Six cities in Kyushu

A look at Japan’s southernmost island

Planning a trip to Kyushu? Japan’s third island in size includes eight prefectures and many cities waiting to be discovered. You can explore the island at your leisure with a Kyushu Rail Pass. Here are six destinations you can reach by rail to help get your itinerary started.


Fukuoka is regarded as a nice city to start when visiting Japan for the first time. The city is fairly modern and its public transit services, including the shinkansen bullet trains, are linked to most of the city’s main attractions. One of those attractions, the Kyushu National Museum, a museum that is all about Japanese culture.


Mount Aso, located at the center of the island of Kyushu, is the largest active volcano in Japan. The main crater is accessible to tourists. There is also a museum in the vicinity of the volcano, detailing its history. Aso is also home to the Aso shrine, where twelve deities are enshrined including the god who is believed to have created the Aso area.


Beppu is one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts. Not only will you be able to bathe in hot water springs, but Beppu also offers the chance to try mud baths, sand baths and steam baths. You can also admire the stunning “Hells of Beppu”, springs so hot you can’t bathe in them. The Chinoike Jigoku is particularly spectacular with steam coming out of its pond of hot red water.


The small town of Arita is famous throughout Japan for its pottery. Almost all of its attractions are somehow related to porcelain: The Kyushu Ceramic Museum, the theme park known as Porcelain Park, Tozan Shrine and its porcelain Archway…  You can also learn how to make your own pottery at Rokuroza, a pottery studio.


The city offers a look at its history at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum where you can see the city before and after the bombing of August 1945. The city is interesting for its many monuments including the massive Peace Statue and the Hypocenter Park, marking the atomic explosion’s epicenter.


The city features a mild climate, streets lined with palm trees and an impressive stratovolcano. Kagoshima is also known as the “Naples of the Orient” for its bay location, Mount Sakurajima (replicating Naples’ Mount Vesuvius) and other features, lending it a striking similarity to the Italian city. You can visit the Kagoshima aquarium and its massive Kuroshio Tank, home to eighty species of fish and rays, and where four of the world’s largest fish, the whale shark, are free to roam.  Take it all in from the world’s largest aquarium window!

With such diversity, you are sure to appreciate your travels on Kyushu island. The Kyushu Rail Pass makes it easy to visit each of these cities and many more using the high speed Shinkansen bullet trains.

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