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DESTINATIONS JAPAN ASIA LEFT:


SAMPLE PRODUCT


Cox & Kings


offers a 14-night self-guided tour of Kyushu from £4,445 based on twin-share. It includes Fukuoka, Nagasaki,


Kagoshima,


Yakushima plus international flights, private airport transfers, four-star


accommodation, breakfast and some other meals. coxandkings. co.uk


InsideJapan


offers a two-week Kyushu Adventure self-guided trip that includes Gunkanjima,


Mount Aso and Kagoshima,


from £3,130. The package includes all flights, car hire and some excursions. insidejapan tours.com


Specialist Japan operator JTB offers a 10-day tour extension, Northern


Kyushu by car, from £965 for accommodation and car hire,


excluding flights. The round-trip from Fukuoka visits Beppu,


Kurakawa, Unzen and MountAso, with ryokan stays. japanspecialist. co.uk


but nothing like the priciest restaurants in most cities. The crown jewels of the region are


the Kujukushima Islands – it means 99 islands but there are actally 208 – each uniquely sculpted over centuries by the sea. The opening scene of The Last Samurai was filmed here. It’s well worth the £7.50 for a 50-minute cruise on the Pearl Queen to get closer to the fishermen harvesting pearls. Blossom season is a big deal here, as


in the rest of Japan, and only an hour from Fukuoka are the stunning Wisteria Tunnels of Kitakyushu’s Kawachi Fuji Gardens. It’s definitely worth timing a trip around seeing them – they are at their best from late April to mid-May – but be careful to avoid Golden Week at the start of May when most Japanese people are on holiday too.


w STAY: EAST OR WEST The Grand Hyatt in Fukuoka is right at the heart of Canal City and the


Blossom season is a big deal here and only an hour from Fukuoka are the stunning Wisteria Tunnels


feeling less than nimble and want to pick on a bed your own size, these are the places to go.


Ohana in the small city of Yanagawa


shopping centre. It’s only three miles from the airport and a great hub from which to start an adventure. Japan can be a culture jolt for first-time visitors, so this is a good way to ease into the local rhythms. Ryokan are the traditional-style Japanese inns that typically feature futon beds, tatami-matted floors and yukata robes for guests. There are all levels of ryokan available in the region, some mixing the option of Western or Japanese-style rooms, so if you’re


offers both styles of accommodation. The estate houses an extraordinary collection of antiques once belonging to the samurai class of the Edo period. A few minutes’ walk from Ohana you can take a tranquil punt down the sleepy canal. For Scandi-style luxury, Nagasaki is home to the Garden Terrace Hotel designed by Kengo Kuma. The rooms boast enormous Jacuzzi baths with Bulgari amenities and balconies overlooking the harbour. And for a really high-end treat, try the ultra-luxury sleeper train Seven Stars. Large windows, decadent design and only 14 onboard suites make this a truly exclusive way to view Kyushu. Prices start from £1,553 for a two-day, one-night round trip of northern Kyushu.


Grand Hyatt Fukuoka


RIGHT:


Wisteria Tunnel at Kawachi


Fuji Gardens BELOW:


Kujukushima Islands


52 travelweekly.co.uk 19 May 2016


PICTURES: KYUSHU TOURISM PROMOTIONORGANIZATION


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