Dramatically beautiful, geologically restless and utterly fascinating, Kyushu is made for modern-day explorers. The southernmost of Japan’s four main islands may be a mere five hours from Tokyo by bullet train, but it feels like a world apart where uniqueness is standard and adventure a given. Where else, after all, can you be buried to the neck on a beach of superheated sand, eat food steamed over naturally hell-hot thermal waters or gaze in wonder at a volcano that’s all but guaranteed to erupt several times a day?
And that’s just the start. One day, you could be rowing through an impressively narrow gorge past twisted basalt columns before watching dances at a local shrine that tell the tale of how the sun goddess once hid herself away here. On another, you might be hiking through lush forests of thousand-year-old cedar trees looking out for sika deer and macaques – sub-species, of course, of their mainland cousins. Or you could perhaps be pedalling through a spectacular national park known for craters, cones, and mountainsides stained pink by Kyushu azaleas in flower.
Nature isn’t the only source of one-of-a-kind sights and experiences, either. There are traditional festivals ablaze with colour, light and sound; a haunting abandoned offshore coal mine that was once a hive of activity; an island-turned-city-district that was Japan’s only contact with foreigners for centuries; and so much more.
Putting together the perfect Kyushu trip takes insider knowledge. Our destination specialists will help you create an unforgettable custom-made journey of discovery.