Fukuoka is an energetic city that bustles with activity as the political, economic and youth fashion center of Kyushu. As a gateway to Asia, Fukuoka boasts many international flights and excellent accessibility. Fukuoka is also known as one of the best gourmet cities in Japan, with a wide variety of food stalls and Japanese-style pubs that you can enjoy with friends and family. Within walking distance of Marine Messe, the venue for the World Swimming Championships, is Hakata Old Town, which features a cluster of temples and shrines. Here you can experience Zen meditation and other aspects of traditional Japanese culture.
Located nearly smack in the middle of Kyushu, Kumamoto provides great access to other parts of Kyushu thanks to the Shinkansen Line. Kumamoto Castle, built by Kiyomasa Kato in 1601 over a period of seven years, is the symbol of the city. The downtown area around the castle town is full of life, and the streetcars that run through the city are a great way to hit all the major sights. Kumamoto is one of the few cities in Japan whose entire water supply comes from natural groundwater, so it is also a prosperous agricultural center. Kumamoto ramen and watermelon are just a few of the local delicacies you can enjoy during your trip.
Formerly known as Satsuma, Kagoshima played an important role in Japan's samurai history. Sakurajima, which looms large over Kagoshima City, is an active volcano and a great tourist spot that offers many activities for visitors. Sengan-en, the former villa of the Shimadzu clan was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2015 as part of the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution. The richly flavored Kurobuta pork, raised on the sweet potatoes that Kagoshima Prefecture is famous for, is a popular local delicacy even for travelers from other parts of Japan.