After returning to Kyushu 4 summers in a row, we still haven't run out of things to discover in this magical region of Japan. We love Kyushu! There are endless amounts of things to see and do. We think Kyushu is the most charming region of all of Japan and here's why...
Visiting an Onsen should be at the top of your list when in Japan. No trip is complete without treating yourself to this unique and relaxing experience. Coming from a Western culture, we were a bit nervous with the idea of bathing naked with strangers, but we soon discovered it felt completely natural. We loved the experience and often wish there were Onsen where we live.
Onsen waters are sourced from natural volcanic springs and contain a variety of minerals that offer different health benefits.
Our first Onsen visit was to the village of Kurokawa, frequently named as one of the top Onsen towns in all of Japan. We quickly fell in love with the charming atmosphere of this village.
There are close to 30 Ryokan in this area, each with their own selection of baths. You can purchase an "Onsen Hopping Pass" for 1300 yen, allowing you to try out 3 of your choice. It is easy find your way around Kurokawa on foot and there are Onsen Maps available, complete with photos and descriptions of the baths.
We have visited 12 so far, and plan to try them all!
Strolling through Kurokawa.
Only 15 minutes away by car, you can experience the Onsen Town of Tsuetate, said to have magical healing waters. Take a walk through the town and explore the rustic alleys that date back to the mid Showa period.
The Aso Region is breathtakingly beautiful and a must see. The brightest greens will surely leave a lasting impression.
Mount Aso is not only the world's largest caldera, but also the most beautiful!
You must try the famous Aso Jersey Cow ice cream.
While in Aso, try your hand at making your own delicious soba noodles at Soba Doujyou.
Stunning view from inside Soba Doujyou.
The attention to detail in the delectable handmade Wagashi pounded bean desserts, featuring Kumamon and Doraemon, is astounding! These sweets are absolutely delicious.
Summer is a great time to visit Japan, with many festivals and firework displays to see. One festival we enjoyed while in Kyushu, was the Yamaga Toro Matsuri held on August 15 and 16. This festival features 1000 women dressed in summer kimonos wearing glowing laterns on their heads as they dance.
Obon is a very special holiday that is celebrated every year around this time. During Obon, it is believed that the ancestor's spirits return to visit their loved ones. Sitting by the Kuma riverside in Yatsushiro, watching the lanterns float by, we were captivated by the beauty of this celebration.
Kyushu is our favourite region in all of Japan. Come and discover Kyushu's Charms for yourself!
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