Explore the many prefectures of Kyushu and its mouth-watering cuisine. Try out a bowl of world famous ramen or taste some warming Motsunabe to satisfy your appetite. Kyushu is truly a food lover’s paradise. Be immersed in natural scenic spots all over the area and explore the cultural gems in the region. There is something special for all travelers seeking an experience for the heart and soul.

TRAVEL AND LOCAL FOOD INFORMATION

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    Cherry Blossom on Mt Tsurumi Ropeway, Oita

    The 1,375m-high Mt. Tsurumi is a great place for breathtaking views of the onsen town of Beppu and its bay, as well as for cherry blossoms and azaleas that carpet the the mountain in hues of pink in spring. Beppu is known for its jigokumushi – food cooked in hot spring steam – as well as toriten (chicken tempura). ...Read More

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    Kyushu’s top sakura spots

    Spring is cherry blossom season, and Kyushu has plenty of scenic spots, from Fukuoka’s Uminonakamichi which has an amusement park, to Kumamoto’s Suigenji’s traditional Japanese garden, and Oita’s Oka castle ruins. It’s also a great time to sample regional specialties like ramen (both Fukuoka and Kumamoto), Nagasaki champon, toriten, seafood, and more. ...Read More

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    Kanoukaen Fire Festival, Nagasaki

    Nagasaki Prefecture’s town of Unzen holds the annual Kanoukaen fire festival where hundreds of participants dressed in traditional samurai armour carry torches that light the 2km-long night procession. It starts at Tachibana Park, where you can also appreciate its cherry blossoms. Nagasaki is famous for its fusion foods, like Sasebo Burger and Turkish Rice (pilaf rice topped with tonkatsu). ...Read More

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    Lake Ikeda Summer Activities, Kagoshima

    Located between Kagoshima City and Ibusuki is Lake Ikeda, Kyushu’s biggest volcanic lake. It’s not only home to giant eels, it’s also a popular watersports location in summer, where you can try Flyboarding, Hoverboarding, as well as other paddle sports. While you’re here, try local specialties like Kagoshima Ramen, satsuma-age (deep-fried fishcake), and sweet potato products. ...Read More

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    Yakushima Island turtle hatching, Kagoshima

    Yakushima island, located off Kagoshima Prefecture, is famous for its yakusugi (millennia-old cedar trees). Between May and August, it’s also famous for its sea turtles; turtle-watching tours at Nagata Inaka Beach lets you witness the egg-laying process or the hatching period. While on the island, sample specialties like tobio (flying fish) and kubi ore saba, or ‘broken-neck mackerel’. ...Read More

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    Izumi Crane Migration, Kagoshima

    There are many things that Kagoshima Prefecture is famous for, from its cuisine to its beaches and volcanic landscape. Another attraction comes during winter, when the Izumi peninsula welcomes over 10,000 rare cranes from Siberia during their migration season. A great way to experience local hospitality is to stay at one of Izumi’s minshuku (homestay) and sample local produce. ...Read More

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    Shirahige Tahara Doburoku Festival, Oita

    When visiting Oita Prefecture in October, check out the Shirahige Tahara Doburoku Festival in Kitsuki City where you can not only pray for prosperity, but also check out its mikoshi float parade and ‘white beard’ contest. The main reason to come, however, is to sample some doburoku, a special homemade sake that’s brewed at this temple once a year. ...Read More

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    Nagasaki Kunchi Festival, Nagasaki

    Happening in Nagasaki in early October, the Kunchi Festival is a 3-day celebration involving folk performances and float parades, where visitors can sample Shippoku Ryori – Nagasaki’s most famous cuisine. Infusing Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese elements, it’s served on a round table and features dishes like kakuni, a Chinese inspired pork belly dish, and tai (red snapper) fin soup. ...Read More

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    Kunenan Villa, Saga

    Located near Kanzaki City in Saga Prefecture, Kunenan Villa is a favourite autumn destination – open to the public annually in November, it’s a beautiful thatched home set amidst a fiery fall foliage in a Zen garden. While you’re in the area, you can try Kanzaki somen – thin noodles with a history dating back 370 years. ...Read More

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    Karatsu Kunchi Festival, Saga

    The 400-year old Karatsu Kunchi Festival in Saga Prefecture is held every year in November, when 14 elaborate hikiyama floats – some over 100 years old – are paraded from the city to the beach. The festival is also marked by the consumption of a kunchi meal – a lavish feast featuring a gigantic stuffed perch. ...Read More

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    Gokanosho Suspension Bridges, Kumamoto

    Tucked in the deep gorges of Gokanosho in Kumamoto Prefecture are five secluded villages, home to the last remaining ancestors of the once-powerful Heike clan from Kyoto. The area is spectacular for its autumn foliage which you can appreciate from suspension bridges, or at one of the villages where you can sample hand-cut soba and locally-grown mountain vegetables. ...Read More

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    Kinrin Lake Viewing, Oita

    Picturesque Yufuin is one of Oita Prefecture’s most popular onsen towns. A short walk away is Kinrin Lake – in autumn, a steamy morning mist covers the lake’s surface thanks to two underwater hot springs. Surrounded by mountains with autumnal hues, it’s a great place to explore while snacking on some of Yufuin’s local produce like cheese and croquettes. ...Read More

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    Autumn Fruit Picking, Fukuoka

    A leading fruit producing prefecture in Japan, Fukuoka boasts bountiful fruit orchards that produce huge volumes of strawberries, persimmons, and grapes. The good news is that fruit-picking is a popular activity especially during the autumn months – depending on what you want to pick, the orchards are generally open from August to December. ...Read More

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    Sand bathing in Ibusuki, Kagoshima

    While the idea of ‘onsen’ involves soaking in hot waters, head to Ibusuki and you’ll find that people come here to bathe not in water, but in sand – or ‘suna-mushi’. Hailed for its therapeutic properties, the hot sands are also used to create a local specialty: ontamaran-don, or eggs cooked in hot sand served atop a variety of rice bowls. ...Read More

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    Onsen hopping in Oita

    When it comes to ‘onsen’, every Japanese knows that Oita Prefecture produces the biggest quantity of thermal waters in Japan. There are literally hundreds of hot spring resorts dotted around Yufuin and Beppu where you can have a bath in a variety of thermal waters. A special cuisine in the region is jigokumushi – food that’s cooked in thermal steam. ...Read More

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    Shochu culture in Kyushu

    While Japan is known for sake, Kyushu has its own unique tipple: shochu. Made all over the island, three places are unique: Iki, Kuma, and Satsuma which produce three types of shochu – barley, rice, and sweet potato. Steeped in over 400 years of history, the method of drinking of shochu is as versatile as its variety of flavour profiles. ...Read More

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    Gouradani Icicles, Fukuoka

    In the peak of winter, the waters of Gouradani valley in Fukuoka freeze over, creating a dramatic landscape of icicles up to 20m high. After hiking to see the frozen falls, you can warm up with motsunabe, a local specialty of offal stew served only in winter. This is also a great season for seafood like king crab and oysters. ...Read More

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    Nagasaki Lantern Festival, Nagasaki

    Celebrating Nagasaki’s winter, the Lantern Festival runs up to 15 days with over 15,000 lanterns illuminating much of Nagasaki’s Shinchi Chinatown and surrounding areas. This is a great time to sample shippoku ryori, a local specialty that’s influenced by Japanese, Chinese and Western cuisine served on a round table, featuring dishes like tobani (pork belly). ...Read More

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    Ramen Stadium, Fukuoka

    Winter is a great time to sample one of Fukuoka’s beloved dishes: Hakata Ramen, which is renowned for its tonkotsu (pork bone) broth and thin noodles, as well as its unique kaedama noodle refill system. Hakata Ramen is an evolution of the Kurume Ramen – the original tonkotsu ramen – and you can sample both styles at Ramen Stadium. ...Read More

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    Kurozu (black vinegar), Kagoshima

    One of Kagoshima’s regional treasures is kurozu, or black vinegar which has a whisky-like caramel colour that draws fans to the region seeking either its medicinal qualities or its intense yet delicate flavour. Visit a kurozu factory for a tour of their clay tsubo jars, and sample cuisine made with this aged nectar at the factory’s restaurant. ...Read More

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