Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Nagasaki
Population
1,516,536

Obama Onsen

Feeling hot, hot, hot.

On the eastern side of the Shimabara peninsula sits Obama Onsen, home to some of the hottest spring waters and the longest foot bath in Japan. Looking out over Tachibana Bay, it’s also one of the most popular places in the area to catch a spectacular sunset.

Established in 713, Obama Onsen is fed by 30 springs that run as hot as 105°C, making steam a regular fixture around town. Its springs are reported to produce 15,000 tons of water daily. Soaking in these chloride-based waters is said to treat everything from rheumatism to neuralgia to stomach disorders.

Bathe and breakfast at the same time with an onsen egg.

Bathe and breakfast at the same time with an onsen egg.

Obama has a number of onsen and places to see, so make your way first to the Obama Hot Spring Tourism Office to get a better lay of the land. Located across the street from the bus terminal, the office provides a decent English list of hotels with onsen on site.

Additionally, the office has an interesting photo op with a very notable person. Standing in front of the office, one arm raised in a wave, you’ll find a Barack Obama mannequin.

While the US president has never been to the town, Obama Onsen has taken advantage of the name since his inauguration.

Not so keen on going au naturel in an onsen with strangers? Several hotels in the area offer both public and private baths, but reservations are recommended for the latter. Or, you can get your feet wet first, literally. Try out Japan’s longest foot bath in the Obama Marine Park. Called Hot Foot 105, the foot bath is named for being 105 meters in length. Even pets can get in on the action, with the last 5 meters reserved for them. Just don’t forget to bring a towel to dry off.

Unzen hot springs area - Obama onsen

There are many hot springs in and around the area of geothermal landscape of Unzen.

Make sure you try some of the local dishes while you’re in the area. For the thrifty, you can simply steam some eggs and vegetables next to the Hot Foot 105. Obama also has its own version of champon, a Nagasaki signature dish mixing Japanese and Chinese elements, offered at over 20 restaurants.

If you have time, head up to Unzen Onsen. Offering sulfuric-based onsen, it’s a mere 25-minute drive up the mountains.

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Things To Know

Foot Bath Opening Hours

10:00 to 19:00 (April – October)/10:00 to 18:00 (November – March).

How To Get There

Address

854-0513, Japan

By bus

From JR Nagasaki Station, you can take the limited express Kamome headed towards Hakata (25 minutes; ¥1,270 reserved seating, ¥760 unreserved), the JR Nagasaki Line for Isahaya (35 minutes; ¥460), or the JR Seaside Line for Sasebo (28 minutes; ¥460). Get off at Isahaya Station. Cross the street to the Isahaya Bus Terminal and take the Shimatetsu bus line to the Obama Bus Terminal. It’ll take about an hour and costs ¥1,000.

From Nagasaki Airport, take a 35-minute bus ride to Isahaya Bus Terminal. There, change to the Shimatetsu bus line to the Obama Bus Terminal. It takes around an hour, the fare is ¥1,000.

From the Shimabara Bus Terminal, take a Shimatetsu bus headed to Isahaya to the Obama Bus Terminal. The journey should take about 1 hour and 15 minutes, costing ¥1,200.

Where To Stay

Tsutaya Ryokan
  • Obama-cho Kitahonmachi 907 Unzen-Shi, Nagasaki 854-0514
  • 8.5/10
  • 1.8 km
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Ryokan Yamadaya
  • Obama-cho Kitahon-machi 905-7 Unzen-Shi, Nagasaki 854-0514
  • 8.3/10
  • 1.8 km
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Hamakan Hotel
  • Kitahonmachi 1681 Unzen-Shi, Nagasaki 854-0514
  • 7.9/10
  • 1.8 km
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Shunyokan
  • Obama, Kitahonmachi 1680 Unzen-Shi, Nagasaki 854-0514
  • 7.5/10
  • 1.8 km
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