Kyushu is the third largest island and the southernmost of the four main islands of Japan. The climate is slightly warmer and more tropical than Honshu, and the southern and eastern coasts are regularly battered by typhoons each year. The terrain is generally mountainous with very fertile valleys much like the rest of Japan, except for the wide plain area at the top of the island – the location of the largest cities of Fukuoka and Kitakyushu.
Fukuoka lies on the northern coast of Kyushu, the southernmost of the four main islands of Japan. The city has a 2,000-year history and has prospered since ancient times as a gateway of Asia. As the 7th largest city in Japan, Fukuoka is the administrative, economic and cultural center of Kyushu. Fukuoka
is a modern city with many hotels and other facilities and also temples, shrines, and other places of cultural and historic interest are carefully preserved. Moreover, it is surrounded by a diverse natural environment boasting numerous mountains, hot springs, seas, and parks located nearby the downtown area. And while Fukuoka offers all the conveniences of a major city, its slower pace allows visitors to relax as well.
Fukuoka boasts exceptional accessibility with over 300 international flights per week to and from more than 20 cities in Asia and beyond, plus of course numerous daily flights to and from airports in Tokyo, Osaka and all other major domestic destinations. Fukuoka is conveniently located as a base for exploring Kyushu, either by highway bus or express train which provide quick connections to such cities as Beppu, Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Kagoshima and Nagasaki.
Located on the southern tip of Kyushu, Kagoshima has a territory extending about 600km from the prefectural border in the north to the boundary in the south bordering Okinawa. It is endowed with the most spectacular scenery that includes beautiful seas, mountains, rivers, numerous hot springs and a wide variety of flora and fauna. There are also many cultural sites and places of historical interest. There are about 30 islands out at sea far beyond to the south, including Yakushima Island, which was registered as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, the Tokara Islands, a chain of twelve isles of different sizes stretching over a distance of about 162km, and Amamioshima, the second largest isolated island in Japan.
Kumamoto is situated in the center of Kyushu at the western end of Japan. Mt. Aso-san stands in the east and the Chikuhi Mountains lie to the north, while the Shira-kawa River, the Kuma-gawa River, and other rivers flow from the mountains to the western part of the lower current area, forming the Kumamoto Plain and Yashiro Plain. The Uto-hanto Peninsula juts out to the southwest from the Kyushu mainland, and the Amakusa Islands lie beyond the peninsula.
Situated in the southeastern part of Kyushu, Miyazaki faces the Sea of Hyuga in the Pacific Ocean in the east and is surrounded by mountains on the other three sides. The north-to-west area bordering Oita and Kumamoto contains the Kyushu Mountains, while the south area bordering Kagoshima has the Kirishima Mountains and the Wanitsuka Mountains. These mountains create a barrier against the winter wind, which, with the effect of the warm Pacific current, keeps the climate of Miyazaki mild.
Located at the western end of the Japanese archipelago, Nagasaki’s exotic history is highlighted by its excellent natural environment. Still remaining throughout Nagasaki are relics of Japan’s early exchange with the West, including Portugal and the Netherlands, to say nothing of China. Two national parks — Unzen-Amakusa and Saikai — together with two quasi-national and six prefectural parks, combine mountainous and marine aspects to present picturesque sights throughout the prefecture.
Located in the northeast of Kyushu, Oita borders Ehime, with the Hoyo Strait and the Bungo Channel in between, on the east and Yamaguchi across the Sea of Suo on the earth. To the north is a lava plateau, where you can enjoy the dynamic beauty of the Yabakei Gorge and other ravines, like the Aono-domon (“Tunnel of Ao”) made through rocks, with mural precipices and numberless rocks and stones of fantastic shape eroded by rivers running between mountains.
Saga is located in the northwestern part of Kyushu. The shoreline of the Higashi-Matsu-ura-hanto Peninsula facing the Sea of Genkai is a saw-toothed coast with many outlying islets sitting in the offing.