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Welcome to Kyushu. Japan’s most southern home island .A place of contrasts ,Rugged landscapes, Volcanoes, coral colored coastlines, traditional villages, blade runner urban scenery, cities steeped in history and wonderful friendly people.

10 days was plenty of time for me catch up on familiar places and explore the vast areas between the cities that I hadn’t been to before.The epic tour is my fifth time in Kyushu. But the first time on the mighty Suzuki Skywave AN 400.

Sit back and enjoy .This will be the first in a series of 7 posts spanning cities, villages, natural wonders and the countryside.

Sit back and enjoy another tour on the back of the skywave.

ALL CAPTIONS WILL READ FROM UNDER THE PICTURE



Kyushu in realation to the rest of the country.



10 days for touring pretty much covered all I wanted to see and hadn't seen on my previous 4 trips there over 6 years of living in Japan.





12 very relaxing hours on the ferry landed me in the twin cities of Oita and Beppu.Pictured here is a very standard shot of a nice orderly Japanese city.Oita.The capital city of Oita prefecture.Smooth riding



Beppu,pictured in the distance, I will save for later .I recently visited the onsen city with friends back in February .While I stayed there a night on this tour I pretty much gave it a miss and headed straight for the hills.



Just over the mountains from Beppu,Asokuju National Park,Kyushu's largest.A vast empty land of wild beauty.The one thing that struck me was the grass.Very rare in Japan,a country coverd in forests,rice and cities.



Hiking is a popular past time with the Japanese.This is the start of a trail leading up to some of the treeless peaks.I suspect there are no trees in the region due to Volcanic activity?



A bit like the scottish highlands? Reminded me of some of the areas I have seen in that part of the world.



Once over the mountains you arrive in the quiet little resort town of Yufin.Seen here in the distance.



Up nice and close.Some of the locals going for a Sunday stroll.Yufin style.



The citizens were very enthusiastically involved in what appeared to be the towns annual fairs? Local politicians,Chiefs from the police and the Japanese military were up on the podium accepting gifts of sake and rice cakes.



Here you go ‘local politician’.Have some sake.



Yufin station on a sleepy Sunday.The green train seen leaving the station is one the many ‘Romantic joy ride trains’ you see in Japan.A bit like a Ferris Wheel. You sit on it ,admire the view and talk about your surroundings with the opposite gender. Very exciting. I prefer action myself (wink wink nudge nudge)



Speaking of Action.Here are one the rickshaws making its way through the town.



A very rare picture of a Japanese highway.Ive been meaning to get a shot at one for a while.But never have had the right vantage point.This is typical of Japanese highways in the countryside.Light on traffic and in top condition.Both of these factors are due to the excessively high tolls.About 10 US dollars for every 25km.Crazy!!!!



After leaving Yufin I mad a dash inland to the southern part of the prefecture.Spectacular would be appropriate.This pic sums it all up.Natural wilderness,endless roads winding there way through valleys,mountains and plains.And to top it off.A Volcano.Seen off in the far left.



The small town of Haifu.Very sleepy.Typical of rural Japan.



One of the residents watching the world go by.



Over 1000 castles were destroyed after the Meiji government began modernizing the country after the 1860s.Part of the One Castle,One government policy.Only about 100 remain.This one in Haifu didn’t make it.Pictured here are the ruins.Only the walls remain.



On the road from Haifu.This time heading for the onsen town of Kurokawa.The view almost made me crash the skywave on a few occasions.Pictured in the distance,Mt Aso.Japan’s biggest Volcano.You can only see part of the cone from that angle.Its too big to get in one shot.


Passing by a small river.Just a un ceremonial gate in the middle of nowhere.There must be some reason for it.



Many of the rice fields are irrigated using tradional Japanese watermills.This is a common feature all over the country.



Welcome to Kurokawa Onsen town(Just inside Kumamoto prefecture).The pictures speak for themselves.Just magic.Hotels line the mineral colored stream



Take a walk around some of the quiet backstreets.



One of the many pubic onsens in the town.

I hope you enjoyed another tour on the back of the skywave.Next post will be Saga prefecture on the other side of the island.I look forward to riding with you all again on another tour of Kyushu.Brought to you by SKYWAVE

RIDE YOUR DREAMS.RIDE SKYWAVE (I love these corny slogans)
 

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Great pictures Nick--Kyushu is the one part of Japan I never visited--any your pictures make me regret that even more!

Only four more months till I move to Hokkaido--

Could you fill me in on how to get a motorcycle license in Japan? Do I need one from my home country first??

Thanks--and great pictures!
 

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Excellent pictures....I was living in Kyushu when i was younger and visited Beppu a couple of times, of course the onsens...it was awesome in the winter time especially. Seeing those pictures you can almost smell the sulphur.
I will be back there next year for a couple years....
 

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:banana2: :banana2: :banana2: :banana2: :banana2:

My lovely part of the Japan :applause:

I misss YOU so mmmuchhhhhhhhhhh~~~~~~~~~~~~~ KYUSHU
 

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Gosford/Sydney.
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Discussion Starter #7
noli said:
Excellent pictures. Flow of thought is much better with better spellings.
Fankyou for your aprovvalll of mi spelllling.
 
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