The warm-hearted southwest of Japan is an attractive contrast to the rest of Japan: it is relaxed, uncomplicated and has its own distinctive character.

It’s perhaps natural that foreigners in Japan should gravitate towards the big cities like Tokyo
and Kyoto, Yokohama and Osaka that everybody has heard of. In the same way,
the young person who is thinking about studying in Japan may also at first consider those more
familiar locations. But there are very good reasons to take a look at other options.
Life at times in the metropolis can seem just a bit too claustrophobic and frenetic, too overwhelming, just a little too anonymous. By contrast, places in southwest Japan – Kyushu, Okinawa and Yamaguchi Prefecture – offer all the advantages of life in the bigger cities, but they manage to do so in a much more easygoing setting among friendlier, outgoing, hospitable locals.


"Southwest Japan" is made up of the
large island of Kyushu,
the neighboring prefecture of Yamaguchi
and the semitropical island chain of Okinawa,
stretching almost to Taiwan.