Take a trip around the varied landscapes of central and southern Kyushu
Japan 2019 Travel Guide: Kyushu
Kagoshima to the south, Kumamoto in the centre and Miyazaki to the east… there is much to uncover during a tour around these three prefectures on Kyushu, the most southerly of Japan’s four main islands.
From majestic mountains to scenic sea views, there are contrasts aplenty, which means it’s a great place to travel to. Why not head there for a few days in between World Cup games?
Here’s a highlight from each of the three prefectures. Kagoshima includes the subtropical island of Yakushima, which was designated a Natural World Heritage Site in 1993. Some of Japan’s oldest living trees are contained in the island’s extensive cedar forest, with a few thought to be more than 7,000 years old. The park is perfect for hiking, with Shiratani Unsuikyo a favourite spot. It was the ‘enchanted forest’ feel of Yakushima that inspired film director Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke animation.
Mount Aso, in the Kumamoto Prefecture, is the largest active volcano in Japan and has one of the world’s largest calderas, with a circumference of more than 100km. The crater is accessible to tourists, providing there is no risk to visitors due to bad weather or volcanic activity. If the crater is closed off, there is still much to see in the surrounding area, like the views from Daikanbo Peak and Kusasenri prairie.
In the Miyazaki Prefecture you’ll find Aoshima Island. It’s off the coast of Miyazaki City and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. White beaches surround a subtropical jungle featuring 200 different species of plants.
Walk 1.5km around Aoshima’s beaches. Then head to the centre of the island to visit Aoshima Jinja, a colourful shrine in the jungle that is said to bring luck to married couples.
Over the following pages we highlight more of the top attractions on the three prefectures, so you can start planning your adventure.
Click on page two to find out about Kagoshima…