Information and Tourism

The island-region of Kyushu is perched at the most south-westerly point of Japan. Until the early 1970s, when a suspension bridge was built, the only way to get from the main island of Honshu to Kyushu was by boat.

Kyushu is undeniably mountainous. It is also home to the most active of Japan's volcanoes, Mount Aso. Aso is vast in all respects, from the height of its peak to the size of its lush green caldera. As if that wasn't evidence enough of the sort of tectonic activity going on beneath Kyushu, the existence of numerous mud hot springs on the island certainly is. The town of Beppu boasts eight such hot spots, which are known by some locals as the 'eight hells of Beppu'.

The strange volcanic moonscape of Kyushu makes for an interesting backdrop to many a hiking trip. It also serves as a photographer's dream. Around Kagoshima, which lies under the shadow of the Sakurajima volcano, there is one occupational hazard - avoiding 'dust fall'. Constant volcanic fallout since the 1950s has led to a permanent layer of ash that coats pretty much everything, from cars and rooftops to clean washing hung out to dry.

The city of Fukuoka used to be something of a backwater. In recent years, it has made a name for itself, rising to become a popular and cosmopolitan city with travellers.

On the other hand, Nagasaki is much more widely known amongst the international community. Sadly, though, its notoriety is less for its vibrant atmosphere and more for its ill-fated past. Nagasaki was the second and last recipient in the world of a nuclear bomb attack.

Kyushu Information and Fast Facts

World Guide to Fukuoka, Japan
The biggest city located on Japan's island of Kyushu, Fukuoka historically comprises two separate towns, which merged around 200 years ago. Fukuoka has great tourist appeal and is perhaps best known for its 'ramen' noodle dish.
World Guide to Nagasaki, Japan
A spirited city sited on Japan's island of Kyushu, Nagasaki has an interesting history, although the WWII bombing has overshadowed much of this. Nagasaki soon recovered and today offers great beauty and some unmissable attractions.

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