Fukuoka is a gateway to Asia, and also to Kyushu. Its seven prefectures are rich in attractions, from charming small towns to a diverse array of natural scenery. There are hot springs galore, deserted beaches, countless tiny islands, Christian history, WWII history, Buddhist and Shinto history, vast farmlands, modern metropolitan areas, volcanoes, amazing cuisine and sake, friendly people and quaint dialects.

Kyushu’s appeal as a tourist destination extends throughout Japan and overseas. Even its residents travel frequently among the prefectures, realizing in the process that you could spend a lifetime exploring the culture and geography. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a guide?

Yes, and probably expensive, too. Thankfully there is the Cultural Information Center on the second floor of ACROS Fukuoka, a building as iconic and unusual as Kyushu itself. The center houses shelves and shelves of free information brochures, maps and flyers for destinations all over Kyushu, and even neighboring Yamaguchi. The volume of literature available may even seem overwhelming, but if you have time– no, make time to leisurely browse through the pamphlets. You’ll no doubt discover some relatively unknown but promising place you’d like to visit.

The Cultural Information Center also offers information on festivals throughout the region, concerts and art museum events. The staff members are very helpful and can assist guests in searching for information or recommending something based on their interests. There is even English-language support.

You’ll never waste away a weekend again if you use the resources well. And you may just never come home, there’s so much to see.