188.Hara Castle Part3

The ruins became a world heritage.


Natural Terrain supporting Castle

You can also walk on the promenade along the seaside from the parking lot and look up at the steep natural cliff under the Second Enclosure. Surprisingly, this cliff was created by the great pyroclastic flow from Mt. Aso over Ariake Sea about 90,000 years ago.

The promenade along the seaside
The steep cliff under the Second Enclosure
The cliff of the Main Enclosure

Later History

After the Shimabara Rebellion, the shogunate settled Buddhist farmers in the Shimabara Peninsula. That’s why there have been very few Christians in the area until now. The ruins of Hara Castle were designated as a National Historic Site in 1938. However, the details of the castle have recently been revealed since the excavation started in 1990. As a result, they have been on the World Heritage List as Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region since 2018.

The stone walls of the Main Enclosure
The Second Enclosure on the hill

My Impression

After the Shimabara Rebellion, it is said that the governance of the lords under the shogunate became relatively gentle and they sometimes overlook underground Christians who were harmless. I think the precious sacrifice of the uprising people in the Shimabara Rebellion was not for nothing. Many details about the rebellion and Hara Castle are still unknown, so I hope that the facts of them will become clearer little by little in the future.

The ruins of the Turret base at the Main Enclosure
The cross-shaped monument at the Main Enclosure

How to get There

If you want to visit the ruins by car, it is about 75 minutes away from Nagasaki IC on the Nagasaki Expressway.
You can park in the parking lots for visitors beside a spa facility called Harajo Onsen Masago.
If you want to use public transportation, you can take the Shimatetsu Bus from Shimabara Station on the Shimabara Railway and get off at the Harajo-mae bus stop.
If you go there from Tokyo or Osaka, I recommend going to Nagasaki Airport by plane. After that, you can take the shuttle bus to Isahaya Station and transfer to the Shimabara Railway at the station.

The spa facility called Harajo Onsen Masago
A view of Mt. Unzen from around the parking lot

Links and References

A World Heritage City Minamishimabara

That’s all. Thank you.
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投稿者: Yuzo

城巡りが好きなYuzoです。日本には数万の城があったといわれています。その内の200名城を手始めにどんどん紹介していきます。 I'm Yuzo, I love visiting castles and ruins. It is said that there were tens of thousands castles in Japan. I will introduce you top 200 castles and ruins of them, and more!

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