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July 18, 2016

Kyushu Summer Roadtrip Part 1: Kitsuki Castle Town

There's nothing like getting on the road in Kyushu. You can't beat it. Last weekend we had time off and decided to retrace the steps to some of our favourite Kyushu spots: Oita and Miyazaki. 
The morning that we set off from Fukuoka in our little car involved a rather wonderful drive into diminishing visibility, as a white fog grew thicker and eventually forced us off the highway near Yufuin. An abandoned hot dog van on the side of the rode in Beppu fit the eerie mood perfectly.

The day's main highlight was the castle town of Kitsuki in Oita - a spot I have been dying to visit for years now. There are so many great things about Kitsuki: for starters it's home to Japan's smallest (and cutest!) castle. Then there's the fact that the city is referred to as a "sandwich castle town" due to the location of its two samurai districts that "sandwich" the commercial district and castle from north and south. We wandered the spellbinding town full of samurai residences in wonderfully preserved historical districts, snapping photos like crazy. Kitsuki's best-loved feature is its sloped walkways which connect the old residences. The sun was hot, but we were thankful for the chance to soak up the atmosphere in absolute peace as there was hardly another soul to be seen while we were exploring.

At times like this - times too magical to possibly be true - I can't stop thinking "This is why I love Japan".

Coming up next: a night at a very unique Airbnb in Beppu. Stay tuned! x

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