The best spots to see the changing of leaf colors from green to red, oranges and yellow start from the north down to the lower parts of Japan starting August to early September. But if you find yourself travelling to Kyushu in late September, perhaps due to a seat sale or a flash discount for travel miles you accumulated through your credit card, do not fret! You can still see koyo in the southern parts of Japan even in late September. Continue reading “Late for Autumn? Where to find Koyo in Kyushu Before Winter Arrives”
Mount Yufu (由布岳 Yufudake) is a uniquely formed volcano located on the border of Yufu and Beppu, Ōita, Japan. It is the first thing that will greet you the moment you get off the train in Yufuin Station, a three-hour train ride away from JR Hakata Station. The shape of the volcano is unique due to its two peaks – ‘Higashi-mine’ (East Peak) and ‘Nishi-mine’ (West Peak) with the west peak being a meter higher than the east.
The video site is on a bridge located a few hundred meters from Yufuin Lake, another popular tourist spot in the area. While shooting this timelapse, several tourists would drop by and take selfies in the middle of the bridge with the great view of Yufu and its camel peaks behind them.
This timelapse was created sometime late November and it was able to catch the remainder of Koyo or autumn season in Japan during the morning hours. The smoke is actually boiling steam coming from the river meeting the frosted morning air above. It was extremely cold while this timelapse was being shot and it took all effort not to jump into the hot waters of the flowing river.
Kyushu is a region to the southwest of Japan that is less frequented by tourist compared to the more popular Kansai and Kanto regions where Osaka and Tokyo are in, respectively.
Fukuoka International airport is the gateway to Northern Kyushu and is connected to the local airport and subway transport systems. Travel is convenient with most tourist destinations accessible by JR trains and local subway trains.
There are relatively few tourists in this area– a lot of times I’d be walking around by myself surrounded by locals but the tourists I encountered were mainly Koreans. Most signages are written in Japanese, Chinese and Korean rather than English.
Recommended places to visit: In Hakata city — Ohori Park is a half-day trip accessible by subway train. There is an Art museum in Ohori koen but is under restoration. Yufuin and Beppu are popular onsen (hot spring) destinations and warrants at least a two-day visit to imbibe its rejuvenating atmosphere. There is also the enchanting Mifuneyama Park, Yoshinogari Park, and Nanzoin Temple which are all accessible by JR Trains. Kawachi wisteria tunnel is also a beautiful place especially in the summer but is very touristy.
If you have more than a week in Kyushu, its southern region has more to offer.
Kyushu is a provincial region west of Japan that is less travelled but has the charm that rivals the historic Kyoto of Kansai and the vibrant Tokyo of Kanto region in central Japan. It is well worth visiting. Next time you travel to Japan, head off to the westernmost region for a more relaxing vibe and rustic Japanese atmosphere.
Do you have a less-travelled place in Japan you want to recommend? Share it by leaving a comment below!