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When you've exhausted both the sights and yourself by relaxing at the springs, this is the view that will greet you when you finally begin puffing up into the mountains. Destination: Yufuin, the scenic Yamanami Highway and Mt. Aso -- and that's just for starters.

If you're getting to Kyushu from the Kansai region, the ferry deposits you in the early morning hours at Beppu, one of Japan's major hot springs resorts. It's an interesting place all by itself; if you have the time, you'd be well advised to come a day early and see the sights, many of which are pools of boiling, bubbling water aptly named "hells" (some are even blood-red). Obviously bathing in Hell is not an option... but there are any number of hot springs to choose from.