Travel to the Island of Kyushu, Japan – Episode 331

categories: asia travel


The Amateur Traveler talks to Andrew Dye about the Island of Kyushu, the southern island in Japan.

Kyushu is one of the warmer parts of Japan. Nagasaki is probably the best-known city on the island for its tragic history as the second city targeted with an atomic bomb. The island has is green and hilly with a number of active volcanos. Andrew and his wife had a chance to visit a number of museums, the peace park in Nagasaki, visit a volcano, be buried in hot and take in a local soccer game. They toured its large cities but also headed into the countryside.

Nagasaki, at one time, was the only port that was open to foreign traders where they were confined to a small island. For 200 years as new ideas came to Japan from outside they often came through Nagasaki. Goods like coffee, chocolate, and beer as they first came into Japan came through this port. There is now a museum of history and culture that explains this history.

The island of Kyushu is a little bit bigger than the country of Belgium and a little bit smaller than the state of Maryland and easy to navigate by train. The train stations are often large and built into local malls.

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

Amateur Traveler – Travel to Melbourne, Australia – Episode 261 (with Andy Dye)
Japan Rail Pass
Kyushu Visitor Information
Fukuoka Visitor Information
Nagasaki Visitor Information
Kagoshima Visitor Information
Hakata Station
Hakata Machiya Folk Museum
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Nagasaki Peace Park
Dejima Island
Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture
Mount Aso
Amateur Traveler – Travel to Hiroshima and the Chugoku Region of Japan – Episode 224
Amateur Traveler – Travel to Kyoto, Japan – Episode 297


William Shatner’s Pants Fall During TSA Check
Chub class: Wider airline seat for fat flyers who will get an extra two inches…but slimmer travellers lose space
Orbitz Travel Site Showed Mac Users More Expensive Rooms


It was with some apprehension that I listened to your podcast recently, as I’ve previously found American radio to be rather more nonsense than information. Not so with yours, I’m glad to say. Now that I’ve found you, I’m keen to listen to lots more on my iPod as I do my daily walk. My initial choice was David Grenewetzki ‘s first trip to India, which I thought was great.Then I managed to find one on Burma. Yippee! Now that the country is opening up, I’m sure there will plenty of people who are keen to travel there.

I’m planning a trip to Burma in November and have now listened to the one episode I found on that country. However, there is plenty of scope for another program, visiting different places and perhaps giving more detail about getting around and other things to do in the cities, particularly for a traveler who isn’t on a guided tour. I’d like to hear from someone who’s been on the Irrawaddy River boat between Mandalay and Bagan, and also the slow train through the hills between Kalaw and Inle Lake. Perhaps the caves at Pindaya. Also, the pitfalls of finding a suitable budget guesthouse and things like that. I really like all those little tips that are so important. For instance, are the boats on Inle Lake likely to tip over and ruin my good camera! How can one tell if the cheap hotel has bed-bugs! What drinking options are available if the water is dodgy. And most people love to hear about the food of any country. When travelling to very poor countries, it’s good to know what little gifts the villagers would appreciate from an affluent country. I believe the Burmese children would love to receive papers and pencils, which they can’t afford. In Bali I found the poor women wanted my lipstick.

There could be a lot more useful little tips on your tip tab rather than focussing on electronics etc., none of which a person like me would take away. What to look for when buying a backpack and how to keep things safe are also good things to know. As I’m new to these podcasts, it’s more than likely that you’ve covered all these things before; if so I will discover as I make my way through them, and I apologise in advance for the advice.

Looking forward to listening to many more episodes, and thank you so more for a very worthwhile program.


Travel to India – Episode 317
Travel to Burma / Myanmar – Episode 85

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

4 Responses to “Travel to the Island of Kyushu, Japan – Episode 331”

Kent Foster


Finally, someone talks about the best part of Japan! Glad to hear it! Kagoshima is a great base to see Ibusuki, Sakurajima, and Mt. Kaimon as well as many other little-known gems in the far south.



Listening to this episode took me back to my trip to Kyushu in 2005, though Andrew and I only visited one place in common (Nagasaki and the Peace Park). I was there to visit my brother who was stationed at the Naval base in Sasebo. Asia had never been high on my travel list, but I figured I would take the opportunity to go while I could. I fell in love and would be happy to go back. Even though the language barrier was difficult, the people were very hospitable. Some favorite spots that I wanted to highlight: 99 Islands, or Kujuku Islands, is a group of small islands of varying sizes. We took a cruise through them, but saw many people kayaking, which would be a great way to see them. Like the rest of Kyushu, they offered beautiful scenery. A quirky place we went was Huis Ten Bosch, which is like a little Dutch Disney town in the middle of Japan. It relates to the period when the rest of the country was closed to Western trade and the Dutch were able to establish a foothold in Nagasaki. It might be a little touristy, but we enjoyed our day there. Another site that dealt with the conflict between East and West was the Twenty-Six Martyrs Museum and Monument in Nagasaki, that commemorated Japan’s attempt to eradicate Christianity from the country in the 1500’s. Finally, we enjoyed seeing the shrines and temples, so different from what we have at home. There is one that particularly stands out in memory (I wish I could remember where it was), where very nice ticket taker walked us over to the temple and politely pushed us down into the dark basement. We finally figured out that we were supposed to walk along the wall, and it went pitch black after a few steps…it was really spooky! About halfway around the big circle we made it to the illuminated Buddha statue, then continued our trek until we stumbled back up the stairs, grateful for the sunshine. Thanks for letting me take this trip down memory lane!



glad we could help Courtney 🙂



JR passes are great, but you can’t buy them in Japan, so you need to plan ahead. I’m told an economical alternative is to take the overnight bus, and you save on both time and accommodation costs, but it’s probably not good in summer (you wake up and face a new day without having bathed).

Japanese supermarkets sell pre-packed food at really cheap prices. But then one reason to travel is to try the local food, so YMMV

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