Travel

Search
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Fukuoka
Population
14,596,977

Kyushu

Japan's southern paradise

Kyushu is one of Japan’s four main islands and by far it’s most underrated.

Visually Kyushu is paradise on earth; a lush green rolling landscape of fertile valleys, smoking volcanoes, waterfalls and ancient cedar forests nurtured by a subtropical climate. It’s coastlines are populated by sea turtles and dolphins, and frequented by surfers looking for big waves, while the regions’ smaller islands hold the key to discovering more about the early stages of Japanese civilization. Fukuoka, is the island’s largest city and a vibrant multicultural hub, while Nagasaki has emerged from its tragic history to become a thriving port once again.

Fukuoka has played an important role in Asian and International trade for centuries.

Fukuoka has played an important role in Asian and international trade for centuries.

Kyushu is known as ‘onsen island’ and there are many hot spring towns to stop into while you’re travelling around. The capital of onsen is Beppu in Oita prefecture, where you can sink into hot water baths, mud baths, sand or steam baths – the town looks as though it’s continuously on fire from the steam rising over the buildings. Kurokawa Onsen in Kumamoto let’s visitors stroll around in their yukata (bath robe) on a bath tour, sinking into as many outdoor tubs throughout town as they please.

Beppu, in Oita prefecture, Japan's onsen town

Bathe, bathe, bathe in Beppu, Oita.

Most visitors will access Kyushu via Fukuoka and its well-connected airport, which has flights to various destinations domestically as well as throughout Asia and, increasingly, Europe. The islands of Okinawa are sometimes considered a part of Kyushu and can be easily reached by ferry from Kagoshima, though flying is more popular. For a similar but less touristy tropical island experience, head to the mango-filled mountains of Miyazaki instead.

Kagoshima, Japan with Sakurajima Volcano.

Hear Sakurajima volcano roar in the ash-covered city of Kagoshima.

The Seven Stars in Kyushu is a luxury cruise train that provides short tours across the island for a small fortune. The JR Kyushu pass gives tourists unlimited train travel, with some exceptions.

Destinations in Kyushu

Dazaifu shrine in Fukuoka prefecture

Fukuoka

Fukuoka prefecture isn't just about partying - but it's a good place to start.

Kagoshima, Japan with Sakurajima Volcano.

Kagoshima

Traditional, tropical; mystical, magical, Kagoshima is nothing short of extraordinary.

Mountain Pass in Kumamoto Prefecture

Kumamoto

Between the smoking crater of Mount Aso in the east and the isolated islands of Amakusa in the west, Kumamoto has plenty to keep you enthralled.

Takachiho gorge in Miyazaki Prefecture

Miyazaki

Miyazaki is a mountainous and mango-growing prefecture to rival Okinawa in the tropical paradise stakes.

View over Mount Unzen Hot Spring - Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture Japan

Nagasaki

Looking out to the East, Nagasaki prefecture has long been the gateway between the outside world and Japan.

Beppu, in Oita prefecture, Japan's onsen town

Oita

Bathe in hell (in a good way) in onsen-filled Oita.

Ishigaki island lagoon in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan

Okinawa

White sand beaches and crystal blue waters, jungles and rare wildcats, centuries of unique native traditions, the birthplace of karate — this is Japan’s very own tropical island paradise.

Rice fields looking out to sea in Saga Prefecture, Japan

Saga

Saga is the smallest prefecture on the island of Kyushu best known for its prized, and pricey, pottery.