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Showa Shinzan

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Showa Shinzan

Showa Shinza (Showa New Mountain) was named after Emperor Showa, also known as Hirohito, because it was formed during his reign. During the time of its formation, World War II was in full swing and the Japanese government saw this mountain as an unlucky omen for wartime. Since its existence was kept secret there are no official records on the growth of the mountain. In 1943, the peak’s formation was recorded by a postmaster named Masao Mimatsu. He put a piece of paper on his window and drew diagrams of the progress the mountain was making. He continued to document the volcano’s growth all the way to the end and submitted his amateur work to the World Volcano Conference in Osla in 1948. At the conference his work received praises by professional volcanologists and his papers are now referred to as the “Mimatsu Diagram.”

In efforts to preserve the mountain Masao Mimatsu purchased the land that Showa Shinzan formed on and is one of the few volcanoes in the world to be on private land. In memorial of his work there is a statue of him at the foot of Mount Usu and the memorial hall is located near Mount Showa Shinzan. Showa Shinzan is a volcanic lava dome that formed on what used to be a flat wheat field. The lava dome reached a height of 407 meters, but after cooling the measurement dropped to 398 meters, which is the current height of the volcano. Shinzan Swamp was a result of the ground shifting to the point it enclosed part of the southern Sobetsu River. Now there is an observatory at the swamp with panoramic views of the area. The process in forming Showa Shinzan even destroyed a railway bridge and the remains can be reached by climbing 100 steps.



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These tours are great for first time visitors to Japan looking for comfortable accommodation with all entrance fees and most meals included. Our Japan Deluxe Tours are accomodated with professional tour guides, fluent in both Japanese and English, to ensure an educational and valuable visit. Air-conditoned, private coaches are also included, so you can enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free time in Japan. Our tours range from 7 to 21 days, to various regions of Japan.

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