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Japan’s Oldest National Park, Unzen Amakusa National Park, Celebrates its 90th Anniversary

Ministry of the Environment, Japan 3 mins read
Fugendake Peak, Photo by The Ministry of the Environment

A momentous celebration of nature and heritage–Unzen Amakusa National Park will mark its 90th anniversary on March 16th, 2024. Unzen is Japan's first National Park, a land of volcanoes, hot springs, steam that emanates from the ground, and spectacular mountains.

Perhaps you've never heard of it, but Unzen is set to be your next Japan escape. To commemorate its 90 years, Unzen wants you to come and visit and see how special this place is for yourself. 


About Unzen: 

The Unzen region of the Unzen-Amakusa National Park is located at the southern tip of Nagasaki Prefecture on the Shimabara Peninsula, situated at the western edge of Kyushu. The peninsula is home to several active volcanoes, including Mt. Heisei-Shinzan, a youthful peak at 29 years old, and various other diverse mountains popular among hikers, featuring ancient geological layers dating back several tens of thousands of years (Note: climbing Mt. Heisei-Shinzan is prohibited). Within a radius of just about 15km on the Shimabara Peninsula, there are three distinct types of hot springs: Unzen Onsen, known for its sulfuric waters; Obama Onsen, a chloride hot spring; and Shimabara Onsen, offering a carbonated hot spring experience. 

Located at the heart of the Unzen region within the Unzen-Amakusa National Park, Unzen was established approximately 1,300 years ago as a place for Buddhist ascetic training. Later, due to Nagasaki being the closest location to Asia and the elevated position of Unzen at 700 meters, it was a retreat for foreigners from the Meiji era until just before World War II.

Unzen Jikoku at night 

Even now, international visitors come to enjoy Unzen’s various blessings. While it has gained global recognition for its hot spring resort, Unzen is a place that embraces the richness of life, intertwining both the pleasures and intriguing nuances of its distinctive geographical setting.

Unzen Amakusa National Park, the oldest national park in Japan:

Celebrating its 90th anniversary as the oldest national park in Japan, Unzen Amakusa National Park originated in 1934 as Unzen National Park and later expanded in 1956 to include the Amakusa region.


Fugendake Peak 


The Unzen region features over 20 mountains, dominated by Fugendake (1359 m) and Mt. Heisei-Shinzan (1483m), the highest peak on the mountain range and known for its active volcanic activity and panoramic views. The Amakusa area encompasses more than 120 islands, boasting unique coastal formations, historical landmarks, and vibrant coral reefs.

Unzen Amakusa National Park is renowned for its captivating juxtaposition of volcanic landscapes and maritime scenery.

The 90th Anniversary Giveaway:

With the aim to inspire more people to explore the adventure opportunities that Unzen Amakusa National Park has to offer, it invites travel enthusiasts to share in the celebration of Japan's oldest national park, accessible throughout 2024.

Four visitors will have the opportunity to receive the following.

  • Two free nights at H.U.B UNZEN (Location), located right at the heart of Unzen’s hot spring district, with hot springs at walking distance.
  • Free access to its co-working facilities such as booths, meeting rooms, and balcony areas overlooking the pond, making it an ideal place for working or just reading.
  • A planned itinerary and recommendations to make your stay at Unzen special in collaboration with the people at Unzen.
More information about the giveaway is available below.
Giveaway Campaign Application Form (Campaign closes March 4th, 2024)

Key Facts:

Unzen Amakusa National Park, Japan's first National Park, marks its 90th anniversary on March 16th, 2024 


- The Unzen region of the Unzen-Amakusa National Park is located at the southern tip of Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu. It features over 20 mountains, popular among hikers. 


- The peninsula is also home to several active volcanoes. 


- With the aim to inspire more people to explore Unzen, it invites travel enthusiasts to share in the celebration with a stay package giveaway, accessible throughout 2024.

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