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Best Things to do in Kyushu, Japan Travel Guide

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

We've been 10 days exploring Kyushu and Yakushima and we have loved it! It has reminded us of Hokkaido in terms of nature and being less touristy than the main cities Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo.


Summary of the best things to do in Kyushu as a Japan travel guide



1. Hike around Mount Aso, the biggest volcano in Japan


Do you know what's the biggest volcano in Japan? It's actually not Fuji, but Mount Aso, in Kyushu. It has many different peaks with vegetation that has grown on top of them but it's also super active with many gases. So many gases that sometimes it's forbidden to hike the mountain. The first day we arrived it was extremely foggy and we couldn't see anything further than 10m but the second day we were lucky to have such views

Mount Aso volcano

Mount Aso volcano

Mount Aso volcano

Mount Aso volcano


2. Visit Yakushima, the oldest jungle of Japan


Yakushima is a magic island of Japan with some of the oldest trees in the world and a very natural jungle with a huge amount of green and waterfalls. It's been one of the highlights of our 6 weeks in Japan and we've summarized the best things to do there in this post.

Yakushima

3. Visit the colorful hot springs of Beppu


Beppu is home to many natural hot springs of all possible colors and you can even use the hot springs steams for cooking, which is pretty nice. We've prepared a post summary of the most beautiful hot springs in Beppu

Beppu hot spring

4. Sleep in a Ryokan, some of the best Ryokans in Japan are here


A ryokan (旅館) is a traditional Japanese inn that is fancy and includes tatami-matted rooms, and communal baths. We've been in one of the best Ryokans of Japan to say goodbye to Japan as one of the last nights here. We had a very nice private hot spring from which you could see the stars. We would really recommend this ryokan if you're staying in Kyushu and are not on a budget.



priate onsen Ryokan

The amount of food you eat in a Ryokan is insane! You can see more in this post about how the experience of sleeping in a Ryokan is. But we leave you here with what we got today for breakfast as the last breakfast in Japan! I don't know how people can eat everything you see here at 8 AM. We almost managed to finish it haha


Food at a Ryokan


5. Visit the famous and beautiful Takachiho gorge with basalt columns and pristine water


The first thing that comes in google when you search for Kyushu is a picture of the Takachiho gorge, which makes sense since it's super picturesque. It has a combination of a waterfall, beautiful water, a gorge itself and amazing basalt columns from a past volcanic eruption.




hanging bridge

Beautiful waterfall Kyushu


volcanic formation Kyushu


6. Do a hike around Kirishima national park


Kirishima national park is kind of the small sister of Mount Aso and is also very nice to hike around it. There are many beautiful waterfalls, some of them even are naturally having a hot spring on it! And of course, you can also find wild deer during the hikes at Kirishima national park.



great waterfall Kyushu

Beautiful waterfall with spring

Waterfall Kyushu


Kyushu Deer river crossing


7. Visit the tea farms and plantations of Kirishima


This one is a bit tricky because some of the tea farmers are a bit closed up, but we were quite lucky that the owner of our Airbnb had a friend that had a huge tea plantation directly close to the airport and we had the chance to talk to them and they showed us their fields and gave us some very tasty black and green tea ^^

tea fields Kyushu

8. Explore Fukuoka's live city and the rice terraces around Fukuoka


Fukuoka's city center does not seem particularly special during the day but during the night everything changes with beautiful light shows and water shows as well as food stalls with many different Japanese delicacies!

Fukuoka street food

Fukuoka street food


9. Observe Kagoshima's volcano from the sea


Kagoshima's volcano is very big as well and it's nice to see it directly by the sea while creating clouds of smoke ^^

Kagoshima

10. Try the food from Kyushu


Kyushu is a very rich region and has lots of food that we didn't know before arriving here, even after more than one month in Japan. We will do a dedicated post about the food. But here we summarize the main specialties of Kyushu that we have tried


- The Toriten from Oita region.

- The famous and original Tonkotsu Ramen from Fukuoka.

- The famous black meats from Kagoshima

- The horse Sashimi or chicken Sashimi from , if your stomach is OK with that

- The Flying fish from Yakushima


I will share the photo of me eating at one of this Ramen places in Fukuoka, where you basically eat alone and don't even see the waiters bringing your food! Quite an experience of its own.


Ramen alone


11. Visit Kumamoto or Fukuoka's castle


We didn't visit the castles since we had already seen 3 castles, including the famous Himeji and Matsumoto castles but if you're only doing Kyushu, maybe you want to check them out ^^


We hoped you liked this post summarizing the last 10 days in Kyushu and our end of this 1 month and a half in Japan.

We are preparing a post of our feelings after having been 6 weeks in Japan but we can advance that we have felt a bit like a local, thinking that now we're going to go on "holidays" to Korea because we've got used to the way of eating and living here and we liked it so much. We could imagine living in Japan and definitely coming back to repeat some of these amazing places we've seen, that make it one of the bast places we've visited.



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