Bridge to a temple in Japan
Be Sure To Visit These Underrated Cities When Traveling To Japan
Fukuoka boasts a thriving art and nightlife scene with museums, art schools, creative spaces, jazz venues, and burlesque performers.
Start in lush Ohori Park, then visit Fukuoka Art Museum, Ohori Park Japanese Garden, and the fantastically preserved Tōchō-ji Temple before indulging in the city's delicious food.
You can meet locals at the city's yatai (tiny versions of street food stalls) and sample the famous Hakata ramen, a local dish featuring thin ramen noodles in a pork-based broth.
The mountain city of Hida Takayama offers a traditional touch, with an immaculately preserved old town and festivals such as the Takayama Spring Festival in April.
Head to Sanmachi Street to see the old town's expertly carved wooden buildings and cozy cafés, then head to Shiroyama Park to see gorgeous temples and nature areas.
The city of Matsuyama has Matsuyama-jō, a 17th-century castle, as well as Ishteji Temple, featuring a pagoda and an inner section only accessible via cave.
Matsuyama also features the centuries-old hot spring Dōgo Onsen. Although it's nationally well-known, many people have never visited the city because there are no direct trains.
Beppu features more hot springs than any other Japanese city. There are many to choose from, but Takegawara Onsen is a good choice due to its long history and nostalgic charm.
Beppu also has a magnificent culinary scene. The most famous dish is Jigoku-mushi purin (hell-steamed pudding), but fans of savory soul food should try the Beppu reimen.
The "Onsen Capital of the World" doesn't feel overrun by tourists like Tokyo or Kyoto, which likely has something to do with its lack of direct transport to and from major hubs.
With the backdrop of the active volcano Sakurajima, Kagoshima offers an otherworldly blend of traditional and tropical, with plenty of glorious sunshine all year round.
At the Sakurajima Geopark, you can learn more about life under an active volcano. You can also visit one of Kagoshima's 2,730 hot springs and eat at Kagoshima Furusato Yataimura.
Not many tourists seem to have the city on their radar, likely because its volcano erupts on a fairly regular basis. However, Kagoshima is perfectly safe and lovely to visit.