Kyūshū is Japan's third largest main island and the most southern. It is also one of the 8 main regions in Japan and this region also covers the Ryukyu Islands, including the main island, Okinawa.
Events and Festivals
- Japanese New Year (January 1) - the most important holiday in Japan. Although there are lots of customs and traditions most of them are done in the private. This is mainly a family holiday and Japan can feel very empty as almost everyone goes home. Travelling in Japan in during this time is difficult because everything is shut down.
- Seijin No Hi (2nd Monday of January) - the coming of age holiday for Japanese women which 20. Traditionally families will buy any young woman how turned 20 in the last year a kimono. On this day almost all Japanese women will ear a kimono.
- Hin Festival (March 3) - Also known as doll festival the Hin Matsuri festival is meant for young women. In early february families with daughters put dolls in order to make the women happy and healthy later in life. On Girls Day, on March 3, the dolls are put away until next year.
- Shichi Go San Festival (Novermber 5) - Boys who are 3 and 5, and girls 3 and 7 are taken to a shinto shrine in traditional Japanese dress. The children are brought there to pray for good luck, good health and wealth.
- Golden Week - Is quite often referred to as the "Japanese Spring Break." It is a combination of many state holidays, including Showa Day, Greenery Day, Children's Day, and Constitution Memorial Day in order to give a full week off. It takes place during the first full week of May. Everyone gets this week off in Japan so it is very bad time to travel because everything is crowded, expensive and most hotels will be full.
Other Events and Festivals
- O-Bon (Festival of the Dead) - Usually held in August, this festival is observed nationwide in Japan. Buddhist tradition dictates this is the day the dead return to earth to visit their relatives. Lanterns are hung outside homes and offerings to the spirits are made. In the evening, people float the lanterns on the river to help guide the deceased back to their resting place.
- Hanami and Cherry Blossom Festivals - A tradition all over Japan, Hanami literally means viewing flowers. Picnic under the beautiful flowing trees in any public park during this special season. Usually lasting for only two weeks in March, the sakura (cherry blossom) schedule changes a bit every year, so it’s hard to nail down exactly when to come.
1. Fukuoka Airport (FUK) is the main gateway. Destinations include most major Japanese cities and international destinations like Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Busan, Seoul, Qingdao, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Guam, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.
2. Nagasaki Airport (NGS) serves Nagoya, Okinawa, Osaka, Tokyo and Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
3. Naha Airport (OKA) is the main gateway to Okinawa. Destinations include all of the major Japanese cities and international destinations include Seoul Incheon International Airport, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Taipei, Hong Kong International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
To/from Naha Airport
- Rail: The Okinawa Monorail carries passengers from the airport station to the centre of Naha, and to the terminal at Shuri Station, which is closest to Shuri Castle.
- Bus: Bus service is available to many parts of Okinawa Island.
- Car: taxis and rental cars are widely available, and there are many parking places available, both for short-term as well as long-term parking.
Kyushu can easily reached by train from neighbouring Honshu and there are numerous railways operating from cities like Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, Hiroshima and Kyoto. The main gateway on Kyushu is Fukuoka. Check Hyperdia for schedules and prices.
Mirajet has high speed ferries between Busan and Fukuoka, taking only 3 hours. JR Beetle, a Japanese based company, offers the same service.The Camellia-line ferry service is much slower (15 hours) but almost twice as cheap.
The weekly ferries between Keelung and Kaohsiung in Taiwan and Ishigaki and Miyako in the Okinawa Prefecture have been suspended since 2008. The trip took about 18 hours and boats left Taiwan on Mondays and Okinawa on Thursdays or Fridays. There is talk of new ferries between Japan (either Okinawa or 'mainland' Japan) and Taiwan, but up until now (October 2009) there is no ferry.
Japan Rail operates a number of railways on Kyushu, with Fukuoka and Kagoshima being the north and the south gateways. Check Hyperdia for schedules and prices.