Recommend March 2013 - (Page 80)

asia V acationing in Japan reveals a fascinating destination that simultaneously baffles, charms, delights and sometimes frustrates—for this is a country of contrasts, where medieval mores seamlessly blend with ultra-modern sparkling cities that with their trademark cleanliness, efficiency and frantic pace have few rivals. On the surface, Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku and Kyushu—the four principal land masses comprising Japan—seem alike, but scratch a little deeper and each island emerges as having wide gulfs between one another with distinct traits, cuisine, accents, history and traditions that make each stand on its own. Kyushu, the southernmost of the four, just might be the most distinctive—and the one sure to delight discriminating travelers itching for a taste of everything Japanese. It likes to call itself “The Wondrous Side of Japan,” and it may not be far off the mark. Ultra-modern cities like Nagasaki and Fukuoka add an urban flair to traditional villages where Japanese culture glows. Hot springs and hiking trails beckon nature lovers and the awesome natural surroundings give it an alluring zest. According to Shuichi Kameyama, director of international tourism at the Japan Tourism Agency, Americans make up less than 3 percent of visitors to Kyushu and that makes the island ripe for those who want to get off the well-trodden paths like Kyoto, Tokyo, Nagoya and other tourism hubs in Honshu—Japan’s largest and most visited island, familiarly called “The Mainland”—where the American tourist market climbs to nearly 12 percent. Says Hiroyosu Konishi, manager of the overseas division for the Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organization, “Anyone who wants to see a little paradise and enjoy our onzen (traditional Japanese bath houses) and other purely Japanese treats will delight in Kyushu. You see, although Kyushu is only 10 percent of Japan’s land area, we have more than 30 percent of the country’s onzen. It’s very compact, yet our list of activities is long. We offer 80 march 2013 80-85 AS Japan.indd 80 KYUSHU THE RISING SUN OF JAPANESE DESTINATIONS sergio ortiz This photo: Yufuin, a popular spa resort town in Kyushu. Opposite top: The Nuclear Bomb Museum in Nagasaki. 2/20/13 12:05 PM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend March 2013

Editor's Notes/Agent Speak
Hotel Desk: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: Travel Indochina
Safaris in Southern Africa
Un-Cruise Adventures in Alaska
Alaska is Celebrating in 2013
"Hard Rock" Chicago-Style: Rock out in the Windy City
Mexico Destination Weddings & Honeymoon Planner
Girldfriends' Getaway at Eden Roc, Miami Beach
Kyushu: The Rising Sun of Japanese Destinations
The New All-Inclusives in Jamaica Claim Their Turf
RIU Punta Cana
Costa Rica: A Trio of Detours
Touring Central & Eastern Europe

Recommend March 2013