Located in the southwest of Japan, Kyushu is the third largest island after Honshu and Hokkaido. Made up of 7 prefectures Kyushu offers unique natural and historical places to visit. One of the highlights of the Kyushu area are the hot spring resorts around the main island, worth the extra journey to explore.
Like a lot of Japan, one of the main highlights of a visit to Fukuoka, especially if you are starting your journey from Singapore here, is the food. Spend at least one evening in Fukuoka city to enjoy in the local pastime of indulging in ‘Yatai'. These famous outdoor food stalls usually seat 7-8 people around the cook offering simple dishes such as Ramen, Udon and ‘Yakitori' (grilled meat on skewers). Open from 6pm- 2am there are over 150 Yatai scattered throughout the city. One of the most popular places for tourists to enjoy these stalls is on a strip along Nakasu island. The street is a 15 minute walk from Hakata station and many of the conveniently Hotels via Canal City (where you will find lots of high end shops and an amusement arcade).
The hot spring town of Kurokawa, located in the centre of Kyushu has maintained a traditional Japanese rural atmosphere, free of neon adverts and concrete Hotels. Landscaped by natural colours from the wooden buildings and stone stairs with natural rivers flowing through, this small towns' lanes are lined by ryokans and bathhouses along with cafes and shrines. Dip into some of the historic baths in the town said to have been used by the feudal lords of the nearby Kumamoto Castle. Whilst staying one of the towns Ryokan's you can their own baths as often as you wish, however you can purchase a wooden pass (tegata) for ¥1,300 that allows you entrance to 3 Ryokans Onsens of your choice, with 20 to choose from. Alternatively you can purchase bath passes for around ¥500 per visit.
Most of the baths are easy walking distance from each other within the town, however for a different experience head out to one of the more remote baths such as ‘Yamamizuki', one of the best riverside baths in Japan. The outdoor baths are located in the woods next the picturesque mountain river.The facilities are limited to a wooden changing room
Beppu is widely known to be home of the hot springs, offering an unmatched range of baths from the 2500 it has to offer including enjoy including mud, sand and steam baths. Recommended baths: For the most established Onsen baths, head to Tanayu hot springs, part of the Suginoi Hotel. Offering elegant outdoor pools overlooking the city, there is also a rare facility that lets you enjoy the springs in your swim suits at Aqua garden, next door to Tanayu. Admission is ¥1500 (weekdays) and ¥2000 (weekends) and open 9am-11pm with last entry at 9.30pm. Alternatively head down to the ‘Beppu Beach Sand Bath', offering sand baths along Beppu's sea coast. The baths are closed every 4th Wednesday of the month.
For an alternative Beppu Onsen experience head to the ‘8 Hells of Beppu' where hot spring water gushes out at up to 150 degrees. These hot springs are not for bathing in and are caused by a volcanic eruption over 1200 years ago. Each of these springs has a unique offering for visitors such as at the Kamado-Jigoku (cooking pot hell) spring where there are 6 different coloured ponds and offer jigoku-mushi, vegetables and hard boiled eggs cooked in the boiling water.
Nagasaki is an old port in the South of Kyushu Island. At night you can see the true beauty of this city by the thousands of lights of the houses. Get upon Mount Inasa for the best view! This view is voted for one of the best city views in the world, next to Hong Kong and Monaco. We advise you to go up by ropeway, it's fun and fast. You can also take a bus or car. But let's face it, the city also has a lot to offer during daylight! Nagasaki is known for the great food culture and local traditions. A must try local dish? That has to be Chanpon. This is a pork broth with pork meat, vegetables and seafood ingredients. It's inspired on the Chinese kitchen. Yummy!
Kagoshima is located in the Southwest of Kyushu and it's the most Southern city of Japan. A beautiful getaway from the city is to go to the Sakurajima volcano, a must visit! It takes 15 mins to get out of the city and about 15 mins on the ferry to get to the island. If you're lucky you can see smoke coming out of the volcano. The best time to visit is in Spring or Summer, then your chance of a good view is higher. You can also watch the Sakurajima from a distance at the Shiroyama Observatory. Visit the cozy Tenmonkan area in the evening. This is the center of the city and you can fill your belly with the best local dishes of the so called Satsuma cuisine. Try the Satsumaage as a snack. This is deep fried minced fish. Tonkotsu is a comfy dish, made with pork and miso served with vegetables.