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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

FUKUOKA Kitakyushu

Kyushu's northernmost city is a place for learning, entertainment, and relaxation

Kitakyushu lies to the east of Fukuoka City and is Kyushu's northernmost city. The name Kitakyushu literally translates to 'north Kyushu.' From the Meiji Era onwards, the city has played a vital role as one of Kyushu's main industrial hubs.

As the closest city to Japan's main island of Honshu, Kitakyushu is the gateway between the two islands and is packed with sightseeing opportunities.

Don't Miss

  • Kokura Castle: The symbol of Kitakyushu City, Kokura Castle has an elegant five-story keep that has its roots in the Edo Period
  • The Moji Port Retro Area: Home to a number of 19th-century historic buildings
  • Night views: The entire city can be seen from up high from the viewpoint of Mt. Sarakura

How to Get There

JR Kokura is Kitakyushu's main station and is on both local and bullet train lines.

By bullet train, Kokura is only 12 minutes from Hakata Station in Fukuoka City. From Kokura Station, local trains and buses connect to the rest of the city.

Kitakyushu is serviced internationally by air, and the airline StarFlyer is headquartered at the city's Kitakyushu Airport.

Kitakyushu City

Kitakyushu became a city in 1963, though its history extends well beyond this. The city sits on the north coast of Kyushu, next to the Kammon Straits, and is best known as a major industrial employer within Fukuoka Prefecture , but there are also many opportunities for sightseeing to be found across the city.

Kokura Castle

Kokura Castle is a well-restored castle that has become a symbol of Kitakyushu and is the only standing castle keep in Fukuoka Prefecture. The keep is bordered by a moat on two sides and on the other two by the castle's extensive grounds, which are collectively known as Katsuyama Park. The park is home to hundreds of cherry trees that transform the look of Kokura Castle each April during sakura season.

The Moji Port retro area

Moji Port is home to a number of historic buildings that survive from the late 19th century. In 1889, the port was designated a "special national port" due to its proximity to China and its importance as a coal exporting hub.

Mojiko Retro Observation Room

The port flourished, with a number of financial institutions and merchant companies settling in the area and constructing western-style buildings.

The area is also home to the Kitakyushu branch of the Idemitsu Museum of Arts and the Mojiko Retro Observation Room. This observation point provides great views of the Moji Port Area, the city of Shimonoseki and the Kanmon Straits.

Must-see museums

One of Japan's most notable companies, Toto, was founded in Kitakyushu and visitors can see the company's most innovative products at the Toto Museum in Kokura-kita, dedicated to all things bathroom-related. Also worth a visit is the Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History and Human History in Yahata-higashi, which tracks the course of evolution on Earth with particular reference to the prehistoric evolution of Kyushu.

Natural wonders

To the south of Kitakyushu, on the border with Oita Prefecture , is Mt. Hiko. Mt. Hiko is one of Kyushu's most enjoyable hikes and is located only an hour's drive from the cities of Fukuoka and Kitakyushu. Hikosan, as it is called in Japanese, was the center of training for the Shugen-do sect of Buddhism, and the mountain is notable for its collection of temples and shrines.

The largest of these, Hohei-den, is the most majestic. The mountain is particularly beautiful in late autumn, as the colors of the forest change from green to red.

Encased by innumerable wisteria

To the west of Kitakyushu is the Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden . The garden is famous for its wisteria, which grows along two 100-meter-long tunnels that are the centerpiece of the park. The gardens open to the public twice a year—once during the wisteria season in spring, and once during the maple season in fall.

Nighttime views

Close to the Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden , to the southwest of Kitakyushu, is Mt. Sarakura. The view from the mountain has been chosen as one of the three 'most beautiful nighttime views in Japan.' The mountain can be hiked on foot, and there is also a slope car and cable car available from Hobashira Park. The mountain offers views over Kitakyushu and towards Japan's main island of Honshu.

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