The gateway to the continent of Asia, Kyushu lies considerably west and south of Tokyo. A good route starts with a flight or bullet train into Fukuoka in the north, moves down to Nagasaki on the west coast by express train, then winds eastward by bus or train to the central city of Kumamoto. Take a side trip to Aso-san (Mt. Aso) or Takachiho, then head south to the city of Kagoshima. Finally you can go farther south by local train to the thermal spa resort area of Ibusuki, famous for its hot-sand baths, where you can be heat-treated on the picturesque, breezy beach.
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