Kyushu Travel Guide Japan Guide

Outline of the Travel Guide

Kyushu is a large, popular island in Japan with its own unique culture and dynamic energy. It is located in the southwestern part of Japan and is home to six main prefectures: Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Oita, Nagasaki, Saga, and Miyazaki. This guide will provide information on the most recommended things to do, places to visit, and recommended hotels in Kyushu for a great travel experience. For readers who are interested in the local cuisine, there will also be information on the most popular regional dishes.

History of Kyushu

Kyushu has a rich history of more than 3,500 years, and its name translates to ‘Nine Provinces’. During the Meiji period (1868-1912), Kyushu was the center of Westernization, and later in the 1920s and 1930s, the region underwent industrialization. The war ended with atomic bombs hitting Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Kyushu became a popular destination for pilgrims from around the world. To this day, there are many important historical sites to visit in Kyushu.

Kyushu Travel Attractions

Kyushu offers plenty of interesting attractions, from natural wonders like the sacred Mt. Aso, to picturesque hot springs and Buddhist temples. The region also offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as climbing Mt. Kuju and skiing in the Kirishima Mountains. Other popular attractions for visitors include Fukuoka Castle, the Saga Peace Park, Saga International Balloon Fiesta, Kumamoto Castle, the Kitakyushu Eco-Town.

Best Places to Visit in Kyushu

There are countless places to visit in Kyushu, ranging from bustling cities like Fukuoka city to historic sights such as Nagasaki. In Fukuoka, tourists can explore Nishitetsu Grand Park, the Fukuoka Tower, and the Fukuoka Art Museum. Meanwhile, tourists visiting Nagasaki can explore the Atomic Bomb Museum, the Glover Garden, and Oura Cathedral. Tourists who are planning to visit Kyushu during the winter season should definitely consider visiting Lake Mashu in the Shikoku region. Other attractions worth exploring include Kumamoto Castle, Fukuoka Prefectural Museum, Kumamoto Aquarium, and the KEF Winter Illumination.

Kyushu Cuisine

A trip to Kyushu will not be complete without trying its unique, delicious regional cuisine. Some popular dishes include tonkatsu (deep-fried pork) and ramen, as well as local specialties such as beef tongue and motsunabe (beef/pork stew). Sushi is also popular in Kyushu, and some dishes are only available in the region. There are plenty of places to try local cuisine in Kyushu, ranging from small, family-run eateries to fine-dining restaurants.

Recommended Hotels

Kyushu has a plethora of hotels and resorts for tourists of all budgets and styles. If you’re looking for a luxury stay in Kyushu, consider the six-star Hoshino Resorts Oirasekeibu or the five-star Westin Miyazaki. For mid-range budgets, consider the five-star Hotel Nikko Kumamoto or the four-star hotel Shimonoseki Station Hotel. For budget-friendly stays in Kyushu, consider the three-star Hotel Wing International Fukuoka or the two-star Hotel La Greca.

Transportation

Getting around Kyushu is very convenient thanks to the extensive railway network and vast highway system. The Kyushu Shinkansen is the best way to explore Kyushu, and the Sanyo Shinkansen runs from Kumamoto to Fukuoka. The Kyushu Highway Bus offers same-day trips from Osaka and Tokyo to Fukuoka, and there are also plenty of local buses in each prefecture for shorter trips. Car rental is also possible in Kyushu.

Festivals

Kyushu hosts many festivals every year that are definitely worth experiencing, such as the Aso Matsuri Festival in Kumamoto and the Kumamoto Lantern Festival in Fukuoka. The Nagasaki Kunchi Festival is an annual autumnal festival, while the Yamaga Lantern Festival is a summer festival celebrated throughout the region for three days. Other festivals worth experiencing in Kyushu are the Misumi Lantern Tour and the Kokura Gion.

Shopping

Kyushu is also well-known for its shopping districts, and there is something for everyone. The largest shopping street in Kyushu is in Kumamoto, while Fukuoka is home to the most popular shopping areas in the prefecture, such as Canal City, Parco Fukuoka Tenjin, and Fukuoka’s Yakuin shopping area. Nagasaki, Sakamoto, and Kagoshima also offer plenty of shopping opportunities. In addition, Kyushu is known for its delicious local foods, such as the famous Kumamotoyaki mochi, and Fukuoka is home to plenty of great souvenir shops.

Nightlife

The vibrant nightlife in Kyushu is certainly worth experiencing. Kumamoto is popular for its izakayas, bars, and clubs, while Fukuoka is considered the entertainment hub of Kyushu, with plenty of live music venues, karaoke bars, and international restaurants. In Nagasaki, the Nagasaki Samba Carnival is held annually in late April and is a must-see. Miyazaki’s nightlife scene is centered around the port area of Yanagawa, which is home to plenty of bars and pubs.

Margarita Nelson

Margarita M. Nelson is a Japan-based writer and researcher. She has written extensively on the culture, history, and current events of Japan for various publications. She holds an MA in Asian Studies from the University of Tokyo, and is currently writing a book on the history of the Ainu people of northern Japan.

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