Kyūshū attractions

Top Choice Museum in Nagasaki

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

On 9 August 1945, the world's second nuclear weapon detonated over Nagasaki, and this sombre place recounts the city's destruction and loss of life through photos and artefacts, including mangled rocks, trees, furni…
Top Choice Memorial in Nagasaki

Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims

Adjacent to the Atomic Bomb Museum and completed in 2003, this minimalist memorial by Kuryū Akira is a profoundly moving place. It's best approached by quietly walking around the sculpted water basin, commemorating …
Top Choice Park in Nagasaki

Peace Park

North of the hypocentre, Peace Park is presided over by the 10-tonne bronze Nagasaki Peace Statue, designed in 1955 by Kitamura Seibō. It also includes the dove-shaped Fountain of Peace (1969) and the Peace Symbol Z…
Top Choice Gardens in Kagoshima

Sengan-en

In 1658, the 19th Shimazu lord laid out his pleasure garden on this hilly, rambling bayside property of groves, hillside trails and one of Japan's most impressive pieces of 'borrowed scenery': the fuming peak of Sak…
Top Choice Volcano in Aso-san Area

Naka-dake Crater

Naka-dake (1506m) is Aso's active volcano – very active in recent years, with fatal eruptions in 1958 and 1979, and other significant eruptions in 1989, 1990, 1993 and 2016. Access to the crater area may be closed w…
Top Choice Castle in Kumamoto

Kumamoto-jō

Dominating the skyline, Kumamoto's robust castle is one of Japan's best, built in 1601–07 by daimyō Katō Kiyomasa, whose likeness is inescapable around the castle (look for the distinctive tall pointed hat). From 16…
Top Choice Historic Site in Nagasaki

Dejima

In 1641 the Tokugawa shogunate banished all foreigners from Japan, with one exception: Dejima, a fan-shaped, artificial island in Nagasaki harbour. From then until the 1850s, this tiny, 15,000-sq-metre Dutch trading…
Top Choice Museum in Dazaifu

Kyūshū National Museum

Built into the tranquil eastern hills of Dazaifu and reached through more escalators than can be found at the average airport, this striking structure (built 2005) resembles a massive space station and chronicles th…
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Takachiho

Ama-no-Iwato-jinja

One of Shintō's loveliest shrines honours the cave where the goddess Amaterasu hid. The cave itself is off-limits, but Nishi Hongū (the shrine's main building) sits right across the Iwato-gawa (Iwato River). Ask a s…
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Dazaifu

Dazaifu Tenman-gū

Among the countless visitors to the grand, sprawling Tenman-gū – shrine and burial place of poet-scholar Tenman Tenjin – are students making offerings and buying amulets in hopes of passing college entrance exams.Th…