A few hours away on a bus took us to a mysterious area called Unzen. Actually, Unzen is the name of a vulcano, which, as I found out later, is still active and making the whole surrounding area potentially dangerous.
High temperature hot springs generate tons of steam, which then gets mixed with gase fumes that smell like sulfur… no wonder the area is called Unzen Jigoku (Unzen Hell). It is an amazing and truly fascinating scenery!
The hot spring water is somewhat white-ish and smelly, also very hot. But it is good for you body and feels amazing, especially if you have access to a rotenburo (an open air hot spring bath). As we were travelling in the middle of march, it was still quite cold outside, so this amazing feeling is double: your body is hot, but the air around you is nicely cold. Even though we only stayed in Unzen for one night, I must have soaked at least 5 times.
Next day we had to move on. Our path lied East, to Kumamoto. We decided to go to Shimabara and take a ferry from there. You have two choices: a faster, but more expesive ferry and a slower, but cheaper one. The difference was only 30 minutes and the slower ferry’s departure time was more convenient for us, so the choice was obvious. In the end, the 30 minutes difference was totally irrelevant. Plus, as a bonus, a cheaper ferry also offered a free ride from Kumamoto port to Kumamoto train station. Super convenient!
Stay tuned for Kumamoto~ ♪