Kyushu

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Beppu

Although there’s not much to be said for the town of Beppu, the area is one of Japan’s oldest hot springs resorts, and has long been famous for its onsen baths as well as its steamier “hells.” Columns of steam rise up throughout the town – Beppu is one of the world’s most active geothermic…

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Beppu Onsen

One of the most famous hot spring resort towns in Japan, Beppu has 8 different natural springs feeding the many ryokan and public baths in the town and together they produce more onsen water than any other resort in the country. Views of the town from the surrounding mountains show steam rising thickly into the…

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Fukuoka

Located on the northern coast of Kyushu, Fukuoka has since long ago served as Japan’s gateway of Korea, China and the rest of Asia. Having links with these foreign lands, it attracted considerable attention of continental Asian nations and it is not surprising that it was Fukuoka which came under threat from Mongol invasions of…

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Gajoen

As well as being one of the most famous ryokan in Japan, Gajoen is located in Myoken Onsen, a hot-springs resort renowned for its beauty worldwide. Gajoen’s charm lies in its simplicity: guests to this exclusive ryokan can expect farm-fresh cooking entirely prepared using locally-sourced ingredients, all picked and prepared on the very day of…

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Kagoshima

Kagoshima, Kyushu’s southernmost, largest city, is sometimes called the “Naples of Japan”, due to its proximity to the smoking volcanic cone of Sakurajima. Historically, the city is the administrative, economic and cultural centre of the prefecture, and dates back to the 14th century. Originally a castle town, it has, throughout the ages, established itself as…

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Kurokawa Onsen

In the northeastern part of rural Kumamoto Prefecture, not too far from Beppu, Kurokawa Onsen is one of the prettiest and most charming hot spring resorts in Japan. Unlike the typical resort full of concrete ryokan and hotels, Kurokawa’s hot spring ryokan are almost entirely housed within charming old wooden buildings and the local community…

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Mount Aso

Mount Aso, towering above the surrounding villages and paddy fields, is an active volcano and (closely monitored) rising fumes remind visitors of the very real danger. The conical active peak, Mount Naka, holds the dubious honour of Japan’s first recorded eruption, and is the real centre of hi no kuni: the land of fire. The…

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Nagasaki

The largest city in the prefecture, Nagasaki is sadly synonymous with the atomic bomb, being the second target of nuclear warfare by the United States in World War II. Visiting the tranquil Nagasaki Peace Park and imaginatively designed Atomic Bomb Museum, is a thought-provoking experience. Situated on the western coast of Kyushu, Nagasaki also played…

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Oita

A prefecture in eastern Kyushu, Oita is home to Beppu and Yufuin, two of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts. Usuki is a former castle town located on the east coast of Oita. It is famous for its numerous stone Buddhas which are sculpted into the walls of cliffs and designated as national treasures.

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Saigakukan Ryokan

Saigakukan is a traditional Ryokan nestling on the hillside on one side of Yufuin village, with superb views across the plateau to Mt Yukudake. With only 24 rooms, this ryokan has an intimate atmosphere enhanced by its authentic architecture and rural setting. Though the rooms are traditional in style, Saigakukan can offer western beds for…

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Yakushima

Yakushima is a small subtropical island located off the southern coast of Kyushu and part of Kagoshima Prefecture. It is extensively covered by a cedar forest containing some of Japan’s oldest living trees, many of which are more than 1000 years old and are known as yakusugi. The most ancient of these trees are said…

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Yufuin

The small hot spring resort of Yufuin is not far from Beppu, a much larger resort town. Yufuin has many galleries, boutiques and charming cafes and is popular both as a day trip destination and as a place to stay. The town’s skyline is dominated by views of twin-peaked Mt Yufu and the area is…

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Yufuin Kamenoi Bessou

Located in the heart of Yufuin hot spring district, the idyllic Kamenoi Bessou offers some unique services not available from the other ryokan in the area. Guests can choose from either the cottage style ‘hanare’ scattered around the grounds, or the western rooms in the main building. In the forest-like garden (perfect for a stroll…

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Yufuin Tamanoyu

As one of the founding ryokans of Yufuin, Tama no Yu offers a great sense of history along with the view of Yufudake mountain from the garden. This well-maintained garden has a bar, tea house and souvenir shop with the homemade and local jams and other delicacy available. The detached cottage-type rooms are also scattered…

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