Although the weather is furious at times and many volcanoes are still alive, Kyushu is popular both among domestic and international tourists. It will be interesting to point out some of the best Kyushu attractions.
Fukuoka is the largest city on Kyushu and one of Japan's ten most populated cities. It is famous for its Canal City Hakata, a large shopping and entertainment complex; the Shofukuji Temple, Japan's first Zen Temple; the Fukuoka castle ruins; and the Momochi Seaside Park, a futuristic district along the waterfront.
Kumamoto, the capital city of Kumamoto Prefecture on the Kyushu Island, is famous for a large and well-fortified Kumamoto Castle. It is also home to the Suizenji Koen (Park), one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan together with Kenroku-en in the city of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, and the gardens Kairaku-en and Koraku-en.
Beppu, the city located in Oita, Kyushu, is world-known for its thousands of onsen (hot springs), regarded as sacred. Beppu is Japan's onsen capital that contains nine major onsens, sometimes called "nine hells of Beppu". The combination of onsens, the sea and mountain landscapes makes Beppu an ideal location for a summer vacation or for a weekend retreat from the buss of the city.
A very popular attraction is Nagasaki Huis ten Bosch, the theme park that imitates Holland villages. The park is located in Sasebo-city, which is about thirty miles north of Nagasaki-city. Nagasaki Huis ten Bosch regularly holds the event, called Viva Europe, which is a kind of festival of European music, dance and, generally, European culture. Some other events of the park include Cheese Fest, Irish Dance Shows, Beer Fair and Wine Carnival. What concerns accommodations, there are Huis ten Bosch hotels: Hotel Europe, Hotel Denharg, Hotel Amsterdam and Hotel Villa in the park.
The Sheraton Seagaia Resort in Miyazaki is an ultimate destination for leisure travelers and families on Kyushu. It is a large resort complex, featuring many hotels and providing the most comfortable accommodation for adults and children, tennis courts, golf courses and a variety of other amusement facilities. One of the finest attractions of the resort is the Ocean Dome, the world's largest indoor water park.
A Kyushu vacation can turn into a real holiday if you visit the island during one of the festivals, held here every year. The major festivals on Kyushu include: Hakata Dontaku (May 3-4) - citizens, dressed as the Seven Deities of Good Fortune parade the streets; Hakata Gion Yamagasa (July 1-15) - colorful floats, known as yamagasa, are paraded to the Kushida shrine in this seven hundred-year old festival; Nagasaki Suwa (October 7-9), also known as O-kunchi festival, features dragon dances and umbrella-topped floats.
From Kyushu you can take a trip to Shikoku ("four provinces" in Japanese), the smallest and least populated of the four main islands of Japan. Shikoku is known as the Pilgrimage Island that has attracted devout pilgrims to its famous eighty eight sacred temples for a thousand years. It has an excellent weather, outstanding natural beauty and many cultural and religious centers. There are several ferry routes, connecting Shikoku with Kyushu.
The options for amusement and relaxation are plenty and guaranteed; if you visit this island of Japan, you will like to come over and over again.