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Last updated : Nov 2009
Kyushu - TravelPuppy.com
Kyushu is the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands, and is well known for its mild climate, volcanic landscape, great hot springs and ceramics. The gateway to Kyushu, Fukuoka (Hakata) is revered for its traditional textile and doll-making industries, its delicious cuisine and for the nearby Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, a very busy place of worship where students flock to pray to the god of learning.

Situated on Kyushu’s west coast, Nagasaki was among Japan’s earliest foreign ports and is well known for Arita and Imari ceramics and for the Peace Park which commemorates the destruction caused by the second nuclear bomb of World War II.

Additional well known attractions include Chinatown, the Chinese Temple and Glover House, thought to be the location that inspired Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly. Nearby Mount Unzen, an active volcano, is also a famous hot spring resort. Kumamoto is an old castle town and gateway to the scenic beauty of the Mount Aso National Park.

Located south of the island, the seaport of Kagoshima is overshadowed by the intriguing smoking cone of Sakurajima volcanic island. Nearby Ibusuki Spa, situated on the southern tip of Kyushu, has some of the most famous hot springs in Japan and is revered for its hot-sand saunas. Summer whale and dolphin watching tours operate from the town of Kasasa.

Beyond Kagoshima is the beautiful, mountainous island of Yakushima, a National Park famous for its primeval cedar forests and hiking trails.

, located on Kyushu’s southeastern coast, is a prosperous modern city well known for its palm trees, golf courses and ancient burial mounds. The Beppu hot spring resort, close to the city of Oita, is lots of fun in spite of its slightly sleazy atmosphere. Dozens of hotel and bathing complexes compete for business by offering everything from amusement parks and sports facilities to gardens, museums, and shopping arcades.