Travelling in Kyushu: a great place for
sightseeing, eating and relaxing.
Kyushu is Japan’s third largest island, located in the southwestern part of Japan. Although it is part of Japan with it’s four seasons, Kyushu has a relatively warm climate throughout the year. You will encounter untouched nature on an overwhelming scale in several places in Kyushu.
A mountain range runs through the center of Kyushu. Mount Aso has one of the biggest calderas in the world, about 17 km east to west and about 25 km north to south. There are incredible views to behold everywhere, including a mystic forest with trees more than 7,000 years old, a valley that is cool even in the hot summer and perfect for forest bathing, and a natural beach with beautiful silver sand.
After onsen, enjoy delicious local dishes. Surrounded by both oceans and mountains, Kyushu has fresh vegetables, fruit, and seafood throughout the year. Among other kinds of fresh local products, Kyushu brand beef, pork, and chicken, which are lovingly raised in nature, are what you must try when you are in Kyushu. You will be impressed by the quality of the meat, which can be enjoyed in any style, including grilled and stewed. Other local dishes that are created and nurtured by Kyushu’s distinctive climate and culture include ramen noodles, the most popular Kyushu dish, local-style “Nabe” hot pot, and sweets.
In Kyushu, you can enjoy shopping for the latest fashion items and sundry goods at shopping malls in the large cities, while you can enjoy traditional events, such as summer festivals and fireworks, as well as old castle towns and traditional crafts, in the more rural areas. This makes Kyushu very unique, where you can enjoy new things and old things simultaneously.
Let’s learn more about Kyushu and set off to enjoy Kyushu to the fullest!
Fukuoka Prefecture is an entrance to Japan from other Asian countries. It has been chosen as one of “the Ten Hottest Cities in the World” and one of “the Most Livable Cities in Asia,” by Newsweek magazine and Asia Week magazine, respectively. It is the center of Kyushu culture and fashion. It is also famous as the home of tonkotsu ramen. The city hosts various events and festivals, including “Hakata Gion Yamakasa” and “Hakata Dontaku.”
Access: 5 minutes from Fukuoka Airport to Hakata Station by subwayhttp://www.crossroadfukuoka.jp/en/
Famous for ceramics, such as Arita ware and Imari ware, Saga Prefecture also has robust production of various fruits including strawberries and “Mikan” mandarin oranges. Saga-gyu beef, one of the highest-quality brand “Wagyu” beef, is becoming increasingly popular in recent years. The seafood in this area is very fresh, especially the transparent squid in Yobuko that is famous for its high quality. In November, Saga International Balloon Fiesta is held and many tourists come from all over the world.
Access: About 40 minutes from Hakata Station to Saga Station by limited expresshttp://www.saga-tripgenius.com/
With a long history of thriving foreign trading, Nagasaki Prefecture shows strong influences of various cultures, from China to Europe, along with sightseeing spots with a traditional atmosphere and beautiful cityscapes. It is also known for having various kinds of unique local food, including Nagasaki “Champon” noodles, “Saraudon” noodles, “Castella” sponge cake, and Sasebo burger.
Access: About 1 hour and 55 minutes from Hakata Station to Nagasaki Station by limited expresshttp://visit-nagasaki.com/
Ranked as number one in both the number of hot spring sources and amount of discharge in Japan, one of the world’s major hot spring nations, Oita Prefecture is called “Onsen Prefecture,” where you can see hot spring water gushing out everywhere in the area. This prefecture is also blessed with abundant food ingredients. Popular local dishes made with fruit of the local sea and mountains include tempura of wild vegetables, “Karaage” deep-fried chicken, and fresh sashimi of yellowtail and pufferfish.
Access: About 2 hours and 5 minutes from Hakata Station to Oita Station by limited expresshttp://en.visit-oita.jp/
Famous for Mount Aso with one of the world’s largest calderas, Kumamoto Prefecture is called “Hi-no-Kuni” (Country of Fire). However, facing the ocean and having abundant spring water, it is also known as “Mizu-no-Kuni” (Country of Water). This prefecture has various sightseeing spots, including Kumamoto Castle, one of the Three Great Castles of Japan, Kumamon, a mascot PR character of Kumamoto Prefecture, and the vast nature of Aso.
Access: About 35 minutes from Hakata Station to Kumamoto Station by Shinkansenhttp://kumanago.jp/en/
Referred to as “Shinwa-no-Furusato” (Home of the Myths), Miyazaki Prefecture is steeped in Japan’s history, tradition, and culture. There are many mystical power spots as well as events and leisure activities where you can enjoy fully the surrounding nature. This area also has driving routes lined with tropical flowers along beautiful coastlines. You can also enjoy locally grown tropical fruit, including mangoes, as well as Miyazaki-gyu beef.
Access: 45 minutes from Fukuoka Airport to Miyazaki Airport by air, or about 4 hours and 20 minutes from Hakata Station to Miyazaki Station by expressway bushttp://www.kanko-miyazaki.jp/
Having prospered as a hub for trading in it's early days, Kagoshima Prefecture is rich in history and culture. Kagoshima Brand products, including Kurobuta pork, brand beef, and agricultural produce, such as sweet potatoes and “tankan” oranges, have been attracting attention from all over the world. This area uniquely offers you a chance to experience places with abundant, wild nature and a mystical atmosphere, such as Yakushima Island, a World Natural Heritage site.
Access: About 1 hour and 30 minutes from Hakata Station to Kagoshima-Chuo Station by Shinkansenhttp://www.kagoshima-kankou.com/for/
Basic information on Kyushu and Japan
Although Kyushu is usually warm and comfortable throughout the year, it still has days of rain or sometimes snow depending on the season, so it is important to choose your clothes according to the season when you visit. There is often a large temperature difference between morning and night, so it is recommended to layer your clothes so that you can easily put on and take off extra clothes. It is also advisable to check up on minimum manners and etiquette required in Japan before coming to Japan, to fully enjoy and appreciate cultural experiences and shopping.
Basic information on Japan https://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/basic-info/index.html
Overview of Kyushu (climate and other information) http://www.welcomekyushu.com/overview/index.html
Useful Information / Links
The following websites introduce useful information for travel in Kyushu, including purchasing air tickets, various kinds of discount passes, accommodation information, and recommended tourist sites. You will find lots of useful information for planning your trip to Kyushu!
Singapore Airlines http://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/sg/home
Fukuoka Airport http://www.fuk-ab.co.jp/english/
JR Kyushu http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/
NEXCO West Japan http://global.w-nexco.co.jp/en/kep/
Kyushu Area Information (JNTO) https://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/model-route/kyushu/index.html
Accommodation Information (JNTO) https://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/accommodations/index.html
Sightseeing Information (KyushuTourism Promotion Organization) http://www.welcomekyushu.com/