Visit 3 Mosques & Their Surrounding Sightseeing Spots in the Kyushu region!
Kyushu is one of Japan’s 4 main islands and can be found in the southwestern part of the country. Fukuoka, which is located on the northern tip of Kyushu island, has the largest population. Directly adjacent to Fukuoka is Kumamoto prefecture, home to one of Japan’s largest active volcano, Mt. Aso that stands at a staggering peak elevation of 1,592m. And if we take a trip east to the opposite side, we’ll find Beppu, Oita prefecture, which is famous for its many natural hot springs that attract crowds of yearly visitors. There are mosques in all 3 of these locations, making it one major reason why you’re able to come visit without needing to worry! Not only that, they’re also filled with scenic and historic sites as well as popular sightseeing spots and delicious foods. Let’s take a look at these locations and their surrounding tourism spots in this article!
If you’re visiting Fukuoka Mosque, don’t miss out on trying Hakata’s halal Motsunabe
Fukuoka Mosque is located a convenient 1-minute walk from JR Hakozaki Station’s west exit in Fukuoka’s eastern district. Lucky for you, it’s also a location absolutely surrounded by popular sightseeing spots! One we highly recommend not missing out on is Fukuoka Tower. Just past halfway up its grand total height of 234 meters sits an observation deck from which you can see an uninterrupted 360-degree vista of the entire city. There’s also the nature-filled Uminonakamichi Seaside Park and the atmospheric Fukuoka Castle Ruins. Finally, if you’re in Fukuoka, you can’t leave without trying one of its most famous foods “Motsunabe” (a hot pot dish served with offal and vegetables). As for where to eat it, look no further than Kiwamiya Nishijin store which has received recognition from Fukuoka Masjid for preparing authentic halal food.
①Fukuoka Mosque Information：
Address：3-2-18, Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
Close station/bus stop： Hakozaki Station (4-min walk)
Kiwamiya Nishijin store
Address：3/F, 4-9-3, Nishijin, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
Open：Weekdays 10:00-24:00, Weekends and Holidays 17:00-24:00
Closed：No regular holiday
Kiwamiya Nishijin store
Experience Dynamic Nature in Kumamoto
On top of having the Kumamoto Islamic Centre (KIC), Kumamoto also has many interesting must-visit locations such as the beautifully restored Kumamoto Castle that was the mighty backdrop of many of Japan’s Edo period (1603 AD – 1867 AD) events, and the tranquil Tatsuda Nature Park with its subtle, yet profound atmosphere. You can also find here the former residence of Japanese literary master Natsume Soseki, who was the previous face of the Japanese Yen (1000￥) banknote. And if you’re a lover of geography, a visit to the highly active volcano Mt. Aso, is a must for you. One of Japan’s best volcanic landscapes, you’re sure to feel the passion of what you once thought was a peaceful countryside area! If you’re looking for an overnight stay, then the Hitoyoshi Ryokan can be found a short 1-hour drive from Kumamoto. Their warm service and hot spring facilities would provide for the perfect close to a great jam-packed day of sightseeing. You can also try taking a ride on the SL Hitoyoshi, an authentic vintage steam train that you otherwise just don’t get to see out in the open often these days! (As of 2021, the SL Hitoyoshi is currently only operating between Kumamoto-Tosu, due to 2020 torrential rain damage of the original Hitoyoshi-Kumamoto route. Though, operating routes are subject to change at any given time, so do remember to check their website for latest updates at the time of your trip.)
②Kumamoto Masjid Information：
Address：5-5-2, Kurokami, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto
Close station/bus stop：Tatsuda Shizen Koen (Tatsuda Natural Park) Bus stop (3-min walk)
English/foreign language speaking staff：Always available
Address：160, Kamiaoi-machi, Hitoyoshi-shi, Kumamoto
Close station/bus stop：Hitoyoshi Station (10-min walk)
English/foreign language speaking staff： Sometimes available
Head to Beppu for the best Hot Springs!
You’ll find another mosque in Oita, east of Kyushu. The mosque itself can be found about 19 minutes on foot from Beppu Station. Beppu City itself is a hot spring hub, but some of its best-known charms would most definitely be its seven “hells”… Scared? Don’t worry, Beppu’s hot spring “Hells” is only called that because of its awe-inspiring, smoke-spewing, bubbling hot waters! One of the seven, the blue waters of “Umi-jigoku” (Sea Hell) actually looks quite refreshing―that is, until you find out that the waters can actually reach up to 100℃.
After you’ve had your fill exploring and want to wind down for tomorrow, we highly recommend stopping by one of the nearby reservable private bathing facilities that use water from natural hot springs (wrangled down to safe temperatures, of course!).
③Beppu Mosque Information：
Address：10-19, Wakakusa-cho, Beppu-shi, Oita
Close station/bus stop：Beppu Station (19-min walk)
To reach Fukuoka (often regarded as the entrance to Kyushu), it’ll take you about 2 hours by plane or 5 hours by shinkansen from Tokyo. If you’re looking for an area with places to pray and restaurants that facilitate Muslims, then do consider putting Kyushu on your list next to tourist hubs like Tokyo and Kyoto. We mostly recommend using the train to travel between Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Beppu; but you can also use a taxi if you feel the distance is too far. Similar to Tokyo, Kyushu has a well-connected public transport network available for use, which only adds to the already long list of reasons why we highly recommend visiting.