Unzen-Amakusa National Park
Kumamoto Prefectural Tomioka Visitor Centre, Japan
Welcome to the Tomioka Visitor Centre
About the Centre
Located within the Unzen-Amakusa National Park, the Tomioka Visitor Centre is a multi-purpose facility aiming to inform, educate and engage the general public of the rich cultural, historical and natural heritages of the Tomioka Peninsula and its neighbouring areas. The Centre is located on the current site of Tomioka Castle which, for 270 years until the end of Edo period, held its position as the political, economical and cultural capital of Amakusa.
The site was also a battleground of the Shimabara Rebellion in 1637, where the 16 year-old Amakusa Shiro, touted as the saviour of Japanese Christians, led the discontented masses of regional samurais and local peasants into battle against the feudal lords of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
The hill on which the castle and Centre stand is covered by a beautiful warm-temperate forest that harbours a diverse range of animals. The walk up to the castle can be full of unexpected surprises, from crabs and butterflies to even raccoon dogs which are common in this area. The castle commands a breathtaking view of the surrounding area, including the sandspit that connects the Tomioka Peninsula with the mainland, which can be seen silhouetted against the magnificent blue of the sea.
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