Find the Goto Islands' Osezaki Lighthouse standing in all its splendid white solitude. The current lighthouse dates back to 1971, but the original structure was erected in 1879 (and part of it has become a permanent exhibit at the Museum of Maritime Science in Odaiba, Tokyo). A hiking trail (1.2km one way) suitable for beginner to intermediate level hikers, leads to the lighthouse. Make sure you’re camera ready – once you've reached the lighthouse platform, you won’t want to leave without photographic evidence of the spectacular views. Address: Tamanouramachi-tamanoura, Goto City, Nagasaki Website: www.discover-nagasaki.com/spots/detail/239

Located in Oita Prefecture, Saiki's coastal location yields an abundance of opportunities for diverse marine sports, as well as hiking galore thanks to lush, forested mountains a pebble’s-throw inland. A storied past means there’s plenty of historical discovery to be getting on with, too. An uncharted destination on your average Japan travel itinerary, Saiki City offers an off-the-beaten-track adventure that’s still wonderfully relaxing. Our top pick? Fujikawachi, a secluded valley that springs from the towering Kannon waterfall and winds in and out of otherworldly rock formations for eight kilometers. There’s no shortage of natural phenomena to gaze at, particularly in autumn when the river sets alight in a blaze of red and orange foliage, but hikers should keep an eye out for the huge white granite slabs sculpted over centuries by the Kuwabara River. Address: Saiki City Hall 2F, 1-1 Nakamura-minami-machi, Saiki City, Oita Website: saiki-kankou.com Tel: 0972-23-1101

There’s no better way to explore Fukuoka’s fascinating facets than with the Fukuoka City Subway 2 Day Pass. The pass allows unlimited subway rides for two days, as well as discounts and special offers at select stores and facilities. Only international tourists staying on short-stay visas are eligible (please present your passport). It can be purchased at Fukuoka Airport International Terminal, Fukuoka City Tourist Information Center (Tenjin), Hakata Station Information Center and other locations. How Much: Adults: ¥740, Children: ¥370 Website: subway.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/eng/fare/two/ Tel: 092-734-7800 (8:00-20:00)

Part of a recognized World Agricultural Heritage area, the Kunisaki Peninsula’s Long Trail follows the paths used in the past by Japanese mountain monks. But while they walked it to achieve enlightenment through ascetic practices, you can use the 137km-long trail for relaxing strolls or hiking excursions that’ll bring you closer to the heart of nature or Japan’s ancient history. Rokugo Manzan culture is characterized by the creation of stone Buddhist statues, and you will see many of them along the way. Kunisaki City Tourism Office Address: 2662-1 Owara, Kunisaki City, Oita Website: www.kunisakihantou-trail.com Tel: 0978-72-5168

Address: 1008 Kashimae-cho, Sasebo City, Nagasaki Website: www.pearlsea.jp Tel: 0956-28-4187

Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands, is a fascinating destination offering a diverse range of sights and experiences. Indeed, diversity is a watchword for Kyushu in ways that no other…

If you’re a group of five remote islands lying on the westernmost edge of Kyushu, a name like Five-island Archipelago (Goto Retto) probably isn’t going to help your case. Fortunately, Goto (as…

Kirishima Shuzo is a distillery in Miyazaki Prefecture whose first ever shochu back in 1916 was a satsuma imo (sweet potato) one made with black koji. Kirishima kept with tradition and continued this line of black koji shochu, which grew into their now nationally recognized Kuro Kirishima. At Kirishima Shuzo, they use 100 percent Japan-grown sweet potatoes, Japan-grown rice and pure Kirishima groundwater (from 100m underground). There are no hard rules on shochu drinking style – enjoy it on the rocks, mizuwari (with water), oyuwari (with hot water) or sparkling water. Best of all, shochu is a healthy choice that's low in calories and contains no purines (there are also gluten-free versions available). No wonder Kirishima’s tipples were served at the Academy Award’s Governors Ball for three straight years since 2018 – after being introduced by Wolfgang Puck. Price: Kuro Kirishima (25%), 900ml: ¥1,016 (tax incl.) Shiro Kirishima (25%), 900ml: ¥1,016 (tax incl.) Aka Kirishima (25%), 900ml: ¥1,293 (tax incl.) Website: www.kirishima-global.com/co/en/

JR Hakata City department store is directly connected to Hakata Station in Fukuoka. Being the final stop of the Sanyo Shinkansen and the departing station of the Kyushu Shinkansen, it’s no surprise it’s the busiest station on the island. It's also only six minutes from the airport, making your visit to the shopping complex convenient and stress-free. Whether you’re casually looking for your next closet addition or are on the hunt for the best gift to bring back home, you’re sure to find something to suit your criteria at one of the various stores. We also recommend checking out the rooftop, where you can see some beautiful tile art and take in unobstructed views of the city.  Address: Hakataekichuogai 1-1, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Website: www.jrhakatacity.com

Twist and turn your way through the wooded, mountainous landscape around Kirishima Kinkowan National Park, which lies on the border between Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, stopping off for relaxing onsens, delicious local…

For anyone interested in traveling to Japan, indulging in the country’s unique hot springs culture is a must. Known as onsen, Japanese hot springs provide the ultimate in relaxation, with the steaming natural spring…

Oita Prefecture in Kyushu is well-known for its onsen. But you should also visit the region to discover authentic culinary wonders and the chill lifestyle cultivated at its tranquil islands and fishing…

Mention Fukuoka and people will — quite rightly — gush over how convenient the city is to get around and how the food is fantastic. But Fukuoka is more than a capital…

With the Tokyo Olympics coming up in 2020, you are for sure to witness an immense increase in human population not only in Tokyo, but in Japan as a whole. With even…

Mention Shoningahama and you’d likely draw blank stares from even seasoned travelers in Japan. But don’t let that put you off. Shoningahama is a coast in Beppu, a resort town famed for…