Kyushu is the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands, known for its diverse landscapes, rich history, and unique cultural attractions. Here are some popular tourist spots and attractions in Kyushu:
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- Fukuoka: This bustling city is the largest in Kyushu and offers a mix of modern and traditional attractions. Don’t miss the Fukuoka Castle Ruins, Canal City Hakata for shopping, and the vibrant street food scene in the Nakasu district.
- Dazaifu: A short trip from Fukuoka, Dazaifu is known for the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, dedicated to Tenjin, the Shinto deity of learning. The shrine’s beautiful grounds and nearby museums make it a popular destination.
- Nagasaki: Known for its history as a former Portuguese and Dutch trading port, Nagasaki offers attractions like Glover Garden, Dejima (a historic island), and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum.
- Kumamoto Castle: One of Japan’s most impressive castles, Kumamoto Castle boasts extensive stone walls and a beautiful garden. While parts of the castle were damaged in a 2016 earthquake, it’s still worth visiting.
- Mount Aso: Aso is one of the world’s largest calderas and houses the active Mount Aso volcano. You can take a scenic drive or hike around the area and even visit Kusasenri, a grassy plain with grazing cows.
- Beppu: Known for its hot springs, Beppu is a popular onsen (hot spring) destination. The “Hells of Beppu” are unique hot springs with various colors and properties that are worth exploring.
- Yufuin: Another charming onsen town, Yufuin is known for its picturesque streets, cafes, and the Yufuin Floral Village, a collection of boutique shops.
- Kagoshima: Located at the southern tip of Kyushu, Kagoshima offers attractions like the active volcano Sakurajima, Sengan-en Garden, and the historic samurai district of Chiran.
- Kurokawa Onsen: This tranquil onsen village in Kumamoto Prefecture is known for its scenic outdoor baths surrounded by nature. It’s a great place to relax and unwind.
- Ibusuki: Famous for its “sand baths,” Ibusuki is a unique coastal town where visitors are buried in hot volcanic sand, believed to have therapeutic benefits.
- Amami Islands: Part of Kagoshima Prefecture, the Amami Islands offer beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and lush tropical landscapes. It’s a paradise for nature lovers.
- Miyazaki: Known for its stunning coastline and warm climate, Miyazaki offers attractions like Aoshima Island, Udo Shrine, and Takachiho Gorge with its stunning waterfalls.
- Usuki Stone Buddhas: Located in Usuki, Oita Prefecture, these stone-carved Buddha statues date back over 1,000 years and are a unique cultural and historical site.