Showa Shinzan volcano

Showa Shinzan volcano

The formation of a new volcano was kept top secret during World War Two.

Showa Shinzan is Japan's newest volcano. In 1944 the mountain suddenly erupted from a flat wheat plain causing earthquake shakes and squirting lava from the surface. In the space of a year the mountain grew to its current height of 398m and is still actively smoking sulphurous fumes today.

Considered an unlucky wartime omen, the volcano's existence was kept a secret from the Japanese public. Much of the information we now know about the volcano's formation comes from the local postmaster, Masao Mimatsu, who kept records of the mountain's growth during this period of secrecy.

Today the best way to view Showa Shinzan is from the nearby Mount Usu cable car.

Showa Shinzan volcano

located in Toya Onsen

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Interested in this Experience? It is included in this tour:

  • Making full use of planes, trains, and automobiles, this summer trip is a fabulous introduction to the charms of Japan's northern reaches.

    Wild Hokkaido

    We designed this trip to celebrate Japan's newest bullet train line, linking Aomori in northern Honshu with Hakodate in southern Hokkaido. Making full use of planes, trains, and automobiles, this summer trip is a fabulous introduction to the multitude of charms of Japan's northern reaches.

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    Making full use of planes, trains, and automobiles, this summer trip is a fabulous introduction to the charms of Japan's northern reaches.

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