History, hot springs and hot ramen down south

Visitors to Kyushu may be familiar with little more than Nagasaki’s tragic past but this southern island has plenty to offer. Nature lovers flock to Yakushima to see the area’s ancient cedar forest, which has stood for thousands of years. Shoppers and artists may prefer Arita, the centre of porcelain production in Japan, or Imari, where shoguns had their dishes made. History buffs can get acquainted with 7th century feudal towns like Dazaifu or learn lessons in recovering from environmental disasters in Minamata. Beyond that, hot springs and shops selling the local variety of pork broth ramen noodles are ubiquitous in Kyushu, so there’s a lot to enjoy even if you just want to kick back and relax.