Obama (小浜町) is an interesting little town on the route between Nagasaki and Unzen. While it does share its name with a American president and has a cheesy statue of him outside the Tourist Information Center, Obama is a laid back area and a great way to escape the crowds.
Budget travel tips
- Obama is quite a difficult place to navigate (we went down the wrong street once or twice!), so go into the Tourist Information Center next to the bus stop, pick up a map and ask the lady to highlight key spots.
- There are some cheap restaurants and a supermarket south of the Tourist Information Center on the main road.
Places of interest
Obama Marine Park Footbath (足湯) (FREE)
Dip your feet in this free 105 meter long footbath while enjoying the sunset or sunrise. Great, especially with a beer! Open all day.
Hot Spring Steam Oven
Buy some food and cook it in the natural hot spring water. A real ‘only in Japan’ experience. Food available from the stall nearby.
Nami No Yu Outdoor Hot Spring (波の湯)
A tiny, neighborhood hot spring right along the coast that also provides an awesome view over the sea. Bring a towel and soup. Located a little south of the footbath.
Price: Adults 300 yen, Children 200 yen
Scenic Town Points
There are a few interesting little things to see around town related to hot springs, such as a mini hot spring. Pick up a free map from the Information Center with all the key points to visit.
How to get there
The easiest way is to take the direct bus from Nagasaki (100 minutes, 1450 yen). Buses depart from Nagasaki at 9:00, 13:00, 16:00 and depart from Obama at 9:24, 13:24 and 16:24 coming back. Buy a ticket at Nagasaki station or the Obama bus terminal.
You can take a local bus to Unzen from the same bus terminal.
Recommended hostels and cheap hotels
There aren’t any hostels or really cheap hotels here, but you won’t need to stay more than one night to enjoy everything. When searching, make sure you are booking for Obama in Nagasaki and not in Fukui. Also try Unzen if you can’t find anything. Check Booking.com and Agoda.