Discover Kyushu

Three famous landmarks in Kyushu.

Kyushu, known as the “land of fire”, is the third-largest island in Japan. Located in the southern and westernmost part of the nation, this island is etched with enthralling legends and turbulent histories. In contrast to urban Tokyo in the Kanto region, Kyushu has a more diverse scope of nature: a mix of lush greens in the mountainous Kirishima region, verdant volcanic landscapes in Kumamoto, and the seismic activity under its earth create for popular hot spring areas in Oita. Kyushu is also culturally rich, as the world docked and spread its culture, tradition, and trade at the port bays of Fukuoka.

Historically the hub of trade and travel in Japan, Kyushu is made up of eight politically designated divisions of prefectures: in Northern Kyushu are Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Kumamoto. The prefectures of Kagoshima, Miyazaki, and Okinawa fall under Southern Kyushu.  

For international students who wish to study in Japan but not in Central Tokyo, the next best place to immerse in this culturally rich country is Kyushu. Away from the hubbub of cities, Kyushu offers the warmest welcome from friendly Kyushu people, authentic Japanese food that matches the local’s taste, and proximity to rejuvenating nature—away from the rush and buzz of major cities.

The best universities in Kyushu

Listed below are some of the top-ranking universities in Japan from Kyushu and their programs for international students.

Kyushu University 

Kyushu University located in Fukuoka

Ranking & Figures

Rising to the 4th rank this year as they launch the university’s new slogan, “Leap into the Next”, Kyushu University celebrates its 108 years of academic excellence as one of the best universities in Fukuoka and Kyushu area. In its pursuit of making bigger strides in global competitiveness, they were selected to be a part of the Top Global University Project administered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Technology (MEXT) in Japan. This university boasts a 13% rate of international students, with over 102 regions and countries making up the diverse student body in the biggest university in Kyushu. They have 12 overseas branch offices and are partnered with 111 institutions around the world. Through these partnerships, students can study abroad or pursue research under supervision for a year. For international students who want to spend four years as an undergraduate at Kyushu University, the School of Engineering, School of Agriculture, and School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation offer a four-year bachelor’s degree program where all courses are taught in English.

In the Engineering department, they have Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Applied Chemistry, Civil Engineering, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. In the Agriculture department, they offer Bioresource and Bio-Environment. The School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation is a newly established department founded in 2018, and it focuses on cultivating professionals with interdisciplinary knowledge and skills that will address current global problems such as environmental issues, depletion of energy resources, and disease.

For more information on admission in English-based programs in Kyushu University, check out Kyushu University’s Undergraduate Admission Website


Kyushu University is located in Fukuoka, the largest city in Fukuoka and one of the busiest cities in Japan. The gateway to Kyushu and historically to East Asian Countries, Fukuoka’s international flair similar to Tokyo blends well with its rich cultural history still evident in the city’s historic locations and buildings such as the Maizuru Castle (Fukuoka Castle), where you can go on a tour to explore the extensive castle grounds, which is also conveniently located near Maizuru Park and Naka River. One of the oldest sites in Kyushu can also be found in Fukuoka: the Sumiyoshi-Jinja Shrine which is dedicated to sailors and seafarers.

Fukuoka Castle
Sumiyoshi Shrine

Fukuoka is a fairly accessible city, with direct flights and bullet trains from Tokyo and Osaka. It is also accessible by sea and air to South Korea and is only a short flight from Taiwan and Shanghai. 

Fukuoka Port

It also boasts delicious and cheap food and is home to the widely-popular Tonkotsu Ramen. The city also has street-side stalls known as Yatai, making the dining experience an adventure.

Graduation prospects are also booming in this city, which is now known as the fastest-growing start-up hub in the country. Read on the “Business Trends in Fukuoka” article if you are interested in diving right into the Business & Entrepreneurship field and wish to found your own start-up in the future.

For more information on Fukuoka City, check out Fukuoka City Guide.

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University


APU is located in the bayside city of Beppu in Oita Prefecture of Kyushu. Beppu is famous for its numerous hot springs, making it a popular destination for both Japanese and tourists alike. This city is also surrounded by the mountainous region of Kuju, making it ideal for hiking and nature trails. The fresh air, nearby rivers, and bay, and overall healthy lifestyle enjoyed by people in Beppu makes for this city as an ideal place to stay in Japan. 

Beppu, Oita cityscape

Beppu is accessible by air from major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and even Seoul. It can also be reached by bullet train, which connects with the Shinkansen bullet train for Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama, and Tokyo.

Beppu; the hot springs paradise of the south

For more information on Beppu, check out the Beppu Official Website.

Ranking & Figures

A fairly young university established in 2000, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) boasts a culturally diverse learning environment that aims to create global leaders in various interdisciplinary fields. More than half of its student body is made up of international students, with 152 countries and regions represented. Alongside its diverse student body, roughly half of the faculty is also made up of non-Japanese academic professionals. Rising through the ranks, Japan University Rankings has placed APU on 21st, according to Times Higher Education (2020).

As stated in the official school website, “Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University is an accredited member of AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. APU is one of only four institutions in Japan to achieve this accreditation to date. Out of these institutions, APU is the only one offering an undergraduate business curriculum in both English and Japanese as well as an AACSB-accredited MBA program conducted entirely in the English language.” 


The undergraduate courses offered in APU are taught in English and Japanese. The College of Asia Pacific Studies has 4 departments listed as Environment and Development, Hospitality and Tourism, International Relations and Peace Studies, and Culture, Society and Media. They also offer a master’s and doctoral’s in the Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies. On the other hand, the College of International Management offers Accounting and Finance, Marketing, Strategic Management and Organization, and Innovation and Economics. This college only offers a master’s program in the Graduate School of Management.

APU also offers three inbound programs for international students: Study @APU Programs, Exchange or Study-Abroad Program, and Gateway Program. 

The Study @ APU Program is the 4-year undergraduate program taught in Japanese and English offered in two colleges as mentioned above. For this program, students are not required to have Japanese Language Proficiency when they enter but are encouraged to learn it throughout the course of their stay. 

The Exchange or Study-Abroad Program is offered twice a year in the Spring semester in March and Fall semester in mid-September; with the duration set to either one semester or a year. 

The Gateway Program is an 8-week summer program for students who wish to study Japanese and experience Japanese culture through various activities and excursions during their summer break. 

For more information on the inbound programs, check out Study@APU Programs.
For admission inquiries, please visit APU Academic Office.

Nagasaki University

General information

Founded in 1949, Nagasaki University was originally a medical school and a hospital established by a Dutch Naval surgeon in 1857. It was here that the first hospital in Japan that practiced Western medicine was created. The University was heavily damaged when an atomic bomb was dropped in Nagasaki in 1945. In 1962, they established the Atomic Bomb Disease Institute to research the effects of radiation on humans. Research focuses on examining molecular mechanisms underlying injuries caused by the Nagasaki and Hiroshima atomic bombing and the radiation-related after-effects of incidents in order to develop and enhance treatments for victims of radiation. In fact, famous alumni from Nagasaki University Takashi Nagai is a physician specializing in radiology who was also an A-bomb victim. One of the University’s philosophy focuses on becoming “[…]a world-class center of “global health” education and research that contributes to human health on a global scale through interdisciplinary integration of preventive medicine, health economics and other related areas[…]”

Nagasaki University view from Main Gate


Nagasaki University is located in Nagasaki city in Nagasaki Prefecture. Nestled in between mountainous regions and the sea, this city boasts many nature activities and sites to visit. Historically, during Japan’s isolation, the Port of Nagasaki became the only gateway that was open to let trade and travel from Asia and Europe into Japan. The wave of Western influence and civilization was highly concentrated in this area; making Nagasaki a city with a flair for Western and Traditional Japanese. This is reflected in their cuisine, such as Shippoku, which is the first Japanese fusion cuisine, a mixture of traditional Japanese, Chinese and Western dishes; and Castella, a sweet, moist sponge cake well-loved in Nagasaki which was based on a recipe originally introduced by Portuguese missionaries in the mid-16 century and then developed by the people of Nagasaki. It is now a popular souvenir from Nagasaki.

Nagasaki can be accessed through direct flights from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Okinawa and even from Shanghai and Hong Kong. You can also ride the bullet train which is 7 hours from Tokyo, 4 hours from Kyoto or Osaka, and an hour and a half from Hakata station in Fukuoka. 

You can also reach Nagasaki by ship at the Nagasaki port where many international cruise ships dock yearly. 
For more information on Nagasaki, visit the Nagasaki Official Website

Castella, a well-known “omiyage” from Nagasaki


According to Times Higher Education (2020), Nagasaki University ranks 43rd in Japan University World Ranking and hosts around 900 international students annually. English-based programs are scattered throughout the university’s three campuses: Sakamoto campus, Bunkyo Campus, and Katafuchi campus.


The Degree Programs in English offered at this institution are as follows:

  • Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
  • Division of Disaster and Radiation Medical Sciences; a Master’s program offered by a joint graduate school between Nagasaki University and Fukushima Medical University
  • Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Nagasaki University Priority Graduate Program (Master’s program);
  • Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Nagasaki University Priority Graduate Program (Doctoral program);
  • Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
  • Program for Nurturing Global Leaders in Tropical and Emerging Communicable Diseases (Doctoral program); and
  • Nagasaki University School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health (Master’s program).

For information on degree programs applications, please read on Applications for English Programs

Nagasaki University also offers courses taught in English through the student exchange program. This non-degree program is offered to regular students of partner universities. The duration of the exchange is one semester or one Academic Year. For further details about this exchange, please visit Nagasaki University Center for Japanese Language and Student Exchange

Nagasaki University also has the Japanese Language and Culture Program (JLCP) which is open for students from institutions with agreements with Nagasaki University. It offers classes to learn the Japanese language and Japanese culture through immersive activities and also have the opportunity to share their own culture with other students as well. The study period is from one semester to one academic year. 

For further details, please read through Nagasaki University Admission Guidebook for International Students.

Peace Park in Nagasaki

Ending note

Your options of studying in Japan whether for a semester, one year exchange, or for a whole four years, should not be limited. In Kyushu, interdisciplinary fields from highly-competitive universities will give you the opportunity to pursue higher education while learning another language and Japan’s vibrant culture and traditions. In Kyushu, you are also surrounded by many historical places and endless ventures of nature, so even outside your classes, you can immerse yourself in leisure activities as you get to know more about Japan.

What are you waiting for? Explore Kyushu, and study in Kyushu!