Kyushu, Japan. Fukuoka, Nagasaki, most westerly island of the main islands

Kyushu is home to Fukuoka (Where the swimming championships where held in Summer 2001) and Nagasaki. (The city where the second A-bomb was dropped)

Nagasaki

Most famous in the western world as the place that was bombed into oblivion by the second Atomic bomb dropped on a civilian population at the end of World War Two.

However Nagasaki has risen from the ashes to become one of Kyushu and possible Japans most cosmopolitan cities.

The first thing most people go and visit is the Atomic Bomb museum. This shows life in the city before, during and after the atomic bomb, but the museum also shows the reconstruction of the city. The story of the bomb is shown in detail, with events that lead up to this tragic event and of how the bomb was developed.

The museum is not for the faint hearted as the exhibits in the museum are extremely graphic in there depiction of the aftermath of the bomb. I mean graphic. More than Hiroshima.

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
7-8 Hirano-machi,
Nagasaki City 852-8117
Tel: +81 (0)95 844 1231
http://www1.city.nagasaki.nagasaki.jp/na-bomb/museum/museume01.html

Price is 200 yen for adults, the tour takes about 1 to 2 hours and ear pieces can be bought for 150 yen for different language commenteries. The museum is open daily from 8:30am to 5:30pm.

However the Atomic Bomb museum is not the only thing to see in Nagasaki.

Other good places to visit in Nagasaki are Sofuku-ji Temple, a Chinese style temple which contains articles from the Ming period, Confucian Shrine which is a temple built to the 1800s scholar Confucius which contains a chinese museum which was built in 1982.

Other places to visit in Kyushu.

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

Dazaifu TenmanguThis is the head shrine of all the Tenmangu shrines in Japan, worshipers of the god of learning, Michizane Sugawara. This is quite a nice place to visit but it is nothing to write home about, the usual buildings, shirines and the like. There is a nice small lake here full of coy carp which has a bridge over it. Also the main street leading up to the shrine has some nice shops on it if you like shopping. There is a plum tree on the right of the main building at the shrine called Tobiume (the flying plum tree), as it is said that the tree flew here to be with Michizane!

Huis Ten Bosch

Huis ten boschApart from Nagasaki, a good place to visit in Kyushu is Huis ten Bosch. (Sounds Dutch, it is). This is a replica of Amsterdam in Japan. This is a huge theme park dedicated to Japanese links with Holland which opened in 1992, having cost an amazing $1.75billion US.

Japan has links to Holland from the 16th century as the dutch where the first western people to arrive in Japan in 1571 and Huis ten Bosch was built to celebrate these links and to let the Japanese people experience Holland without even leaving Japan.

This has to be seen, to be believed, honestly. The park is not just a replica of a dutch town but it also has several amusement attraction´s but don´t expect rollercoasters and big wheels.

Another thing you shouldn´t expect is too many English speakers in Kyushu as the main tourists that visit Kyushu are Chinese, therefore there are lots of Chinese sign posts and language speakers.

If you plan to visit Huis ten bosch then take earphones as the rides and shows do have English narration, but you need earphones to listen to them. You can rent them for 200 yen, but urrgh!

Admission prices for Huis Ten Bosch range from 2600 yen to 5200 yen for a day pass.

Huis Ten Bosch
Telephone Guide centre: 0956-27-0001
Reservation centre: 0956-27-0012
Web: http://www.huistenbosch.co.jp/ – follow link to English pages.

Space World

This is a theme park whos main theme is flight and is based in Kitakyushu City. There are a lot of attractions related to the theme of space flight. One of the main attractions is the space dome, where visitors can experience a realistic journey through space featuring both visual and physical stimulation. There is also a few roller coasters here, and a warning that the Super Planet will make you crap you pants. Its a horrible ride. A big circle with a track on the inside. The roller coaster goes around the track as the track spins.

Space World
Higashida 4-1-1
Yahata Higashi-ku
Kitakyushu City
Fukuoka Pref
Japan 805-8585
Tel.+81-93-672-3600
Web: http://www.spaceworld.co.jp/

If you are visiting Kyushu, don´t expect too much from the public transport either. As this is the last of the large Japanese islands the public transport can be a little bit slow compared to the rest of Japan, you might say more easy going! It´s on time but the pace of the trains is somewhat slower than the rest of Japan. Especially as you move further away from the larger cities.

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