10 Best Nature Spots in Kyushu

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Writer’s Profile

Bryce was born in California, but raised from the age of 3 near Seattle, Washington. He’s been living in Tokyo for about 7 years, and graduated from Temple University, Japan with degrees in economics and international business. He loves traveling of course, but also cooking, snowboarding, some video games as well. His biggest interest is songwriting/music production, more specifically electronic music… (think Skrillex, Marshmello, Daft Punk, etc.) He also has terrible humor as you’ll notice, but he hopes you’ll enjoy it!

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Welcome to the lush, natural wonders of Kyushu, where the sublime beauty of Japan unfolds in all its glory. Kyushu is well known for many things, such as Ramen, Onsen, historical spots, and especially, beautiful nature. From the majestic peaks of the nation’s largest active volcano, Mt. Aso, to the enchanting turquoise waters of Takachiho Gorge, Kyushu offers an expansive palette of experiences for nature enthusiasts. Join us as we explore the very best nature spots in the wonderful region of Kyushu that will elevate your adventure throughout Japan, providing unique insights and tips to make your journey unforgettable. For any lover of nature, Kyushu will be a region to visit many times.

1. Mt. Aso

Embark on a fiery adventure to Mt. Aso, one of Fuji’s hot-headed siblings, home to one of the world’s largest calderas. Unleash your inner explorer as you stand at the edge of volcanic craters, capturing Instagram-worthy moments. For the ultimate thrill, take a spontaneous hike through the surreal landscapes, and if timing is on your side, witness the breathtaking sight of Aso’s sea of clouds. The surrounding area of the mountain is a wonderful adventure in and of itself- be sure to check out Minamiaso as well as Minamioguni, the latter being famed for Kurokawa Onsen, a relaxing escape.

2. Takachiho Gorge

Drift into the serenity and awe of Takachiho Gorge, where stunningly turquoise waters carve through lush cliffs. Paddle gently on a small row boat, surrounded by nature’s masterpiece and even a waterfall (be careful!). Don’t miss the illumination at night, a magical experience that adds a touch of enchantment to your visit. There are also a handful of shrines nearby with some interesting mythological stories to add to that enchanting vibe. Surely an unforgettable experience no matter what!

3. Yakushima

Venture to the mystical Yakushima island, where ancient cedar trees stand tall and tower over great hiking trails. Immerse yourself in the primeval forest, exploring trails that lead to hidden waterfalls and moss-covered wonders. Capture the essence of Yakushima by camping beneath the towering trees and awakening to the symphony of nature. The cedar trees of Yakushima are renowned and are used to create many fine products- great for souvenirs!

4. Kujukushima Islands

Embark on a maritime adventure to the Kujukushima Islands, where a myriad of islets create the most dense archipelago of Japan. It’s somewhat of a natural wonder to see how closely intertwined these islands are, not to mention the fact that only 20% of them are inhabited. Explore the area with one of the various cruises available, or maybe just swim between them? They’re so close! Just kidding, we don’t advise that… but there is kayaking, perhaps a good middle ground?

5. Sakurajima

Sakurajima, an active volcano and another one of Fuji’s hot headed siblings, beckons with its explosive beauty. Take a ferry from the wonderful city of Kagoshima to this dynamic island, where volcanic landscapes meet vibrant flora. Pro tip: get the Udon on the ferry; it’s unassuming but astonishingly delicious- a well known fact by the locals. Embrace the unexpected by indulging in a foot bath heated by the earth’s natural geothermal energy. Revel in the constant reminder of nature’s power while enjoying the stunning views of Kagoshima Bay. Another pro tip: visit the pottery shop for an incredible souvenir- they use naturally occurring minerals including volcanic ash to decorate the intricately sculpted vessels.

6. Kawachi Fujien

kawachi wisteria garden fukuoka

Step into a fairy tale at Kawachi Fujien in the northern part of the island, a mesmerizing garden draped in cascading wisteria blooms. Timing is key, as these ethereal flowers paint the landscape in a riot of colors during spring. Wander through enchanting tunnels (there are two, each around 100 meters in length) of wisteria, capturing the romance of the season. This spontaneous burst of floral magic will transport you to a world of pure serenity.

7. Seven Hells of Beppu

Even though it sounds like night and day compared to Kawachi Fujien, rest assured its a pleasant experience. Unearth the wonders of Beppu‘s Seven Hells, a collection of spectacular geothermal hot springs. Each “Hell” boasts unique characteristics, from blood-red waters to bubbling mud ponds. Embrace the tradition of ‘Onsen hopping’—a spontaneous journey through these natural wonders. Soak away your cares in therapeutic waters, surrounded by the lush beauty of Beppu. Beppu is also known as the Onsen capital of Japan, so you would be a fool to miss out on taking a dip!

8. Sakurai Futamigaura

Experience the romantic allure of Sakurai Futamigaura, where two sacred rocks stand as symbols of eternal love, framed by an ivory-white Torii gate. Timing is everything at this coastal marvel, as the sun sets perfectly between the rocks, creating a poetic spectacle. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach or experience some spirituality at the nearby Sakurai Shrine. It’s worth noting that this is a great day trip from Kyushu’s main city: Fukuoka.

9. Kokonoe Yume Suspension Bridge

Kokonoe’s Yume Ootsuribashi

Elevate your senses at Japan’s longest pedestrian bridge, Kokonoe Yume Suspension Bridge, suspended high above a verdant valley. Embrace the thrill of crossing this engineering marvel, offering panoramic views of the lush surroundings as you seemingly walk through the sky. Visit during the autumn months when the foliage transforms into a vibrant tapestry of reds and golds.

10. Nabega Falls

Conclude your Kyushu odyssey with the mesmerizing beauty of Nabega Falls. Nestled amidst lush greenery, this hidden gem invites you to unwind and enjoy the soothing sounds of falling water. Capture the perfect Instagram shot under the 10 meter high, 20 meter wide cascading sheet of water, or simply revel in the serenity of this off-the-beaten-path paradise. Word is, in the winter you may even be able to see the waterfall frozen over, quite an amazing sight. Let spontaneity guide your journey, and allow nature to weave its magic around you.

Japan Wonder Travel Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help you organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are visiting, our knowledgeable and friendly English speaking guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if yu have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo and try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake with one of our friendly and knowledgeable English speaking guides! 

tsukiji tour

Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private tour

Mt. Fuji Day Trip Bus Tour from Tokyo
Experience the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji by visiting the highlights of the area on our guided sightseeing bus tour! Departing from Shinjuku in central Tokyo, you can travel comfortably to all of the best spots in the area by bus.

mount fuji chureito pagoda

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Happy traveling!

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