Unlike most people (i’m guessing) my first trip to Japan was not to Tokyo or central Japan; I had the fortune to tag along with a great buddy to the South.
Most of my Japanophile friends have not been to the Kyushu region between Fukuoka and Okinawa and the relatively ‘unexplored’ region drew me. The chance to travel with someone who knows the language and the combination of a road-trip with me driving sounded like a great plan and made this end of year trip memorable. Being in Kyushu and reading about what other people read about it pales in comparison to my experience and it blew me away. This was the trip where I had my first experience of real snowfall and a what felt like a surreal trip into the winter land of Ebino Kogen.
We started our journey in Nagasaki.