Kita means North in Japanese, so this large city is `North Kyushu`. It stands at the northeast tip of the island of Kyushu, linked by a bridge and tunnels to Honshu the Japanese mainland. For visitors travelling from Osaka or Tokyo by Shinkansen fast train or by coach (the cheapest option) this is the route you will take into Kyushu. Kitakyushu`s main downtown area is large and is located at Kokura. There is an old castle here in a pleasant park which is worth visiting if you are interested in Japanese history. There is a intricate model in the castle museum of how Kokura looked hundreds of years ago, and there are exhibits such as a DIY palanquin ride. The view from the top is nice too, and unlike many British castles this one is an attractive building in its own right. Mojiko is perhaps the best area to hang out of an evening. It is a modernised dock area with shops and restaurants in a beautiful setting. It has its own Japan Railways station. Allegedly Kitakyushu does not have the same international bar scene as Fukuoka, its nearby larger rival, but this may not be a bad thing.