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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

Walk on Kyushu's roof, throw a pot, trek through mountains, marshes and wetlands

Part of the Oita region of Kumamoto on Kyushu, Kokonoe and its surroundings are part of sprawling Aso-Kuju National Park. At over 1,790 meters above sea level, the mountains here are part of what's known as "the roof of Kyushu." Combine hikes through forests, highlands, and wetlands with visits to local hot springs. This area also boasts the highest suspension bridge in Japan, the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge.

Don't Miss

  • The awe-inspiring views from Japan's highest pedestrian bridge
  • Exploring globally recognized marshlands and wetlands
  • Watching potters work at a historic pottery village

How to Get There

JR Kokonoe Station is accessible with a JR East Rail Pass.

Kokonoe is less than two hours by limousine bus from Oita Airport. Flights from Haneda Airport in Tokyo airport take less than two hours and from Itami Airport in Osaka, approximately one hour.

It is a short drive from Hita Station, which is served by the Kyudai Main train lines, offering access to much of Kyushu.

Look out over mountains, forests, and valleys

A trip across the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension Bridge offers panoramic views of the Kuju Mountain Range as well as the stunning Shindo no taki and Medaki waterfalls below. You may even see denizens of Narukogawa Keikoku forest, including birds of prey. The bridge is most popular in the fall when the changes of the leaves in the forest turn the area into a beautiful sea of red, orange and yellow foliage.

Rare flora and fauna

Recognized by the Ramsar Convention as extremely rare, Tadewara Marshland and Bougatsuru Wetland are prime sightseeing spots on a trip around Kokonoe.

Chojabaru Visitor Center

Set out on the cedar boardwalks across the area, designed to protect the delicate ecosystem, for the chance to see rare plants, flowers and insects, or learn about the area from the comfort of the highly informative and interactive Chojabaru Visitor Center.

Brewers and distillers at work

Thanks to an abundance of pure water, the area is home to a distillery and brewery, both of which offer tours of their production facilities as well as tasting and a shop. Find out how staff at Iichiko Hita Distillery brew barley malt to use in raw sake alcohol, and how Sapporo Beer operates in its Kyushu Brewery.

Sapporo Beer New Kyushu Brewery

Discover the history of Sapporo Beer, the oldest brand of beer in Japan, at this delightful museum. Exhibits showcase its production process and the history of Sapporo Breweries Ltd., which was founded in 1876. The factory is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but reservations are required for the factory tour.

Learn the secrets of Onta yaki pottery from the potters themselves

Established in the 18th century by potters visiting the area from Fukuoka Prefecture, this pottery village blossomed in the early 20th century in the Mingei movement that embraced the beauty of everyday objects. Throughout the village are great examples of the intricate style of Onta yaki pottery, which is characterized by geometric shapes.

You can make your own items, drawing inspiration from the potters working alongside you in the village, and examine the history of local pottery through the various works on display.

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