Stepping into an ICHIRAN Ramen store will not only change the way you think about tonkotsu ramen, but also the entire way you look at Japan’s beloved noodle dish. Started about 60…

If you thought you had to leave Japan to find white sand beaches, amazing scuba diving destinations and deep cultural experiences, then think again. Set sail to Kagoshima Prefecture’s Amami Islands to…

Ojika Island off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture is a place where a local fisherman will gift a fresh catch to a neighboring farmer and in turn find a basket of seasonal…

To quote Paul Simon, “There’s something about the sound of a train that’s very romantic and nostalgic and hopeful.” Even though these days we’ve all grown more accustomed to other, often faster…

It sure had us at “Hello.” Standing on a nondescript platform at Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin) Station in Fukuoka’s bustling shopping district, a pair of lights resembling round anime eyes grew brighter as…

If you’ve yet to get acquainted with ICHIRAN Ramen, you might want to remain tight-lipped about your naivety. I didn’t. And I got ramen-shamed. “What do you mean you don’t know ICHIRAN?”…

Journey around three prefectures using Kyushu-Saga International Airport as a starting point for your northwestern Kyushu adventure. This modern airport offers easy access to some of the region’s most fascinating destinations, each…

ICHIRAN ramen is one of the most popular restaurants specializing in tonkotsu (pork-bone broth) ramen. A signature blend of ingredients is the key behind the brand's natural pork-bone broth that's then skimmed to perfection while retaining the rich and true flavor of the pork. Noodles are made from quality flours and are specially made to go with ICHIRAN's pork-bone broth. Each bowl is topped with original aged "Original Spicy Red Sauce," a chili-powder-based blend of 30 different ingredients that adds more dimension to the meal's taste. Enjoy its unique dining experience: minimal interaction with staff sitting in "Ramen Focus Booths" and an order sheet to customize every single detail. You can find ICHIRAN branches mainly in Western Japan, including in Tokyo. Taste its delicious ramen and take home a few souvenirs, too. Address: 5-3-2 Nakasu, Hakata, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Website: en.ichiran.com/index.php   

THE BLOSSOM HAKATA Premier is not the only hotel in Japan to reference blooming flowers but it is one of the few that does it consummately well. Rising out of Fukuoka’s cosmopolitan…

Unzen Kyushu Hotel in Nagasaki Prefecture is a luxurious and extremely stylish resort hotel known for its sensational views of Unzen Jigokudani (Hell Valley), a picturesque area of rocky land where you can see pure white steam clouds billowing out of the various fumaroles. With the hotel located literally on top of the valley, the scene outside the bedroom windows makes for quite a sight and is one of the main reasons the place has been attracting so many guests since its opening back in 1917. Renovated in 2018, the fourth-generation proprietors have honored the establishment’s long history with a classic exterior, while at the same time freshening things up inside with a sleek, stone and wooden look. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the views from the hotel's elegant cafe-bar terrace and rooftop loundge. Address: 320 Obamacho-Unzen, Unzen City, Nagasaki Website: kyushuhtl.co.jp Tel: 0957-73-3234 (9:00-17:30)

Address: 4-182 Higashi-Karatsu, Karatsu City, Saga Website: www.seaside.karatsu.saga.jp    Tel: 0955-75-3300

Get lost in this secluded private garden. Located in Kitakyushu City, this space is home to over 20 kinds of wisterias. Stroll down through one of the two (or both, if you have all afternoon) tunnels for a magical experience that can't be found anywhere else in Kyushu. The garden is only open during the spring and autumn, when it boasts colorful flowers and fall colors. Please note: Advance booking is required in spring only. Check the website for more details. Address: 2-24-8 Kawachi, Yahatahigashi Ward, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Website: kawachi-fujien.com    Tel: 093-541-4189(Kitakyushu City Tourist Information Center)