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Thread: Shikoku & Kyushu

  1. #1

    Default Shikoku & Kyushu

    What is it like to live on Shikoku or Kyushu compared to Honshu?

    Is the climate noticeably warmer? Pace of life any different? Is it frustrating to be somewhat disconnected from Honshu for any reason?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    There is just as much on Shikoku as there is on Honshu. Maybe not to the same scale, but Matsuyama is a damn nice city. If you are out in the sticks, you are the same as anyone in the sticks anywhere...

    Weather was alright (Shikoku). Winter is normally quite snowless, but cold enough for it. I think i had a flurry once while I was there. Though, there are mountains... If you are on a mountain, you may tend to have snow. They have a few ski places near Ehime as well... so its not non-existant. Lots of humidity in the summer, the same old story.
    Last edited by gibbity; May 7th, 2015 at 06:45.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    I've spent some time in Matsuyama (about a month) and I'm currently chillaxing on Kyushu. I love it here. I'm in the middle of nowhere, but I've got pretty sweet access to Fukuoka city, which I love to death. We had a very small amount of snow, but the wind chill was killer. I heard from the sempai that this was even a mild winter, too. If you want easy (and cheap) access to places like Kyoto or Tokyo then you're somewhat out of luck, and it takes a full day just to get to Hokkaido but I find I'm not left wanting for much here.

  4. #4
    Looking for some chaw acpc2203's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    I visited my friend in Shikoku for a week last spring, he was in the deep inaka so there wasn't that much to do but it was the countryside was quite pretty and the weather was nice. People didn't seem to be quite as laid back as Okinawans (I don't think anyone in Japan except maybe the people living on Amami), but definitely a step down from people in the big cities. He isn't the real adventurous type but he said it was pretty easy to get to Honshu when you want, as you can get to Honshu and Kyushu by train or car though the toll is pretty onerous if you drive. Also no 7/11s like in Okinawa.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    I loved Kyushu on my travels. Loads to do and its densely populated enough to not feel like the sticks at all. Kumamoto prefecture was probably my favourite, the city is a nice big trashy den of vice but there's a beautiful national park round Mt Aso as well.

    Shikoku is a bit duller, though from outside Camelot snack bar in Matsuyama appears to employ some of the finest skirt in Nippon. I was with the ball 'n' chain though so no nightcap for me.

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    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    All of the prefectural capitals on Shikoku are in the "easily livable" category IMO. They are all big enough, have their own unique charms, and have plenty of entertainment to keep a JET occupied for a few years.

    In terms of isolation though, it basically goes like this (least isolated to most isolated): Takamatsu --> Tokushima --> Matsuyama --> Kochi. You feel really disconnected from mainstream Japan out in Kochi but, IMO, it would be a great place to live for a few years.

    Stay away from the inaka unless you are a big nature orientated person.

    I don't know anything about Kyushu, only been there for 3 days in Beppu.
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    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    Kyushu is great. I don't think I will run out of things to do/see during my stay here.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    All of the prefectural capitals on Shikoku are in the "easily livable" category IMO. They are all big enough, have their own unique charms, and have plenty of entertainment to keep a JET occupied for a few years.

    In terms of isolation though, it basically goes like this (least isolated to most isolated): Takamatsu --> Tokushima --> Matsuyama --> Kochi. You feel really disconnected from mainstream Japan out in Kochi but, IMO, it would be a great place to live for a few years.

    Stay away from the inaka unless you are a big nature orientated person.

    I don't know anything about Kyushu, only been there for 3 days in Beppu.
    As a person in the rural part of Kochi, I can confirm.

    I head out to Kochi city a couple times a month and there are always plenty of things going on and plenty of things to do. The Kochi-JET community is pretty closely knit, as well. The biggest disadvantage to being in Shikoku is the lack of shinkansen, imo. And Seto-Oohashi. You don't want to pay those tolls.

    On the flip-side, whatever nature-y activity you're looking for, Kochi has it. Surfing's pretty big down here, too.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    I lived in Hojo (a small city about 40 minutes north of Matuyama) in Ehime for a while, and it was really nice. People were very laid back and friendly - it wasn't an urban area, but there were a lot of activities to get involved in (ikebana, calligraphy, sports, etc.) and life was relaxed but not boring. I was there during the summer so it was pretty hot and humid, but not unbearable. They have apparently gotten snow the past few winters, however. Also, the beaches were really nice and ferry service to nearby islands was good. Matsuyama is a great city - good onsen, shopping, restaurants, etc.

    The only down side, like people said, is the lack of shinkansen. When I traveled to Osaka it was a looong train ride until we got to Honshu and switched to the bullet train.

    Anyways, I liked it enough to request either Ehime or Tokushima as placements. Though Kyushu sounds really nice, too! Sounds like I'll have to take a trip to visit at some point.

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    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    Quote Originally Posted by Saga View Post
    I lived in Hojo (a small city about 40 minutes north of Matuyama) in Ehime for a while, and it was really nice. People were very laid back and friendly - it wasn't an urban area, but there were a lot of activities to get involved in (ikebana, calligraphy, sports, etc.) and life was relaxed but not boring. I was there during the summer so it was pretty hot and humid, but not unbearable. They have apparently gotten snow the past few winters, however. Also, the beaches were really nice and ferry service to nearby islands was good. Matsuyama is a great city - good onsen, shopping, restaurants, etc.

    The only down side, like people said, is the lack of shinkansen. When I traveled to Osaka it was a looong train ride until we got to Honshu and switched to the bullet train.

    Anyways, I liked it enough to request either Ehime or Tokushima as placements. Though Kyushu sounds really nice, too! Sounds like I'll have to take a trip to visit at some point.
    Hey, I live on honshu and I'm two hours from a shinkansen, and then the connections are crap.
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    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    I was also at one point over two hours from the Shink on Honsh. I thought it was really going to be a problem, but it was a major inconvenience less than once a month. Probably fewer than 5 times a year.
    Last edited by BifCarbet; May 9th, 2015 at 11:10.
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    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    Well it's obviously not going to be a huge inconvenience except for when you're doing major traveling. But those times are hours sunk just getting anywhere noteworthy.

    Getting off of Shikoku is pretty awful, nearly as bad as getting around Shikoku. There are slow buses and inexplicably even slower and more expensive trains to travel between prefectures. It is very relaxed though. The south and the east take every typhoon that comes right in the face, and the the north and the west are protected from virtually any disaster that plagues the rest of Japan. I don't know anyone in any of the prefectures who doesn't like their placement, but it is quiet and not incredibly exciting. I think Kyushu is a good midpoint between the quiet of Shikoku and the relative busyness of Honshu.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    Considering most Honshu JETs don't exactly get sent to areas of hustle and bustle I doubt you'd notice the slightest difference on Kyushu. It's got about 20 million people packed into quite a small area and is in no means isolated from mainstream Japan. You could throw a rock from Honshu and hit it.

  14. #14

    Default Shikoku & Kyushu

    From Tokushima city... You can be in Kobe in under 1.5 hours by bus ($30) or go cheap by ferry to Osaka (3 hours) for under $20. It could be worse.
    Last edited by Jedirust; May 10th, 2015 at 05:03.
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    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcharisma View Post
    Considering most Honshu JETs don't exactly get sent to areas of hustle and bustle I doubt you'd notice the slightest difference on Kyushu. It's got about 20 million people packed into quite a small area and is in no means isolated from mainstream Japan. You could throw a rock from Honshu and hit it.
    You can throw rocks across many borders, but you won't find many Indians and Pakistanis appreciating the closeness of their bonds. I said relative busyness because I'm well aware that most Honshu placements are well removed from the cities. But the busiest parts of Honshu are much busier than the busiest parts of Kyushu are much busier than the busiest parts of Shikoku. There are still as many roads leading off Kyushu as there are off Shikoku, and no matter how close they are, there are still cultural differences. Not stark differences, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that Tokyo, Fukuoka, and Matsuyama all show much closer resemblance to their island's second biggest city than to each other. The surrounding inaka might have a less subtle distinction, but really, inaka is inaka anywhere you go.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    Quote Originally Posted by greyjoy View Post
    I don't think it's a stretch to say that Tokyo, Fukuoka, and Matsuyama all show much closer resemblance to their island's second biggest city than to each other. The surrounding inaka might have a less subtle distinction, but really, inaka is inaka anywhere you go.
    Well considering the second biggest city on Honshu is a suburb of Tokyo and the second biggest on Kyushu is in the same prefecture as Fukuoka, that's not exactly rocket science you've got there Rex. Compare Tokyo to the third biggest city on Honshu however and you're talking chalk and cheese.

    I agree with you the inaka though, much of a muchness everywhere in Nippon.

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    Default Re: Shikoku & Kyushu

    "chalk and cheese"
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