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Five Ways to See Five Volcanoes in Kyushu


Japan has 110 active volcanoes scattered throughout the country, with the island of Kyushu being one of the most famous for its variety of volcanoes, from dormant cones to super active craters. Whether you’re looking for that picture-perfect shot of an erupting volcano, or simply curious about what goes on in one, here are some of the most dramatic volcanoes on the island. If you’re planning a visit, do check on the latest eruption status as most volcanoes on Kyushu are active.

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Thermal Bath Island

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Officially marketed as ‘Onsen Island Kyushu’ by the local tourism board, the island is naturally abundant with hot springs, or onsen in Japanese. The thermal waters are heated by Kyushu’s very landscape, which consists of numerous active volcanic calderas. Here are three best places to have a soak on Kyushu.

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Kyushu: The Land of Fire


Kyushu is appropriately called the “Land of Fire”, as gigantic caldera volcanoes are omnipresent on the island. The entire island comprises 5 major caldera areas where volcanoes are located, stretching from Aso in the north to Ata in the south. All of these volcanoes can be visited (either up close on foot or seen from the air); however since almost all of these are active, check on their updated status before visiting.

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Central Japan: Toyama, Nagano & Gifu


Central Japan’s different prefectures collectively share some of Japan’s oldest cultures and traditions.

Cutting through the region is the long-extinct Nakasendo roadway, which once connected Edo (the historic name for Tokyo) and Kyoto, the old imperial capital of Japan, leaving behind a number of old restored postal towns in Nagano and Gifu prefectures that are frozen in a bygone era. Another long-living tradition thrives in Gifu prefecture’s Shirakawa-Go, a World Heritage site with nearly a thousand years of history, and home to residents who claim the first samurai to ever cross swords were from their region.

Cutting across the Central Japan region is the Kurobe River – the lifeline of the region’s high-quality agricultural produce including its renowned wasabi, sake, and even wine. It also cuts a spectacular visual feast for travellers along the famed Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route in Toyama prefecture.

Together, Toyama, Nagano and Gifu offer travellers a wealth of natural wonders, unique seafood, and many stunning cultural sites, making them a perfect alternative to the bright lights of Tokyo.

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Japan’s funny icons for travellers

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As Japan prepares itself for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, many prefectures are trying to lure visitors to places other than tourist magnets like Tokyo and Kyoto. Iwate prefecture, situated to the north of Tokyo, has turned to humour to lure non-Japanese speaking visitors by publicising a set of comical illustrations as a cheeky guide to Japanese customs.

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Travel Destinations Based on Feng Shui Elements


With Chinese New Year comes the re-emergence of frenzied zodiac readings and auspicious Feng Shui guides for luck and happiness. Looking to travel to get away from it all? Why not match your destinations to Chinese elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wood, and Metal) – who knows, it may bring some good luck!

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Super Mario at Rio Olympics: It’s PM Shinzo Abe!


In what is perhaps the most bizarre post-Olympic closing ceremony ever, viewers got to see a teaser of things to come for Tokyo 2020: Mario (yes, of Super Mario Bros) actually made an appearance in an official ceremony.

At the closing video presentation, the Tokyo 2020 beamed a telecast to audiences in Rio depicting the mustached hero running around Tokyo before jumping into a green pipe.

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Travellers Wanted


What’s your perfect summer holiday destination? Are you the type who loves to spend solitary time getting lost in the great outdoors? Or are you the type who loves to gather your friends for a cycling adventure? Are you more of a town & country traveller, a wide-eyed adventurer or both?

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Nagano Sake Sojourn

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If you enjoy a tipple of Japanese sake, then you’ll appreciate the fact that the depth of sake goes far deeper than the staple ‘karakuchi’ labels that you get at your favourite restaurant.

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The Ultimate Road Ride: Shimanami Kaido


Part of the Shimanami Kaido

The Shimanami Kaido – the expressway that spans the Seto Inland Sea – stretches from Imabari (in Ehime prefecture) to Onomichi (in Hiroshima prefecture), crossing no less than 6 islands (and its small towns) along the way. The route has been voted as one of the world’s most incredible bike routes by CNN.

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