The Best Season for Sightseeing Has Come! 5 Recommended Things to Do in Kyushu in Autumn
When the autumn tourist and travel season sets in, Kyushu region transforms into a place where visitors can soak in a vibrant natural scenery anywhere they go. Below are five of the best ways to enjoy autumn in Kyushu.
The first thing that you should do when you travel to Kyushu is to head to Kunimigaoka with an altitude of 513m, which is famous for its sea of clouds. The best time to see these beautiful clouds is early morning on a cool and clear day when there is no wind, sometime between autumn and early winter (usually from mid-September through late November). The view of the mist covering the Takachiho Basin and the surrounding mountains is so magical that it looks just like a painting.
Nokonoshima is a famous island that can be reached in about 10 minutes by ferry from Fukuoka. This island is home to a lot of attractions, but the most recommended spot here is Nokonoshima Island Park, a place that is most known for its flowers. A variety of flowers can be seen here every season, and during autumn, it is popular for its gardens that are filled with as many as 500,000 cosmos flowers in bloom. These flowers are usually best viewed from early October to early November. Further, this park is equipped with facilities that guests can play with in the midst of vast nature, including athletic facilities and swings facing the sea.
Park entrance fees: 1,200 JPY for adults (high school students and older), 600 JPY for children (elementary and junior high school students) and 400 JPY for small children (3 years old and above)
Handa Kogen (Handa Plateau) opens up to the Kuju Volcano in western Oita. With an altitude of 800m to 1,200m, this plateau boasts a massive area that spans 8km to the east, west, north and south. Visitors are treated to various natural landscapes throughout the year here, but during autumn, the susuki (Japanese pampas grass) blowing in the wind is especially beautiful. Around this plateau, you will find such attractions as the Yamanami Highway, which is the most famous driving course in Kyushu, as well as sightseeing ranches, and hot springs on campgrounds. You will surely enjoy sightseeing here to your heart’s content!
Check out the field of pampas grass at the Handa Plateau (Oita)
The Yabakei area is about a 20-minute drive from Nakatsu at the northernmost tip of Oita. It is a place where you can marvel at gorgeous scenery interweaved by lush nature the whole year round, but it is particularly famous for its autumn leaves. You can see colorful autumn foliage in a number of spots in this area, such as the scenic Hitome Hakkei whose name means “seeing eight scenic views at a glance,” including Gunenzan and Tobinosuyama. The autumn foliage usually peaks between early to mid-November. Now this place gets quite crowded during that time, so it would be best to come early in the morning.
Enjoy autumn leaves viewing at Yabakei (Oita)
Shishigawa Keikoku (Shishigawa Valley) is located in Nobeoka, north of Miyazaki. Created by the erosion of granite, this canyon is a famous spot that is entirely covered by leaves that have turned vibrant red during autumn. Here, you can enjoy the contrast of its dynamic natural shape with Tsunanose River where clear streams flow, and smooth rocks made of monoliths against the trees in vivid colors. The best time for viewing the autumn foliage at this place is between mid-October to mid-November.
Aside from the spots showcased in this article, Kyushu has a lot more spots to offer that you should visit, including hot springs and gourmet places. So, be sure to check out Kyushu!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.