What do you associate with beauty? The beauty of the evening, which is short-lived but leaves striking impression, picturesque blue ocean, or,,, There are beauties which have long lived from mythical ancient times in Kyushu. Magnificent caldera or churches with scars left in a long history. Such beauties give us a feeling of awe and impression in every situations. Why don’t you come over to visit beautiful places in Kyushu.
This is the viewspot to touch the heavens while taking in the majestic scenery of the world’s largest caldera in Kumamoto and Aso. Beyond the deep green of the meadows lies the beautiful rural Aso landscape. In the early morning, the sea of clouds spread out below is mystical, and in the spring and fall the temperature difference during the day is significant, including days without wind. Even the morning after rain is a chance for a magnificent view, but whether it happens depends on
The viewspot is a ten-minute walk from the parking lot, and the view can be enjoyed along the way as well. Together, the five mountains of Neko, Taka, Naka, Eboshi, and Kishima are often likened to the shape of a sleeping Buddha. Come check for yourself!
Daikanbo at Kumamoto
Aoshima is a small island with a circumference of about 1.5 kilometers that is rich with palm trees and other subtropical plants that will put you in a relaxing Southern mood. In ancient times, the island was considered sacred and restricted from the general public, but now anyone can walk across the connecting “Yayoi Bridge” to reach the island for worship. The deities of Yamasachihiko and Princess Toyotama are enshrined here, and a variety of amulets and spots for such prayers as marriage and safe delivery may be enjoyed at the shrine.
For example, you can find the adorable heart “Marriage Charm,” the “Onna-mamori” women’s power-up amulet, or the arrow-shaped “Good Luck Fortune”. A classic Southern-style stamp book may be a nice way to commemorate your travels.
Aoshima Shrine at Miyazaki
Ibusuki is famous for ‘Sunamushi onsen,’ the steam sand hot springs. Visitors can enjoy this worldwide unique steam bath experience by being buried from toe to neck in warm sand whilst listening to the rolling of the tide, which is a truly blissful moment indeed. In the meantime you will start pouring sweat and then feel totally refreshed. Not only wearing off your daily fatigue, it also helps remove waste substances of your body and improve your skin and body conditions. Records show that sunamushi had already been used for therapeutic purposes at the end of Edo era. People in the past too seems recovered from their fatigue lying in the warm sand like we do today. There are various inns and facilities that provide sunamushi along with beauty-treatment or fancy cuisine, so you should check that out ahead of time.
Ibusuki at Kagoshima
Munakata Taisha Shrine consists of three shrines, Hetsu-gu, Nakatsu-gu and Okitsu-gu, where three Munakata goddess are enshrined. Hetsu-gu, the birthplace of the charm for traffic safety dedicated to cars, is located along the Tsurikawa River in Munakata City. In its wide grounds, there are Gishiki-den (a place where rituals are held), Shinpo-kan (the shrine’s treasure hall) and others with the main shrine in the center. Nakatsu-gu which is known for its worship of Tanabata, or Star Festival, is located in the Oshima Island, about 11km off the coast of Munakata city. And Okitsu-gu Shrine is located in the Okitsu-shima Island, a solitary uninhabited and closed-to-women island in near the center of Genkai-nada Sea. On the northern part of the Oshima Island, there is Okitsu-gu Yohaisho, a place to bow in the direction of Okitsu-gu. On a fine day, you can clearly see the Okinoshima Island in the distance. Shinpo-kan contains a collection of more than 80,000 items unearthed in the evacuation work for the research of the ancient remains of a place of worship in the Okinoshima Island which is also called “God island.” It is worth watching those evacuated articles which proves there has been interaction between Japan and Korean peninsula since ancient times.
Munakata Taisha Shrine at Fukuoka
It is said that the Aso-jinja Shrine was established in 282 B.C., having 2300 years of history, which enshrined a total of 12 gods including Takeiwatatsu no mikoto, or a grandchild of the 1st Emperor Jinmu who first cultivated Aso region, Asotsuhime no mikoto and Kuninomiyatsukohayamikatama no mikoto. It is the grand head shrine of Aso-jinja Shrines which are scattered all over Japan. In the aftermath of Kumamoto earthquake which occurred in April 2016, the Tower Gate, one of the three greatest tower gates in Japan and the Worship Hall fell down, and three shrines enshrining the three gods have heavily been damaged. Restoration work has been made day by day. In the meantime, a temporary worship hall was built for visitors to offer prayers. Its shrine town is a best place to take a walk, buy souvenirs or eat local foots. You can quench your thirst during a stroll as there are many water-drinking places, called Mizuki, where water is gushing out of underground springs.
Aso-jinja Shrine at Kumamoto
Hirado is a town which served as the first European trading seaport before Dejima in Nagasaki, trading with Holland. In the age of discovery, Hirado, also known as “FIRAND,” was where the sailors aimed on the map. This town became a bridge of the European culture and Japanese culture and flourished through Nanban trading, so there are still a number of historical buildings and sites, including Hirado Castle and Dutch Trading House. The view of both together a temple and a church is such Hirado landscape. Especially, the beautiful Hirado Church of Saint Francis Xavier with its moss green color exterior and spotted churches in the town are also worth seeing as great buildings. Actually, a fifth of Hirado is in Saikai National Park, and the beautiful nature is one of the things they are proud of. The crowned “Hirado flatfish” and “Hirado beef” also can’t be missed.
Hirado at Nagasaki
Miyazaki prefecture is located in the southernmost of Kyushu. Filled with a tropical atmosphere, Miyazaki has a variety of natural power spots stated in the ancient myths and a number of scenic locations that showcase the vast presence of nature and history. It is a wonderful destination enjoyed by many people of all ages. One of the top spots of Miyazaki is “Miyakoh Botanic Garden Aoshima” which was recently renewed and reopened in March 2016 as Prefectural Aoshima Tropical Botanical Garden. After going through the front gate, some white flower beds and tropical plants welcome visitors. There is a large greenhouse with tropical flowers and plants, including bougainvillea, pineapples and papayas, which can be viewed regardless of the weather. You can fully enjoy this tropical ambience.
Miyakoh Botanic Garden Aoshima in Miyazaki at Miyazaki
Hakata is a port town along the Hakata bay. It is a truly unique city where you can see an urban view of many buildings and the history together. Fukuoka, which has Hakata, is called “the city of food,” and it offers a lot of delicious food, such as ramen noodles, offal pots and portable stalls where you can enjoy local food at a reasonable price. The spicy seasoned cod roe is also one of Hakata’s famous souvenirs. Hakata is actually famous not only for food, but also for Hakata’s traditional handicrafts, such as “Hakata weaving,” “Hakata dolls,” and “Hakata curved wooden boxes. “The Hakata dolls made a very good impression at exhibitions in Paris and other places, so they have been exported overseas as a Japan’s representative doll since then. There is a facility that offers visitors a hands-on experience of painting. Why not stop by this facility?
Hakata at Fukuoka
This town features a hill stone pavement like a puzzle, historical western-style houses, and a colorful, thrilling Chinese town. In the Edo era, Nagasaki flourished as an international trading port and is still alive with the “Wakaran culture,” perfectly harmonized among Japanese, Chinese, and Southeastern cultures. You can visit “Dejima” associated with Siebold, Urakami which has the Peace Statue and tells the history of the atomic bombing, Megane Bridge and its surrounding area with some traditional merchant houses, and Minami Yamate and Higashi Yamate, where many sightseeing spots are dotted, including the Glover Garden and Oura Church. Because every single spot has its own charm, we recommend you go around the areas, while taking your time. Most of the sightseeing spots are located in the urban area, so it is convenient for you to use a tram in the city. Nagasaki city has quite a few hills. Please be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
Nagasaki at Nagasaki
Kumamoto city has developed centering on Kumamoto Castle. While the city has an urban face, it also boasts rich nature, which realizes a balanced, beautiful environment. Kumamoto Castle has been heavily damaged by a series of powerful earthquakes in Kumamoto, so it is currently under repair work. Visitors cannot enter the castle; however, the castle still encourages the victims of the earthquakes as a symbol recovery. The ground water coming down from Mt. Aso is one of the things Kumamoto citizens are proud of. Abundant water and plentiful nature also help to grow delicious seafood, vegetables, and fruits in Kumamoto. Many famous novelists, such as Soseki Natsume and Yakumo Koizumi, might perhaps be influenced by the charm of this town. When it comes to Kumamoto, trams going around the city are also famous. The trams blending in with the surrounding Kumamoto landscapes truly gives you a peace of mind. Why not go on a tram to look around the city with a day pass that offers discounts on sightseeing spots?
Kumamoto City at Kumamoto
What they like about Japan is “people.” Four months have passed since the Kumamoto Earthquake which occurred in April, 2016. Ten representatives of Japan and other countries who took part in the Miss International Beauty Pageant 2015 and 2016 traveled all the regions of Kyushu as recovery support. What impressed most during their journey was “people,” according to them. What encounters and interaction did they have on their way?