The historic city of Shimabara lies about 62 miles east of Nagasaki—a scenic drive along the coastal road. En route you will pass picturesque Ariake Bay and head out onto the Shimabara Peninsula. The city itself flourished in the early 17th century after the construction of the magnificent Shimabara Castle. Enjoy a guided visit to the renovated castle, which is now open as a museum of ancient Christian history. On display are old swords, armor and other items from the Edo period. Following your tour of the castle, set out on a walking tour through Shimabara’s Old Town and visit the Samurai District. A Japanese-style lunch is served at a local restaurant before you continue to Mizunashi Honjin. After standing dormant for more than 200 years, Fugen Volcano suddenly erupted in 1991—burying a small village and killing 48 people. At Mizunashi Honjin, you’ll see the preserved ruins of some of the houses buried in the mud and lava rock. Come away from this excursion with a greater insight into Japan’s history and intrigue.Notes:Participants must negotiate stairs and/or uneven surfaces.
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