Japan:A Closer Look at Kyushu – Part 1

Mar 30th, 2009 | By | Category: Regional Travel Resources

Kyushu is the third largest island in the Japanese archipelago and the southernmost in the chain. The region includes eight prefectures:  Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Oita, Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Okinawa.

If you are planning a trip to the Kyushu region of Japan this guide will get you started with some itinerary suggestions and links to local tourism websites.  Part 1 will cover the sights of Fukuoka, Saga, Kumamoto and Nagasaki Prefectures while Part 2, to be published next week, will take a closer look at Oita, Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Okinawa Prefectures.

Fukuoka Prefecture

Yanagawa Canals Fukuoka Tour the Asahi Beer Factory in in Hakata (Access Map) to see how your favorite beer is made.

If sake is more your style, then visit Hakata Hyakunengura, the only sake brewery in Hakata.

Visit Busoji Temple, the oldest temple in Kyushu, year round or make the trip in June to see the wisteria.

Take a slow cruise of Yanagawa in a rustic donko-bune boat.

Drive the scenic highway to Itoshima Peninsula and take in the view or go surfing.

Visit Dazaifu City, the seat of Kyushu government more than 1600 years ago and home to Dazaifu Tenman-gu Shrine where the deity of learning is enshrined.

Relax in one of the many onsen located near Fukuoka. .

Explore the trading houses (igura-ya) and other historic buildings in Yoshii Town.

Take in one of the exhibits at the Fukuoka Art Museum.

For more itinerary suggestions fro Fukuoka Prefecture visit the Japan National Tourism Organization’s Fukuoka pages, Fukuoka/Hakata Tourist Information or Welcome to Fukuoka.  Also check out Fukuoka Talk, a site that is working hard to compile a list the best places in and around Fukuoka for the local, ex-patriot, or traveler.

Saga Prefecture

Nanatsugama Caves Saga Japan Visit Yoshinogari Historical Park to see the largest ditch-surrounded settlement of the Yayoi period in Japan.  Attend a workshop to make Sekkenseki or Kourouseki stone pendants or learn how to make a earthenware flute.

See Yukota Inari-jinja in Kashima City and one of the largest shrines in Japan dedicated to the god of business prosperity.

Explore the natural beauty of Karatsu where you can find the Nanatsugama Caves formed by the rough waves of the Genkai Sea.

Relax at an onsen in Takeo and Ureshino and explore this area that is famous for green tea.

Visit Arita to see ancient kilns be sure to bring home some of the porcelain produced in the area.

Visit the Japan National Tourism Organization’s Saga pages or Saga Sightseeing Information for more great things to do and see in Saga Prefecture.

Kumamoto Prefecture

Kumamoto Castle Japan Visit the active volcano at Mt. Aso and take a cable car to Naka-dake peak, only steps away from the crater’s edge.

See the Last Samurai Battlefield in Tabaruzaka Park.

Visit the onsen of Kurokawa to try outdoor bathing.

Explore scenic Kikuchi Valley where the water temperature is around 13 degrees Celsius even in summer and where a number of waterfalls and crystal clear streams abound.

Take a walking tour of Kumamoto City and stroll around Kumamoto Castle or follow in the footsteps of famous writers or shop to your hearts content.

Browse the Japan National Tourism Organization’s Kumamoto pages or Manyou Kumamoto to plan your trip to Kumamoto Prefecture.

Nagasaki Prefecture

Kokofuji Temple Nagasaki Japan Visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum to see the city before and after the bombing in August of 1945.

See the Spectacles Bridge, a picturesque stone arched bridge built in 1634, that gets its name from its resemblance to a pair of spectacles when the arches of the bridges are reflected as ovals on the surface of the Nakajima River.

Explore the striking vermilion Chinese temples along Tera-machi street in Nagasaki.

Relax on the beaches of Iki, a 133 square-kilometer island located in the Sea of Genkai, and try some mugi-shochu, a distilled alcoholic drink made from barley, that was first made here.

Visit Shimabara, the city of fish, where over 1,500 koi can be found swimming in the city’s ponds and wander down an old samurai street.

Have a Sasebo Burger when you explore the city of Sasebo or use the city as a jumping off point for a cruise of the Kujuku Islands.

The Japan National Tourism Organization’s Nagasaki pages, Welcome to Nagasaki and the Nagasaki City Tourism Guide offer more great information for those planning a trip the the area.

Articles in the Japan: A Closer Look series:

Image Credit: Flickr, Canals in Yanagawa 柳川, Caves, 2006-04-12-14:49.01.jpg & kofukuji nagasaki

WP Greet Box icon
Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates.

Join JapanSoc Today!
The #1 social bookmarking site for Japan-related blogs, news and people.

Japanese Street Art

Tags: , , , , , ,

6 comments
Leave a comment »

  1. No Kitakyushu? :(
    I think Okinawa is far from Kyushu. You need a plane to go there.

  2. Sorry I missed Kitakyushu – information on sights in the city can be found via the Welcome To Fukuoka website above. I would love to visit the Kyushu Folkcraft Village – what is your favorite thing to do in Kitakyushu?

  3. I know Fukuoka City is more interesting than Kitakyushu City, but there are some things to do.
    Kitakyushu is like 5 in 1 cities. Each city has its festival on summer. Tobata Matsuri may be the most important historically. Also there is a festival called “Wasshoi 10,000,000 matsuri” (because Kitkyushu has 10,000,000 habitants) that bring all of them together.

    The best is to start in Kanmon Strait (Shimonoseki + Kitakyushu) where the Dan-no-ura battle was held, and also the place where the famous samurai Musashi and Kojiro fought. There is fish market, Aquarium and Akama Shrine on the Shimonoseki side. In Kitakyushu side you can see many buildings from Meiji era, including Mojiko Station.

    Then a visit to Kokura Caste is nice to see how was the place during Edo period (English movie aviable).

    At the night is it possible to go up to Sarakura-yama which is the tallest mountain in the city and can be seen virtually fro every point in it. From there you can see all the city and is designated as one of the top-three views from a mountain (other one is Hakodate in Hokkaido, and the other I don’t remember but is in wikipedia).

    There is a theme park called Space-World which has roller coasters, including Zaturn, and a space ship mock.

    There are also some Parks, as “Green Park” has a good area of Rose flowers in december and many others such as tulips. You can touch and play with kangaroos and there is a observatory tower that goes up like a UFO.

    You can see “Wakato Bridge” it was the longest suspension bridge when it was built and is very similar to San Francisco`s Golden Gate. Some othe Meiji Buildings as well and a Kappa walking course that include a “Kappa Shrine”.

    You can eat “Udon” in Orio Station which is famous and very delicious.

    At south of Kitakyushu there is a Krast field but I would recommend better Akiyoshidai in Yamaguchi prefecture.

    If you come by airplane you cansee Maitel (a character by Leiji Matsumoto) animatronic in Kitakyushu airport.

    There are some interesting museums, including TOTO toilet museum haha. There is also a environment museum, natural science museum, art museum. There is also a “Eco Town” where you can see how the garbage is recycled as Kitakyushu wants to be an example of Environment protection city. Even you can see fireflies which do not live in dirty places.

  4. Sea Jackal;

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share all of the great information about KitaKyushu in your comment! I’ll be sure to check out some of the sights the next time I am in the area and I hope other readers will too.

  5. […] into the Hirose River near Akita, in Saga Prefecture, the Ryumon no Seisui (Fresh water of Dragon gate) is used in making the area’s famous […]

  6. […] has a little bit of caffeine so it is ideal for drinking any time of the day. Origin: Hill grown in Kyushu, Japan. Tamayokucha is a Gyokuro style tea, meaning that is covered for its last weeks of growth to bring […]

Leave Comment