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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
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. 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
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours 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
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders 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
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life 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

History

Izumi Fumoto Samurai Residences 出水麓武家屋敷群

Travel back to the time of the samurai

Izumi is a historic town in northern Kagoshima which was once populated by a large garrison of samurai guarding the border with the neighboring Higo domain.

Stroll around the historic buildings and immaculately preserved stone walls and feel as though you've been transported back to the time of the samurai.

Tips

  • Beautifully preserved samurai houses
  • The fascinating Izumi Fumoto History Museum
  • A laid back ox-cart ride through the historic town
  • An unforgettable kimono experience

How to Get There

Izumi is easily accessible from both Kagoshima and neighboring Kumamoto.

You can get there in just 15 minutes by bullet train from Kagoshima Chuo Station, or in an hour from Fukuoka. Alternatively, the Hisatsu Orange Railway provides a more scenic route to Izumi with a beautiful two-hour journey up the coastline.

A shuttle bus is available from Kagoshima Airport, which takes an hour and 30 minutes.

Picture perfect samurai town

Along with the house and gardens of Sengan-en, and the samurai residences of Chiran in the south, Izumi is one of the best places to get a feel for Edo period Kagoshima. The houses in this area were built over 400 years ago to strengthen the borders of the Satsuma domain.

Many samurai were once stationed here, and the carefully constructed stone walls and remaining houses give us a rare glimpse into the everyday life of a feudal warrior. Around 150 buildings from the Edo period remain today, and exploring them can reveal some surprising secrets.

Relics of the past

The Izumi Fumoto History Museum is a good place to start exploring this authentic Edo period samurai wonderland. You can see a wonderfully preserved collection of swords, armor, and scrolls passed down in the samurai families of Izumi.

An aerial overview of the town provides a great teaser for the route ahead and the exhibits really let you imagine how the samurai of Izumi lived.

Samurai secrets revealed

The majority of the samurai houses in Izumi are still inhabited, and are occupied by the descendants of the samurai they were originally built for. A few of the houses are open to the public, and you will discover surprising features that reveal the warrior mentality of the samurai that lived there. One house even has an escape tunnel built into the hearth in case of attack.

The houses also have small but well-kept gardens, which have a more functional feel than the decorative gardens of Kagoshima's other samurai town Chiran, or the feudal lord's vast garden at Sengan-en.

Ride in style

One leisurely way to get around Izumi Fumoto Samurai Residences is via ox-cart. Make a reservation, hop on board, and enjoy a slow-paced tour of the houses while chatting with a knowledgeable guide about the lifestyle of the Izumi samurai. The ride lasts about 25 minutes.

Look the part

If you feel a little out of place walking around a traditional Japanese town in your regular clothes, consider changing into a kimono to enhance the experience.

Kimono and tea experiences are held at Izumi Fumoto Samurai Residences, and with a prior reservation you can look and feel the part while wandering through the historic town. You can also keep the kimono and obi sash once the experience is over.

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