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Kyushu Travel Guide

Shimabara travel guide


Region spread in the foot of gentle mountain and facing to calm sea


Shimabara is consist of two cities on Shimabara peninsula, Shimabara-city west side of

peninsula and Minami-Shmabara-city south-west side of peninsula.

Located in the foot of mount Unzen and facing Ariake Bay,  and those geographical conditions

and mild climate create natural scenic beauty

in the east and Mt. Unzen including Mt. Fugen. 


The region offers various enjoyable things such as Nature, Onsen, Castle town of Shimabara-city,

Hidden Christian history as well as Local Gourmets.



Exploring Shimabara


Shimabara Castle

Located in Shimabara-city and was built in 1625 by the feudal load Matsukura Shigemasa, who was

regarded as a master of castle building.

The castle, which took 7 years to complete, is also known as “Moritake Castle”.


Samurai Houses

Samurai was a term for the military nobility in pre-industrial Japan.

The Samurai Houses in Shimabara along the old Samurai street nearby Shimabara Castle

were built in 18th century.



Harajo Castle ruins

Site of Historic Battle field of Shimabara Rebellion, registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site

as Hidden Christian Site, to tell the Christian faith continued even during the ban on Christianity.

Located in Minami-Shimabara-city, the Battle field of Shimabara Rebellion which was a peasant

uprising agaist bakufu’s persecution of Christians under the leadership of Amakusa Shiro in 1637.



Ferry to Kumamoto, from Shimabara

Two ferries are operated form Shimabara to Kumamoto

Kyusho Ferry : operated by Kyusho Ferry, 60 minutes ride

Ocean Arrow : operated by Kumamoto Ferry, 30 minutes ride

             Shimabara port

                 Ocean Arrow

                Kumamoto port


Ferry to Amakusa (Oniike) , from Kuchinotsu (Minami-Shimabara-city)

Shimatetsu Ferry : operated by Shinabara Rail Way, 30 minutes ride.

            Kuchinotsu port


                 To Amakusa


Featured tour related to Shimabara


Nagasaki Hidden Christian History tour                 

Congratulations on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site registration

Japan’s unique practice of the Christian faith continued even during the ban on Christianity.

This tour introduce the history of Hidden Christian in Nagasaki Region while taking the World Heritages

and related sites of Nagasaki-city, Shimabara and Unzen.



                 Location of Shimabara





General information

Address Shimabara-city, Nagasaki-prefecture

90 minutes by a vihecle from Nagasaki-city

70 minutes by a vihecle from Nagasaki Air port

30 minutes by a vihecle from Unzen-city



Aso travel guide


One of the most popular tourist destination in Kyushu


The world’s largest caldera and the active volcano give a lot of excitements.

And numerous unforgettable experiences in the rural area can be mede including Onsen,

variety of sports and local cuisines.



Where to explore


Mount Aso

The largest active volcano in Japan

Its peak is 1592 m above sea level. Its caldera is 25 km across north to south and 18 km 

across east to west. The caldera has a circumference of around 120 km, although sources

vary on the exact distance

 Japan’s largest active volcano  Look down the Crater  Around the Crater



The beautiful prairie of 785,000 square meter in the crater

Spreads in northern part of Mt. Eboshi that is one of the Aso Five Mountains.

A big pond at its center and grazing horses round about make an idyllic scene



The perfect spot view the five peak of Mount Aso 

Daikanbo literally means a big observatory peak.

The circumference of the Aso caldera is about 130 kilometers. From the observation site,

you can clearly see its conical shape


 Aso shrine   Kurokawa Onsen  Nabegataki Waterfall


 Shirakawa fountain  Sensui-kyo  Issingyo big cherry tree


Tourist Tram  Minami Aso Rail Way

Enjoy the magnificent scenery of Aso

The Minami Aso railway is a private railroad offering a very scenic ride from Takamori to

Nakamatsu in the south east of the caldera.

Lovely and magnificent scenery can be enjoyed.



Featured restaurant / Takamori Dengaku-no sato 

Enjoy Aso beef and local cuisines  

The restaurant uses the old private house with thatched roof built more than 200 years ago.

Bake the meat and local ingredients with charcoal at a Japanese traditional style fire place.


Kikuchi Valley

Enjoy short trekking in the Nature.

Kikuchi Valley is located in Aso Kuju National Park and underground water flows out of the

subsoil for 4km along the valley floor.  It is also called the Kikuchi water source and its water

was selected as one of the 100 best waters in Japan


Featured tours related to Aso


3 days Kumamoto, Aso & Takachiho tour

Where to Explore  

Day 1 : Fukuoka-city  → Kumamoto → Aso  stay Kurokawa Onsen

Day 2 : Aso sightseeing →   stay Kurokawa Onsen

Day 3 : Takachho sightseeing  → Fukuoka-city


7 days Central Kyushu tour         

Where to Explore  

Amakusa → Kumamoto → Aso → Takachiho → Kuju → Kokonoe → Yufuin

Asakura → Akizuki → Ukiha → Fukuoka



                 Location of Aso 





General information

Address City hall : 504-1 Miyaji, Ichinomiya, Aso-city, Kumamoto-prefecture

70 minutes by a vehicle from Kumamoto-city

70 minutes by a vehicle from Takachiho

140 minutes by a vehicle from Fukuoka-city

Population 234,000   Population density 540


Beppu travel guide


Onsen Resort where the largest hot spring yield in Japan


The popular hot spring town nestle at the foot of volcanos, Mt. Yufu and Mt. Tsurumi.

Boasting more than 2,800 hot spring sources and flowing rate of nearly 137,000 kiloliters per
day, Beppu is considered a paradise of hot springs famous for high therapeutic effects.
The town is divided into eight major hot spring areas collectively called “Beppu Hatto”, 
which offer beautiful scenery and various type of water of different qualities.



Welcome to Beppu 


Beppu bay & Mount Takasaki

Beppu bay


Kannawa Onsen

Myoban Onsen

Foot bath


 Hyotan Onsen



Beppu Hell Tour

The most famous sights are Jigoku Meguri or (Burning Hell)  tour.  
A collection of hot springs where the water bubbles forth from underground, often

with unusual result.


Umi jigoku

 Umi jigoku

Oniishi bozu jigoku

Yama jigoku


Kamado jigoku


Oniyama jigoku


Chinoike jigoku

Tatsumaki jigoku

Shiraike jigoku



Takasaki mountain animal park


About 1700 wild Japanese monkey are living in the park.

The monkeys are fed regularly by park wardens in order to keep them on the mountain and

prevent conflicts with farmers and residents in the neighborhood.





​               Location of Beppu


General information

Address City hall  : 1-15 Kaminoguchi-cho, Beppu-city, Oita-prefecture

20 minutes by a vehicle from Yufuin-city

100 minutes by a vehicle from Aso-city

160 minutes by a vehicle from Kumamoto-city

120 minutes by a vehicle from Fukuoka-city

100 minutes by a vehicle from Kitakyushu-city

Population 119,000   Population density 950 / km2


Unzen Onsen Resort


Beautiful highland Onsen Resort situated Unzen National Park 


The area was the first area to be designated as a National Park in Japan. 

Whether you are taking in the stunning  panoramic views from top one of the many peaks

including Nita-toge Pass or looking up these volcanic mountains or Fugen, you will marvel 

at the spectacular scenery.  As each season brings a vivid change to the appearance the face

of Unzen you may wish to return again and again to enjoy the full range of rich variations.



Welcome to Unzen

         Unzen Bus center

                  Unzen Jigoku 

                     Nita pass


Stay in Unzen

There are 17 Hotels and Japanese style inns around Unzen Jigoku.

From every hotel,  beautiful scenery which changes by season can be enjoyed.



Featured distinations

             Bideo Museum

              Bideo Museum

          Unzen Golf Course


Characteristics of hot spring

The hot springs of Unzen is characterized by its sulfurous hot water with high acidity (pH: 2.0 – 2.2),
which is uniquely high comparing to hot springs in Europe where the hot springs treatment is actively 
The temperature of the hot springs of Unzen is as hot as around 90 Degree Celsius.
Unzen hot springs is known by its component of hot water such as “acid hydrogen sulfide springs”, “aluminiferous springs including hydrogen sulfide” or “ferrous salfate springs” but it is generally called 
“sulfurous hot springs.


Efficacy of hot spring

The hot springs of Unzen is highly effective in sterilization because of its acidity.
It takes effect against skin diseases in general such as eczema, chilblain, incisures, and 
other skin related problems.
It is also noted that the Unzen hot spring is effective to facial treatment as well as effective 
against chronic rheumatism, diabetes, neuralgic pain, muscle pain, joint pain, and fatigue
with health-promoting benefits.



                 Location of Unzen


Access to Unzen


・30 minutes by car from Shimabara

・80 minutes by car from Nagasaki-city

・2 and half hours by car from Fukuoka-city


Kurokawa Onsen travel guide


Kurokawa Onsen is one of the most popular hot spring resort, located on the northern 

side of  Mt. Aso .

Widely known for its open-air baths, it is one of the best places to enjoy the atmosphere of

old town in Japan, where more than 20 Inns (Ryokan)and gift shops standing in a row

along the Tanoharu River, a headstream of the Chikugo River.






Wander about Onsen town  



Onsen Tegata

With an “Onsen Tegata”, a pass made of cedar, travelers can make the rounds of three

different open-air Onsen.



                 Location of Kurokawa





General information

Address Kurokawa, Minami-Oguni-cho, Aso-gun, Kumamoto-prefecture

1 hour and 50 minutes by a vehicle from JR Kumamoto Station

1 hour and 20 minutes by a vehicle from Kumamoto Airport

2 hours by a vehicle from Fukuoka Airport

2 hours by a vehicle from JR Hakata Station



Futsukaichi Onsen


Futsukaichi is the nearest hot-spring town from Fukuoka-city.

Its public baths are grouped together in the old main street, favoured by traditionalists, 

Gozen-yu is the most characteristic.




Featured tour related to Dazaifu

Yanagawa & Dazaifu one-day tour




Ibusuki & Satsuma peninsula travel guide


Satsuma peninsula extends about 50 kilometers south from Kagoshima-city,

making up the southwestern section of Kagoshima Prefecture.

The peninsula offers a mixture of hot springs, subtropical natural attractions and cultural sites.

Ibusuki is an onsen resort that is famous for its sand baths, where bathers are buried in

naturally heated sand.



Ibusuki Onsen resort


Steaming sand bath

It is best known for its steaming sand baths along the beach, where bathers in a yukata, or Japanese bathrobe

get buried in the sand up to their neck. The sand heated by steam containing marine minerals is scientifically proven to have therapeutic effects on neuralgia, rheumatism, back pain and other ailments.


      Sand Bath Hall SARAKU

         Sand Bath, Kinko bay


                Sand Bath


Ikeda-ko lake

A circumference of 15 km and a maximum depth of 233 meter, where was created by

volcanic activity long ago. Large eel with a length of 2 meter and circumference of 50 cm

inhabit the lake. It was also known as the lake of a legendary monster called ” Issy” 

purported to live in the lake. 

         Monster called Issy

           Flower garden

           Mount Kaimon


Nishi-Oyama Station

The Station is the southernmost railway station in Japan operated by JR,

boasts a breathtaking view of Kaimon-dake volcano to the front.


Ryugu Shrine

It is the Urashima Taro legendary shrine peninsula and this shrine is becoming popular as a power

spot of matchmaking and good fortune in love.


Nagasaki-bana Cape

The cape is the southernmost point of Satsuma peninsula, where a white lighthouse stands.

You can enjoy the view of the magnificent Mount Kaimondake and rocks with the sea spray

wearing them. The Cape is said to be the birthplace of the legend of Ryugu.




Enjoy tasting Shochu at the most famous Shochu brewery in Kagoshima

Meiji-gura is Satsuma Shuzo’s Shochu brewery and museum.


Makurazaki Osakana Center



Somen noodle nagashi

The unique Somen noodle nagashi in Tosenkyo revine in Kaimon open throughout the year

serving cold Somen noodle that swim in the revloving container.



                 Location of Ibusuki




General information on Ibusuki-city



City hall ; 2424 Juchu Ibusuki-city, Kagoshima-prefecture

Access 1 hour and 40 minutes by a vehicle from Kagoshima Airport

50 minutes by a vehicle from Kagoshima-chuo JR Station

55 minuted by JR Express train from Kagoshima-chuo JR Station

1 hour and 15 minutes by local train from from Kagoshima-chuo JR Station


Kagoshima kotsu bus

Population 40,000            Pupulation density : 270 / km2 



Obama Onsen


Onsen Resort facing to Tachibana bay


Located at western foot of Mount Unzen, and consist of Shimabara peninsula Onsen Resort

along with Unzen Onsen Resort and Shimabara Onsen Resort.  

About 30 Hotels and Japanese style accommodation are standing along the Tachibana bay

and there are 3 public baths where visitor can use.  


The Japan’s highest radiation calorie of hot spring. (radiation calorie is calculated in hot water

temperature multiplied hot water yield)

Some of them reaching 80-100 °C and producing over 15,000 tons of hot water daily.

Your own cooking can be enjoyed made by Onsen steam using local ingredients such as

vegetables and fishes



The Japan’s longest foot bath

Called “ Hot foot 105” 

The length of foot bath is 105m which is same number of the hot spring source temperature of

105 degree Celsius.



There are various kind of gift shops and restaurants around the foot bath.




General information


Obama-cho, Unzen-city, Nagasaki-prefecture


80 minutes by a vehicle from Nagasaki-city

60 minutes by a vehicle from Nagasaki Air port

45 minutes by a vehicle from Shimabara-city

2 hours and 20 minutes by a vehicle from Fukuoka-city

3 hours and 00 minutes by a vehicle from Kitakyushu-city


Yufuin travel guide


A beautiful and quietly rustic Onsen Resort

One of the most popular among ladies and International tourist visits to here are increasing. 

Yufuin is located near Beppu in a green valley beneath the spectacular Mt. Yufu, a short walk from the

town center will take you to a mix of paddy fields, housing and unmarked Ryokan, with the old temple

thrown in.



Explore Yufuin


Kinrinko lake

One of landmark in Yufuin. Hot water gushes from the bottom of the lake, and hot

steam rises from its surface on a cold day.  The lake is located at the end of the town’s main

walking route, about a kilometer and a half from the Yufuin station



The old public outdoor bath with a thatched roof beside Kinrinko lake in Yufuin.
The bathing here is mixed, as baths often were before the arrival, during the Meiji period

( 1869 – 1912). 


Yufuin Floral Village

Reproduced the townscape of the Cotswold region in England.

The place was also used for Harry Potter’s shooting location.


Yunotsubo Avenue



Kamenoi Besso,  a featured accommodation around Kinrinko lake



               Location of Yufuin



General information

Address Yufu-city Yufuin office : 3738-1 Kawakami, Yufuin-cho, Yufu-city, Oita-prefecture

20 minutes by a vehicle from Beppu-city

80 minutes by a vehicle from Aso-city

130 minutes by a vehicle from Kumamoto-city

100 minutes by a vehicle from Fukuoka-city

100 minutes by a vehicle from Kitakyushu-city

Population 33,000   Population density 105


Minamata travel guide


Minamata is located in Kumamoto Prefecture, It is on the west coast of Kyushu and faces

Amakusa islands. There are two Onsen resorts;

Yunotsuru Onsen located along the Yuide River in the mountains and called Mountain Onsen.

Yunoko Onsen faces Yatsushiro Sea and called Ocean Onsen.



Yunotsuru Onsen Ryokan Ryokan


Yuido River Corridor of Ryokan Outdoor bath


 Airinkan, local restaurant  Paddy field at mountain area Paddy field at mountain area 

Yunoko Onsen Yunoko Onsen Yunoko Onsen


 Spanish Village, restaurant Spanish Village   Spanish Village


                    Location of Minamata





General information

Address City hall : 1-1-1 Jinnai, Minamata-city, Kumamoto-prefecture

60 minutes by a vehicle from Hitoyoshi

1 hour and 40 minutes by a vehicle from Kumamoto-city

2 hours and 30 minutes by a vehicle from Takachiho

2 hours and 20 minutes by a vehicle from Aso

2 hours and 40 minutes by a vehicle from Fukuoka-city

Population 24,000   Population density 150