen, which is an active volcano that has erupted several times in the past. The park is also home to numerous hiking trails, waterfalls, and scenic drives.
Shimabara has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and cool winters. The average annual temperature in Shimabara is 17.4 °C (63.3 °F). The average annual rainfall is 2,210.8 mm (87.04 in) with June as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 28.3 °C (82.9 °F), and lowest in January, at around 7.0 °C (44.6 °F).
Shimabara has a population of approximately 44,936 people. The city’s population peaked in the 1950s with more than 60,000 people. In 2020, Shimabara’s population is only about 75% of what it was in the 1950s.
Shimabara is host of the Shimbara Water Festival on the first weekend of August. There are also festivals in Minamishimabara, like the Marine Festival in Kuchinotsu and the Minamishimabara Sakura Festivals.
In conclusion, Shimabara is a beautiful city that is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you are interested in exploring the city’s historical sites, relaxing in its hot springs, or hiking in its national park, Shimabara has something to offer everyone. So why not add Shimabara to your travel bucket list and experience all that this enchanting destination has to offer?