Kyushu, the southwesternmost of Japan’s main islands, has a mostly subtropical climate and is well known for its active volcanoes, beaches, and natural hot springs such as those at Beppu. With so many incredible beaches to explore, Kyushu is much-loved by Japanese locals and Asian tourists.
See our pick of the top three must-visit beaches in Kyushu to visit post-lockdown!
Takahama Beach, Nagasaki
Takahama has been selected as part of Japan’s 100 Most Beautiful Beaches and its not hard to see why. Boasting a backdrop of luscious green mountains surrounding the sandy beach and with seawater features creating a beautiful miriade of colours, you won’t want to miss this beach.
In addition to being placed as one of the top 100 Most Beautiful Beaches in Japan, it also takes its place in Japan’s 100 Best Beaches for Swimming perfect for those looking for a quick dip. Behind the beach, guests can enjoy its floral nature and enjoy the stunning surroundings of wild hibiscus flowers.
On the other side of the calm sea, visitors can take a visit to Gunkanjima, a World Cultural Heritage site made famous by the James Bond film Skyfall, as the home and headquarters of one of the franchise’s villains, Raoul Silva, played by the eponymous Javier Bardem. It is currently unmanned, but at its peak, it was once home to 5,300 people.
Karatsu Beach, Saga
Saga prefecture prides itself on being blessed with some of Japan’s most spectacular nature spots, that are rich in culture, history and resources. Life in Saga is far more relaxed compared to the lifestyle of those on the main island, with the busiest beach in Saga being Karatsu beach.
The nearby island of Takashima is well known for its Houtou Shrine known to bring good luck and is easily accessible by boat from Karatsu Jyoka. Elsewhere, visitors will want to add Niji no Matsubara to their must-see list, a five-kilometer-long stretch of thousands of pine trees planted along Karatsu Bay, just outside of the city centre. Dating back to the Edo Period when the trees were planted as a natural seawall, it is one of Japan’s top three pine groves.
The long sand beach lies between the trees and the sea, and a road leads through the grove. Those who want to explore further can visit an observation deck located 284 meters high on Mount Kagami and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the town from above.
Aoshima Island, Miyazaki
Aoshima Island is a small, island located just off of the coast of the resort beaches south of Miyazaki City, with visitors being able to reach the island by a bridge connected to the mainland. This island is ringed by spectacular white beaches surrounding a subtropical jungle at the island’s centre.
Visitors can enjoy a peaceful 1.5 kilometer walk around Aoshima’s beaches. The shallow water around the island has a geological phenomenon known as Oni no Sentakuita, or devil’s washboard. Visible at low tide, these perfectly natural straight rows of basalt rock look as if they are remnants of something man-made.
At the centre of the island is Aoshima Jinja, a colorful shrine set back in the jungle that is said to bring luck to married couples. For those who want to explore further, follow the short path to the right of the shrine’s main building through the jungle to a smaller outlying shrine. Walking through the jungle’s luscious greenery, visitors can take in an incredible silence and relax in nature around. At the small shrine, immerse yourself in a Japanese tradition and buy a clay disk and throw it at a target for good luck.