Overview of Kyushu region

Kyushu is one of the five main islands of Japan and is located in the southwestern region of the country. Known for its hot springs, active volcanoes, delicious food and rich history, Kyushu is the third largest island in Japan, extending over 35,640 square kilometers. Home to over 12 million people, Kyushu is made up of seven prefectures, including Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima.

One of the defining characteristics of Kyushu is its geography. The island is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east, the East China Sea to the west, and the Sea of Japan to the north. Kyushu is also home to several active volcanoes, including Mount Aso, the largest active volcano in Japan. Despite the potential dangers posed by these volcanoes, the fertile volcanic soil has also allowed for the development of a thriving agricultural industry, with Kyushu producing a variety of crops, such as sweet potatoes, soybeans, and tea.

History of Kyushu region

Ancient History

The earliest known people to inhabit Kyushu date back to the Jomon period (14,000–300 BCE), during which time the region was known as “Tsukushi.” Archaeological evidence suggests that the Jomon people were skilled hunters, gatherers, and potters, with a unique culture that included intricate pottery designs, ceremonial objects, and burial practices.

During the Yayoi period (300 BCE–300 CE), Kyushu became a hub of trade and commerce, with influences from the Korean Peninsula and China. The Yayoi people introduced agriculture, metalworking, and a hierarchical social structure, laying the foundation for the development of Japanese civilization.

Middle Ages

From the 7th to the 12th century, Kyushu played a central role in the formation of Japan’s feudal system. The region was divided into multiple domains, each ruled by a powerful warlord known as a “daimyo.” These daimyos were constantly warring with each other for control of the region, leading to periods of instability and violence.

Kyushu was also a strategic location for foreign invaders, and was frequently targeted by Mongol and Korean armies. In 1274 and 1281, the Mongol Empire attempted to invade Japan, with Kyushu being the primary target. Both invasions were repelled by the Japanese, with help from the typhoon that came to be known as the “kamikaze” or “divine wind.”

Feudal Era

Under the Tokugawa Shogunate (Edo period), Japan experienced a prolonged period of peace and stability. Kyushu became an important center of commerce, with its major cities such as Nagasaki thriving as trade hubs. Christianity also began to flourish in Kyushu during this time, with the Jesuits and other missionaries arriving from Europe.

Modern Era

In the 20th century, Kyushu played a crucial role in the Second World War. The city of Nagasaki was the target of the second atomic bomb dropped by the United States in 1945, killing tens of thousands of people and leaving a lasting impact on the region.

Today, Kyushu is a vibrant and prosperous region, known for its natural beauty, flourishing industries, and unique culture. Despite its complex history, Kyushu has emerged as a symbol of resilience and progress, a testament to the enduring spirit of the Japanese people.

Prefectures of Kyushu region


Fukuoka prefecture is a vibrant and modern destination filled with delicious food, exciting shopping, and fascinating sightseeing opportunities. From the iconic Fukuoka Tower and Canal City shopping mall to the historic temples and shrines of Dazaifu, Fukuoka has something for everyone. Don’t miss trying the local ramen and visiting the bustling seafood market at Yanagibashi.

Here are some Fukuoka Travel Recommendations.


Karatsu Castle

Saga prefecture is known for its stunning traditional pottery, stunning natural scenery, and relaxing hot springs. Visitors can explore the ancient ruins of Saga Castle and enjoy the beautiful parks and gardens that dot the region. Be sure to visit the charming pottery towns of Arita and Karatsu and taste the delicious local cuisine.

Here are some Saga Travel Recommendations.


Nagasaki prefecture is steeped in history and culture, with a rich mixture of Japanese, Chinese, and Western influences. Discover the poignant story of the atomic bomb at the Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum, and explore the charming Dutch-style town of Nagasaki. Don’t miss the stunning views from Mount Inasa, one of the top night views in Japan.

Here are some Nagasaki Travel Recommendations.


Oita prefecture is famous for its volcanic hot springs, which offer a variety of relaxing and rejuvenating experiences. Be sure to visit the unique sand baths of Beppu and the healing waters of Yufuin. The region is also home to fascinating historical sites such as Usuki’s stone Buddhas and Takasakiyama Monkey Park.

Here are some Oita Travel Recommendations.


Aso-Kuju National Park

Kumamoto prefecture is known for its picturesque countryside, ancient castles, and delicious local foods. Visitors can explore the breathtakingly beautiful Aso-Kuju National Park, which includes Mount Aso, and the impressive Kumamoto Castle. Don’t miss trying the rich and savory basashi (horse meat sashimi) or the famous Kumamoto ramen.

Here are some Kumamoto Travel Recommendations.



Miyazaki prefecture is a scenic and lush destination on the southern coast of Kyushu. Visitors can discover the area’s rich and varied history at the Miyazaki Shrine and Aoshima Island. Relax on the stunning beaches and experience the delicious taste of Miyazaki beef.

Here are some Miyazaki Travel Recommendations.


Kagoshima prefecture is a fascinating place to explore, with a unique culture, volcanic landscapes, and delicious cuisine. Visit the impressive Sakurajima volcano and admire the traditional pottery of Satsuma. Don’t miss trying the famous Kagoshima black pork and warm up in the relaxing hot springs of Ibusuki.

Here are some Kagoshima Travel Recommendations.

Top 10 best things to do in Kyushu region

Visit Mount Aso

Located in Kumamoto, Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan. You can take a cable car up to the top and see the stunning views of the caldera.

Relax at Beppu hot springs

Beppu is home to some of the best hot spring baths in the world. There are many different types of baths, including sand, mud, and even hot waterfalls.

Explore Nagasaki

Nagasaki is a city with a fascinating history including its importance as the only port open to foreign trade during Japan’s isolationist period. You can visit the Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum to learn about the bombing of Nagasaki during World War II or take a walk through the beautiful Glover Garden, where western-style houses from the early 1900s are preserved.

Try Fukuoka’s famous Hakata ramen

Hakata ramen is a popular dish in Fukuoka, made with thin noodles, a rich pork broth, and thinly sliced pork belly. Many restaurants in Fukuoka serve this delicious dish.

Visit Miyazaki’s Takachiho Gorge

Takachiho Gorge is a stunning natural wonder located in Miyazaki. The gorge was formed by the Gokase River and has a beautiful waterfall where visitors can take a boat tour.

Stop by the unique Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle is a stunning fortress that has been standing since the 17th century. Although parts of it were damaged in the 2016 earthquake, it is still an amazing attraction to witness.

Take a trip to the uninhabited Gunkanjima Island

Located off the coast of Nagasaki, Gunkanjima Island was once a bustling mining town in the early 1900s, however it is now uninhabited. Visitors can take boat tours to see the eerie abandoned buildings from afar.

Visit Kagoshima’s Sakurajima volcano


Sakurajima is another active volcano located in Kagoshima. Visitors can take a ferry to the island and even see the volcano erupting.

Check out the Usuki Stone Buddhas

The Usuki Stone Buddhas are a group of 59 stone statues carved during the Heian period in the early 12th century. They are located outside of Usuki in Oita prefecture, and the site is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Explore the Yufuin Onsen

Yufuin is another popular hot spring resort town. Besides soaking in the hot springs, visitors can explore the charming streets and shops full of local crafts and foods.

Explore the city of Fukuoka

One of the most populous cities in Kyushu is Fukuoka, the capital of Fukuoka prefecture. It is an important economic and cultural hub, with a thriving music scene, excellent cuisine, and a variety of shopping districts. However, Fukuoka also has a rich history, with many temples and shrines, including the Shofukuji Temple, which is the first Zen temple built in Japan and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.


In conclusion, the Kyushu region of Japan is a captivating destination that offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers. From its rich history and culture to its stunning natural landscapes and vibrant cities, Kyushu has something for everyone.

Exploring Kyushu allows visitors to delve into the region’s fascinating history, with iconic landmarks such as Kumamoto Castle, Nagasaki’s Atomic Bomb Museum, and the historic town of Yanagawa. Traditional festivals, such as Hakata Dontaku and Yufuin’s Hot Air Balloon Festival, showcase the vibrant cultural heritage of the region.

Nature lovers will be enthralled by Kyushu’s natural beauty, from the volcanic landscapes of Mount Aso and the breathtaking Takachiho Gorge to the picturesque beaches of Amakusa and the relaxing hot springs of Beppu. Outdoor activities such as hiking, onsen bathing, and scenic cruises offer opportunities to connect with nature and rejuvenate the mind and body.

The culinary scene in Kyushu is a feast for the senses, with regional specialties that include Nagasaki’s champon noodles, Fukuoka’s famous tonkotsu ramen, and Kumamoto’s melt-in-your-mouth basashi (horse meat). The region is also known for its fresh seafood, including the renowned fugu (blowfish) delicacy.

In summary, Kyushu is a captivating region that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, nature, and gastronomy. It invites visitors to immerse themselves in its unique charm and create unforgettable memories. So, embark on a journey to Kyushu and discover the wonders that await in this captivating part of Japan.


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