Kyushu is the southernmost island of Japan, and it’s hot and muggy all year around. It has an almost tropical climate, which is great for surfers and other beach lovers. Further inland you can find lush green mountains, but the big draw of Kyushu is the beaches.
The region of Kyushu also includes Okinawa, which is about an hour south by plane. Okinawa is a unique place in Japan because it used to be an independent kingdom. Now, Okinawa is a mix of Japanese, American and native Okinawan people. Okinawa has great fishing and beaches, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan.
If you’re interested in history, Kyushu is an interesting place. It’s one of the oldest settled parts of Japan, going way back to prehistoric times. A lot of the old prehistoric Jomon pottery was found in Kyushu. This pottery is known for it’s simple but elegant design, and is one of the oldest forms of pottery known to mankind. In Kyushu, you can also see prehistoric primitive Japanese ruins. The most famous ruin site is in the village of Saga.
Nagasaki is an interesting city historically, not just because of the atomic bomb attack during World War 2, but because Nagasaki was a major port city. In fact, even during Japan’s long era of total isolation from the rest of the world, foreign traders were allowed to dock at Nagasaki to sell their goods and buy items from the Japanese. So, the influence of that early foreign contact can still be seen.
Japan is a volcanic island, and Kyushu has lots of volcanoes and islands. The largest caldera in the world, Mount Aso, is located in Kumamoto prefecture in Kyushu. There are vacation tours where you can go island hopping.
The weather in Kyushu is tropical and balmy. It’s great if you prefer hot weather, but there’s only one thing I have to warn you about: Typhoons. During typhoon season, the typhoons hit Kyushu pretty hard. Usually, but the time the typhoons get to Tokyo and Chiba, they’re pretty subdued. It’s just a heavy, windy rain storm. But, in Kyushu, those typhoons hit directly and cause some real damage.
I’ve talked about pottery, historical ruins, surfing, volcanoes and typhoons, but it might surprise you to know that cities in Kyushu like Nagasaki and Fukuoka have lots of nightclubs. Kyushu has a surprisingly big nightlife scene. If you like to go out, there’s something to do every night of the week.