Hot Spots in Kyushu

kyusyu_map.jpgFollowing the extension of the Tohoku Line, Japan Railways will open its new Bullet Train Route in the Kyushu area (the Southwest part of Japanese Archipelago) on March 12th 2011, which enables travelers to experience south western Japan with rich history, nature and onsen, hot springs more convenienly.

The new complete line will be 159.7 mile long between Hakata and Kagoshima. From Shin-Osaka to the final stop of Kagoshima-Chuo, the traveling time will be 3 hours and 45 minutes, 77 minutes shorter than the current service. The new connecting line makes Kyushu’s historic landmarks and nature within an easier reach: Kumamoto Castle, built in the 17th century has very unique ninja-proof walls. Kagoshima, at the end of the line, is the gateway to Yakushima Island, home to a primeval forest of “Yaku-sugi” cedars dating back thousands of years.

Kumamoto Castle Yaku-sugi

Kyushu was once called the “Land of Fire” for its abundance with volcanoes, which brings remarkable views such as that of Mt. Aso, the world’s largest volcanic caldera in Kumamoto, and Sakura-jima, an active volcano where a rising column of smoke is sometimes observed from downtown Kagoshima. What’s more, the island is blessed with countless onsen, Japanese traditional hot springs: Ibusuki is known for its unique sand bath. Unzen, Beppu, Yufuin and Kurokawa are all beloved onsen resorts in Kyushu.

sakurajima.jpg Mt. Aso

Suna mushi buroTo make your trip easy and reasonable, JR Kyushu offers a discount ticket called the Kyushu Rail Pass. It covers either the Northern Kyushu area or the whole Kyushu area, depending on the type you purchase, and can be used for unlimited times for both express and local trains. Please visit here to check out the details!

For Further Information, please visit
JR Kyushu Railway Company http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/index.html
Kumamoto http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/kumamoto/index.html
Kagoshima http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/kagoshima/index.html

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