Like a scene from a science fiction movie, volcanic steam vents and larval pools punctuate the lunar landscape.
In the shadow of one of Japan’s most active volcanoes is the Unzen onsen complex, surrounded by bubbling fields of hot springs or “hells.” Here you can feel the force of the volcano; the barren rocky landscape is full of steam holes, mud holes and springs of milky liquid and acid. The smell of sulfur often fills the air and smoky mists roll down the main street of the city; You’d be forgiven for thinking you went to the set of a science fiction movie.
There are onsen baths suitable for human use in the city’s modern Ryokan hotels; the most popular reason to visit Unzen. Spring water needs to cool when it leaves the ground in order to bathe.