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DESTINATION Kyushu

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Easily reached by land, sea and air, dynamic Kyushu is bubbling with energy, culture and activity

Japan’s third-largest island is internationally famous for its tonkotsu ramen, varied hot springs, dramatic mountains, and peaceful beaches. While the startup hub of Fukuoka bubbles with international attention, the volcanic terrain to the south continues to rumble and smoke. The seismic activity has created a craggy wonderland of eight steaming hot spring areas, known collectively as Beppu Onsen , as well as soaring peaks to hike, such as Mt. Karakuni in the Kirishima mountain range . Offering a taste of both cutting-edge modernity and slow-paced living, Japan's southern island is best explored at a leisurely pace. Head south to relax on an island bursting with spectacular nature, culture and cuisine.

  • The bubbling, beneficial waters of Beppu Onsen
  • Chow down on a bowl of rich, creamy tonkotsu ramen in Fukuoka
  • Views of smoking Sakurajima, one of Japan's most active volcanoes
  • Staring into the crater of a volcano atop Mt. Aso

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Perfect 10 Day Itinerary For Your Kyushu Trip

Mount Aso

Kyushu is a natural paradise that offers many historic treasures, modern cities, and natural beauty. The southernmost of the main islands of Japan is known for its rich rugged landscape, volcanic scenery, vibrant cities, stunning hikes, and delicious ramen. Kyushu translates as nine provinces but is surprisingly formed by seven prefectures. The land of volcanoes also has a large number of high-quality (natural) hot springs dotted all over the island and Kyushu is often dubbed onsen island. Despite all of its beauty, Kyushu is an underrated paradise that isn’t frequently included on the itinerary by (international) tourists. All the more reason to travel to Kyushu! Here we will provide you with a ready-made itinerary to see some of the best places to visit in Kyushu . The itinerary is somewhat fast-paced so that you can cover the most popular spots and get to all the iconic places in 10 days. We also included some optional day trips for you to consider. As this schedule serves as an inspiration for your perfect trip to Kyushu, you can choose to leave out places or change the timing.

things to do in Kumamoto

The best time to visit Kyushu

How to get to kyushu and around, day 1: fukuoka , day 2: fukuoka – saga – nagasaki , day 3: nagasaki – shimabara – kumamoto, day 4: kumamoto – kagoshima , day 5: kagoshima – yakushima , day 6: yakushima – kagoshima, day 7: kagoshima – kirishima , day 8: kirishima – takachiho, day 9: takachiho – mount aso, day 9:  kurokawa – yufuin, tour packages, blogs you might also enjoy.

Kyushu has a comfortable climate all year round, but we recommend traveling in either spring or autumn. The winter is mild so you won’t see any snow, but it is still fairly cold at that time of the year. Summers in Kyushu are hot and humid and summer sees more rain than other regions in Japan. 

Spring is definitely the most popular season to travel to Kyushu with sunny days and comfortable temperatures. The weather is perfect for all the outdoor activities and hiking that Kyushu is known for. It is also very popular at this time due to the cherry blossoms and flowers that are in full swing at this time of year.

Mount Aso

Most travelers will access Kyushu via Fukuoka , riding Japan’s famous shinkansen or boarding a flight to the well-connected airport of Fukuoka. But the island is home to a number of airports for example in Kagoshima , Nagasaki and Oita . 

Kyushu has an extensive network of trains and buses within the major cities, connecting the seven prefectures on the island of Kyushu. The region is popular for its scenic trains such as the Yufuin no Mori and Kawasemi Yamasemi , along the coastline and crossing the mountainscape.  The Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) is also valid on most JR trains.

However, especially the more distant areas are easier to reach by car. With many breathtaking country roads, driving is the ideal way to explore Kyushu. Popular routes for a scenic road trip include the Nichinan coast road in Miyazaki, the Trans Kyushu Route, and the Aso Panorama Line in Kumamoto. We recommend exploring Kyushu by car as it will give you much more freedom and flexibility. You can find car rental agencies at airports and major stations. 

The JR Kyushu Rail Pass is available for internationals and includes travel in the chosen area on the following JR trains:

  • Local trains
  • Limited express trains
  • Shinkansen *Shinkansen between Kokura and Fukuoka, subways, buses or private railways are not applicable.

Fukuoka

Kyushu’s largest and most vibrant city is Fukuoka ( 福岡 ), a great place to start your trip. The old castle town is located along Hakata Bay , which made it a favorable base for international trade. The city was first known as Hakata, but was renamed Fukuoka in the 17th century. We suggest you use this first day to discover the port city, Fukuoka is home to a number of top-notch shopping facilities and historically important temples and shrines such as Kushida-jinja Shrine and the Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine . Fukuoka’s castle was destroyed completely after the Meiji Restoration as it was seen as an unwanted symbol of the past, but the ruins and the bordering Maizuru Park are a very popular sakura viewing spot in Fukuoka . You cannot leave Fukuoka without trying the famous Hakata Ramen from one of the food stalls called yatai .

▼ And don’t miss out on the final Sumo Tournament in Fukuoka in November! Book your tickets by clicking the Link below and get a professional guide that will give you essential background information to enjoy the experience to the fullest .

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▼ Fukuoka 1-Day Highlight Private Walking Tour (7 Hours) Book a guided private walking tour in Fukuoka to explore the highlights of Fukuoka including Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine, Kushida Shrine, and other unique spots that only locals know!

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Both the drive and the train ride from Fukuoka to Nagasaki (長崎) will take you about 2 hours when traveling directly. You might want to take a detour and make some stops along the road in Saga prefecture , a small prefecture famous for Japanese traditional ceramics. Especially Arita and Imari are famous pottery villages . Start the day (very) early and catch the sunrise at Hamanoura Rice Terraces Lookout (浜野浦の棚田展望台) or enjoy the onsen facilities in Takeo Onsen (武雄温泉), a hot spring resort with over 1,300 years of history. 

Hamanoura Rice Terraces Lookout

Nagasaki is widely known for two events in history ; it was the location of the second atomic bomb dropping and Nagasaki was the most important port where a restricted number of foreign traders were allowed during the period of isolation between the 17th and 19th centuries, known as the Sakoku period.

Nagasaki Hirado

Depending upon the time of your arrival we recommend heading up to Mount Inasa for a spectacular view over Nagasaki. Nagasaki has a lot to offer, and the impressive night scenery that can be seen from Mount Inasa Observatory is one of them. When visiting Nagasaki, make sure to spend some time at the Nagasaki Peace Park where the victims of the second atomic bomb are commemorated. On August 9, 1945, Nagasaki became the second city that was destroyed by an atomic bomb, after Hiroshima. Another interesting place to visit in Nagasaki is Clover Garden , an open-air museum that showcases several beautiful mansions of the foreigners who lived in the city after the period of isolation. Or head to Dejima (出島), an artificial island that used to be Japan’s window to the world during that same period of isolation. 

Right off Nagasaki’s coast, the abandoned island of Gunkanjima (軍艦島) makes for an interesting half-day trip. The small island served as an important coal mine until 1974 and can now be visited with a sightseeing tour.  

▶ Make sure to book a tour to enter the Gunkanjima beforehand

Nagasaki, sasebo city

On the third day make your way from Nagasaki to Shimabara (島原), this should take about 1.5-2 hrs by car or train. Shimabara Peninsula (島原半島) is a popular hot spring and hiking destination, with Mount Unzen (雲仙岳) and Unzen Onsen (雲仙温泉) at the center. Mount Unzen is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes and has erupted several times in the last centuries. Its most recent eruption was in 1991 when 43 people were killed. Near the top of Mount Unzen, Unzen Onsen is a hot spring resort surrounded by several hot spring fields. 

Shimabara Peninsula

From Shimabara Port, catch the ferry to Kumamoto Port . From November to March, seagull feeding is available on the 60-minute ferry ride. Cars are allowed on board, but it is best to make a reservation (which can be made up to one month in advance). 

Kumamoto (熊本) is the capital city of the namesake prefecture and is rich in history, with sites such as Kumamoto Castle , built over 400 years ago and considered one of the three most magnificent castles in Japan . Kumamoto is highly praised by nature lovers, blessed with breathtaking scenery and many hot springs . It is also called the land of water with hot spring water flowing from more than 1,000 locations across the prefecture.

Kumamoto castle

Spend the morning exploring some more of Kumamoto, visit for example the Suizenji Garden , a beautiful serene Japanese garden. For lunch, have some Kumamoto Ramen , this local variant of the famous Japanese comfort food is characterized by mild tonkotsu soup , made rich in flavor with the addition of chicken bones mixed with garlic oil or chips.

Around midday make your way to Kagoshima (鹿児島), also known as the Naples of Japan for its bayside location and towering active stratovolcano Sakurajima ( 桜島 ). Stay overnight in Kagoshima for example at the Shiroyama Mountain Hotel , located on top of the hill and with hot spring baths overlooking Sakurajima volcano and the sea.

This guided tour will help you to explore all the highlights of Kyushu’s Kagoshima in a day tour , it’s highly recommended if you have a limited time or want to discover the city with a local guide.

Sakurajima

In the morning, board the ferry from Kagoshima to Yakushima (屋久島), a true nature lover’s paradise that served as an inspiration for Ghibli’s famous Princess Mononoke’s film . The small island of Yakushima is located about 60 km off the coast of Kagoshima and is famous for its towering mountains, its ancient cedar forest – Jomonsugi (縄文杉) is a giant  cedar tree  which is estimated to be 2000 to 7200 years old – and many well-marked hiking options. Much of the island is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site .

Yakushima hiking

Enter the land of Princess Mononoke and pick one of the several hiking routes of Yakushima. We recommend visiting the Shiratani Unsuikyo (白谷雲水峡 ) where you have the option of several trails ranging from a 1 hr to a 6hr walk. 

The island is quite small and it’s possible to access all of Yakushima’s main sights by bus, though service is infrequent. The best way to explore Yakushima at your own pace is by car. Cars can be rented on the island, and it is also possible to bring your car from Kagoshima with the car ferry . 

Recommended tour: Yakusugi Cedar Forest Walking Tour on Yakushima Island

Spent the entire day exploring the island before taking back the ferry to Kagoshima. Admire mesmerizing waterfalls like Okonotaki , Senpiro, and Janokuchi , or the historical Yaku Shrine . One of the highlights of the island is the natural hot spring bathing pools formed from ocean rocks along the coast of the Sea of Japan. Bear in mind that the last ferry to Kagoshima departs from Yakushima at 4pm.

kyushu trip

After waking up in Kagoshima the next morning, explore the city a bit more and transfer to Kirishima (霧島). The area of Kirishima consists of volcanic mountains, highlands, hot springs and volcanic lakes and it was the first to be designated as a national park in Japan in 1934. The absolutely breathtaking scenery is a feast for the eyes and the mountains offer a wide range of hiking courses suitable for both beginners and more experienced hikers. Nearby Ebino Kogen (えびの高原) and Kirishima Onsen (霧島温泉) are the two best hot spring towns in the Kirishima area. We recommend staying overnight in Kirishima Onsen, one of Japan’s best hot spring resorts with high-quality sulfuric water. You can also opt for staying in Ebino Kogen, an epic place to see the autumn colored leaves and the starting point of several hiking trails. Kirishima Mountain is also an important site in Japanese mythology and home to a large beautiful shrine; Kirishima Shrine is an impressive ancient shrine said to be built in the 6th century!

Kirishima Kagoshima

The trip from Kirishima to Takachiho (高千穂) takes about 3~3.5 hrs by car without any stops. Depending on your preference you can either do some more hiking in Kirishima or you can also decide to take a slightly longer route and drive along the coastline of Miyazaki (宮崎市), a beautiful scenic drive. In the south, the Nichinan Coastline is known as one of Japan’s best road trips, with beaches, great surfing spots and the stone giants of Sun Messe Nichinan along the way. 

Miyazaki coastline

In northern Miyazaki you’ll find one of Japan’s most beautiful nature spots : Takachiho Gorge (高千穂峡). The stunning V-shaped gorge was formed from lava from Mount Aso  (阿蘇山) which over time eroded to create 80-100m high volcanic cliffs. This place has appeared in Japanese mythology and is known as a power spot filled with spiritual energy. The gorge can be enjoyed in two ways; from above (the cliffs) and below while rowing down the river. Follow the trail that leads you to the observatory deck in front of the Manai Waterfalls . 

Takachiho-gorge-2

Overnight in Takachiho and see a traditional Japanese dance performance, held every evening at 8pm on the grounds of Takachiho shrine.  

Sea of clouds

Wake up early and watch a magnificent sunrise at the nearby mountain peak called Kunimigaoka (国見ヶ丘), known for Japan’s famous unkai or sea of clouds . After one of the best sunrise views over the rice fields and Takachiho Valley, continue north and make your way to Mount Aso . But before visiting Japan’s largest active volcano, take a small detour and make a stop at the picturesque Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine . The path leading up to the shrine is lined with numerous stone lanterns, and it is worth the trip, even if you’re not a fan of shrines. The shrine is famous for being the setting of a popular anime and manga comic Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies).

Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine

Mount Aso is one of the largest calderas in the entire world, spanning 17 kilometers from east to west and 25 kilometers from south to north with a total area of 350 square kilometers. Standing at 1592 meters above sea level and boasting five soaring peaks, Mount Aso is a must-visit for anyone visiting Kyushu. Hiking the Mount Aso region is one of the most incredible adventures you can have in Japan! It is possible to drive to the top of Mount Nakadake (中岳), or you walk in about 30 minutes to the summit. Alternatively, you can also take the ropeway around Mt. Aso and ride the plains created by the magma below the mountain. From the parking or the ropeway station, there are a number of hiking trails to explore Mount Aso . Always check the current status of the area before you go as the volcano is still active and often closed. To find out the current restrictions in place you check the official website . 

kyushu trip

After taking in the breathtaking volcanic scenery of Mount Aso, make your way to Kurokawa Onsen (黒川温泉), a secluded onsen town up in the Aso mountain range. Kurokawa Onsen has managed to maintain the traditional atmosphere with ryokan and public bathhouses dominating the townscape. The charming town is home to a number of ryokan baths and public baths and visitors can purchase a tegata for ¥1,300 that offers access to any three of the participating onsen. Stroll around in your yukata and wooden sandals and relax after a long day of exploration.

After Kurokawa Onsen the next destination on the list is Yufuin (由布院), a popular onsen resort town in Oita Prefecture . You have two options of getting there by car and we recommend taking the road passing the Kuji Mountain (九重山) range along the way. The mountains are located along the scenic drive Yamanami Highway. 

Kuju Mountains Oita prefecture

The natural hot springs of Yufuin are a must-try of course and there are several public baths that can be used by visitors like Tsuka no Ma, Baien and Musoen . Some of the baths are gender separated whereas others are mixed. Yufuin is located on a flat river basin nestled in a mountainous valley, with scenic views of Mount Yufu , a volcano that stands 1.83 meters tall, from nearly every place in town. Along the main street, you will find many souvenir shops, cafes and small art museums, creating a lively atmosphere. Most of the public baths and ryokan are scattered around the town and many visitors come to visit for just the day. Staying overnight will offer you the opportunity to enjoy the natural hot spring and the second no other place views. Because there are many mountains surrounding Yufuin, there are also plenty of hiking trails with easy access from the town. For example, this day trip hiking to the summit of Mount Yufu , takes about 4-5 hours to complete. On a clear day, the views are guaranteed jaw-dropping. 

Mount Yufu Oita prefecture

Another highlight nearby is Lake Kinrin at the base of Mt. Yufu. The small lake is located at the end of the main walking route of Yufuin. There is a small shrine located on the southern shore and there are charming little cafes and shops selling local specialties. 

We recommend staying at the traditional ryokan, Yufuin Iyotomi . The ryokan has indoor cypress baths and a large outdoor bath (rotenburo). 

Day 10: Beppu – Oita

Situated at the heart of Oita Prefecture , Beppu (別府) is one of Japan’s most popular hot spring resorts. The area produces the greatest amount of thermal water from natural hot springs in the world. You can’t miss it, there is steam rising into the air everywhere in Beppu. There is a wide range of baths to be enjoyed, from normal hot water baths to mud baths, sand baths and steam baths, Beppu offers it all. 

In addition, the Hells of Beppu (地獄, jigoku) are a must-visit when you’re in the area. The hells of Beppu are seven incredible hot springs created by volcanic activity more than 30,000 years ago. These hot springs are for viewing rather than bathing as they are far too hot; the temperature reaches up to 100 degrees Celsius. The most beautiful hell is Umi Jigoku , or Sea Hell, a pond of boiling milky blue water, shrouded in steam. The grounds also feature a large garden and a few smaller, orange-colored hells. Chinoike Jigoku or Blood Pond Hell is another spectacular hell with bright red water, thanks to the high levels of iron and magnesium in the water.

Beppu onsen hells valley

Onbara (乙原の滝) is a hidden gem near Beppu where you can enjoy a short trek passing the epic waterfall of Onbara Falls. There are several beautiful waterfalls in the area around Beppu, but Onbara Falls is the most beautiful and accessible. There is a short, well-marked trail with a dirt/rock path leading you up to the falls. Start your day with a beautiful little walk, the trail is only about a 2km return and refresh at one of the many natural hot springs after.

We recommend you also visit the Beppu Sand Bath (別府海浜砂湯) where you don’t bathe in hot water, but in hot sand instead! Being buried in the hot volcanic sand is a healthy and relaxing experience.

From Beppu you have the option of flying to your next destination using Oita Airport (大分空港). If you are continuing tour trip from Fukuoka, we highly recommend taking the Yufuin no More train to Fukuoka . The sightseeing train is a popular train ride to take and gives you some amazing views of both prefectures on the way.

Yufuin no mori train

With this 10 day itinerary, you will visit many of the highlights of Kyushu. We recommend you to self-drive, as public transportation is limited especially in the more rural parts including Kirishima and Takachiho Gorge. A car offers you the freedom to visit the tourist hotspots of Kyushu in a short amount of time. This ready-to-use Kyushu itinerary serves as an example of the ultimate Kyushu trip, of course, you can extend this itinerary and stay longer at some places or add other places from your wishlist. 

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Kyushu Starts Here

I’ve had a Kyushu travel guide on this site for a long time—but I haven’t really been satisfied with it, if I’m perfectly honest. Some parts of it were downright superficial, and reflected the fact that I’ve been discovering the island piecemeal over the past several years, rather than having done a deep dive.

This changed recently, of course: In November 2019, I embarked upon a truly extensive Kyushu trip, which saw me visit each of the island’s prefectures. Some destinations were completely new to me, while I simply hadn’t seen others in a while. In both cases, the impact upon my understanding of Kyushu was extraordinary. And I’ve since been back many times.

Some of you have arrived on this page directly from a search engine, while others might have stumbled upon one of my stream-of-consciousness style Kyushu travel blog posts and come in that way. In either case, I’m delighted you’re here—and within a few paragraphs, I’m pretty sure you will be, too.

Practical Matters

When to visit kyushu.

Notice all the perfectly blue skies in this pictures throughout this Kyushu guide ? These are largely due to the fact that I traveled to Kyushu most recently during the month of November which, along with May, is one of my favorite months to visit Japan in general. While it’s true that you’ll need to come during the latter part of the month if you wanted to Kyushu’s autumn colors (or in late March if you want to see the sakura ), these two “shoulder” months (which are also, importantly, typhoon-free) are the best time to visit Kyushu, as far as I’m concerned.

Where to Stay in Kyushu

In general, the best hotels in Kyushu are slightly inferior to the ones you find in major destinations on Honshu, though they’re not as mediocre (in my opinion) as places to stay in Hokkaido and Shikoku. City hotels like Tokyu Stay Hakata and Hotel Forza Nagasaki , for example, are more or less up to Tokyo standards. On the other hand, I do find accommodations in secondary destinations to be lacking, be it guest houses at the foot of Mt. Aso, or all but a few onsen-ryokan properties in Beppu (such as the sea-facing Shiosai no Yado ) are disappointing.

How to Get Around in Kyushu

I’ll be referencing various modes of transport throughout this Kyushu travel guide, but in general I’d say you should expect a mix. The Shinkansen , for example, only runs between Fukuoka (Hakata), Kumamoto and Kagoshima, which means that for travel to cities like Nagasaki, Beppu and Miyzaki, you’ll need to avail ordinary express trains; some destinations (such as Mt. Aso) are currently only accessible by bus, on account of the 2016 earthquake. Additionally, although I generally have very mixed feelings about renting a car in Japan , in many cases this is the best way to explore secondary Kyushu destinations.

Money, Costs and Communication

Your Kyushu visit is unlikely to differ much from traveling elsewhere in Japan when it comes to money or costs: Most travelers will spend around ¥10,000-25,000 per day (this is about $90-230, as of publication time), and a surprising amount of that will be in cash, due to Japan’s resistance to cashless payments as compared to other countries. Kyushu has rapidly improved its Wi-Fi infrastructure alongside the rest of Japan; unlimited data SIMs are available for purchase at Fukuoka Airport, assuming you aren’t arriving at Haneda or Narita and picking one up there . Speaking Japanese helps when travel in Kyushu, but isn’t necessary.

Kyushu vs. Shikoku

The good news? I’ve written a post that compares and contrasts Shikoku vs. Kyushu (which, I’m happy to say, does not trash talk either of these islands, both amazing in their own ways). The better news: I’ll summarize its conclusion for you here. Simply put, Kyushu and Shikoku offer similar experiences (interesting medium-to-large sized cities and unique, easy-to-access natural experiences), with Kyushu being larger (and therefore having more potential choices for travelers) and Shikoku being smaller and having significantly fewer tourists.

Where to Go in Kyushu

kyushu trip

Most Kyushu travel starts in Fukuoka , especially if this is where you’re arriving in Japan. I love this city more every time I visit it, from the temples and shrines of the historical Gion district just west of Hakata Station , to the panoramic views of the city from Atago-jinja shrine, which rises above the coast, to the famous Fukuoka Yatai food stalls. I also enjoy taking day trips from Fukouka, be they ones more or less in the city like Nanzo-in ‘s reclining Buddha or the famous Dazaifu Tenman-gu shrine, or Karatsu , a castle town about 90 minutes to the west (which is technically located in Saga prefecture, but whatever).

kyushu trip

Nagasaki is one of the best places to visit in Kyushu—and not just because of World War II-era tourism sites, even if I find the area around Nagasaki Ground Zero to be very moving indeed. From the picturesque Oura Cathedral and Glover Garden in the southern part of the city, to the stunning panorama Mt. Inasa offers, Nagasaki is one of the most beautiful and eclectic cities in all of Japan—and not just Kyushu. Nagasaki also offers the opportunity to take several fascinating day trips, including to gorgeous Yutoku Inari Shrine and historical Yoshinogari Park , which re-creates like if the Yayoi era of ancient Japan.

Kumamoto and Mt. Aso

kyushu trip

I’ll be honest: Before my latest trip, Kumamoto was not one of my favorite Kyushu destinations. I need to tell another truth, however, which is that I didn’t explore the city at the depth it deserves. While it’s difficult to deny the fact that Kumamoto Castle ‘s lingering damage is disappointing, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out how amazing other destinations in the city are, from lush Suizenji Park to Honmyo-ji , a temple above which a towering park offers a stunning view of the city. Kumamoto is also the nearest major city to Mt. Aso , which is amazing either as a day trip to Mt. Aso from Kumamoto , an overnight excursion.

Oita and Beppu Onsen

kyushu trip

In the previous incarnation of my Kyushu travel guide, I focused largely on the Beppu Onsen hot springs you can actually swim in. During my latest trip, however, I got a chance to explore the Seven Hells of Beppu , with my favorites being Chinoike Jigoku (the “blood” hell) and Umi Jigoku (the “sea” hell). Another awesome part of my latest trip to Oita prefecture was renting a car and driving northward to the Kunisaki peninsula, where destinations like the castle town of Kitsuki , Futago-ji temple deep in the forest and the vibrant Usa Jingu shrine surprised and delighted me.

Miyazaki and Takachiho Gorge

kyushu trip

If you can time it right, the Takachiho Gorge in Miyazaki prefecture (which is not located particularly close to Miyazaki City , I should warn you— this day trip to Takachiho from Kumamoto illustrates that) is a great place to see Kyushu autumn colors. Even if you can’t, of course, this underrated part of southeastern Kyushu is very much worth a visit, if only because of Udo Shrine . Dedicated to Japan’s first emperor Jimmu, who launched his first military expedition from nearby Hyuga , it’s one of the best-kept secrets in all of Japan, not to mention one of the most gorgeous spots you can visit.

Kagoshima and the Satsuma Peninsula

kyushu trip

I didn’t intend to take a Kyushu road trip when I planned my November travel, but I ended up renting five separate cars. One of my favorite reasons for doing this was my day trip to the Satsuma Peninsula from Kagoshima . Spots like Chiran Samurai Village , the matcha fields of Ei , Cape Nagasakibana and the “sand bath” of Ibusuki provided the perfect foil to attractions within the city, from Sengan-en garden, to Sakurajima volcano, to Kagoshima’s answer to Fukuoka’s Yatai .

Yakushima Island

kyushu trip

I’ve visited Yakushima during two bouts of my Kyushu travel: On my very first trip to Japan back in early 2014; and during my Kyushu deep dive in late 2019. The good news? The island remains enchanting forever, whether hiking in its interior amid the moss-covered forest at Shiratani Unsuikyo that inspired the anime classic Princess Mononoke , or bathing (or, at least, attempting to bathe) in natural onsen hot springs right at the sea. One thing that definitely made my second trip easier was renting a car, which I’d recommend you do if you have it in your budget.

How Long Should You Spend in Kyushu?

Regardless of why you decide to travel Kyushu or where you plan to go during your trip, I would generally say you should aim to spend as long in Kyushu as possible—things (and trains!) move slower here than they do in Honshu, which means you can’t fit quite as much into such a short amount of time as you might do elsewhere in Japan. In general, I’d say that one week in Kyushu or 2 weeks in Kyushu is a “Goldilocks” length of trip, which will afford you the opportunities to blend city experiences, natural adventures and maybe even a couple of wild cards.

Another factor affecting how many days in Kyushu, of course, is what your larger trip to Japan will look like. If, for example, you take a dedicated Kyushu trip like I recently did, you can afford to spend longer here. On the other hand, if Kyushu is one component of a more comprehensive Japan trip (I’m thinking two weeks in Japan , or perhaps even one month in Japan ), then a few days or a week is likely the longest amount of time you’ll be able to spend in Kyushu.

Is Kyushu Worth Visiting?

This one is easy, though there is some nuance I’ll speak too. On one hand, I would not have written a Kyushu travel guide (and traveled to the island so many times, including on my recent deep dive) if I didn’t feel Kyushu was worth visiting. On the other hand, there are a lot of misconceptions about this island, and one overarching truth: Most people simply don’t know a thing about Kyushu, apart from the existence of cities like Fukuoka and Nagasaki and maybe, the fake spa-musement park in Beppu .

Obviously, my hope is that if you’ve read my guide this far, you’ll be so excited about things to do in Kyushu at this point that literally nothing will be able to keep you off the island. Absent this, I’m not sure what I can say to convince you, other than to re-affirm my love for this island, and the fact that every time I’ve traveled here (I’m at three or four trips now, if I’m not mistaken) I crave a future opportunity to delve even deeper into it.

Other FAQ About Travel to Kyushu

When should i go to kyushu.

I love to go to Kyushu (which is already less crowded than hot spots like Tokyo or Kyoto, even in busy times) during the “shoulder” months like May and October. The good news is that no matter when you travel, much of the advice I present in this Kyushu travel blog will be relevant.

What is famous in Kyushu?

Kyushu is famous for the ramen of Hakata in Fukuoka, the atomic-bomb related sites in Nagasaki, Kumamoto Castle and the onsen hot springs of Beppu. To start with, anyway—as you’ve seen throughout this Kyushu travel guide, Kyushu is a land of treasures.

What is the climate of Kyushu?

Kyushu’s climate is defined by a mild, sunny winter, a hot and very rainy summer, and a spring and summer season that can go either way. Regardless of when you visit, you’ll want to make sure you curate things to do in Kyushu you can enjoy irrespective of the weather.

The Bottom Line

The extent to which you enjoy your Kyushu travel correlates directly with how deeply you can explore the island, although this isn’t necessarily tied to specific length of time. Ideally, you’ll be able to travel for at least a week in Kyushu, pairing urban experiences in large cities like Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Kagoshima with nature (Mt. Aso or Yakushima island), culture (hot springs in Beppu or the Udo Shrine in Miyazaki) or something else entirely. Need personalized help planning your Kyushu adventure? Commission a custom Japan itinerary today!

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4-day itinerary: explore the magnificent Kyushu Island in Japan

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written by Gemma Lake

updated 20.01.2022

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At the lip of southern Japan, facing the sea, is creased, cratered Kyushu Island, the historic gateway between Japan and the rest of Asia. Steaming onsen, time-honoured temples and formidable Japanese fortresses characterise its northern prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Oita.

Kyushu Island Day One: Kitakyushu – for sushi and wisteria tunnels

Day two: hiraodai – for picnics and bamboo crafts, day three: beppu onsen – for hot springs and quirky trains, day four: kumamoto city – for sake and a castle.

In the south, the Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures are comparatively rugged with dense forests, gorges and vertiginous mountain villages. You could spend a month here and still only scratch the surface. In this article, we offer an itinerary (which is actually more of a guideline) for those with only four days to spare in this extraordinary region.

All tourist facilities take care to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 by asking visitors to wear masks, disinfect their hands and maintain social distancing. Accommodation facilities also take guests' temperatures.

Kokura Castle ©

Kokura Castle, Kitakyushu, Kyushu Island, Japan ©

Tailor-made travel itineraries for Japan, created by local experts

Small Group Tour: Splendours of Japan

13 days  / from 3535 USD

Small Group Tour: Splendours of Japan

Discover the allure of Japan on our small group tour (max 16 guests). Unveil Tokyo, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Osaka, and Okayama through guided explorations. Immerse in tea ceremonies and relish in the captivating beauty of these iconic destinations. Regular departures ensure an unforgettable journey.

Small Group Tour: Secrets of Japan

14 days  / from 4070 USD

Small Group Tour: Secrets of Japan

Embark on an exceptional small-group tour, available monthly, unveiling Tokyo, Hakone, Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, and beyond. Uncover Japan's hidden gems, from serene shrines to bustling cities, and immerse in enchanting forests.

Small Group Tour: Highlights of Japan

10 days  / from 2795 USD

Small Group Tour: Highlights of Japan

Exciting small-group tour with monthly departures. Immerse in Japanese culture, challenge a pro in a sumo suit, wander Arashiyama's bamboo groves in Kyoto, and relish a kaiseki feast with Maiko entertainment - all included in this fascinating small group tour.

Japan highlights: Tokyo to Osaka

7 days  / from 4000 USD

Japan highlights: Tokyo to Osaka

From Tokyo to Osaka, this Japan trip features fantastic experiences. View a sumo session, visit ancient temples, and climb the Tokyo Skytree tower. Explore the resort town of Hakone in Mt Fuji’s shadow, savor a tea ceremony in Kyoto, and see cherry blossoms, in season, to complete a wonderful trip.

Self-Guided Adventure Tour in Japan

10 days  / from 3000 USD

Self-Guided Adventure Tour in Japan

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty, history, enchanting culture and warmhearted people of Japan, with our self-guided tour of Japan. Walk-through a bamboo forest, see how sake is made, join Samurai lesson, go bar-hopping in Tokyo and Osaka and extend your journey to Hiroshima

Culinary tour across Japan

10 days  / from 6000 USD

Culinary tour across Japan

This trip takes you from Tokyo to Kyoto, where you will experience authentic Japanese foods, visit morning markets in the local cities, learn how to make Japanese food and enjoy a unique stay at a monastery. A once in a lifetime experience.

Hiking the Japanese Alps

13 days  / from 3706 USD

Hiking the Japanese Alps

Traverse Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, hike Kamikochi's ancient forest, and marvel at Yake volcano. Explore Tokyo's palaces, Kyoto's temples, and Mt. Fuji's beauty. Relax in tranquil hot springs and discover Kanazawa's Kenroku-en Garden, along with Shirakawago's charming villages.

Japan Winter Tour with Monkey Onsen

12 days  / from 3415 USD

Japan Winter Tour with Monkey Onsen

Zip through snowy landscapes on a bullet train, exploring Tokyo, Kyoto, and Kanazawa's iconic attractions. Encounter snow monkeys in Nagano, wander through Shirakawa-go's picturesque village, and unwind in a traditional onsen ryokan. Experience Japan's winter charm at its finest!

Family Adventures in Japan

15 days  / from 5155 USD

Family Adventures in Japan

Discover Tokyo's shrines, Hakone's Mt. Fuji views, and Nagoya's Toyota Museums. Traverse Nakasendo's historic trails, experience Kyoto's Fushimi Inari Shrine and Nijo Castle, and savor a traditional tea ceremony. End in Osaka with a cooking class and a visit to Kobe Nunobiki Ropeway.

Kitakyushu (meaning ‘North Kyushu City’), located in Fukuoka Prefecture across the Kanmon Straits from Honshu, is the industrial pivot of the island. Facing the sea on three sides, it is the city of fresh seafood, especially sushi. Then there are its whimsical wisteria tunnels and trendy microbrewery.

Start the day in a rickshaw, touring Mojiko – a picturesque town along the strait, before jumping into a chartered car to Teruzushi. This world famous sushi restaurant is managed by third-generation sushi chef, Takayoshi Watanabe.

Teru Sushi ©

Teruzushi sushi restaurant, Kitakyushu, Kyushu Island, Japan ©

In spite of the restaurant’s unpretentious, mostly residential surroundings, Watanabe’s creative flair, expressed through his almost theatrical presentation of sushi, has propelled Teruzushi into the limelight, and taken the internet by storm, with many attempting to replicate his recognisable pose and confident cooking style.

Next, wander in the direction of the Kawachi Wisteria Garden. Here you will come upon a profusion of wisteria, plus two spellbinding tunnels cocooned in the woody vines. Wisteria blooms through the months of April and May, when the tunnels become a haze of purple, pink and white blossom perfuming the air with delicate scents.

Kawachi Fujien ©

Kawachi Wisteria Garden, Kitakyushu, Kyushu Island, Japan ©

Before checking into Sui-Sui Garden Ryokan – only a 10minute walk from JR Kokura Station – make a pit-stop at the Mojiko Retro Beer Restaurant. The fruity beer on tap is dangerously moreish. Kitakyushu's famous baked curry is also on the menu in case you need something to line your stomach with.

Back at Sui-Sui Garden Ryokan, you can wind down in the beautifully maintained Japanese-style garden to the sounds of trickling water.

Hiraodai ©

Hiraodai Karstic Limestone Highland, Kitakyushu, Kyushu Island, Japan ©

Begin by gathering picnic food at one of the local shopping centres (Amu Plaza shopping centre or Izutsuya). The local specialty, kashiwa-meshi (minced chicken and rice) bento box, available at several shops such as FamilyMart JR Kokura Station Store, is especially good. Then, head over to Kitakyushu Quasi-National Park, only a 30-40-minute drive from the city centre.

Hiraodai Karstic Limestone Highland, located within Kitakyushu Quasi-National Park, is the site of one of three major karst formations in Japan. It is also designated as a national natural treasure. Mother Nature takes centre stage here. Tuck into your bento box from the limestone plateau and outcroppings, where you will be afforded sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

For those with days to spare, Kitakyushu Quasi-National Park is marbled with many other trails besides Hiraodai, one from Mount Tonoue to Kishi, a moderate hike with views across the reservoir.

For beginners, the moderate hike from Mojiko to Mount Kazashi is a great option, while it's recommended that experienced hikers try a traverse route: Mount Adachi to Mount Tonoue to Mount Kazashi, then Mount Sarakura to Mount Fukuchi.

The vistas from the summit of Mount Sarakura are well worth climbing for.

Hiraodai ©

Hiraodai, Kitakyushu Quasi-National Park, Kitakyushu, Kyushu Island, Japan ©

The park’s other attractions include Senbutsu Cavern with an underground river, and Mejiro, the longest of Hiraodai’s caves and an area of archaeological importance.

From Kitakyushu Quasi-National Park, continue on to the Nagai Bamboo Factory in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, allowing 1 hr 40 mins for the car journey there. Here, you can watch skilled bamboo craftspeople at work, following a centuries-old process.

Resume your education in Beppu bamboo craftsmanship at the Beppu City Traditional Bamboo Crafts Center (formerly Beppu City Craft Institute). Here is where the celebrated Shono Shounsai, the first bamboo craftsman to be designated a living national treasure, refined his craft.

Finish up at Amane Resort Seikai. This ryokan has a simple, well-appointed interior, but with a natural setting so spectacular, they almost needn’t have bothered. Floor-to-ceiling windows recur throughout, offering sweeping views of Beppu Bay blending into the sky. A hot-spring-fed spa, one right on the bay, is accompanied by the sounds of the sea.

Also within the onsen complex is a restaurant serving fresh off-the-boat seafood and classic French fare.

Beppu onsen ©

Beppu onsen ©

Built around more than 2,000 hot springs (with or without spa facilities), Beppu spends most of its time wavering in and out of billowing clouds of volcanic steam. Unsurprisingly, this city synonymous with onsen is designated as an International Tourism Hot-Spring Cultural City.

Of its eight hot spring areas, Kannawa occupies the large, centremost swathe of steaming ground. It’s famed for its mushiyu (steam) bath scented with sekisho (a Japanese herb) and jigokumushi (dishes cooked in hot spring steam). Some hot springs are safe for bathing, while others reach temperatures that could boil an egg.

onsen ©

Onsen, Beppu: International Tourism Hot-Spring Cultural City©

The appropriately named Jigoku Meguri (‘Beppu Hells’) are capable of doing just that. Although off-limits to bathers, they are every bit as evocative, and as varied in colour, ranging from aquamarine to deep crimson red. Five of which can be found in the Kannawa area: Umi Jigoku (Sea Hell), Oniishibozu Jigoku, Shiraike Jigoku (White Pond Hell), Kamado Jigoku (Cooking Pot Hell) and Oniyama Jigoku (Monster Mountain Hell).

The others — Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Pond Hell) and Tatsumaki Jigoku (Spout Hell) — are situated nearby in Shibaseki.

kyushu trip

Traditional jigokumushi food, Beppu, Kyushu Island

One of the great things about Beppu is that you can tailor the experience to be what you want it to be. You can be as active or as relaxed as you want, whether that’s spending your morning exploring the hot springs at your leisure or being taken on a guided tour. Tranquillity and adventure are offered in equal measure, thanks to the many guides who’ll craft your experience into exactly what you wish.

After floating around the onsen or being taken on a tour, stop by Steamed Tea House "Mushicharou", a restaurant that serves food prepared in the steam of the hot springs and Chinese cuisine. Alternatively, Otto a sette Oita (a restaurant specialising in jigokumushi food and Italian cuisine) dishes up a feast for the eyes. For something light, try Tea Room Cozy Corner, offering a miscellany of cleansing brews.

Yukemuri steam, Beppu, Japan ©

Yukemuri steam, Beppu, Japan ©

Once you’ve checked out of your hotel, catch a train from Beppu Station to Kumamoto. A host of novelty trains serve the line, including the exuberant Aso Boy, a limited express train splashed with illustrations of its canine mascot ‘Kuro’. The colourful seats and bright-white seating for families heighten its appeal even in spite of the fact that it only ventures out on the weekends and public holidays.

The red-coloured Trans-Kyushu Express, with wood-panelling and black seats, transects the central part of Kyushu – connecting Beppu, Mount Aso and Hitoyoshi – and operates throughout the working week.

Once your train has pulled into Kumamoto Station and you’ve checked into Hotel Nikko Kumamoto (a hotel offering views of Kumamoto Castle), amble over to Aoyagi. This Japanese restaurant stood close to Kumamoto Castle specialises in local cuisine. Dishes ranging from kamameshi (kettle rice) to sashimi are made using fresh seasonal ingredients and served on tatami mats.

kyushu trip

Kumamoto Castle ©

Kumamoto city is the capital city of Kumamoto Prefecture, an area it shares with one of the largest active volcanoes in Japan: Mount Aso. The city is home to a seventeenth-century hilltop-style castle and Momoyama-style Suizenji Park, spanning 7.3 hectares.

The jokamachi (or castle town) is intersected by the Tsuboi River, which once fed its castle moat. It is split between two districts: Furumachi (Old Town), which lies south of the river, and Shinmachi (New Town), positioned north.

Its medley of furrowed streets flanked by characterful town houses is complemented by its stone bridge (Meihachi Bridge), designed by Kangoro Hashimoto, who worked on the Tsujunkyo Bridge in Kumamoto and the Nihonbashi Bridge in Tokyo.

Both Furumachi and Shinmachi came under attack in the siege of Kumamoto Castle in the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion, destroying much of its earlier architecture. Adding fuel to the fire, the Kumamoto Earthquake in 2016 prompted further repair work. Locals, however, view the resilience of the city as a symbol of coexistence with nature.

Kumamoto Castle ©

Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto City, Japan © Kumamoto Castle

On your way there, try karashi renkon: battered lotus root stuffed with Japanese mustard and miso paste. Apparently the dish was prepared for a sickening daimyo (feudal lord) in the Edo Period. The lotus root texture and miso is a popular combination across the country, enjoyed with a glass of beer or sake. You’ll find this one at Ganso Mori Karashi Renkon.

Japanese Sake Zuiyo (Kumamoto Castle Label) ©

Japanese Sake Zuiyo with Kumamoto Castle Label ©

Don’t pass up the opportunity to try suizenji nori (edible blue-green algae) at Okumura, the Japanese restaurant in the castle town Shinmachi.

The traditional Japanese sweet shop, Kitagawa Tenmeidou, originating over 200 years ago, is a prerequisite for those with a sweet tooth. Here, confectioners shape white bean paste, mixed with sugar and glutinous rice flour, into Nerikiri – one of the traditional type of Japanese wagashi sweets. Typically, these are enjoyed with matcha green tea.

After lunch, visit Suizenji Jojuen (Suizenji Park), a garden with origins in the Momoyama period. It was designed by Hosokawa Tadatoshi around Suizenji Temple, but later became a tsukiyama (mountain garden). The garden has been open to the public since the late nineteenth century. Over 100 cherry trees inside the garden come into full bloom between March and April.

 Suizenji Jojuen Garden ©

Suizenji Jojuen Garden © Suizenji Jojuen Garden

Also in the park is the Kokin-Denju-no-Ma teahouse. Its arrival from Kyoto Imperial Palace in 1912 coincided with the appointment of Hosokawa Fujitaka (a preeminent Sengoku scholar), who taught tanka (Japanese poetry) to Emperor Go-Yōzei’s younger brother, Prince Hachijō Toshihito.

Finally, sample Zuiyo’s nectarous sake: ZUIYO Junmai Ginjo-shu Sukun. Zuiyo was founded in 1867. Its award-winning liquor is made from sake rice cultivated by natural farming methods, which some say enhances the overall character of the sake by imparting a taste unique to the area.

Akasake (red sake) is the local sake of Kumamoto and is used in local cuisine. In Kumamoto Prefecture, Akasake is also drunk on special occasions, such as New Year's Day.

Suizenji Jojuen Garden ©

Suizenji Jojuen Garden ©

Kyushu Trip: TERUZUSHI + Nagai Bamboo Factory+ Kumamoto Castle

This article is brought to you in partnership with Kyushu District Transportation Bureau

Find out more about Kyushu District Transportation Bureau : kumamoto-guide.jp/en and enjoyonsen.city.beppu-jp.com/

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The Perfect Kyushu Itinerary: 5-Day, 7-Day & 10-Day

Jackson Groves

Posted on Last updated: June 24, 2023

Categories JAPAN

The Perfect Kyushu Itinerary: 5-Day, 7-Day & 10-Day

Are you heading to Kyushu for 1-2 weeks and want to pack your itinerary with lots of epic locations and adventures? I have got you covered. This 5-day Kyushu Itinerary (7-day & 10-day also included) will be your best resource for adventurous activities in Kyushu. I’m talking waterfalls, onsens, volcanoes, and some epic viewpoints along the way.

BEST RENTAL CAR COMPANY IN JAPAN

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When you book your Rental Car online, I personally recommend and always use  Klook for car rentals in Japan. They search for both local and international companies, so you get the best deal!

I spent three weeks in Kyushu so I know the best places to use as your base to maximize your time. This is a self-drive itinerary as it is just too hard with public transport to see all of the tourist hotspots in a short amount of time. 

Table of Contents

ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CREATING A KYUSHU TRAVEL ITINERARY

What is included in this kyushu itinerary blog post.

  • In this  Kyushu itinerary blog post I will first detail how you should structure your five-day itinerary to make the most of your time.
  • In each location, I will suggest how to extend the itinerary to 7-days or 10-days or even longer like myself.
  • Finally, at the bottom of the blog post, I will share my tips on things to know before you travel to Kyushu ( specific information for adventurous travelers )

So, let’s get into it.

TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY IN KYUSHU

an aerial view of a resort with a swimming pool.

  • Ultimate Luxury: Amane Resort Seikai best location and view
  • My Favorite: Sankara Hotel & Spa – Natural Forest, Pool & Beautiful surroundings.
  • Budget Hostel in Kyushu: WeBase Hakata Hostel is easily the top hostel in Kyushu

HOW TO GET AROUND KYUSHU FOR ADVENTURERS

The Kyushu Itinerary I am creating for you here is based on exploring by rental car . I just didn’t find Kyushu to be a place easy to explore by public transport or even with one base and tour groups etc. It’s spread out and not well linked, especially when we are talking about the hikes, mountains, and waterfalls rather than the city attractions. While the train may suit those in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and even in Fukuoka, it won’t cut it out here on Kyushu.

When I rent a car in Kyushu, I recommend and  I   always use   Discover   Cars , and you can see why below. The best part about  Discover   Cars ? You can add  full coverage  insurance for only about $8 per day.

The trains will get you from major towns and even into some regional areas with bus connections but almost all of the adventure spots I visited had no bus connection. When I searched on Google Maps and clicked the public transport option it would just say ‘not available’. It was very clear, very quickly that Kyushu island is best to explore by rental car, especially if you are doing hikes and activities outside of the city (literally everything on this list).

kyushu trip

INTERNATIONAL DRIVERS LICENSE FOR KYUSHU

*** It is extremely important to know that you MUST HAVE an international driver’s license to rent a car in Japan. In fact, they won’t even look at your actual driver’s license and only want to see the international driver’s license. Take that seriously as they genuinely will not give you the car and likely no refund if you don’t have that. To get one you need to be in your country of residence and you can get one on the spot or order online and receive it in a week or so. Make sure you organize that in advance as I almost got caught out not knowing that. 

kyushu trip

BEST TIME TO VISIT KYUSHU

I visited in February, which was winter and freezing. I don’t advise it but it was still epic. The best time to visit Kyushu is most definitely not winter. It’s not really a ski destination so likely you will be freezing and all of the leaves will be dead so the landscapes will not be as beautiful as at other times of the year. There are a few drawcards for each season so I will go through them below.

  • Fall/Autumn:  The temperature is mild and comfortable making it great for hikes and adventuring. If you time things right, you will get the beautiful fall colors out on the trails!
  • Spring:  This is definitely the most popular season to travel to Kyushu with sunny days and comfortable temperatures. It is very popular at this time due to the cherry blossoms and flowers that are in full swing at this time of year.
  • Summer:  While not known for its beaches, Kyushu does offer a number of great swimming spots and beaches to explore. For hiking, it may get a little hot but (up to 30 degrees Celsius) never reaching temperatures that would limit your adventures. 

a person standing in front of a waterfall.

KYUSHU ITINERARY

The way I am breaking this itinerary up is into two locations if you have 5 days and three locations if you have 7 days. The 10-day itinerary will have four locations but will explore more from each base location. So, let’s start with the ideal 5-day itinerary for explorers.

5-DAY KYUSHU ITINERARY

Kumamoto and Beppu will be the home bases for this five-day itinerary so that you can cover the most popular spots and get to all the iconic places in under a week. This is a packed itinerary so don’t be afraid to erase an activity or take a rest day but it is possible with planning to fit them all in. They are all great spots and you won’t be disappointed at any of these locations. I’ve been to them all personally and had an epic adventure. At the bottom of this blog post, I’m going to add a small snippet about each location with a link to the individual blog post I have written for each spot.

Day 1: Mount Aso Day Tour or Mount Aso Hiking/Mount Eboshi

Day 2: GorogoTaki Waterfall in the morning and Mount Neko Hike in the afternoon

Day 3: Takachiho Gorge Tour

Day 4: Onbara Falls mini-hike and Mount Taharamaya/Magaibutsu Buddha

Day 5: Onsen experience and Mount Yufu or Mount Tsurumi

Optional Day 6: Optional extra day in Fukuoka exploring the city and venturing down to Keya No Oto hike in Itoshima 

7-DAY KYUSHU ITINERARY

Kumamoto, Beppu, and Kirishima will be the home bases for this seven-day itinerary. You’ll probably need a rest day unless you are a machine but see how you go. I’ve been to all of the spots personally and had an epic adventure. At the bottom of this blog post, I’m going to add a small snippet about each location with a link to the individual blog post I have written for each spot.

Day 6: Drive to Kirishima in the morning and on the way hike Mount Karakuni

Day 7: Mount Kaimondake hike, Ryumon, and Inukai Waterfall

kyushu trip

10-DAY KYUSHU ITINERARY

Day 4: Mount Kuju Hiking circuit and transit from Kumamoto to Beppu

Day 5: Onbara Falls mini-hike and Mount Taharamaya/Magaibutsu Buddha

Day 6: Onsen experience and cable car or hike to Mount Tsurumi

Day 8: Visit Sakurajima (active volcano) 

Day 9 & 10: Overnight trip to Yakushima with two day-hikes.

kyushu trip

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So, those are the three different Kyushu itineraries I’ve put together. I hope you have a great time in Kyushu and enjoy it as much as I did! Remember these are just suggestions and if you don’t like hiking so much, you can change the activities around and do more cultural activities, visit historical sites and castles, or do food-focused tours.

Below are the snippets of all the activities I suggested in the itineraries above so you can see what I am adding to each itinerary.

ONBARA FALLS

The journey to Onbara Falls is a very, very short trek but will remove you from the town of Beppu and immerse you in the jungle making you feel lost beneath the falls. Onbara Falls is a bit of a hidden gem just outside the town of Beppu in Oita Prefecture of Kyushu, Japan. Beppu is one of the most famous Onsen towns in Japan and even the world. However, amidst all of the hot springs and Onsens are some truly epic waterfalls and Onbara Falls is up there with the most beautiful and most accessible.

The trail is short and well-defined with a dirt/rock path leading you up to the falls. With the morning sun shining through it was actually a beautiful little walk, which is only about 2km return.

Read the full blog post for details: ONBARA FALLS IN KYUSHU, JAPAN

kyushu trip

HIKING TO MOUNT KARAKUNI IN KIRISHIMA

Mount Karakuni is the highest peak in the Kirishima Mountain Range of Kyushu Island in Japan with a height of 1,700 meters. Mount Karakuni has a volcanic crater, which is 900 meters and 300 meters deep. The hike up from the visitor center is relatively short with just a few kilometers in distance but quite steep. From the summit, you can look over to the ‘Ring of Fire’, which is the off-limits 

The total hike distance for me was 9.6km for my entire lap of the Kirishima area but there are many ways to make it shorter. If you just go up and down Mount Karakuni from the visitor center it will be about 5-6km in total. I added on the lap of Lake Rokkannonmiike and Lake Byakashiike.

Read the full blog post for details and all photos:  MOUNT KARAKUNI HIKE (KARAKUNIDAKE) IN KIRISHIMA

kyushu trip

MOUNT TAHARAYAMA

The Mount Taharayama hike leads you on a steep ascent up to an epic, rocky ridgeline before you descend down into the forest to discover a 10th century stone buddha carving into the cliff wall. It’s an adventure with a tomb-raider vibe and is definitely sure to have you off-the-beaten-path and out there amongst the adventure in the Oita Prefecture of Kyushu Island, Japan.

Read the full blog post for details and all photos:  MT. TAHARAYAMA HIKE TO KUMANO MAGAIBUTSU (BUDDHA STATUE)

kyushu trip

INUKAI FALLS

Inukai Falls was probably my favorite waterfall that I visited while based in Kirishima. It was a booming waterfall but I really loved the gorge that led up to the falls, which was lined by woodland and forest giving it a Pacific Northwest vibe. I actually had to wait a while here for the fog to clear enough to see the falls but when it cleared a little, I was able to record a little video on the drone to show you just how epic this gorge is.

kyushu trip

What are my favorite pieces of travel gear?

There are four pieces of gear that I simply never travel without. These are four items that I using right now and this list gets updated every year! Here are my travel essentials.

  • Packing Cube Set : Once you cube you’ll never go back. Organize your clothes within your luggage with these smart mesh containers. It will revolutionize your packing.
  • Quick-Dry Towel : A quick-dry towel is a must for travelers. It hardly takes up any room and dries in seconds.
  • Travel Wallet : Keep your passport, wallet, and vaccine card safe as well as any forms and important documents you need to store.
  • Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle : I’ve used this for three years. It filters your water with one press and you can drink directly from it. Never buy a plastic water bottle again!

HIKE MOUNT ASO 

In the Aso region of the Kumamoto Prefecture in the center of Kyushu Island is the Mount Aso region, which is one of the largest calderas in the entire world. Hiking in Mount Aso Region is one of the most incredible adventures you can have in Japan. Mount Aso is a volcanic depression, which is essentially a huge crater that has a number of peaks within this region that can be trekked. There are numerous craters within the crater such as the very active Nakadake Crater. 

The Caldera spans 17 kilometers from east to west and 25 kilometers from south to north with a total area of 350 square kilometers. When we talk about this caldera it is a huge area but at the center of the caldera is where all of the action is when it comes to volcanic activity, hiking, museums, and tourism. In the middle of the caldera is the central crater group which consists of the five Aso peaks which are Mt. Taka (Takadake), Mt. Naka (Nakadake), Mt. Eboshi (Eboshidake), Mt. Kijima (Kijimadake), and Mt. Neko (Nekodake).

I hiked all of the peaks except for Kijima. The Nakadake and Takadake loop (when open) is my favorite hike in Kyushu… by far. It looks down on the active volcano crater and makes you feel like you are in outer space or trekking through a post-apocalyptic world.

Read the full blog post for details and all photos:   HIKING MOUNT ASO VOLCANO – A COMPLETE GUIDE

a man standing in the snow next to a fence.

MOUNT EBOSHI HIKE

Mount Eboshi is one of the five peaks of the central cone group of the famous Mount Aso. It’s the easiest peak and probably the safest peak to climb taking just over an hour to get up and down from the summit. The view from the top is quite remarkable as it looks out over the Nakadake Crater, which is where the active volcano of Mount Aso is found.

The Mount Eboshi hike is a great little trail not because of the views or the adventure but because it is usually open! Because Nakadake Crater and the active volcano within it are often spewing ash high into the air, the surrounding trails are often closed. This leaves adventurous hikers feeling a bit stuck. Luckily Eboshi is a bit further away but you still have nice views of the erupting volcano. 

At the summit, you have a view out to Nakadake Crater, which is where the eruptions, smoke, and all the action takes place. In the other directions, you can witness the entire caldera and the various rock formations and craters that are scattered throughout the region. I visited Mount Eboshi as part of the ‘ Around Aso Tour ‘, which was the perfect way to explore this region on a full-day trip from Fukuoka.

Read the full blog post for details and all photos:  MOUNT EBOSHI HIKE (EBOSHIDAKE) IN MOUNT ASO

kyushu trip

MOUNT NEKO (NEKODAKE) HIKE

Mount Neko is the second tallest peak in the Mount Aso region at 1,443m high for the Tengu Peak and the opposite Toho Peak is 1,408m high. It’s called Nekodake because from Aso it looks like two cat ears when you see both of the peaks. It was an awesome but steep hike and the jagged peaks were just incredible at the summit during sunset.

As well as the numerous ropes to help you up the summit of Nekodake, you will also encounter several ladders, helping you ascend through the forest. None of the ropes, ladders or bouldering is technical or very difficult but be prepared for a bit of action along the trail.

At the summit, you will look out across to the Tengu Peak, which is the most prominent peak and you really can’t miss it. In the late afternoon, the sun sets behind this peak so it’s a really magical spot to take in the whole ridge.

Read the full blog post for details and all photos: MOUNT NEKO HIKE (NEKODAKE) IN KYUSHU

a man and a woman standing in the woods.

GOROGA TAKI FALLS

The Gorogotaki Waterfall is the largest falls in Yamato, Kumamoto with a 50m drop into the basin below. The beauty of this waterfall on Kyushu Island is that often it is crowned by a rainbow as the water crashed down onto the rocks, spraying up and catching the light perfectly in a stream of color. My favorite part about this waterfall is that you view it from the suspension bridge. There is also a really nice walk around the region through the rice fields and through the gorge to the base of the falls.

Read the full blog post here:  GOROGOTAKI WATERFALL NEAR KUMAMOTO

kyushu trip

HIKING IN THE KUJU MOUNTAINS

The stunning Kuju Mount range is part of the Aso-Kuju National Park and while Mount Kuju might be the most famous it is actually the nearby Nakadake Peak that is the highest peak in the park, which makes it the highest point on Kyushu Island. These mountains are connected by a series of hiking trails so you can kind of make it up as you go, pushing on to ‘one more peak’ time and time again or following a set route. I did a bit of both.

It’s straight up from the get-go so don’t put too many jackets on you will be working that incline straight away. Once you reach the ridge it’s time for the adventure to start. The trail turns into a rocky ridgeline with a number of ladders and some very low-key bouldering required.

The total day of climbing was 1,026m so it’s always an effort when you grab a vertical kilometer. The trail was rocky but quite well defined and we never had too many difficulties finding our way. At the top of Mount Kuju, we could watch over the erupting Mount Aso in the distance and admire the valley below.

Read the full blog post for details and all photos:  HIKING THE KUJU MOUNTAIN RANGE

kyushu trip

VISIT THE BEPPU HELLS

The ‘Hells’ of Beppu, as they are known, are seven incredible hot springs all in one area. Unlike many of the onsens or hot springs in the area, these specific hot springs are for viewing only as they are far too hot for bathing. They are quite a tourist attraction and it almost looks like zoo enclosures but instead of almost there is a bubbling, steaming pool of volcanically heated water. The reason these ‘Hells’ are so unique is that they each have a different feature such as the orange Hell or the deep blue Hell. I thought the experience of visiting the Hells of Beppu was quite cool but very touristy. I visited the Beppu Hells as part of this full-day tour from Fukuoka including the Beppu Hells and Yufuin Spa Town.

kyushu trip

TAKACHIHO GORGE WATERFALL (Minainotaki Waterfall)

Takachiho Gorge is one of the most incredible natural attractions on Kyushu Island, Japan. In the forest of Miyazaki, the Gokase River runs through a gorge comprised of volcanic basalt columns where the 17-meter high Minainotaki Waterfall pours down on the awe-struck tourists below who are paddling the iconic rowboats through the narrow chasm. 

Kyushu Island is beautiful in the summer and the fall, which are the most popular times for tourists. In the fall you get the beautiful tinged orange and different colors on the trees and in the summer you are blessed with the best weather. I visited in the winter, which was not the prettiest time as lots of the leaves were dead so there were plenty of sparse trees. However, Takachiho Gorge was at a lower elevation and in a spot that was still beautiful and green in the winter. The conclusion is pretty much that it is a year-round attraction, which will only differ slightly at various times throughout the year.

The first way to enjoy Takachio gorge and the Minaionotaki Waterfall is to paddle underneath the stone bridge and then alongside the Minainotaki Waterfall. It sprayed us a little but mostly we just enjoyed the stunning gorge, which is made of volcanic basalt columns. The columns are said to resemble the scales of a dragon where the stones were twisted when the river flowed in the formation of the gorge.

The second way to enjoy the Takachiho Gorge is from one of the many viewing points. My two favorites were the bridge and the lower (most popular) viewpoint. The bridge gives you a very elevated view of the boats and the waterfall below, framed nicely by the overhanging trees and the walls of the gorge.

TAKACHIHO GORGE DAY TOUR

As I said above, Takachiho Gorge is a bit hard to get to with public transport so unless you have rented a car, the best way to get there is on the Takachiho Gorge Day Tour . The tour includes drop-off and pickup from your hotel, an English-speaking guide for while you are at the gorge. Helen the guide is an absolute legend and we loved this tour and this epic location.

CLICK HERE to check rates and availability for the Takachiho Gorge Day Tour

kyushu trip

MOUNT KAIMON (KAIMONDAKE) HIKE

Mount Kaimon (Kaimondak) is an inactive volcano along the coast in the south of Kyushu known for its conical shape. The Mount Kaimon hike leads you through the forest on a steep, rocky trail up ladders and boulders to the summit where you are rewarded with coastal views from the top of the volcano.

The trail begins with an incline from the very first moment as you wind your way through the woodlands at the base of the volcano. It was a very beautiful part of the trail as the sunlight shone through the trees and into the mini canyons created by erosion on the path. At some points, the walls on either side of the trail were above head height, which added a unique atmosphere to the trail.

Read the full blog post for details and all photos:  MOUNT KAIMON HIKE (KAIMONDAKE) IN KAGOSHIMA

kyushu trip

ENJOY AN ONSEN EXPERIENCE

Kyushu is famous for its hot springs and it is one of the most volcanic places in the world. It is Beppu that is at the center of this volcanic activity when it comes to onsens and hot springs with hundreds of different onsens, spa-resorts and hot springs to test out. It’s definitely an experience you want to try at least once. The general premise of an onsen experience is that you will arrive fully clothed, strip down to naked and then bathe in the hot spring water with the other locals and visitors. The minerals, temperature and meditative experience are said to be very beneficial for your health. I visited Hoyoland Onsen as they allowed people with tattoos to bathe whereas many do not due to traditional laws. There are lots of very scenic onsens to choose from but make sure you try it at least once as this is the most cultural experience you can have and one of the best things to do in Kyushu.

I didn’t take a photo at the onsen as it isn’t allowed and would be very weird as everyone is naked so I’ve added in a stock photo below to show you what it looks like. 

kyushu trip

KEYA NO OTO HIKE IN ITOSHIMA

Keya no Oto is a beautiful coastal viewpoint of Itoshima, which has incredible views of the beach from the ominous ridgeline and a 64m cave below! You can hike all the way up onto the top of the ridge as there is a bit of a trail, which includes some basic bouldering/rock climbing. It isn’t a trail I would recommend unless you are athletic and adept at bouldering and climbing. 

Atop the ridge, it was a very narrow path. A 50m+ drop on either side meant we had to focus on our steps until we reached a safer, wider spot on top of the ridge. We took a moment to relax up here, taking in the view of the beach and down to the volcanic cone at the other end of the coastline.

Read the full blog post for details and all photos:  KEYA NO OTO HIKE IN ITOSHIMA

kyushu trip

MOUNT YUFU HIKE

While I was based in Beppu I headed up for sunrise one morning to hike Mount Yufu. It’s known as being quite a tough hike due to the consistent incline and relentless switchbacks that lead you up to the two peaks at the summit. However, on the day I visited, it was covered in the cloud at the top. We saw deer along the way and really enjoyed the hike. I know the view from the summit is pretty epic so I’ve added it onto this list with a photo from a day with better weather. It was a 7km round trip with more than 700m of an incline up the switchbacks. I’ve included a photo below of the view from the top and the view from below on a day in better conditions than when I hiked. Keep in mind, it is known for being a peak that is hard to catch on a clear day so do pick the best day of the week regarding weather.

Yufudake, Mount Yufu, Oita, Japan, Aso-Kuju National Park

RYUMON FALLS

If you are staying near Kirishima then Ryumon Falls is definitely a spot I would recommend. It isn’t too far from Kirishima town and is a pretty epic waterfall. There is a small parking lot and then you walk about 500 meters to the viewing platform. You can go down closer to the base of the falls as well but it was a stormy, misty day when I visited and I was the only one there. I decided to just enjoy the view from the platform and snapped a photo from right there.

kyushu trip

MOUNT TSURUMI HIKE

When you stay in the town of Beppu, you will always notice the mountains looming at the back of the valley. The highest point is called Mount Tsurumi and it’s actually possible to reach by cable car. However, there is a trail to the top if you are up for the very steep challenge.

Of course, if you are just in it for the view, take the cable car but for those who love the adventure and want to spot some deer along the way the trail starts just around the backside of the cable car parking. Drive an extra half mile up the road past the cable car parking and you will find the trail entrance on the right side of the road. It’s on maps.me if you can’t find it.

At the summit, you have a beautiful view down over the town of Beppu and the entire beach. Just like Mount Yufu, on the day I visited, the weather was quite poor visibility with heavy fog so I have included a photo from a clearer day so you can decide if this is a hike you are keen to add to your Kyushu bucket list.

View from Mount Tsurumi, Beppu

WHERE TO STAY IN KYUSHU

  • Best Luxury Place to Stay in Fukuoka: Hotel WBF Grande Hakata  (Value): This is by far the most popular hotel and one of the most luxurious in Fukuoka.
  • Best Value Place to Stay in Kumamoto: Hotel The Gate Kumamoto  (Value):  Hotel The Gate is a well-situated accommodation in the heart of Kumamoto, just across the train station and within walking distance to shops and restaurants.
  • Best Luxury Place to Stay in Kumamoto: Kumamoto Hotel Castle (Luxury):  Set near the infamous Kumamoto Castle, this luxury hotel features a wide range of carpeted rooms from standard rooms to suites fitted with plush amenities.

For a full list of the top-rated places to stay in Kyushu, you can check out my comprehensive guide: WHERE TO STAY IN KYUSHU: BEST REGIONS & HOTELS

kyushu trip

ARE YOU FOLLOWING MY KYUSHU BLOG SERIES?

I spent over three weeks exploring Kyushu and visited some incredible waterfalls, hiked some amazing trails, and visited a number of epic volcanoes. I created a number of guides to help travelers find the best spots in Kyushu. You can explore the articles by clicking on the links below.

  • The Ultimate Kyushu Bucketlist:   30 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN KYUSHU
  • The best places to stay in Kyushu in each region:   WHERE TO STAY IN KYUSHU: BEST REGIONS & HOTELS
  • How to plan your Kyushu vacation:  THE ULTIMATE KYUSHU ITINERARY: 5-DAY, 7-DAY & 10-DAY
  • Interested in chasing waterfalls?:   12 AWESOME WATERFALLS IN KYUSHU
  • Keen for some epic hiking?:  11 AWESOME HIKES IN KYUSHU
  • Everything you need to know about Oita:   11 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN OITA
  • Your Ultimate Guide to Kumamoto:   13 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN KUMAMOTO
  • My favorite waterfall in Kyushu:   TAKACHIHO GORGE – MOST BEAUTIFUL WATERFALL IN JAPAN

kyushu trip

Wednesday 10th of January 2024

Thanks so much for this detailed and informative post!

Wednesday 23rd of August 2023

Heyo! I'd love to do this but I'm going in January, what month did you go in and would you say January might be too cold?

Tuesday 7th of March 2023

Looks great! Based on your blog, we decided to spend a week in this area next month! Do you remember where you rent a car as nothing looks availbe to me :(?

Sunday 1st of November 2020

Thank you for sharing your information about Kyushu and suggestion for sightseeing. Great job

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Kyushu Itinerary

10 Days Kyushu Itinerary: A Complete Travel Guide Blog

Last updated on February 3rd, 2024

If you are planning the Kyushu itinerary, this ultimate Kyushu travel guide blog has all the essential information including things to do, where to stay, and money-saving tips for your Kyushu trip.

Kyushu (九州) is Japan’s third-largest island and is located southwest of the main island Honshu. Literally, as nine provinces, Kyushu encompasses seven prefectures: Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga in Northern Kyushu, and Miyazaki, Kagoshima in Southern Kyushu.

An early center of Japanese civilization, Kyushu offers many historic treasures, modern cities, and natural beauty. Undoubtedly, there are numerous things to do and delicious local dishes to eat in Kyushu. From stunning coastlines at Miyazaki, active volcano Mount Aso, mysterious Takachiho gorge, and hot spring paradise in Beppu, Kurokawa Onsen, and Yufuin. Additionally, Kyushu is the birthplace of many mouthwatering Japanese cuisines. The world-famous Ichiran tonkatsu ramen also origin from Kyushu.

However, take note that the Kyushu region is huge. It can be very headache when planning on the Kyushu itinerary. Additionally, most of the top attractions are scattered around in different places. It also takes time and effort for traveling around. So it is important to have a rough idea of Kyushu’s attractions before starting planning for your Kyushu itinerary.

In this Kyushu travel guide blog , we will share things to do and how to arrange transport to get there. Most importantly, some of the useful guides and money-saving tips when planning your Kyushu trip itinerary. This ultimate travel guide blog has all the essential information including things to do, where to stay, and money-saving tips for your Kyushu trip.

Table of Contents

Pre-Trip Essential

Best Time To Visit Kyushu

How Many Days Do You Need in Kyushu? It takes at least 14 days to visit all the top sights in Kyushu, not counting those Kyushu’s hidden gems. Bear in mind, that Kyushu is a huge region and there are so many things to do and see in Kyushu. Moreover, most of the top attractions are scattered around in different places and prefectures.

However, if you only have limited time, it is recommended to narrow down the places and focus on either Northern or Southern Kyushu for 5 days or even 7 days Kyushu itinerary. So, you won’t waste too much time on transport arrangements.

Best Time To Visit Kyushu You can visit Kyushu Japan at any time of the year as it is a great place to visit all year round. Kyushu has its charm and is rich with historical, cultural, and natural scenery and is beautiful in every season, whether spring, summer, autumn, or winter. Most importantly, Kyushu is less crowded compared to Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka. Additionally, for budget travelers, Kyushu is the perfect destination to visit as travel expenses is much cheaper compared with those busy city. But take note that most of the cities in Japan may be impacted by typhoons from mid-August to September. So try to avoid those two months.

How is the Kyushu weather? Due to its geographic location, the weather climate in Kyushu isn’t as freezing as the one in Hokkaido. However, you can still expect chilly weather. It can be very cold if you are getting to the mountainous area of Kyushu such as Takachiho Gorge and Mount Aso.

Here are some places and top attractions that you can consider on your Kyushu itinerary.

Places to visit in the Northern region in Kyushu Itinerary:

  • Fukuoka Prefecture : Fukuoka, Dazaifu, Mojito Retro, Kokura (2 to 3 Days)
  • Saga Prefecture : Takeo Onsen (1 Day)
  • Oita Prefecture : Oita, Yufuin (2 to 3 Days)
  • Nagasaki Prefecture : Nagasaki, Sasebo (Kujukushima Island), Huis Ten Bosch (2 to 3 Days)
  • Kumamoto Prefecture : Kumamoto city, Mount Aso, Kurokawa Onsen (3 Days)

Places to visit in the Southern region in Kyushu Itinerary:

  • Miyazaki Prefecture : Miyazaki, Takachiho Gorge (2 Days)
  • Kagoshima Prefecture : Kagoshima, Sakurajima, Kirishima, Ibusuki (2 to 3 Days)

Among all the top attractions in Kyushu, Takachiho Gorge (Miyazaki), Kurokawa onsen (Kumamoto), and Yufuin (Oita) are the top priority and must-visit in my Kyushu itinerary. While Fukuoka is always my first approach and last city before getting to/from Kyushu. It is also a great base if you are planning to travel to nearby attractions such as Kitakyushu, Mojiko, and Kokura.

Where To Stay

Where To Stay in Kyushu

Kyushu has a wide range of accommodation options ranging from hotels, to guesthouses, and cozy hostels to choose from. To find your lodging options, it’s important to first plan your Kyushu itinerary and transport mode. Bear in mind that Kyushu is huge and each prefecture has its attractions.

For the Kyushu itinerary by using public transport, we advise staying nearby the station. It provides access to most of the attractions and easy getting around. One of the great examples is Fukuoka. It is my great base before ending our Kyushu trip.

We booked and stayed in Montan Hakata Hostel . This designed concept hostel provides a private room with an en-suite bathroom for two, three, or four-person beds, and also a dormitory with a bunk bed for solo travelers. Simple breakfast for free! It was located about a 10-minute walk to Hakata Station and a 5-minute walk to Higashi-Hie subway station. So we were given the option to choose either station.

For the traveler’s plan for a self-driving Kyushu itinerary, the accommodation options are much more varied. You can choose from Japan guest houses, homestays, or even traditional ryokan stay.

Here is the accommodation guide on popular places if you are looking for where to stay in Kyushu:

  • Where To Stay in Fukuoka: Hakata or Tenjin
  • Kumamoto Accommodation Guide: Best hotel and areas
  • Where To Stay in Kurokawa Onsen

Planning on Kyushu Itinerary

There are many top attractions and a must-see in Kyushu and some of those very great destinations that I don’t want to miss. So we were so dilemma to plan the most perfect Kyushu itinerary and keep on adjusting on schedule. But don’t forget that Kyushu is a huge island. So it is best to plan out what is your interest and want to visit. From that, planned out the order you want to go then mapped out the best way to travel between the cities. Bear in mind that, transportation is also a headache and you need to understand the best way to travel.

The Ultimate 10 Days Kyushu itinerary:

  • Day 1: Arrived in Kyushu and headed to Kumamoto from Fukuoka.
  • Day 2: Day trip to Takachiho Gorge
  • Day 3: Mount Aso – Kurokawa Onsen. Stay at Kurokawa Onsen.
  • Day 4: Kurokawa Onsen – Beppu.
  • Day 5: Beppu (Jigoku Meguri Tour).
  • Day 6: Yufuin – Kokonoe.
  • Day 7: Nagasaki or Huis Ten Bosch.
  • Day 8: Sasebo (Kujukushima Island)
  • Day 9: Kitakyushu (Shimonoseki, Mojiko , Kokura)
  • Day 10: Fukuoka – Yanagawa- Dazaifu. Goodbye Kyushu.

The above recommendations are just my personal experience and focus on Northern Kyushu. In fact, we make another visit to Kyushu, focusing on Southern Kyushu to Kagoshima and Kirishima. Still, there is still many more hidden gem awaiting you to explore. 

The above itinerary just showcases that Kyushu has so much to offer and we are impossible to cover all the things to do in Kyushu within 10 days of the Kyushu itinerary. This is the ideal Kyushu itinerary for your reference. Added, there are also lots of seasonal things to do and see in spring, summer, fall, and winter. You are free to adjust based on your interest, travel date, transport, and budget.

So, let’s start to explore and tour in more detail the Kyushu itinerary.

Day 1: Kumamoto

Kumamoto Castle - Kyushu itinerary

Start your Kyushu itinerary by visiting Kumamoto prefecture. Sadly to say that Kumamoto had the biggest hit during the 2016 earthquake. The Top three Premier Castle in Japan, Kumamoto Castle is badly destroyed by this natural disaster. The reconstruction and repairing work needs to take a least 20 years. Now, part of the Kumamoto Castle group is open to the public for free visits without a ticket. But you still can spend some time visiting the historical castle, meet the cuties Kumamon, and enjoy the best food in Kumamoto.

Related Article : Things To Do in Kumamoto: 1-Day Itinerary

Getting there : Highway bus from Fukuoka International Airport, or Hakata and Tenjin Station. Alternatively, 50 minutes Shinkansen ride will get you from Hakata Station (Fukuoka) to Kumamoto.

Pro Tips : Using SunQ Pass for the bus route or Kyushu JR Pass for train ride. Plan your itinerary to save on transportation fee. 

Nest Hotel Kumamoto

Where To Stay : We recommended staying somewhere near Sakuramachi Bus Stop (the central bus station downtown). Nest Hotel Kumamoto is a three-star business hotel strategically situated approximately 2-mins walk from the bus station. I would recommend it as it is convenient and at a reasonable price.

Alternatively, Dormy Inn Kumamoto Natural Hot Spring is strategically located with the bus terminal is directly opposite the hotel. It will greatly help to save time and energy if you are planning to travel for a day trip to Takachiho Gorge the next day.

More accommodation options from Where to Stay in Kumamoto: Best hotel and areas .

Day 2: Takachiho Gorge

Takachiho Gorge

In my Kyushu itinerary, Takachiho Gorge is a must-visit attraction on my bucket list. The mysterious V-shaped gorge has to be one of Miyazaki prefecture’s most famous sights. It was formed from the volcanic lava from Mount Aso, flowing through the Gokase River which resulted in the 100-meter-high cliffs of volcanic basalt columns. Rowing the boat in Takachiho Gorge and mesmerizing the Manai fall from below. The breathtaking look is even more spectacular with yellow leaves during Autumn.

Related Article : Takachiho Gorge Travel Guide: 1-Day Itinerary Blog

Getting there : Bus from Kumamoto to Takachiho Bus Station, and then get to Takachiho Gorge.

Where To Stay : Day trip to Takachiho Gorge is doable. If you planning for an overnight stay, Solest Takachiho Hotel is a good option. This gorgeously designed hotel is featuring Japanese and Western-style accommodations. The location is excellent and easy access to major attractions within walking distance.

Day 3, 4: Mt Aso – Kurokawa Onsen

Mount Aso - Kyushu Itinerary

Next, let’s head to Asosan, the largest active volcano mountain in Japan . It has one of the largest calderas in the world, allowing viewing of real volcanic eruptions with a closer view. However, take note that Mount Aso will close for a visit if the volcano activities are too frequent. So make sure to check on it before your visit. If this is the case, you can spend your time wandering in Kusasenri, an amazing vast grassland with Asosan as a backdrop.

  • Things To Do in Aso For 1-Day Aso Itinerary

Getting there : Take the Kyushu Odan Bus from Kumamoto to Aso Station and then transfer to the local Sanko bus.

Kurokawa Onsen - Kyushu Itinerary

A visit to Kyushu is incomplete without soaking in a natural hot spring bath. You probably won’t miss your visit to Kurokawa Onsen which is located about 2 hour’s driving journey from Kumamoto city. It is one of the most magnificent traditional hot spring towns in Japan and boasted of various unique onsen baths. Visitors can get the Onsen Hopping Pass and enjoy three different hot springs from the ryokan list. But, it is worth spending one night and relaxing in the laid-back quaint hot spring town.

  • Kurokawa Onsen: A Guide To Natural Hot Spring Town

Getting there : Take the Kyushu Odan Bus from Kumamoto/Mt Aso to Kurokawa Onsen.

Ryokan Ikoi Stand Bath Onsen

Where To Stay : We recommended spending one night in Kurokawa onsen. Ryokan Ikoi is one of the great options for those who prefer to experience the rustic traditional ryokan stay. After the tiring traveling days, allow yourself to get out of the hustle and bustle and soak into the onsen bath. One of the best experiences in the Kyushu itinerary.

Alternatively, take a look at our best ryokan pick in Kurokawa Onsen . There are many more recommendations that suit your budget and travel style.

Day 5: Beppu

Umi Jigoku Beppu

Beppu is one of the popular hot spring towns in Oita prefecture. Beppu city has more than two thousand hot spring spots and is blessed with a variety of hot spring resources. Local make use of onsen for various interesting activities.

During your Kyushu itinerary in Beppu, you can view on colorful hot spring attraction at Jigoku Meguri, consisting of 8 unique hot spring spots . Taste the hot spring steamed dishes at Jigoku Mushi Kobo and also Jigoku pudding dessert. Lastly, enjoy a unique sand bath heated by hot spring water.

  • Beppu Itinerary: Ultimate Travel Guide Blog

Getting there : Highway bus running between Beppu and major cities in Kyushu. Added, frequent JR train connects between Hakata Station and Beppu.

Nogamihonkan Ryokan Common Area

Where to Stay : We choose to stay in Nogami Honkan , a traditional ryokan with modern facilities in Beppu. It is located at an easily walkable distance from the train and bus stations. You can choose even the nearest at Beppu Kamenoi Hotel , a three-star hotel located nearby Beppu station within a 5-minutes walk.

Read More : Where to Stay in Beppu [Best Hotels and Ryokans]

Day 6: Yufuin

Yufuin Travel Guide And Itinerary Blog

Yufuin (由布院/湯布院) is the most popular sightseeing spot in Oita prefecture. This onsen town is boasted unique cafes, restaurants, and shops selling high-quality locally-made handicrafts, boutiques, and art galleries. Enjoy a scenic stroll along the Yunotsubo Kaido, sample various Japanese snack food, and enjoy the atmosphere. End your walk at the beautiful Kinrin lake (金鱗湖, Kirinko) that is fed by onsen waters.

Stroll in Yufuin Floral Village

Stopped by Yufuin Floral Village for its colorful and vibrant Europe settling town. The narrow street was lined with yellow-painted souvenirs and toys shops and decorated with colorful flowers, vintage lamps, and decorations. Added, you can find the owl museum, a cat cafe, and even an animal encounter zone. Plenty of photo opportunities at every corner.

Best Ryokan Stay in Yufuin - Yufuin Lamp no Yado

As an onsen enthusiastic, we spend another night in Yufuin. There are many charming ryokan inns featured with an onsen hot spring bath in Yufuin. Our recommendation is the  Yufuin Lamp no Yado . It s a more than traditional onsen ryokan with a renovated 175 years building structure in Yufuin. Staying one night in Yufuin with kaiseki dinner is very wonderful.

Here is the best ryokan list on where to stay in Yufuin . Take a look if you are interested.

Kokonoe Yume Otsurihasi - Kyushu itinerary

If you have more time, consider to had a half-day trip to Kokonoe Yume Otsurihasi (九重”夢”大吊橋) , Japan’s Highest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge. The construction of this grand suspension bridge purely comes from the public without any subsidy from the government. And that’s is the name “The Dream of Kokonoe” comes from. This is also the best place to view fall foliage during Autumn.

Walking through the suspension bridge, mesmerized by the beautiful view surrounding me and grab the Kokonoe burger for a snack. Worth a half-day visit to this natural scene. However, please take note of time allocation due to infrequent and not well-connected transport arrangements.

Yufuin no Mori

One popular transport to note is Yufuin no mori (ゆふいんの森) which runs between Hakata and Yufuin. It is a popular sightseeing train and reservation is a must. The train is beautifully decorated with a forest theme and offers a great view along the train ride.

More information and itinerary travel guide in Yufuin and Kokonoe:

  • Yufuin Travel Guide: Must Eat Food And Things To Do
  • Where To Stay in Yufuin: Best Ryokan in Yufuin
  • Kokonoe Yume Otsurihasi: A Walk To Japan Highest Suspension Bridge

Day 7, 8: Nagasaki – Huis Ten Bosch – Sasebo

Plan your Kyushu itinerary to Nagasaki Prefecture for 2 or 3 days of visit. You can pick from Nagasaki city (1 or 2 days), Huis Ten Bosch (1 day), or Sasebo (1 day) depending on your interest.

Peace Statue at the Nagasaki Peace Park

Nagasaki city is worth the recommendation. It has extensive insights into World World II with Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, Nagasaki Peace Park, and historical memorial.

Moreover, being one of the port cities open to foreigners during Japan’s isolation period, Nagasaki is a charming city that perfectly combined Japanese and Western cultures. The Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese influences from the 16th century until nowadays. The Nagasaki Chinatown, also known as Shinchi Chinatown, is Japan’s oldest Chinatown. It is best known for famous local noodle dishes, Champion and Sara udon.

Further Read on : Nagasaki Itinerary: A Travel Guide Blog

Plan your visit to Huis Ten Bosch , the largest amuse theme park in Kyushu with the ambiance of a 17th-century Dutch town. It is also particularly beautiful with Dutch windmills and European architectural buildings, especially during the tulips festival. Lots of fun and shows such as water magic, fire performance, lighting & music canal parade, concert, and more.

Kyushu Travel Tips : Get Discounted Huis Ten Bosch Ticket

Kujukushima Sightseeing Cruise in Sasebo

Not to forget the Kyushu hidden gem, Kujukushima (99 Island) in Sasebo , Nagasaki prefecture. It is one of the top attraction spots that we highly recommended for your Kyushu itinerary. Although the name is called ninety-nine islands, there are a total of 208 uninhabited islands at the coast bay. Enjoy the sightseeing cruise to mesmerize the beautiful coastal view.

Ticket Information: The Kujukushima Sightseeing Cruise: ¥1,500 for an adult and ¥750 for kids (4-15). Get Ticket from Klook .

Getting there : From Hakata Station (Fukuoka), take the highway bus or JR train to Sasebo/Nagasaki/Huis Ten Bosch. Approximate 2 hours journey.

Further Read on : Sasebo Itinerary: Kujukushima Sightseeing Cruise

Day 9: Kitakyushu (Shimonoseki, Mojiko, Kokura)

Karato Market - Kyushu itinerary

Kitakyushu is the northernmost city in Kyushu between the Honshu in Japan. From Fukuoka, you can visit both of Japan’s islands in one day. You can even cross these two islands through the underground water tunnel which is connected between Mojiko and Shimonoseki.

Take a 5 minutes ferry from Mojiko to the Karato market in Shimonoseki . Started your day with marvelous sushi, sashimi, and seafood dishes in Karato Market. The fresh market will host the sushi event on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It served freshly caught seafood and was popular for fugu (pufferfish) at a cheap price. The Karato market is located only 5 minutes ferry from Mojiko.

Wandering in Mojiko Retro

Then strolling in Mojiko retro area to enjoy Neo-Renaissance style architecture with the breezing wind. If you still have more room, you must also try the yaki curry here. The baked curry with cheese is Mojito’s specialty.

You can even plan a short visit to Kokura Castle and go to the Tanga Market for another food hunt. The entire Kitakyushu area has a sense of tranquility and is a great place for a relaxing stroll.

Free feel to continue to read below:

  • [Kitakyushu] 1-Day Kitakyushu Itinerary To Shimonoseki, Mojiko, Kokura
  • [Kitakyushu] Karato Market: Sushi Battle Event in Shimonoseki

Where we stayed : Montan Hakata Hostel is a designed concept hostel located about a 5-10 minutes walk to the nearby subway station.

Day 10: Fukuoka – Yanagawa- Dazaifu

Dazaifu - Kyushu itinerary

Fukuoka is the biggest and busiest city in Kyushu. It is also the main transportation hub for visitors when visiting Kyushu. Frequent shinkansen, JR train, and international and domestic flights welcome thousand of travelers per day. It’s a great starting off and ending point for your Kyushu itinerary. Additionally, you can also make use of the JR train and visit the nearby attraction.

Similar to most of the bustling cities in Japan, Fukuoka has a lot of shopping mall stores such as Hakata Canal City, and Tenjin shopping group to fulfill your shopping needs. Aside from that, Fukuoka is also well-known for its food and birthplace of many local cuisines. The Hakata ramen, mizutaki, motsunabe are must eat food in Fukuoka. Yatai food stalls are also one of the unique food cultures that you can widely find in the city.

Plan your visit to Yanagawa, the Japan version of Venice with a traditional boat ride through the picturesque canal build around the castle town. Don’t forget to taste the Unagi rice for lunch in Yanagawa. Next visit the Dazaifu Temangu, one of the most important Temangu shrines in Japan.

Read more : Things to do on Your Fukuoka Itinerary

Where we stayed : Another one-night stay in Montan Hakata Hostel . 

Kyushu Transport Guide

Getting to kyushu.

Direct Bus From Fukuoka Airport To Hakata Station

By Shinkansen : Tokyo and Fukuoka (Hakata Station) are connected with Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen. One way journey takes about 5 hours and costs about ¥23,000. Foreigner travelers can get the Japan Rail Pass to save on this bullet train ride. However, take note that JR Rail Pass is not valid for Nozomi trains, and have to ride the Hikari train instead.

By Air : The biggest airport in Kyushu is located in Fukuoka. It is the main transportation hub for domestic and international travelers. Frequent domestic flights per day from Tokyo to Fukuoka and other cities in Japan. It also welcomes international travelers from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, and more.

One of the best things about flying to Fukuoka is the city is located extremely near to the airport. It is only about 2 stops of a subway ride with about 10 minutes at ¥260. Take note that the subway station is situated at the domestic terminal building. But glad that a free shuttle bus service is connecting the international domestic building in Fukuoka Airport.

Further Read : From Fukuoka Airport To City By Bus, Subway, and Taxi

Friendly Reminder: Nowadays, mobile data is invaluable and extremely useful when traveling in Kyushu. Being able to research a place to visit and having real-time navigation was invaluable and we highly recommend purchasing to get your mobile once you arrive in Japan. It is advisable to reserve early as it was cheaper than purchasing on arrival.

Click here to pre-book unlimited 4G Sim Card and Wifi router .

Getting Around in Kyushu

There are only two ways for getting around in Kyushu, either by self-driving or public transport. My advice is to plan out what you want to see and then look for transport to travel between the cities and attractions.

Although the southern region such as Kumamoto, Kagoshima, and Miyazaki is accessible by shinkansen or local train. But most of the attractions are only can be accessed by self-driving or buses. While the northern region such as Fukuoka, Nagasaki has better railway service with a train and metro system in town.

Self Driving in Kyushu

Rentar Car Counter in Fukuoka Airport

Kyushu is very ideal to plan for Kyushu self-driving itinerary especially when you are traveling with the elderly and kids. Self-driving in Kyushu allows you slowly travel around at a slow pace. You can book your rental car and pick up your car at the airport. It is also much cheaper when traveling in a group and flexible. For hassle-free, consider getting the Kyushu Expressway Pass to save on the toll fee.

Click here to check for your best price for the wheel from RentalCars.com .

If you’re wondering how should approach renting a car in Kyushu, check out this article for some useful tips on How to Rent A Car For Self Driving in Japan .

By Using Public Transport

Transportation is not cheap when getting around in Kyushu. Luckily, Japan offers various transport passes that allow you to take unlimited trains and buses at a cheaper price. This is a great deal for foreign visitors as we need to travel around to many cities. You need to pick one of two transport pass to save some money.

Below is the popular and top pick for Kyushu Transport Pass that you need.

Traveling Kyushu By JR Train

If you plan on visiting multiple destinations on Kyushu Island by train, worth to consider to get a JR Kyushu Rail Pass . There are 3 types available: the Southern Kyushu Pass, the Northern Kyushu Pass, and the ALL Kyushu Rail Pass.

Kyushu JR Pass (More info about the validity, price, and coverage)

  • All Kyushu Area : 3-Days at ¥20,000, 5-Days Pass at ¥22,500, and 7-Days Pass at ¥25,000
  • Northern Kyushu Area : 3-Days Pass at ¥12,000 and 5-Days Pass at ¥15,000
  • Southern Kyushu Area : 3-Days Pass at ¥10,0000
  • Fukuoka Wide : 2-Days Pass at ¥3,060

** Important Note : The cost of the Kyushu Rail Pass is officially increased on October 1, 2023. Still, it is worth grabbing a JR Kyushu Pass when traveling around Kyushu.

Traveling Kyushu By Bus

Moreover, some of the attractions such as Kurokawa onsen, and Takachiho Gorge are only accessible by self-driving or bus. If you are planning these places as part of your Kyushu itinerary, take a look at Kyushu SunQ unlimited Bus Pass . It covers almost 99% of highway and local buses in Kyushu.

SunQ Unlimited Bus Pass (More info about the validity, price, and coverage)

  • All Kyushu SunQ Pass : 3-Days (¥11,000) and 4-Days Pass (¥14,000)
  • Northern Kyushu SunQ Pass : 2-Days Pass (¥6,000) and 3-Days Pass (¥9,000)
  • Southern Kyushu SunQ Pass : 3-Days Pass (¥8,000)

We have also documented how to reserve your seat ticket using each pass. Check it out if you need more information.

  • Tips For JR Kyushu Pass Seat Reservation Online and Onsite
  • How to make reservation on Kyushu Odan Bus
  • How to reserve highway bus ticket in Kyushu Japan

Overview: Kyushu Itinerary

All in all, this Kyushu travel guide blog will give you some ideal things to do and see in Kyushu. There are various transportation options and attractions in each place. Free feel to check more detail on each travel blog when planning your Kyushu itinerary.

So, that’s it. Hopeful this Kyushu itinerary is helpful to plan for your Kyushu trip. If the above Kyushu travel guide can inspire you, feel free to continue reading on our travel blog below to know in more detail. Enjoy your Kyushu trip.

Northern Kyushu (Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Kurokawa Onsen, Beppu, Yufuin, Kitakyushu, and more):

  • Fukuoka Itinerary: Ultimate Travel Guide
  • Things To Do in Kumamoto: 1-Day Itinerary
  • Nagasaki Itinerary: A Travel Guide Blog
  • [Nagasaki] Sasebo Itinerary: Kujukushima Sightseeing Cruise

Southern Kyushu (Miyazaki, Takachiho Gorge):

  • Kagoshima itinerary: A Travel Guide Blog
  • Day Trip Sakurajima Itinerary: A Travel Guide Blog
  • Miyazaki Itinerary: What to do and eat in Miyazaki
  • Takachiho Gorge Travel Guide: 1-Day Itinerary Blog

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kyushu trip

The Ultimate Road Trip Guide to Exploring the Kyushu Island, Japan

Kyushu Island is a unique part of  Japan  that is often overlooked by visitors.

It’s far away from the busy hotspots of Tokyo and Kyoto. 

What if I tell you that Kyushu Island is only a short domestic flight away and it’s easy to reach and explore? 

Kyushu  is a paradise for nature lovers with its stunning countryside and unique landscape with trees, mountains and active volcanoes. The island offers a more relaxed experience of Japan, giving you a break from the hustle and bustle of the most popular cities in the country. 

What I most like about Kyushu Island is how easy and accessible the island is to visitors, and it’s the perfect location to enjoy a road trip in Japan. 

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your driving licence, grab a rental car and explore the major sights around Kyushu Island.

I’ve put together a fun itinerary for exploring Kyushu that can be done over the course of one week.

From the onsens of Oita to the stunning rolling countryside of Yufuin and from the volcanoes of Aso to the castles of Kumamoto to the exciting nightlife of Fukuoka, Kyushu has it all. 

Here is My Ultimate Guide to Exploring Kyushu, Japan:

Transportation options: flying to kyushu from tokyo .

Flying to Kyushu Island from Tokyo Haneda International Airport couldn’t be easier. Once you’ve arrived at the international terminal you can transfer to the domestic terminal. 

There are  many domestic flights going to Kyushu . With Japan Airlines or ANA (All Nippon Airways) you can fly to Oita, Kumamoto or Fukuoka which has the biggest and most popular airport of the three. 

Tokyo Narita Airport also has some options for flying to Kyushu, such as with Jetstar to Fukuoka. 

You can also take the  Shinkansen highspeed train to Kyushu Island . Depending on where you are in Japan, you can take the train from Tokyo or from Shin-Osaka station to Hakata (Fukuoka) station by using the JR Tōkaidō Shinkansen or Sanyō Shinkansen lines. 

The train can be a more expensive option for travelers compared to flying. Journey time from Tokyo to Hakata by train is around five hours. If you’re going to be doing a lot of train travel in Japan, it’s recommended to get the Japan Rail Pass .

Another alternative travel route to reach Kyushu Island is to take the ferry boat from Busan, South Korea to Fukuoka, Japan.

How to Rent a Car in Kyushu, Japan

It’s rather easy to rent a car on the island of Kyushu, Japan. Be sure to register for an international driving licence in your home country well in advance before arriving in Japan. 

I arrived at Oita Airport and used Toyota Rent a Car company which offered a pickup service from the airport. After exploring Kyushu, I could drop the rental car off in Fukuoka at the end of the trip. 

One tip would be to  request an English navigation system  in your rental car as they have both Japanese and English ones available.

Driving in Japan is rather simple and straightforward. Just keep an eye on the local speed limit. It’s also advised to keep some small change at hand for parking and tolls as normally the machines only take cash.

Rental car in Japan

Rental car in Japan

Recommended Road Trip Route Around Kyushu Island

To complete my recommended road trip route, you will need a week’s duration to visit all the destinations listed in this guide. 

If you wish, you could break up sections to complete over a long weekend or take longer and spend more time in each destination and extend the trip further than a week. The option is purely based on how you prefer to travel. 

I’ve recommended flying into  Oita airport to pick up your car rental and then end the trip in Fukuoka . If you want to switch the route around you could start by flying into Fukuoka and ending up in Oita. 

Another option is to start in Fukuoka and then loop around from Oita and head back to Fukuoka (journey time 2 hours). Toyota Rent a Car has pick up and drop off points at both locations. 

All route options are flexible, and it would depend on how you reach Kyushu Island so feel free to adapt and change my recommendations to fit your travel plans best.

Related tour: Fukuoka: Personalized Experience with a Local

Read more of our road trip tips .

Global 3G/4G data and Wi-Fi in Kyushu, Japan

All around the Kyushu Island I  found the 4G signal reliable and well connected.  I’d recommend getting some data whilst exploring Japan so you can stay connected and find your way. Use our Travel Dudes eSIM card with really good rates.

Google translate can come in handy to help with conversations, and Google maps can help with directions if the navigation system becomes confusing. It’s also helpful to contact local guest houses in case you encounter a delay on route. 

Another option is getting a Skyroam device to take with you on your trip as it offers good daily rates for multiple devices so you can stay connected whilst in Japan. Or consider this 4G SIM card .

Matsuri in Kyushu

To mark the celebration of the Rugby World Cup 2019 and to promote the unique and diverse culture that can be found around the Kyushu Island, a special event called Matsuri in Kyushu will be held for international visitors.

Matsuri in Kyushu, which in Japanese translates into Kyushu festival will be held between the 28-29th of September in Kumamoto city centre . It is close to the Rugby World Cup fan zone area so everyone can take part in the fun activities that will be on display over the course of the two-day event. 

Prefectures participating in the event will be from around Kyushu. Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Okinawa will all come together to showcase their local culture to the international visitors. It will for sure be an entertaining event jam packed with loads of traditional Japanese activities to take part in.

Practical Guides and Rules to Understanding Onsen Culture:

Bathing in an  onsen is a popular and relaxing pastime in Japan . It is most popular in Oita, the home of onsen with geothermal activity from the volcanoes heating up the hot springs. You will find many naturally heated onsens in the area, and, in fact, Oita is the onsen capital of not only Kyushu but the whole of Japan with thousands of hot springs to choose from. 

So, bring your onsen towel with you as you will have many opportunities to enjoy a relaxing onsen around Kyushu. 

What I wanted to do here is offer some words of  advice to international visitors and first-time users of onsen  as there are a few points you should bear in mind before you get started. 

– Take a shower before entering the onsen to ensure you’re completely clean.  – You must be naked in the onsen as clothes are considered dirty.  – Public onsens are normally split into male and female sections. If you wish to share an onsen, you can book a private one at selected guest houses.  – No tattoos are allowed in onsen. If you have tattoos, you can look for  tattoo friendly onsen . Tourism Oita have created a map to show the locations.  – Your towel must never touch the onsen water. You can place your small onsen towel on your head whilst enjoying the onsen.  –  Don’t dunk your head under the onsen water. – Avoid water splashing in the onsen area.  – Dry yourself before entering the changing rooms.  – Remember to sit back, relax and enjoy your onsen experience in Kyushu. 

You will soon learn that Japan is a culture built on respect, and rules are normally put into place to make the experience enjoyable for everyone. Now you know the basic rules to enjoying an onsen experience and you should be all set.

Private Onsen in Japan

Private Onsen in Japan

The Prefecture of Oita

Within Oita Prefecture, you will  find popular locations such as Oita City, Yufuin and Beppu to explore  which offer plenty of onsen options to choose from as well as beautiful countryside, nature and fun city life. 

First, we will visit the city of Oita which is worth staying over for the night. 

Tenku Open-air City Spa & JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Oita

When you arrive in Oita city, why not relax and enjoy your first onsen? Be sure to  check into the JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Oita  which is easily found next to Oita railway station. 

Once checked in, you can enjoy the best city view of Oita city from the relaxing Tenku Open-air City Spa which is located in the roof of the hotel. Perfect for relaxing either at sunset when the city lights start to turn on or first thing in the morning as you watch the sun rise over the city. It’s truly the best and most relaxing spot in Oita city. 

This natural carbonated hot spring features baths with panoramic views of the city, plus saunas.

Bar Hopping and Local Foods Around Oita 

The best nightlife and places to eat around Oita City can be found north of the train station. Here you can  find a wide selection of bars serving izakaya style BBQ snacks or a whole host of local dishes. 

The area was made popular by salarymen enjoying a tasty bowl or two before grabbing the last train home. 

Local dishes that are a must try include Bugo beef, Seki mackerel and chicken tempura. You can wash down these tasty dishes with a glass of Shochu which is produced in Kyushu. Enjoy the nightlife by sampling a taste of local dishes on your visit around Oita city. 

Oita as a prefecture has the most onsens and the largest output of hot spring water in Japan. One good example of this can be found in the city of Beppu. Driving from Oita city to Beppu is relatively easy to do as it’s around a 25-minute drive.

Enjoy a Relaxing Foot Spa

If you would like to rest your feet, Beppu has a large selection of free self-service public foot spas that can be found scattered around the city.  Don’t forget to pack your own towel to dry your feet when you’re done . I would recommend the Beppu Kaihin Sunaba Onsen which looks out to a stunning sea view. 

Close to this location you can also find a sand onsen on the beach. It works by being buried under sand which is heated by rising steam. This is a very unique form of onsen that can be found in Beppu and around Kyushu. 

Jigoku Hells Visitor Onsen

Beppu is also home to visitor onsens called Jigoku which translates to English as “hells”. These hells are meant for viewing only. You can find seven of them located around the city of Beppu. 

You can purchase a  Beppu Jigoku ticket  at any of the entrances that will give you access to all seven of the hells. Parking is also available for free at the locations. 

Because of fumarolic gas of around 100 degrees, these hells are not open for bathing and only for visitors to view from a distance . Five of the hells are located in the Kannawa district and two in the more remote Shibaseki district.

Umi Jigoku is the most popular of the hells and one of the most beautiful as well. Here you can see the large hot spring and the vast steam that rises from the pond. 

Worth trying on your visit to the Jigoku is the hot spring steamed pudding which is served at a number of the cafes at the hells. 

At Chinoike Jigoku location, the pond water is a red blood colour. It is one of the most photogenic locations of the seven. Worth visiting and stopping off for sure.

Jigoku Hells Visitor Onsen in Beppu.

Jigoku Hells Visitor Onsen in Beppu.

Jigoku Hells Visitor Onsen in Beppu in autumn

Jigoku Hells Visitor Onsen in Beppu in autumn

Jigokumushi Kobo Steam Cooking Center

Feeling hungry? Why not go to an onsen restaurant! At Jigokumushi Kobo Steam Cooking Center you can  purchase a selection of ingredients, such as fresh vegetables, dumplings, eggs, meat cuts or seafood to be steam cooked from the hot spring steam.

You can rent a steam chamber to cook your meal in, and whilst you wait you can use the foot baths under the dining table to relax. A delicious, unique and fun dining and cooking experience to try in Beppu.

Steam cooking in Beppu, Japan

Steam cooking in Beppu, Japan

Steam cooked meals in Beppu, Japan

Steam cooked meals in Beppu, Japan

Yufuin and Yufu mountains

Yufuin is  famous for its stunning countryside and vista like scenery . A good idea is to park up your rental car at the Yufu train station and rent a bicycle for the day from bicycle shop ren-cha. Then you can go and explore  Mount Yufu which includes a selection of wonderful foothills that offer a refreshing breath of fresh air and stunning views. A great way to spend the day.

Close to the Yufu train station you can find the guest house Yufuin no Take which makes for a great place to park your car and rest your head for the night for a busy day ahead. You will want to wake up bright and early to make your way to Mount Aso.

Cycling in the Yufu mountains.

Cycling in the Yufu mountains.

Sunset at Yufu mountains

Sunset at Yufu mountains

Mount Aso is an active volcano and the mountain’s active volcanic peaks include Mount Nakadake, Komeduka, Kusasenri and Daikanbo crater.

This area is a  spectacular area of natural beauty and worth the stop along your road trip . The best and safest location to have a good look over the edge into the Nakadake crater is from the viewing area. The toll road to the crater is also open if you wish to use your own car, and the crater is an easy one-minute walk away from the car park.

The popular ropeway that was used for visitors to get to the top of the crater remains out of service. Before  visiting Mount Aso , you should check for live updates on visiting the crater as the visitor situation can change daily due to weather conditions.

It’s important to note that if you have health issues such as asthma, it’s advised not to visit the crater area. You can find a selection of light hiking paths that can take you to different viewing points of Mount Aso’s volcanic craters.

The hiking paths are normally less crowded and a great way to discover the landscape. You could find yourself having the whole place to yourself, and it almost feels like you’re on Mars whilst walking around the area.

Mount Aso crater

Mount Aso crater

Hiking at Mount Aso

Hiking at Mount Aso

Stay at a Traditional Japanese Ryokan

Otohime no Sato is a traditional Japanese ryokan located within close driving distance from Mount Aso.

If it’s your first visit to Japan, then staying one night at a traditional Japanese guest house called a ryokan is a must. Kyushu offers a  wonderful selection of ryokans to choose from, particularly those with private access to relaxing onsens.

The best ones that offer the most relaxing and peaceful atmosphere are located in the countryside amongst nature, and Kyushu has many of these types of ryokans to offer with an idyllic setting.

Traditionally ryokans are passed through the guest house owners’ families, and many ryokans can date back through generations, some even back to the Edo time. Normally a night’s stay at a ryokan will come at an additional cost compared to standard hotel stays but the experience is well worth the value.

Mostly for its unique Japanese cultural experience, a ryokan can be rather interesting to try for visitors as it’s so different to a normal night’s stay. So, why not try it on your visit to Japan at least once? Your room will be a traditional Japanese room with tatami mat and thin paper walls and doors. It’s advised to take your shoes off before entering and to keep your luggage off the delicate tatami floor to avoid damage.

Normally a guest will have a yukata robe, bed pyjamas, towels, bedding, sheets and pillows provided by the ryokan. These items might be stored away when you enter the room for the first time. This way you can use the room before bedtime when the beds are made up for use. Normally your stay will include a dining experience and breakfast service which is usually included in the price.

The dining is a wonderful experience to enjoy traditional cuisine and dishes from the guest house area. What is special about staying at the Otohime no Sato ryokan is the private onsens which you can rent out either in the evening or morning and you have one all to yourself to relax and enjoy.

Be sure to book a ryokan for at least one night on your road trip around Kyushu.

Room at a traditional Japanese Ryokan

Room at a traditional Japanese Ryokan

Private Onsen at a Japanese Ryokan

Private Onsen at a Japanese Ryokan

Dinner at a traditional Japanese Ryokan

Dinner at a traditional Japanese Ryokan

Dishes at a traditional Japanese Ryokan

Dishes at a traditional Japanese Ryokan

Kumamoto is another popular city on the Japanese island of Kyushu in the south-west of Japan. There are many  incredible attractions, sights to see and dishes to try for travelers  who happen to be visiting the city of Kumamoto, the largest city in the Kumamoto Prefecture.

Hotel the Gate Kumamoto

For an affordable stay in Kumamoto, be sure to check out Hotel the Gate Kumamoto . This brand new modern, cosy and clean hotel is located close to JR Kumamoto station and offers you a comfortable stay. Here you can have a good night’s sleep in Kumamoto for a great price.

Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle  dates back to the 17th century and is considered one of the top three most important castles in all of Japan . The castle was greatly destroyed by the earthquake that hit most of the Kumamoto city in 2016.

Work is underway to rebuild Kumamoto Castle back to its former glory, and it will take some time until the construction work is completed. Until then, many of the main areas are closed off from access but you can still walk around the outside fortress grounds of the castle. Kumamoto city is working on recovering and reopening the main Tenshu exterior by October 5th, 2019 for the rugby visitors.

Kumamoto Castle

For the Love of Kumamon

Created by the government of Kumamoto Prefecture, Kumamon is a mascot known in Japan as a your-charm. Kumamon is used to promote the island of Kyushu, and I’m sure you will  spot the happy bear mascot all around the island of Kyushu whilst on your road trip. Be sure to keep a look out for him.

You can even visit Kumamon’s official office in Kumamoto to say hello in person, and he also started a Youtube channel. Kumamon has grown in popularity over the years and has become a big success for the island’s promotion. Maybe you might want to buy some Kumamon gifts to remember your time in Kumamoto.

Ajisen Ramen for Lunch

If you are looking for a lunch spot in Kumamoto, then you  must try the popular ramen restaurant, Ajisen Ramen . The restaurant is famous for its heavy level of roasted garlic that takes over the thick broth. This food is sure to pack flavour, and you can get a good lunch set deal here for a reasonable price.

Based on the Kurume ramen concept, the addition of the extra garlic chips and oil concept have earned many fans. Have a seat and enjoy a tasty bowl of Ajisen Ramen.

Lunch at Ajisen Ramen

Lunch at Ajisen Ramen

Suizenji Garden

Suizenji Jojuen Park  is a traditional Japanese garden that surrounds a natural pond. Here you can enjoy and admire the peaceful natural landscape that’s located in the city. For the best view of the garden and the pond,  enjoy a tea ceremony at the tea house where you can relax and unwind with an incredible view. The garden is also home to a Suizenji temple which was built in 1632. The surrounding garden represents parts of the 53 Stations of the Tokaido, an ancient route that ran from Edo to Kyoto, and the hill is meant to represent a small-scale Mt. Fuji.

Suizenji Garden - autumn leafs

Suizenji Garden - autumn leafs

Suizenji Garden - bridge

Suizenji Garden - bridge

Suizenji Garden - tea ceremony

Suizenji Garden - tea ceremony

Dressed up at Suizenji Garden

Dressed up at Suizenji Garden

Kamitori and Shimotori Shopping Arcade

When looking for nightlife in Kumamoto, be sure to visit the Kamitori and Shimotori shopping arcade area. It’s the place to be for evening dining and entertainment. With loads of options to choose from, these arcades are  perfect for enjoying izakaya style dining  and finding an excellent selection of craft beers. 

My recommendation is Neginozu for izakaya dining (chicken is a good option) and  Voyager for a good selection of Japanese style craft beer. For those who are feeling more adventurous, you could also try a sushi train concept restaurant. It’s great fun, and the food is very delicious.

Fukuoka is the capital and the largest city of Fukuoka Prefecture, located at the tip of the northern shore of the Kyushu Island. Fukuoka has been an important harbor city for many centuries. The city is  best known for its ancient temples, great beaches, modern shopping and fun nightlife.

Fukuoka actually consists of two cities that were combined in 1889 when Hakata joined with Fukuoka to create a mega city. Hakata is still a popular district within Fukuoka. There’s a Shinkansen railway station there, and the district is also a popular spot for ramen lovers. 

Here is What You Can Do During Your Visit to Fukuoka.

Accommodation: book and bed fukuoka.

Book and Bed  is the perfect stay for book lovers in the city centre of Fukuoka. Nestled between the book shelves you can discover hidden cabin beds where guests can stay for the night.  

When you’re not sleeping you can enjoy reading amongst the  endless selection of books on display. 

It’s like a capsule hotel but with a unique and interesting twist. This is a fun and an alternative way to experience a one-night’s stay in Japan, and it’s also a perfect location to base yourself in Fukuoka. 

Yusentei Park

If you’re looking for tranquillity in Fukuoka and wish to escape the city for a moment, look no further than the Japanese garden of  Yusentei Park . 

It is a peaceful place and a great example of a Japanese-style garden that surrounds a lake. Spend  some time walking around here and check out the large selection of koi carp that occupy the lake  as well as the superb greenery.  

Be sure to also visit the tea house that looks over the lake and enjoy a tea ceremony.

Yusentei Park, Fukuoka

Yusentei Park, Fukuoka

Dazaifu Tenmangu

Dazaifu Tenmangu  is a shrine  dedicated to Sugawara Michizane who is known as the god of learning . The shrine grows in popularity around exam time when students flock to the location to pray for good results.

As you walk up to the shrine you will notice a selection of brass ox statues which act as symbols of luck if you rub them. If it’s success in exams or academic achievement you seek, this is the shrine for you. The temple is located 250 meters away from Dazaifu train station. The street is lined with cosy traditional shops selling local products, such as hand-crafted chop sticks or the delicious bean paste cake called Umegae Mochi. Perfect spot for finding Japanese gifts to take back home with you.

If you wish to jazz up your photos in Dazaifu, you can rent a kimono or yukata here for the evening as the cosy town offers a perfect back drop. Once you’ve passed the shops, you will find a torii gate that marks the entrance of the shrine. Leading up to the shrine, you will meet a series of two arched bridges and islands representing the past, present and future. They will then lead you to the walled courtyard of the shrine.

The area is also popular for being  surrounded by over 6,000 plum trees which add a wonderful element of natural beauty to the surroundings .

This Fukuoka tour includes a visit to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.

Bridge at Dazaifu Tenmangu

Bridge at Dazaifu Tenmangu

Temple Dazaifu Tenmangu

Temple Dazaifu Tenmangu

Wishes at Dazaifu Tenmangu

Wishes at Dazaifu Tenmangu

Ichiran Dazaifu Sando ramen noodle

Ichiran Dazaifu Sando is a  popular ramen chain which was first established in Fukuoka, Kyushu . Their restaurants can be found all around Japan and the world.

The  Ichiran Dazaifu Sando  location is popular amongst students because of its unique bowl shape which represents good luck and fortune for exams. That bowl is only available in the Fukuoka restaurant. Ichiran Dazaifu Sando is unique compared to other ramen restaurants for its individual dining booths which allow you to focus on the tasty experience without distractions. It’s worth trying for international guests because there’s no other place quite like it.

Meal at Ichiran Dazaifu Sando

Meal at Ichiran Dazaifu Sando

Ichiran Dazaifu Sando

Ichiran Dazaifu Sando

Kyushu National Museum

Within walking distance of Dazaifu Tenmangu, you can find the  Kyushu National Museum . Here you can marvel at the stunning architecture of the massive blue construction that almost looks like a sports stadium.

Within the exhibition space you will find a large entrance hall that will lead you to four floors of displays covering Japanese history from the Prehistoric Era to the Edo Period.

Kyushu National Museum

Before you finish your road trip around Kyushu, why not take a morning walk around  Ohori Park  located in the city centre of Fukuoka? Here you can explore the  old grounds of the once standing Fukuoka Castle and still see some of the ruins. You can also visit Maizuru Park which has a large selection of seasonal flower displays. Enjoy the relaxing urban oasis which offers a perfect area for you to feel the seasons of Fukuoka. You can also find a selection of cafes here for you to enjoy.

This tour includes a visit to Ohori Park.

Yatai Food Stalls

Yatai food stalls must be the most exciting and vibrant place in Fukuoka to grab a bite to eat.  Located along the water you will find plenty of food stalls serving a wide selection of Japanese dishes.

This is the place to be as the lights illuminate the sidewalk in the evening, and eager and hungry food enthusiasts wait for their turn to grab an available stall for some delicious dishes to try. Best to arrive here without a game plan and dive into the space that grabs your attention the most. There’s simply so much choice you should seek your own stall to create your own food adventure.

This tour includes a visit to the Yatai Food Stalls.

Yatai Food Stalls, Fukuoka

Yatai Food Stalls, Fukuoka

Dishes at Yatai Food Stalls, Fukuoka

Dishes at Yatai Food Stalls, Fukuoka

Thank you for reading my ultimate guide to Kyushu island, Japan. Kyushu has so much to offer for visitors to Japan and I’m happy that you’ve stumbled across this guide to get some tips and advice for your future trip to the island.

I could only cover a small part of the island, but you have many options to choose from to create your road trip route. I hope you have a wonderful time exploring the unique part of Japan across the island of Kyushu.

Travel tip shared by Dave for Travel Dudes.

Melvin

Melvin is the founder and CEO of Travel Dudes, co-founder of the Social Travel Summit and the former COO of iambassador.

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kyushu trip

Girl Eat World

A girl's adventure in food and travel around the world, 7-day kyushu itinerary: where to go and what to see in kyushu.

The hardest yet most exciting part of traveling is often the planning stage and narrowing down where to go given the time you have. I visited the Kyushu region in Japan this past September. This is how I planned (and nearly failed to follow said ambitious plan) for the trip!

View from Daikanbo

Tips for planning Kyushu Itinerary

Narrow down the city you want to visit – Kyushu is a huge region, and if you have limited time, you need to narrow down the experiences you want to see. No joke – whenever I am in a trip planning mode, I would open up google maps and see if there are any familiar names in the vicinity. I immediately zeroed in on the familiar cities: Hiroshima (not really in Kyushu but it’s very close), Fukuoka , Nagasaki, Kumamoto , and Kagoshima.

Plan out the order to visit the places you want to go to  – Once again, I used google maps to see where each place are in relative to each other, then I checked the train routes to map out the best ways to travel between these cities and how long the journey would take. Once I’ve done this, it became clear that we needed to make Fukuoka our base since it’s the center point of the cities we’ve picked.

Yes, You WILL need a JR Pass! JR Pass is the train pass that allows you to take intercity trains in Japan for cheaper. The sights to see in Kyushu are spread apart in different cities, so unless you’re planning to only visit one city, you will definitely need the JR Pass as you’ll likely be using the train to move around. You can buy Unlimited JR Pass or JR Kyushu Pass . Scroll down to the end of this post for more information about the JR Pass and which one is more suitable for you.

You must buy the JR Pass from outside of Japan before your trip . The JR pass is solely for tourists and it used to not be available for purchase within Japan, though there are now limited quantities for sale in Japan for a higher price. You should still buy it ahead of time to make sure and have it sent to your home before your trip, so make sure you get it way ahead of time so that it arrives before your trip.

Check the first and last train out of the city – I also checked for the first and last shinkansen out between cities so that I know the earliest time I can get to a city and the latest time I can leave. This helps me narrow that what activities I can do in the city.

Account for travel fatigue – I have to admit I got over-excited when I planned for this trip. I was really intent on hitting up all 5 cities in 7 days. My biggest advice here and a lesson I had to learn is to account for travel fatigue. You can’t feasibly be moving every other day and not get tired by the end of it. All of the cities I mentioned above are great destinations that I don’t want to miss – but it is very ambitious to hit up all five in 7 days. I had to sacrifice visiting Kagoshima since it isn’t convenient to get to if I want to also include Nagasaki in the itinerary.

My 7-Day Kyushu Travel Itinerary

In the end, after all the research, this is the Kyushu itinerary I went with:

  • Day 1: Hiroshima . Land in Osaka in the morning, go to Hiroshima immediately, and spend all day in Hiroshima.
  • Day 2: Fukuoka . Travel to Fukuoka in the morning, then spend time in  Fukuoka All-Day
  • Day 3: Nagasaki . Travel to Nagasaki in the morning and spend the rest of the day in Nagasaki
  • Day 4: Stay in  Nagasaki All-day
  • Day 5: Nagasaki & Fukuoka . Spend time in Nagasaki in the morning, then go to  Fukuoka in the afternoon.
  • Day 6: Kumamoto Day trip
  • Day 7: Spend time in  Fukuoka in the morning, Fly back to Singapore in the afternoon

What to do and where to go in Kyushu, Japan

Here are some places you can consider visiting in Kyushu:

1. Fukuoka (2 days)

Fukuoka is the biggest city in Kyushu. It’s a great starting point for Kyushu – lots of direct trains leaving Hakata station, the main station of Fukuoka. Aside from that, they are also known for food! Yep, the Hakata ramen is actually from Fukuoka! You can read about the food in Fukuoka and Yatai stalls here .

Yatai Stall on Watanabe dori in Fukuoka

2. Nagasaki (2-3 days)

Nagasaki needs no introduction, the city offers an extensive insight into Japan during the World War II period. Although they are mostly known for its bleak fate as the site of the second atomic bombing, Nagasaki holds an important place in Japanese history. During the era of seclusion called Sakoku, the Japanese were forbidden to leave the country, and the only foreign trade allowed within Japan was done through a manmade island in Nagasaki, called Dejima. Nowadays you can see history from the seclusion period as well as the era that follows after – the Dutch, Portuguese and Chinese influences from the 16-19th century when Nagasaki becomes the only open port in Japan.

Chinatown in Nagasaki

3. Kumamoto (Day trip from Fukuoka)

In 2016, Kumamoto was hit by a series of very strong earthquakes. However, it’s still interesting to see the city after the earthquake. The Kumamoto castle, for one, was able to sustain the strong 7.0 earthquake, just as its Japanese architects had intended when the castle was built four centuries ago.

You can also do a road trip or tour to Mount Aso , one of the most beautiful areas in Kyushu. Kumamoto is a very doable day trip from Fukuoka. Read about my day trip to Kumamoto from Fukuoka here .

Kumamoto Castle

4. Kagoshima (1-2 days)

I did not make it to Kagoshima due to limited time in Kyushu, but I wish I had made it down here. Kagoshima is a seaside city in Kyushu and is best known for Sakurajima, a volcanic mountain often referred to as Japan’s Vesuvius. Aside from that, Kagoshima is also well known for its food and produce – most notably, the Kurobuta aka black pig, which is highly regarded in Japan for being high in protein and low in calories. Kurobuta is normally eaten in shabu-shabu style, aka Japanese hot pot.

If you have time and are interested in nature, you can also visit Yakushima, an island off the coast of Kagoshima. The island is covered in cedar forest that contains some of Japan’s oldest living trees – some as old as 7,000 years.

Yakushima

5. Beppu (1 day)

Beppu is a spa resort town, known for its range of onsens (Japanese hot springs) – they have over 2,000 onsens in Beppu! Aside from the usual hot springs, they also have sand baths, mud baths, and steam baths. You can relax in one of the Japanese’s favorite past times – a bath in the hot spring and eating Onsen food after. You can reach Beppu by train from Fukuoka, but if you’re a true Onsen enthusiast, you might want to check out this Beppu and Yufuin Onsen spa tour , which includes hotel pick-up and drop-off!

Booking Accommodations in Kyushu

Tips for booking hotels.

  • Book ahead of time – Sometimes I like to “wing it” and book accommodations last minute in the spirit of being spontaneous. I quickly learned this isn’t a very smart move when it comes to visiting Japan, as the good hotels get booked up really fast.
  • If you are a non-smoker, pay attention while booking and make sure you tick a non-smoking room  in the room type section. Smoking indoors is not illegal in Japan, so some hotels would segregate smoking and non-smoking rooms by floor. I had to stay in a smoking room in Nagasaki because I booked a smoking room by mistake and they had no more non-smoking rooms 🙁
  • As we are traveling heavily by train, I find that staying at hotels that are on the main station itself  (the station where the shinkansen line stops) really helped us during traveling days since we don’t need to worry about the logistics of getting to the train station. As a bonus point, these areas also tend to be very convenient since in Japan the main station would also come attached with all the amenities like convenience stores, major stores for shopping, and restaurants.

Kyushu Hotel Recommendations

Here are the hotels we stayed in each city. Each of these is very close or attached to the main station of the city, so they are located in a  really good location.

  • Hotel Granvia Hiroshima is literally on top of the Hiroshima station. Despite this, it was not noisy since the hotel rooms are located high up and they are good with noise insulation.
  • JR Kyushu Hotel Nagasaki – yes, JR as in Japan Rail. Nagasaki station is quite small and the lobby of this hotel is right outside the exit of the station!
  • Nishitetsu Hotel Croom Hakata , next to the Hakata Central station in Fukuoka – about 5 minutes walk. I ended up staying here because my first choice was booked up.
  • JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Hakata Central – This was my first choice for Fukuoka, but it was booked up during my visit! It would have been really convenient because Hakata is a major station with all the convenience stores, shopping, and restaurants.

Using JR Pass in Kyushu: The FAQs

I have been to Japan many times before, but I’ve never used the JR pass. Getting a JR Pass only makes sense if you are moving around from city to city, it didn’t make economic sense to get the pass. But when visiting Kyushu, there is a big chance you actually need the JR Pass since the attractions in the Kyushu region span many cities.

What is JR Pass exactly?

JR pass is a form of rail pass that gives you unlimited access to all JR trains in Japan for 7, 14, or 21 days. I bolded the JR train part for emphasis since this gets confusing for some people – in Japan, there are many train companies and Japan Rail (JR) is one of them, and this pass is only valid for JR trains!

If you are coming to Japan, you HAVE to have already bought the JR Pass before your trip, from outside of Japan. The pass CAN NOT be bought from inside of Japan.

Which JR Pass do I need?

If you are planning to go all over Japan, you might want to get an unlimited pass. You can buy the unlimited JR pass here, which can be valid for 7, 14, or 21 days depending on the length of your trip.

However, if you are just going to places in the Kyushu area and your travel schedule fits within 3-5 days, then you can take a look into the JR Kyushu Pass since it’s much cheaper than the unlimited JR Pass.

I found this page to be very useful in terms of pass validity information. Since I was in Kyushu for 7 days and will be moving around a lot, it made sense for me to get the 7-day ticket for 29,110 yen (US$260), even though it was more expensive.

How do I find out the train schedules?

Surprisingly, the most user-friendly way is through Google Maps ! Use the public transport filter (The icon that looks like a train) and play with the “Depart at” filter to see the next train available from point A to B. I find their schedule to be quite accurate. Other than that, you can go to the station and look at the schedule there or use local websites like HyperDia .

Which Shinkansen train can I use with JR Pass?

Shinkansen is the famous Japanese bullet train. It is a much, much faster way to travel than taking a regular train and thus it became the preferred mode of transport for tourists and locals alike.

There are different types of Shinkansen trains running on the same route. Most of the time you don’t have to worry about it since they are all the same, and will get you from point A to B. However, in Kyushu, if you want to use your JR Pass you cannot take Mizuho or Nozomi trains . During my trip, I took mostly Sakura and Haruka trains.

How do you know which train is what type? You can tell the type of trains by looking at the schedule at the train station itself. If you are looking at Google Maps, it is the colored label next to the JR Logo. For example:

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 4.36.48 PM

The screenshot above is a sample route from KIX to Osaka. In this case, this Shinkansen type is the blue ribbon with the JR logo next to it, which is Haruka . Since it is not Mizuho or Nozomi, you can take this train on JR Pass.

Cool, so how do you use the JR Pass?

First, a voucher for a JR pass must be purchased from outside of Japan , so you have to sort this out before you go on your trip. Once you have arrived in Japan, and on the day when you want the pass to be activated, you trade in the voucher at any major JR station for the actual pass.

The pass looks like this:

My 7-day JR Pass

Once you have received the pass, you have to keep it with you for the duration of your travel and must always bring it with you when you do a train journey. Don’t lose your pass! It’s like your passport to take the train in Japan.

Also, whenever you want to use the JR pass, you don’t go through the automated gate like everyone else. Instead, you walk up to any JR station gate and show your pass to the ticket officer, usually to the left or right of the automated ticket gates.

Tips on how to travel on unreserved seats on Japanese Trains

JR Pass allows you to reserve seats for free, but in case you ever need to take unreserved seats (which is cheaper when you aren’t on JR Pass), such as if you are traveling with a friend who does not have JR Pass, here’s what I have learned from my experience:

1. Make sure you know ahead of time which cars are designated for unreserved seating

The digital signboard at any major Shinkansen station tells you all the information you need. It flips between Japanese and English, so don’t worry if you can’t read Japanese! Just wait a few seconds until it flips to English.

Train information signboard

Things to note here are the Non-Reserved car indicator on the far right. In the picture above, it’s Cars 1-3. Also note the train type to the left of it, usually 8 or 16 cars. In the picture above it is 8 cars. I’ll explain why later.

2. Plan to line up 15-20 minutes before the schedule

During peak travel time it is entirely possible you might not get to sit next to your travel buddies when the train is full. Or worse, you may not get a seat at all! I have seen people standing up in the space between train cars. So to avoid this, allocate some time for lining up ahead of the scheduled train arrival time.

How do you line up properly in Japan? Easy! Get to your train platform and look down on the floor to find out where you are supposed to line up – usually, there would be a mark that looks like this:

First in line with our snacks from Famima

3. Find out where exactly you are supposed to line up

Remember when I said to note the Non-Reserved car numbers and train type ? This comes in handy when you need to find out where the train will stop, so you know where exactly to line up. On the floor, they would normally have something a sign that looks like this:

Train cars information

This is when the train type matters – whether it’s 8 or 16 cars or whatever number. In the picture above, if your train is an 8-car train then you look at the green box. But if your train is a 16-car train then you look at the yellow box. So just match up the car numbers to the Non-reserved cars from the signboard to make sure you are lining up at the correct spot designated for unreserved seats. When the train comes, the door will open up exactly at this spot!

That’s all! It might seem complicated, but after doing this a few times it’s pretty easy 🙂

Are you planning a trip to Japan? I’ve written loads about the beautiful country. Check out the  ‘Japan’ category of this blog for some travel inspiration.

23 Comments

  • September 14, 2023

Hi and thanks for this article, it’s very informative. Just wondering, if you follow your day 1 arrival in Osaka then back to Singapore on day 7 from Fukuoka? Then what rail pass you need to use from Osaka-Hiroshima and Hiroshima-Fukuoka? Thanks again

  • March 15, 2023

THANK YOU!! I am SO glad I read this, especially about the shinkansen, how to work out the unreserved cars and also where to line up. There is just so much to know, I’d be lost if I hadn’t read it. Plan to go in May with my son. I can speak Japanese but am still overwhelmed by all this. Hope I get it right!!

I’m glad it helped you, Helen! Just note that if you travel with JR Pass you can reserve seats at the train station, so you won’t need to go on the unreserved car.

  • April 26, 2020

Hello! This is actually quite informative. I’ve been to Fukuoka too, but I think I’ve missed out a lot of places once I’ve read your blog. Haha!

  • January 7, 2020

Hello Melissa, what a wonderful blog!! I really like the way you present Japan in such a natural way. If you ever come back to Kyushu, let me show you around my hometown, Kobayashi. Kobayashi is in Miyazaki, so most travellers with limited time don’t put it on their list. But it is more than worth a visit! The Kirishima mountains are great for hiking and the lack of tourists makes for a very authentic Japanese experience. I’d be happy to help you with planning your trip or take you to the mountains or the other fabulous sights in the area.

  • December 9, 2019

Hi Melissa, Did you buy subway pass for travel in Fukuoka? Was it useful or convenient to visit tourist sites around Fukuoka? Please advise.

Hey Soo, I didn’t buy travel pass in Fukuoka since we were mostly using it as a base for nearby attractions.

  • October 4, 2019

Hi, good article but I do believe if you’re from Osaka and only going up (down to) Kumamoto in 7 days, you should consider the Sanyo san’n pass instead. 7 Day JR Sanyo-San’in-Northern Kyushu Area Pass Obtain your Exchange Order in prior by delivery / pick up, activate your 7 consecutive days rail pass that covers unlimited rides from Osaka/Kyoto to Northern Kyushu at a great price https://www.klook.com/activity/5769 It is not only save you a bit of money but also allows you to take faster Sanyo shinkansen which is not allowed only using ordinary JR Pass.

  • September 14, 2019

Hi Melissa,

Have you been to Oita and Yufuin before? are both of these places near to beppu?

  • September 15, 2019

Hey Ellisha, I haven’t been to those places unfortunately, but they are very close to Beppu.

  • July 1, 2019

can i just buy the train tickets without having a JR pass? do they sell it over the counter?

  • July 2, 2019

yes they sell tickets over the counter at the station at regular price

  • May 15, 2019

Hi, if I am scheduling to hang around in Fukuoka area for 5 days only. Which pass are you recommending to me? JR Kyushu Pass or JR Pass? Tq

  • May 16, 2019

depends on your travel plan, but if you are only going to be in Kyushu then JR Kyushu will be sufficient.

  • May 13, 2019

Hi! How much did you spend for the entire tour?

Can i rearrange the line up? Example will start in Kagoshima on Day 1 and so on?

  • May 14, 2019

Hey Kaye, This was so long ago that I unfortunately don’t remember the budget. I think we spent less than $1500 per person though including flight from Singapore which was about $700. You can definitely rearrange the line up, as long as you are ok for long travel on Day 1. Kagoshima is located the furthest down from Fukuoka.

  • January 30, 2019

hi thanks 4 sharing. hope you’ll explain more abt fukuoka n nagasaki soon becoz i’ll be there on april. and i need extra info for my iti. tq

  • July 2, 2018

Thank you for the article. Very clearly written

  • March 13, 2017

Just wondering why you didn’t get the JR Kyushu pass instead?

i think its because i needed it to be valid for 7 days

  • November 21, 2016

Nice article! Wish to have JR pass experience. Thank you Melissa.

  • November 14, 2016

Yes! They are very exact and punctual too!

last photo its so curious and funny. Train really stop in the place??

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Life Of Doing

One Week in Kyushu Itinerary: Explore the Best of Northern Kyushu, Japan

During your 1 week in Kyushu itinerary, check out the Fukuoka skyline to see the purple and orange skies during sunset.

While most people associate Japan with Tokyo , Kyoto , and Osaka , one area that needs to be on your Japan itinerary is Kyushu Island. Kyushu is the third largest island in Japan’s archipelago and is located in the southern area of the country. 

Where are the best places to visit in Kyushu? Since the island is HUGE, we suggest that you spend the time in Northern Kyushu, specifically Fukuoka, Beppu, and Nagasaki. These underrated cities will give you an introduction to its beautiful landscapes and mountains, history, and mouthwatering local cuisines. Plus, these areas don’t attract huge crowds like in Tokyo and Kyoto. 

We suggest that you spend at least 1 week in Kyushu. This Kyushu 7 days itinerary highlights the cities to visit in Kyushu, transportation options, and recommended places to stay. As with any travel itinerary that we share, feel free to mix up the sightseeing attractions based on your interest and time.

Now let’s visit these Kyushu must-see tourist attractions!

Click on the links below to jump to certain sections of this Kyushu itinerary for 7 days.

  • Map of Kyushu 
  • How to Travel Around Kyushu
  • Fukuoka (Days 1-2)
  • Beppu (Days 3-4)
  • Nagasaki (Days 5-6)
  • Free Day or Departure (Day 7)

*Disclaimer: Traveling to Kyushu, Japan? This post contains affiliate links to Kyushu tourist attractions. If you click on them and make a purchase, we receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. Appreciate the support.

Map of Kyushu Itinerary for 1 Week

This is a map of the Northern Kyushu cities you'll visit on your 1 week Kyushu itinerary.

Click on the image above to see a larger version of where you’ll go on your Kyushu itinerary. Credit: Map data: Google

How to Travel Around Kyushu Using JR Pass

The best way to travel around Kyushu and all of Japan is by using the shinkansen high-speed train operated by Japan Rail (JR) Group. The shinkansen is convenient to use since they are fast, always arrive and depart on time, have comfortable seats, and run constantly. They also connect to the local train lines. Using the shinkansen is also a sustainable way to travel since you reduce your carbon footprint for long-distance travel. 

All visitors with a temporary visa have the opportunity to use the shinkansen if you have a wide-area Japan Rail (JR) Pass , JR Sanyo-Sanin – Northern Kyushu Pass , or JR Kyushu Pass . With the pass, you’re able to travel within a large area (basically all of Japan), take JR local and fast-speed train lines. You won’t be able to take the Nozomi and Mizuho fast line but the Sakura and Hikari still are quite fast with a few extra stops along the way.

You would need to calculate if it’s more cost-efficient to have a wide-area JR Pass, Sanyo-Sanin – Northern Kyushu Pass, or Kyushu Pass. Once you have your Kyushu itinerary ready, you can use this scheduler to determine the cost and the departure/arrival times of the shinkansen. 

The wide-area JR Pass is beneficial if you plan to visit different areas of Japan. They have a 7, 14, and 21-day pass. Buy your JR pass for a discounted price here . 

The Sanyo-Sanin – Northern Kyushu Pass is for the Kyushu area and also travels to/from the Osaka area. This pass lasts 7 days. Buy your pass here for a discounted price.  

JR Kyushu Pass is available but has duration of 3 or 5 days. This pass is good if you fly to Kyushu and don’t plan to travel outside of the island. Buy your JR Kyushu Pass here .

You’ll need to purchase the JR pass in advance and exchange the voucher for the physical ticket at the shinkansen ticket office on your arrival. It’s recommended that you also reserve seats in advance so you don’t need to worry about not getting one in the non-reserved seating car. You can reserve seats in person at the ticket office.

This post will focus on using the shinkansen between the cities since that was our main mode of transportation.

Kyushu Itinerary Day 1-2: Fukuoka

Fukuoka ( 福岡市) is the main city in Fukuoka Prefecture. As the northern city in Kyushu, it’s the perfect introduction to this island. With a mix of traditional and metropolitan architecture and culture, you’ll love spending a few days in Fukuoka (also referred to as Hakata in the Hakata area). If you are a huge ramen eater, you’ll love eating your way through this city. 

Read our detailed Fukuoka itinerary here.

Five story red pagoda and temple in the Tochoji Temple area in Fukuoka, Japan. It's a fabulous place to visit on your one day in Fukuoka.

Tochoji Temple is a recommended place to visit in Fukuoka.

How to Get to Fukuoka

Fukuoka has an international airport and it’s only 6 minutes away to get to the main station, Hakata Station ( 博多駅) by train. From the Fukuokakuku Station ( 福岡空港駅) at the airport, hop onto the local train on the Kuko Line and go two stops to Hakata Station. 

By Shinkansen 

If you’re coming from Honshu Island where Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto are located, you’ll need to take the shinkansen directly to Hakata Station. Travel times will vary depending on your starting location. 

Top Things to Do in Fukuoka 

  • Eat Hakata ramen (also referred to as tonkotsu ramen) when you’re in Fukuoka. Many of your favorite ramen shops originated here such as Ippudo, Ichiran, and Shin-Shin Ramen. You can easily spend the day trying different ramen branches.
  • Take a historical walking tour . Visit important temples and shrines such as the Kushida Shrine and Tochoji Temple  which is close to Hakata Station.  
  • Walk along the riverfront and try the Yatai food stalls in the evenings. It’s similar to hawker food stalls in Singapore .
  • Go shopping at Canal City , a multi-level shopping center that has boutique and popular stores.
  • Check out the old ruins of the Fukuoka Castle .
  • See the views of Fukuoka city from Fukuoka Tower .
  • Explore Dazaifu on a day trip . It was originally Fukuoka’s former government area so you can see ancient ruins of the buildings and also check out the shrines and temples.

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is one of the top things to do on your Dazaifu itinerary. It's a gorgeous temple with lots of people visiting.

Tenmangu Shrine is one of the best attractions to visit in Dazaifu.

Places to Stay in Fukuoka

We stayed at Hotel Mei which is within walking distance to Canal City. It’s a new hotel that offers various rooms whether you want a suite or an executive room. We had a budget-friendly room that was spacious and had the amenities needed for our stay. Book a room at Hotel Mei here .

For other options, check out accommodation reviews and book a room in Fukuoka here.

Kyushu Itinerary Day 3-4: Beppu

Beppu ( 別府市) is a famous onsen (hot springs) location in Japan. Located in Oita Prefecture, this mountainous city is unique to visit as you see steam coming from the rooftops of the onsen. You’ll love the opportunity to relax in a hot spring and also get a chance to see the multi-colored bubbly hot springs up close. Two days is a good amount of time to relax in the middle of your Japan itinerary. 

Click to read more about our Beppu itinerary here. 

How to get to beppu from fukuoka.

Take the shinkansen high-speed train from Fukuoka’s Hakata Station ( 博多駅) to Beppu Station ( 別府駅). It’ll take 2 hours. 

Top Things to Do in Beppu

  • Relax at an onsen . You can choose to stay overnight at an onsen or spend time in one with mineral spring water, mud bath, or in the sand.  
  • The main highlight of Beppu is to visit the Seven Hells of Beppu . Take the Jigoku Meguri (Hells Tour) to visit the seven hot springs – Chinoike, Tatsumaki, Shiraike, Oniyama, Kamado, Umi, and Oniishi Bozu. You’ll love the different colors from cobalt to mud pits for the hot springs. There are 8 Jigoku in the area but one isn’t a part of the Jigoku Meguri ticket combination. This attraction will take about half a day. 

Read our Seven Hells of Beppu guide here. 

Umi Jigoku has cobalt blue waters and steam and is a popular Hells of Beppu site to visit.

Out of the Seven Hells of Beppu, Umi Jigoku is our favorite!

  • Eat Beppu specialties such as steamed foods, steamed custard pudding and eggs, and toriten (tempura battered chicken).
  • Take a day trip to Yufuin, one of the best onsen towns in Japan . Although it’s a smaller town, you can’t miss the relaxation opportunities and go hiking up Mount Yufu. 
  • Visit Harmonyland , an outdoor Sanrio amusement park. See Hello Kitty and friends here or visit them in Tokyo’s Sanrio Puroland .

Places to Stay in Beppu

We stayed at Beppu Hostel U&T which was an affordable option and close to the Beppu Station. The rooms are larger than other places that we stayed at. Plus, this place has unlimited tea and beverage services! Book a room at Beppu Hostel U&T here.

For other options, click here to read reviews of Beppu accommodations and make a reservation . 

Kyushu Itinerary Day 5-6: Nagasaki 

Nagasaki ( 長崎) is a location that has both Japanese and Western influences. As the largest city in the Nagasaki Prefecture and former port city, you’ll see influences with the Portuguese and Dutch with the architecture and Christianity. It’s also known as the second location to experience the atomic bomb on August 9, 1945 (3 days after the Hiroshima incident). Since Nagasaki is a large area with lots of local attractions, you can easily spend 2-3 days here. 

Read more about our Nagasaki itinerary here. 

On your one day in Nagasaki itinerary, check out the bronze Peace Statue at the Nagasaki Peace Park. It's of a man holding up his right hand to the sky and left arm horizontally to show world peace.

The Peace Statue at the Peace Park is a lovely place to visit in Nagasaki.

How to Get to Nagasaki from Beppu

To get to Nagasaki from Beppu, you’ll need to allocate 4 hours and do one transfer on the shinkansen fast-speed train. From Beppu Station ( 別府駅) to Fukuoka’s Hakata Station ( 博多駅) , the shinkansen ride will take 2 hours. Afterward, transfer at Hakata Station to go on a different train that goes to Nagasaki Station (長崎駅) . This will take another 2 hours. It’s a long journey so it’s recommended that you purchase a meal or snacks ahead of time for your ride. 

Top Things to Do in Nagasaki

  • Learn about the history and events leading up to the atomic bomb incident at the Atomic Bomb Museum and the National Peace Memorial Hall for Atomic Bomb Victims.  Pay your respects at the Peace Park and also see the atomic bomb hypocenter at the Hypocenter Park .
  • Visit Nagasaki’s churches such as Oura Church and Urakami Cathedral.
  • Explore the isolated island for Dutch merchants at Dejima . 
  • Eat champon , a noodle specialty dish from Nagasaki. It’s one of our favorite Japanese foods to eat!
  • Visit Chinatown to shop and eat. If you can visit during the Nagasaki Lantern Festival , you’ll see over 15,000 lanterns light up the area. Nearby Chinatown is also the Spectacles Bridge that looks like a pair of glasses.

Colorful lanterns and displays for the Nagasaki Lantern Festival in Nagasaki, Japan

If you have a chance to visit Nagasaki during the Lantern Festival, you’ll see incredible decors and displays.

  • Check out the nighttime views from the summit of Mount Inasa at 333 meters (1,093 feet) above sea level. You can take the ropeway to the top of the mountain.
  • Take day trips to visit the Huis Ten Bosch , the Netherland-inspired amusement park, or see the abandoned island of Hashima Island (Battleship Island).

Places to Stay in Nagasaki

We stayed at MP Hotel Nagasaki Mizubenomori which is a quiet location in the residential area. This place is great if you’re looking for an apartment-style hotel room. The best part is that this room has a washing machine. Regardless, this place is close to the streetcar so you can travel around the city. Book a room at MP Hotel Nagasaki Mizubenomori here.

For other options, click here to read reviews of Nagasaki accommodations and make a reservation .

Kyushu Itinerary Day 7: Travel Day or Departure

On your last day in Kyushu, this is your free day to do whatever you’d like! Depending on your schedule you can visit neighboring areas in Kyushu, head to the neighboring Honshu Island, or depart back home via plane at Nagasaki or Fukuoka airport.

If you have extra time to explore Kyushu, take a day trip to Kumamoto ( 熊本市). The city is known for the Kumamoto Castle ( 熊本城) so you’ll get an opportunity to explore a historic landmark. 

How to Get to Kumamoto from Nagasaki

From Nagasaki to Kumamoto, take the shinkansen for a two-hour ride. From Nagasaki Station ( 長崎駅) , head to Shin-Tosu Station ( 新鳥栖駅) . The ride takes 1.5 hours. Transfer here and take the shinkansen to Kumamoto Station ( 熊本駅) for another 25 minutes. 

How to Get to Honshu Island from Nagasaki

If you are planning to head to Honshu Island, you’re in luck as there are many places to explore. Honshu Island is the largest island out of Japan’s archipelago. It has popular cities such as Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, and other exciting places. 

The nearest main city that is closest to Fukuoka is Hiroshima. We recommend that you stop by Hiroshima for two days to learn more about the Hiroshima atomic bomb , visit the Hiroshima Castle , and do a day trip to Miyajima Island . 

View of Hiroshima Castle from the outside of the moat. Hiroshima Castle is a popular site to visit on your Hiroshima itinerary and when you're visiting Kyushu.

Although Hiroshima Castle is rebuilt, it’s still gorgeous to see!

How to Get to Hiroshima from Nagasaki

From Nagasaki to Hiroshima, take the shinkansen for a 3.5-hour ride. From Nagasaki Station ( 長崎駅) , head to Shin-Tosu Station ( 新鳥栖駅) . The ride takes 1.5 hours. Transfer here and take the shinkansen to Hiroshima Station ( 広島駅 ) for another 1 hour and 20 minutes. 

Have a safe departure! 

This one week in Kyushu went by quickly! This island has so many hidden gems to explore. We hope you enjoyed Kyushu as much as we did so you can return to visit Southern Kyushu in the future. 

What are you most interested in seeing in Northern Kyushu? If you have questions about this Kyushu travel guide or itinerary, ask one in the comments below.  

Save this post to your Japan Pinterest board. 

With your one week in Kyushu itinerary, head to the Northern Kyushu cities such as Fukuoka to see the skyline, Beppu, and Nagasaki to see the Spectacle Bridge.

Featured photo & pin #1 photo credit: sepavone via Depositphotos.com

kyushu trip

I'm Jackie - world explorer, hiker, and wanderer. I love planning things whether it is a trip or an upcoming event, exploring nature, hiking up mountains, and seeing new places. I'm notorious for getting lost, so you may see me circling a place a few times.

One Day in Fukuoka, Japan: A Fukuoka Itinerary That Is Great for Ramen Lovers

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kyushu trip

This looks like such an amazing place. Unfortunately, when we were in Japan we didn’t have enough time to go to Nagasaki. We do hope to go back to visit places like this instead of all the big cities! Saving for later.

Thanks Pamela. There is so much to see in Japan! Once the current situation is over, hope you can make a plan to return to Japan. We would love to go back to Kyushu and spend time in the southern areas to see waterfalls and more beautiful landscapes.

kyushu trip

Interesting places in Kyushu and we already know that Japan has many amazing places where we can spend our time. I love this place and will plan to go there.

Thank you! Kyushu Island is underrated since it takes a while to get there from Osaka and has fewer crowds. Look forward to hearing about your experiences when you visit.

kyushu trip

I’ve always wanted to go to Japan!! What an amazing guide you’ve created. There’s so much to do and see especially in the Kyushu area. I’ll save this for my trip!

Thanks Katie! If you have any questions during your future Japan planning, I’m happy to help!

kyushu trip

This is a great guide you’ve created for Japan. I’ve been to some Asian countries like India and I’m always excited to explore more countries there!

Thanks Olga! Glad you enjoyed this Kyushu itinerary! I’m overdue for a return trip to India. I’ve only been to Bangalore for work so I can’t wait to explore other tourist attractions.

kyushu trip

I am truly blown away by everything Japan has to offer. We returned from our trip to Japan in February and I never thought to visit Kyushu – thank you for taking the time to write this. I feel like one could spend years in Japan and still not see it all!

Hi Sarah. We returned from our trip to Japan in February as well! Where did you go? Hope you get a chance to visit Kyushu in the future.

kyushu trip

Just by your photos I already want to go Kyushu area! Great post!!

We visited Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka and Nara! So much we still need to see!

Hi Sarah – I agree! There is never enough time to explore all of Japan. Justin and I haven’t been Hakone yet, but it’s on the bucket list.

kyushu trip

I’m late to this post but am planning a trip to Kyushu later this year for my first visit to Japan. Thanks for the insight, can’t wait to see what the island has to offer.

Hi JJ. Thank you for sharing a comment. Enjoy your time in Kyushu! Would love to hear back from you on your experience. We can’t wait to go back and explore more on Kyushu island.

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Visit Kyushu The Official Kyushu Travel Guide

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Start your journey here

Fruits Bus Stop

A two-day trip in Kurume:2 day tour featuring Mt. Kora Nature Walk and Japanese Craft experiences in cool Kurume

A two-day trip in Kurume:2 day tour featuring Mt. Kora Nature Walk and Japanese Craft experiences in cool Kurume

Journey into the Countryside and Pottery of Northern Kyushu:

Journey into the Countryside and Pottery of Northern Kyushu

A two-day trip in Minami Shimabara:a town with a stunning natural environment, where you can enjoy the company of seamen who have travelled the world.

A two-day trip in Minami Shimabara:a town with a stunning natural environment, where you can enjoy the company of seamen who have travelled the world.

Amami-Oshima and Tokunoshima Natural World Heritage Sites:

Amami-Oshima and Tokunoshima Natural World Heritage Sites

Historic Sites and Seaside Adventures:

Historic Sites and Seaside Adventures

Kyushu's Scenic Coast:

Kyushu's Scenic Coast

Natural Wonders and Hot Springs:

Natural Wonders and Hot Springs

A Taste of Kyushu:

A Taste of Kyushu

Exploring peace in Kyushu and environs: A most worthwhile journey:

Exploring peace in Kyushu and environs: A most worthwhile journey

Dive deep into Kyushu’s rich culture of onsen bathing and porcelain:

Dive deep into Kyushu’s rich culture of onsen bathing and porcelain

Island Beach Getaways Just Four Hours From Tokyo:

Island Beach Getaways Just Four Hours From Tokyo

A comprehensive insight into the intertwining cultures of Modern and Ancient Japan Life:

A comprehensive insight into the intertwining cultures of Modern and Ancient Japan Life

Kyushu by Rail:

Kyushu by Rail

Explore by prefecture.

Fukuoka

Plan Your Trip

Getting to Kyushu

10 days, 9 nights

The following is a suggested, very fast paced itinerary for travelers who spend 10 days and 9 nights in Kyushu . This itinerary is designed around using a rental car for some of the rural areas where public transportation is inconvenient. Public transportation can be used instead of a rental car, however, it will result in longer travel times.

kyushu trip

Day 1 - Arrive in Fukuoka

kyushu trip

Day 2 - Nagasaki

kyushu trip

Day 3 - Kagoshima

kyushu trip

Day 4 - Kirishima

kyushu trip

Day 5 - Kumamoto

kyushu trip

Day 6 - Takachiho

kyushu trip

Day 7 - Aso and Kurokawa

kyushu trip

Day 8 - Yufuin via Mount Kuju

kyushu trip

Day 9 - Beppu

kyushu trip

Day 10 - Return to Fukuoka

A rail pass does not pay off for this itinerary. A rental car is recommended for days 6-9 and would simplify transportation on day 4. Alternatively, public transportation can be used for the entire itinerary at a possibly lower cost, but with appropriate adjustments made to account for the longer travel times. Below are some sample budgets for the itinerary, excluding airfare. Find out more about the sample budgets and about the current yen exchange rates .

Questions? Ask in our forum .

kyushu trip

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Kyushu 7 Days Itinerary – Scenic Road Trip in Japan

  • Post author: Beti
  • Post published: March 16, 2023
  • Post category: Japan
  • Post comments: 4 Comments

kyushu trip

If you are thinking of a road trip in Japan – this 7 days Kyushu itinerary might be exactly what you need! Kyushu is the southernmost main island in Japan, famous for its active volcanoes, relaxing hot springs and beautiful mountain ranges. It offers dramatic landscapes, vast spaces, unspoiled nature, no crowds, so it’s fantastic to escape from a big city life and…  to eat some authentic Neapolitan pizza! As you can’t just live with ramen and sushi or… actually maybe you can?! 🙂

What's in this blog post?

KYUSHU 7 DAYS ITINERARY: HIGHLIGHTS

One week in Kyushu is perfectly enough to explore the best of Kyushu Island  if you are a nature lover. Here are the highlights of this road trip:

  • MOUNT ASO: the largest active volcano in Japan, famous for its huge caldera! 
  • VERY ACTIVE VOLCANOES: constantly monitored by the Japan’s Meteorological Agency: Aso and Kirishima as well as Japan’s most active volcano – Sakurajima.
  • PRISTINE LANDSCAPES & PEACEFULLNESS: less crowds than in other parts of Japan.
  • BEST OF JAPAN’S NATURE: 2 out of 34 Japan’s National Parks: Aso-Kuju National Park & Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park.
  • STUNNING GORGE, WATERFALL & RICE TERRACES: those kind of places you probably don’t expect to see in Japan, or at least I did not expect 🙂
  • GREAT SCENERY FOR A ROAD TRIP: kilometres of scenic drive through the mountain grasslands.
  • ITALIAN PIZZA in “Naples of Japan” – the city of Kagoshima.
  • SUBTROPICAL CLIMATE of southern Kyushu to escape colder weather in other parts of Japan.
  • TICKING OFF 4/47 PREFECTURES: Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki & Kagoshima, if you plan to visit them all 🙂

kyushu trip

How do you get to Kyushu island from Tokyo?

Travelling from Tokyo to Kyushu by plane is much cheaper than a journey with a bullet train. I flew with Solaseed Air – a regional airline operating mainly between Tokyo and the island of Kyushu, which was cheap and convenient. The flight was less than 2 hours and cost half of the price of a 7-hour train journey.

To make the best use of your time and fully enjoy the stunning nature of Kyushu, Kumamoto is probably the most convenient place to start your 1 week Kyushu road trip. Alternatively, you can start from Kagoshima and drive your way up to Kumamoto. Renting a car is essential to fully enjoy stunning nature in Kyushu. You can travel by public transport but it’s not very convenient, especially if you plan hiking. Buses do not run frequently.

at home - ready to go

KYUSHU 7 DAYS ITINERARY: ROAD TRIP DAY BY DAY

Day 1. milk road & daikanbo lookout: a scenic drive from kumamoto airport to aso.

Kumamoto Airport is situated between the city of Kumamoto and Mount Aso. Therefore, depending on your arrival time, you might directly head towards the volcano paradise and skip visiting the city. That’s what we did. It’s only a 40-minute drive from Kumamoto Airport to Aso via the main road (30 km). However, it is worth taking a slightly longer, but more picturesque route called “Milk Road”, marked as number 339. 

The Milk Road takes you through grasslands along the rim of the caldera and gives you a first glimpse of the beautiful landscapes. In short, it’s a great start to your 1-week trip in Kyushu.  It is dotted with numerous scenic viewpoints, of which Daikanbo Lookout is by far the most impressive. It is a perfect place to experience the immensity of the Aso caldera.

Milk Road Kumamoto

Driving time and distance from the Kumamoto Airport to Aso

  • Kumamoto Airport – Daikanbo Lookout: 55min ~ 40km;
  • Daikanbo Lookout – Aso town: 25min ~ 15km

Cheap accommodation in Aso

Guest House Asora is a clean, affordable and strategically located simple accommodation with free parking. There are two types of rooms – with single Western-style beds (double beds are not so common in Japan), or with traditional Japanese tatami mats and futon mattresses. The bathroom, as usual in Japan, is shared. It is definitely not a fancy place, but when you are surrounded by wonderful nature, it really doesn’t take much to be happy.

Guest House Asora on Booking.com

Asora Guest House room

DAY 2. Exploring Mount Aso caldera & Nakadake crater

Mount Aso is not a single mountain. It consists of five peaks (Takadake, Nakadake, Eboshidake, Kishimadake and Nekodake) and one of the largest calderas in the world with a circumference of over 100 km  resembling the magical landscape of Mount Bromo in Indonesia.

Unfortunately, I was not able to hike to the smoking crater and the peaks of Naka and Taka to see the spectacular crater from above, which was my original plan. Due to the increased volcanic activity, during my stay in Aso, the area within 1 km of the crater and most of the trails were closed.

On the first day, when I got to Mount Aso, the crater was still open, but the weather was bad.  It was cloudy and rainy. Therefore, I decided to put off the most awaited highlight of my 7-days Kyushu itinerary until the next day. The weather forecasts were fantastic. The next day it was indeed sunny and the sky was blue. Unfortunately, on the same day, the area around the crater was closed.

how close I got to Nakadake crater...

Kyushu 7 days itinerary - Nakadake trail

Maybe next time...

Well, this is a good lesson for the future: you should visit an active volcano even in bad weather, because you never know when it will get more active again. 🙂

When planning your itinerary around Aso, always check the volcano’s activity status on the official website for live updates via this link: Mount Aso activity updates

What to do if Aso crater is closed?

If the crater is closed, it’s still not the end of the world either, as the surrounding area is very interesting. There are nice lookouts, as well as the Aso Volcano Museum, cafes and restaurants, so you will still enjoy your time. There is also an alternative way to explore the inside of the crater. 

kyushu trip

You can explore the crater from the helicopter...

...or explore alternative ways to enjoy your time....

Eboshidake from the Aso Volcano Museum

Read more about this extraordinary experience – helicopter flight over the crater in “Hiking in Kyushu – complete guide” – COMING SOON!

Driving time and distance from Aso town to Mount Aso

  • Aso town – Mount Aso: 20 min ~ 35km (one way) and return  to the town of Aso for the second night at Guest House Asora

DAY 3. A green volcanic cone, hiking one of the Mount Aso peaks & stunning rice terraces

Komezuka's perfect cone.

kyushu trip

Start your day visiting the perfectly shaped volcanic cone, Komezuka. The green grass slopes of this baby volcano, which is only 80 meters high, make it a very picturesque place. There are several viewpoints in the area where you can park your car to take a photo and take a walk in the meadow. Driving around the area is very picturesque.

Kyushu 7 days itinerary - Eboshidake

Mount Eboshi hike

The drive from Komezuka to the Eboshidake trailhead takes only about 10 minutes. Mount Eboshi (1,337m) is the easiest peak among all five Mount Aso peaks. The hiking trail (round trip takes around 2h) is usually open, even when the rest of the area is closed. You can get pretty good views over the caldera and Nakadake crater from the top. You can also hike Eboshidake the day before, if Nakadake crater is closed.

Hiking Eboshidake

  Read more about my Mount Eboshi hike in “Hiking in Kyushu – complete guide” – COMING SOON!

OGI RICE TERRACES

Kyushu 7 days itinerary - Ogi Rice Terraces

After hiking, if you still have time, drive to one of the most beautiful rice fields I have ever seen in my life. Despite their small size, Ogi Rice Terraces are worth visiting because of its particular fan shape. In order to reach them,  you will need to drive through winding narrow roads. You can also take a slightly longer, more scenic route through the Milk Road to complete the entire scenic route you have started on Day 1.

Ogi Rice Terraces are not very popular among tourists, so most likely you will have them all to yourself.  There is a small hill opposite the rice fields to take the best photos. From what I learnt from a little map I received at the guesthouse, according to the Ministry of Agriculture these picturesque rice fields are among the most beautiful in Japan.

If you do not have enough time for all the attractions mentioned in this blog post, try to combine 2 days of visiting Mount Aso into one (Day 2 & Day 3). It won’t be easy though!

Driving time and distance from Aso town to Komezuka, Eboshidake and Ogi Rice Fields

  • Aso town – Komezuka: 15 min ~ 11 km;
  • Komezuka – Aso Volcano Museum (parking lot for Mount Eboshi hike): 10 min ~ 5km,
  • Aso Volcano Museum – Ogi Rice Terraces: 65min ~ 40km

On the way back there are 2 options depending on your accommodation for the 3rd night:

  • Ogi Rice Terraces – Aso town: 45min ~ 28 km (Guest House Asora) or;
  • Ogi Rice Terraces – Minami Aso: 45 min ~  31 km (Camping ground in Minami Aso).

Where to stay for the third night: Aso or Minami Aso?

I can recommend two options. You can head back to Aso for the 3rd night at Guest House Asora, or move to the campground across the caldera to Minami Aso. Kyukamura Minamiaso Family Auto Camping Ground is located in a beautiful forest and offers, which is very convenient, both tents and camping equipment rentals. The showers are new and spot lessly clean. Reservations can be made online via the link: Kyukamura Minamiaso Family Auto Camping Ground

Initially I didn’t plan to move from Guest House Asora, but due to the lack of room availability, I had no other choice. I am glad about how it all turned out as the camping experience was an amazing adventure!

kyushu trip

Our home for next 2 nights: Kyukamura Minamiaso Family Auto Camping Ground

Day 4. beautiful drive to the makinoto pass and hiking in the kuju mountains.

The Aso – Kuju National Park offers not only Mount Aso with its great caldera, but beautiful Kuju Mountains as well. Driving to the Makinoto Pass, which is a main starting point of the hiking trails, is very scenic. Hiking Mount Kuju ( 1,786 m) and Mount Naka ( 1,791 m) is very pleasant as the path rises gently. 

kyushu trip

It never gets too steep and the views are splendid. Mount Kuju is known for its particularly stunning views, while Mount Naka is the highest peak on the entire island of Kyushu. 

Read more about the Kuju Mountains hike in “Hiking in Kyushu – complete guide” – COMING SOON!

Those who do not feel like hiking can explore walkways around the Chojabaru Visitor Centre, located 5 km from the Makinoto Pass. A walk on a 2.5 km comfortable wooden path over the wetlands takes around 30-40 minutes. The Kuju Mountains can be seen in the distance.

Views from the Chojabaru Visitor Centre

Wetlands nearby the Chojabaru Visitor Centre

Driving time and distance from aso town to the kuju mountains (makinoto pass).

Again, there are 2 options depending on your accommodation for the 4th night. The Kuju Mountains are slightly closer from Aso than from Minami Aso.

  • Aso town – Makinoto Pass: 50 min ~ 37 km (+return) or;
  • Camping ground in Minami Aso  – Makinato Pass: 65 min ~ 50 km (+return).

DAY 5. A dreamlike place: Takachiho Gorge

I fell in love with the beautiful Takachiho Gorge as soon as I saw its photos while planning my 1 week Kyushu trip . It’s really stunning. Before moving to Japan, I did not expect to come across such magical places here. Takachiho Gorge is a narrow valley formed by ancient lava flows from the Mount Aso eruptions hundreds of thousands years ago. The unusual rock formations, which look unreal as if they were carved by a man, can be admired from the 1-kilometer path along the gorge.

path to Takachicho Gorge

Renting a boat is the best way to explore the Takachiho Gorge and the impressive 17-meter Manai waterfall on the Gokase River flowing within the gorge.

A 30-minute boat rental costs 3,000 JPY (27 USD) per boat + 1,000 JPY (9 USD) per passenger. The boat has a maximum capacity of 3 people.  Each additional 10 minutes costs 300 JPY (3 USD).  Due to the high water level, boat rental might not be always available, which you can check at this website:  Takachiho Gorge Boat Rentals

Takachiho Gorge boats

Visiting Takachiho Shrine

On the way back, make a short visit to Takachiho Shrine, located in a mystical cedar forest. I couldn’t believe it was my first visit to a shrine after 5 days of exploring Japan – a country famous for its countless temples and shrines. A visit to this Shinto shrine is simply a must, as Takachiho town is the setting of one of the most important Japanese mythology legends.

If you have enough time, you can also park your car at Takachiho Shrine and walk to the gorge as a picturesque path connects those two places. 

Takachiho Shrine Miyazaki

Driving time and distance from Aso to Takachiho Gorge and to Kagoshima

It’s slightly closer from Minami Aso than Aso to reach Takachiho Gorge.

  • Camping ground in Minami Aso – Takachiho Gorge: 45 min ~ 38 km or;
  • Aso town – Takachiho Gorge: 75 min ~ 55 km;
  • Takachiho Gorge – Kagoshima: 3h 25 min ~ 230km.

Where to stay in Kagoshima?

Gracias –  simple, affordable and comfortable apartments offering views of Mount Sakurajima. Strategically located in front of the ferry terminal to Sakurajima and Yakushima,  close to the city center and the best sushi restaurant in the city. What else do you need? Cold beer? You have it – a very friendly and a bit eccentric lady owner gave us two beers upon arrival. I’m not sure if it is her normal way to greet all the guests, but I really hope it is. 🙂 The only drawback of Gracias Apartments is the lack of a free parking lot. But it’s not a big deal as affordable public car parks are situated nearby.

Check out the apartments here: Gracias in Kagoshima – Google Maps

DAY 6. Japan's most active volcano Sakurajima & pizza in Naples of Japan

kyushu trip

Visiting Mount Sakurajima

Mount Sakurajima is Japan’s most active volcano and the symbol of Kagoshima. It smokes constantly, and minor eruptions happen every day.  It is easily accessible by ferry and best to explore by car. The trip around the peninsula takes around 1 hour.  The total transportation cost (2 people and a car) starts from ~1,500 JPY (14 USD) for the smallest vehicle. Ferries depart from the Kagoshima Port every 15 minutes and the journey takes 15 minutes. Easy and hassle free!

Sakurajima - from the ferry

Among several observation points situated around the volcano, the Arimura Observation Point is my favourite spot. Although it is not the closest to the crater, the scenery is the most breathtaking. A smoking volcano crater surrounded by beautiful green pine trees, no signs of any human presence, the lack of any buildings and the blue sky over Sakurajima’s picturesque coastline won my heart.

A perfect day in nature - Sakurajima

Kyushu 7 days itinerary - a day in Sakurajima

Naples of Japan - the city of Kagoshima

kyushu trip

After visiting Sakurajima, make your way to the Shiroyama Observatory situated on the hill in the heart of the city. It is a great sunset spot offering fantastic views over Mount Sakurajima, the city of Kagoshima and Kinko Bay. This is where the similarities between the landscape of the cities of Naples and Kagoshima are most noticeable.

But wait, what am I talking about? Naples in Italy and this remote corner of the world? Oh, yes. Due to the similar seaside location and dominating stratovolcanoes over the cities, Kagoshima and Naples are considered twin cities. Apart from hiking volcanoes, it was one of the reasons why I went to the very end of Japan and it meant only one thing … Time for pizza!

At L’oro di Napoli (which translates from Italian to “Gold of Naples”:)) you can have a really good Neapolitan pizza. Just remember to stick to the Italian classics. You won’t get disappointed with margherita. In addition, the restaurant interior design and music are great. I highly recommend it to all who want to have a break from eating raw chicken or black pork 🙂

L’Oro di Napoli – pizzeria in Kagoshima – Google Maps

kyushu trip

Driving time and distance around Mount Sakurajima

Driving around Mount Sakurajima takes about an hour ~ 36 km.

DAY 7. Kirishima-Kinkowan National Park & hiking in the Kirishima Mountains

If you are staying in Kagoshima and flying off from Kagoshima Airport, it is most convenient to hike the Kirishima Mountains on the last day of your 1 week Kyushu trip. It will allow you to save some overall driving time. It is a 90-minute drive from Kagoshima to Ebino Plateau (1,200 m), which is a starting point of the trails, whereas the airport is halfway in between.

Kyushu 7 days itinerary - volcanic ladscapes

Welcome to the Kirishima Mountains - the land of volcanoes

The Kirishima Mountains offer spectacular volcanic landscape and unique hikes through the land dotted with perfectly shaped volcanic cones and craters. Here too, you should check volcanic activity updates. Due to recent Shinmoedake eruptions, the most scenic trail through the Kirishima Ridge is closed until further notice.  You can check trails status here: Kirishima Ridge closure update

Hiking Mount Karakuni (1,700 m)  – the highest peak of the Kirishima Mountains is still possible. This 2.5 – 3 hours round trip from the Ebino Plateau offers breathtaking views of numerous craters, volcanic cones and lakes. 

Hiking in Kyushu - Kirishima Mountains

Read more about my Karakunidake hike in  “Hiking in Kyushu – complete guide” – COMING SOON!

Driving time and distance from Kagoshima to Kirishima Mountains

Kagoshima – Ebino Plateau: 90 min ~ 72 km;

Ebino Plateau – Kagoshima Airport: 45 min ~ 33 km.

DAY 8. (EXTRA) Satsuma Peninsula

What to do if you have an extra day in Kyushu? That’s very easy – drive to Satsuma Peninsula to visit Mount Kaimon – a cone shaped volcano, try black sand baths and local cuisine! 

The Satsuma Peninsula lies at the southwestern tip of Kagoshima prefecture, which you can feel. During my visit I did not meet any other tourists here, and I was greeted by the locals with both on their faces – a great smile and surprise 🙂

And if you have a bit more time in Kyushu... I guarantee you - won't be bored

kyushu trip

Things to do in Satsuma Peninsula:

  • MOUNT KAIMON – A spectacular cone-shaped inactive volcano rising 924 meters above the coast. Kaimondake is sometimes proudly called  “Mount Fuji of Satsuma” (Satsuma is the old name of Kagoshima Prefecture). Frankly speaking, it reminds me more of the majestic Mount Agung surrounded by splendid black volcanic beaches in Bali than Fujisan. You can hike to the top of Kaimondake, but I had no chance to check it out.
  • LAKE IKEDA – Kyushu’s largest volcanic lake with a beautiful view of Mount Kaimon. Although I haven’t met the local version of the Loch Ness monster supposedly inhabiting the depths of the lake called Isshii, visiting the lake was enjoyable. I finally had a chance to try the local specialty – the purple sweet potato ice creams, which are sold in very old-fashioned little shops by the lake.
  • IBUSUKI ONSEN SAND BATHS, where bathers are buried in hot black sand. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to find out about their healing properties myself, but give it a try, it looks great! While visiting this part of Kyushu, I had terrible back pain and was afraid that if they bury me in the sand, I would never get up again. 🙂
  • REGIONAL CUISINE served in local restaurants in Ibusuki Onsen: satsuma-age (deep-fried fish cake), Kibinago (small silver herrings eaten raw), chicken sashimi (raw chicken meat) and Satsuma shochu (traditional sweet potato spirit). I can recommend Satsuma Aji restaurant – not only was the food tasty and authentic, the menu was available in English as well! Check it out here:  Satsuma Aji Google Maps 

Southern Kyushu Vibes are very different from what you probably think of Japan and sweet potatoes (satsumaimo) icecream is simply a Must!

kyushu trip

Driving time and distance from Kagoshima to Satsuma Peninsula

Kagoshima – Ibusuki Onsen: 80 min ~ 45 km;

Ibusuki Onsen – Mount Kaimon: 25 min ~ 16 km;

Mount Kaimon via Lake Ikeda back to Kagoshima: 90 min ~ 60 km.

KYUSHU 7 DAYS ITINERARY: MORE PLACES TO VISIT, NOT INCLUDED IN THIS ROAD TRIP

  • HOT SPRINGS – there are numerous hots springs in the island of Kyushu. The most famous are located in Beppu (Oita Prefecture).
  • YUKUSHIMA – a subtropical island off the southern coast of Kyushu, covered with some of the oldest cedar trees in Japan (Kagoshima Prefecture).
  • FUKUOKA – the largest and most vibrant city in Kyushu with its traditional street food stalls (Fukuoka Prefecture).
  • NAGASAKI – Japan’s most multicultural city, which is one of my favourite cities in the Land of the Rising Sun, full of history and interesting sites (Nagasaki Prefecture).

KYUSHU 7 DAYS ITINERARY: COSTS

The total cost of this 1-week itinerary in Kyushu was around 200,000 JPY (two people, food expenses not included). We travelled in May during the Golden Week Holidays and booked everything well in advance. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Return flight ticket from Tokyo for 2 pax ~ 70,000 JPY;
  • Car rental ~ 50,000 JPY;
  • Petrol ~ 7,000 JPY;
  • Road toll ~ 5,000 JPY;
  • 6 nights for 2 pax ~ 70,000 JPY.

Kyushu 7 days itinerary - land of volcanoes

KYUSHU 7 DAYS ITINERARY: MAP

I hope this article will help you plan your 1-week road trip around the beautiful island of Kyushu. Let me know in the comments if you need anything else or… how did your trip go. Because you are going, aren’t you? 🙂 

This Post Has 4 Comments

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Hi mam. We are retired couple from India interested to see Japan. Your narration is too good. It seems you went on your own in a rented car. Can you please name any Japanese Tour operator for a road trip. Thank you.

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Hi Anuradha, thank you for your good words and for looking into my blog. Unfortunately I can’t recommend any tour operator for a road trip as I always travelled on my own and rented a car from Toyota Rental or sometimes from Orix or Nissan car rentals.

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Thank you for your detail itinerary. I am planning a road trip to Kyushu in early October. We will fly into Fukuoka and thinking of driving to Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Mt. Aso, Takachiho, Beppu then back to Fukuoka. Would 7 days enough for this visit? Thanks in advance!

Thank YOU for reading my blog 🙂 Your schedule is very tight, but I’ve been so many times in your shoes trying to squeeze as many places as possible with limited time available, so I’ll try to help. If you don’t plan to visit Fukuoka and will just drive through Kumamoto, it might be doable. How about this itinerary?

Day1 Arrive to Fukuoka, drive to Arita (90km/1h30min) and visit this lovely town. I think it’s the nicest attractions in Saga pref. Day2 Drive to Nagasaki (80km/1h). I spent 4 days in Nagasaki and loved it! Day3 Morning – sightseeing in Nagasaki, afternoon drive to Mount Aso (250km/3h-3h30min) via Kumamoto. Day4 Mount Aso <3 Day5 Drive to Takachiho from Aso town (55km/75min), visit the gorge and drive to Beppe (125km/2h30min) Day6 Relax in hot springs in Beppe (I have never been there!) Day7 Drive to Fukuoka (150km/2h) - depending on your flight schedule you might be even able to see a bit of Fukuoka.

Good luck with planning and enjoy beautiful Kyushu!

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The Wall Street Journal

The 10 Best Places to Visit in 2024

T O BORROW from the poet Mary Oliver, what will you do with your few wild and precious vacation days? Now’s the time for figuring that out—and after looking at the latest travel trends, notable openings and immersive itineraries, we’ve got ideas. On this list of the 10 places we’re most excited about visiting this year, you’ll find spots still refreshingly free of tourist crowds but also new reasons to love the blockbuster destinations you thought you already knew. Whatever your preferred style of travel—from island-hopping by canoe in the Land of 10,000 Lakes to following your stomach around one of South America’s most exciting culinary hubs—we’re confident something here will unlock an urge to pack up and go.

The pandemic might have brought Belmond’s swanky Eastern & Oriental Express train to a temporary halt, but the luxury travel company used the downtime to refresh the train’s wood-paneled cabins with wickerwork and Malaysian embroidery, and brought Taiwanese chef André Chiang on board to steer restaurants that will feature a fusion of Southeast Asian cuisines. The train’s new routes, which launch in February, spotlight Malaysia’s wildly diverse landscapes. Excursions include Vespa tours around historic George Town, beach breaks on jungle-cloaked Langkawi island and treks in the rainforests of Taman Negara to spot hornbills, tapirs, and—for the very lucky—Malayan tigers. Fresh hotel openings in Kuala Lumpur, a food-mad city that just launched its first Michelin guide, make for an excellent excuse to linger before heading to the train station. Homegrown brand Else Retreats opened its first boutique hotel in the 1930s Lee Rubber Building in Chinatown, and the Park Hyatt will soon take over the top floors of Merdeka 118, the second-tallest tower in the world.

Lamu, Kenya

Kenya’s wildlife-rich safari parks remain its main draw, but new developments in Lamu, a palm-tufted island just off the country’s northeastern coast, offer sunseekers a pleasingly culture-packed and hushed alternative to the big-ticket resorts of Mombasa and Zanzibar. Global highfliers weathered the pandemic in the whitewashed luxury villas of Lamu’s ritzy Shela village, but the new Jannah Lamu, a scattered collection of suites by Kenya-raised designer Anna Trzebinski, makes the cobblestoned Old Town, East Africa’s oldest Swahili settlement, newly enticing. The recently launched NaiSabah, a traditional Omani dhow boat with three staterooms and a breezy deck decorated with intricate woodwork, offers multi-night itineraries around the Lamu archipelago, promising days packed with beach picnics, diving expeditions and nature walks. Finally, the Lamu Museum, which reopened last October after a year-long refurbishment, delivers a dose of cultural and historical context to this fascinating one-time trading hub—and a welcome respite from all that sunshine.

Kangaroo Island, Australia

The “Black Summer” bush fires of 2019-2020 destroyed half of its wildlife habitat, but in the years since, Kangaroo Island—9 miles off Australia’s southern coast—has bounced back. Nicknamed Australia’s Galápagos, this 1,700-square-mile speck of land is once again one of the best places to encounter wild koalas and kangaroos, along with penguins, whales, platypuses and wallabies. Two new lodges come staffed with seasoned guides who take the guesswork out of finding these creatures. Sea Dragon, a boutique hotel planted atop 250 acres of sea-facing land, reopened in 2023 with stargazing and bird-watching walks as well as new safari-style expeditions. Southern Ocean Lodge, which burned down entirely, reopened in December in a lair-like seacliff aerie, offering sunrise run-ins with wild sea lions and sunset sessions fueled by local wines and forest truffles. New trails on the island include a wheelchair-friendly boardwalk to the aptly named seaside granite formations of Remarkable Rocks and the first sections of the planned 23-mile-long Dudley Peninsula Trail, beginning at the historic Cape Willoughby Lighthouse.

Kyushu, Japan

Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands, has long drawn in-the-know visitors from mainland Asia. But lately a supersize dose of new tourism projects has made its night markets, temples and onsen (hot springs) more widely accessible. Last year saw the opening of Hoshino Resorts’ budget-friendly OMO5 in the buzzy city of Kumamoto, as well as the glass-wrapped Ritz-Carlton Fukuoka. This year, Hotel Indigo Nagasaki opens in a former orphanage for atomic bomb survivors, and indie upstart Takasaki Stay allows for more-comfortable visits to the nearby, laid-back Goto Islands. Kyushu’s Tourism Organization also launches four new itineraries focusing on local cuisine, ceramics and nature. Densha otaku (train geeks) will celebrate a new 5-hour sightseeing route launching in spring and serving seasonal bento boxes alongside views of the hissing volcanoes and rocky coastlines between Fukuoka’s Hakata Station and Beppu, Japan’s seaside onsen hub.

Kansas City, Mo.

Given the zeitgeist, it would be understandable to think Kansas City made this list because of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce. But the city was set to deliver the goods long before it became a fixture of gossip columns. CPKC Stadium, one of the few soccer stadiums in the world built for a top-division women’s team, the Kansas City Current, will open in March, doubling as a venue for concerts, festivals and farmers markets. In other athletic firsts, KC will host pickleball’s inaugural PickleCon in August, with 100 courts devoted to the unstoppable sporting fad. Rock Island Bridge, a waterfront highline, will soon connect Kansas and Missouri with a string of bars and cafes. The outdoors-oriented will also be able to canoe or kayak in the Kansas River below. Pennway Point, a downtown entertainment district opening this spring, will feature a beer garden, a BBQ joint, live music and a Ferris wheel. Those looking for the city’s famous smoked meat and jazz can rest easy that even under the celebrity spotlight, the soul of the city remains intact.

Prague, Czech Republic

“Prague never lets you go. This dear little mother has sharp claws,” wrote Franz Kafka. And, judging by the tourist numbers, those claws have reach. This year ushers in a new reason, however, to visit the much-loved city. Kafka’s hometown is marking the 100th anniversary of the Czech-born, German-speaking Jewish writer’s death with events across the city. Beginning in March, Prague City Tourism will offer literary walking tours, and a vintage tram will carry bibliophiles to sites where the author lived and worked. In May, the Museum of Czech Literature unveils a new exhibition featuring multimedia installations, letters written by the author and early editions of his books. All summer, the Jewish Museum will host Kafka-focused film screenings in Josefov, Prague’s historic Jewish quarter, while a mobile app called “Searching for Odradek,” a reference to a Kafka protagonist, will help re-create the Prague Kafka knew. Finally, the Goethe-Institut, a German cultural center, will be putting on a string of readings and theatrical productions. And when the Kafkaesque existential dread gets to be too much, the city’s legendary pubs await.

Quintana Roo, Mexico

Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula may be dismissed by some as a haven for spring breakers, but this year brings proof that there’s much more to the state of Quintana Roo than all-inclusive resorts. SHA Wellness Clinic, known for specialized longevity treatments, opens a branch this month in the town of Costa Mujeres. Architect Fabiano Continanza designed the slopes and spirals of the retreat’s building as a nod to the shape of the DNA molecule. An hour south, the Riviera Maya Edition hotel at Kanai just opened in a 620-acre nature reserve, its neutral-hued décor suggesting a sense of urban cool teleported deep into the jungle. Last month’s ribbon-cutting of a new airport in Tulum adds more fuel to that town’s decadeslong boom, but its quiet side still thrives at new boutique sites like XELA Tulum, a once-private villa renovated into a minimalist hotel. Near the border with Belize sits Bacalar, a diminutive town hugging a 26-mile-long translucent lagoon. Big chains like Banyan Tree have announced plans to move in soon, so get there before they do and check in to the new Boca de Agua hotel, crafted by Frida Escobedo, who was recently tapped to design a forthcoming contemporary art wing at New York’s MoMA.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

In Buenos Aires, an often-lauded culinary scene is shining brighter than ever. The neighborhood of Belgrano presents a handy introduction to two core elements of daily life in Argentina: fútbol and meat. After a match at El Monumental, South America’s largest stadium, dine at Corte Comedor’s modern parrilla (or grill) with hard-to-find cuts of beef, succulent veggies and charcuterie from sister spot Corte Charcuteria. In the art-gallery-packed neighborhood of Villa Crespo, head to Chuí, which offers a surprisingly varied plant-based menu, or Julia, a 22-seater specializing in colorful French-leaning fare. In Chacarita, try the newcomer Ácido, which takes inspiration for its menu—plus its delightfully kitschy china—from grandmothers everywhere. At MN Santa Inés, in the low-key barrio of La Paternal, chef Jazmín Marturet plays with recipes developed during trips to Asia and Latin America. And for travelers who follow the stars, the grand finale awaits at the art-on-a-plate adventure on offer at Aramburu, granted two Michelin stars in November. Buen provecho.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minn.

You can still drink straight from many of the 1,200 lakes in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, the million-acre liquid maze just shy of the Canadian border. Often navigated via multiday canoe camping trips, this boreal wilderness grants its 250,000 annual visitors time on solid ground, too, in rustic lodges and on extensive island hiking trails. With mining interests eyeing the region, every tourist visit this year plays a pivotal role in the area’s conservation. Start yours with a drive along the Gunflint Trail, a 57-mile national scenic byway leading to the Boundary Waters. At midpoint, grab a cardamom roll from Loon’s Nest Coffee, opened in the fall of 2023, before joining a guided paddle with one of the many locally run outfitters. Come nightfall, check in to the freshly updated Gunflint Lodge, or upgrade your campsite with a mobile sauna delivered to your patch of woods by spa operators Sisu + Löyly. In the morning, wake up with the loons—and dunk your cup straight into the deep-blue water to hydrate.

Balearic Islands, Spain

Spain’s Balearic Islands are ditching their dance-all-night rep for something more Zen. Think fewer foam parties, more meditation circles. Ibiza, once synonymous with shot-slinging nights, now appeals to mindfulness mavens, a metamorphosis on full display at the Mirador de Dalt Vila, a Relais & Châteaux hotel aimed squarely at relaxers, not ravers. In Mallorca, Richard Branson’s new Son Bunyola hotel ditches the island’s DJ parties in favor of scenic cycling and languorous afternoons in the 92-foot-long pool. Rafael Nadal’s ZEL hotel beckons with a restaurant serving Mediterranean and Basque fare and a pro-approved gym. On the island of Minorca, protected status keeps a short leash on development, so newcomers focus on renewing existing properties rather than bulldozing and building. Take the island’s latest outpost, Son Vell, an 18th-century Venetian-style manor turned into a 34-room hotel featuring yoga classes, al fresco movie screenings and, best of all, not a thumping bass line within earshot.

Contributors: Kiera Carter (Kansas City), David Farley (Prague), Adam H. Graham (Kangaroo Island and Kyushu), Jacqueline Kehoe (Boundary Waters), Jordi-Lippe-McGraw (Balearic Islands), Suchi Rudra (Buenos Aires), Chris Schalkx (Malaysia and Lamu) and Michaela Trimble (Quintana Roo)

The 10 Best Places to Visit in 2024

  • International Strategy

【Call for Participation】APRU SDG Education for Global Citizenship – APRU SDG4GC:Shaping the Future of Health & Wellbeing(for KU students)

kyushu trip

<Key Program Features>※Attendance at all program activities is mandatory

  • Orientation program, interactive lectures, and training by APRU member universities, UN agencies, and experts.
  • UN SDG Primer Course (self-paced)
  • Collaborative teamwork with students from 60 universities across 20 economies
  • Mentorship program led by academics and design thinking experts
  • One-week onsite program either in Malaysia or Thailand for field visits, local community engagement, cultural learning, and workshops, co-hosted by Universiti Malaya and Chulalongkorn University.
  • Pitching competition by each team, judged by a panel of UN experts and practitioners.
  • Winning team awarded with a special achievement certificate by UNESCAP
  • Certificate of completion jointly issued by partners

<Program Period>

  • June 1 – August 30, 2024 ※Onsite program in Thailand/Malaysia, July 20-28, 2024

<Program Timeline>Subject to change

  • June 1, 2024:
  • Throughout:
  • July 20-28, 2024:
  • August 30, 2024:

<Eligibility>Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Enrolled at Kyushu University during the program period
  • Undergraduate and graduate (MA) students in any discipline
  • Completed at least one year of undergraduate studies
  • Good command of the English language

<How to apply>

IMAGES

  1. 30 Pictures of Kyushu That Will Make You Want to Visit

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  2. 10 Day Itinerary For Your Kyushu Trip

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  3. Discover Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands

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  4. 10 Days Kyushu Itinerary: A Complete Travel Guide Blog

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  5. Discover Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands

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  6. Visit Kyushu

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VIDEO

  1. Road Trip @ Kyushu

  2. Kaopun and Kaopan Kansai Kyushu Trip 2023 2024

  3. Sher3ne ~ 2023 Nov Japan Kyushu Self-drive trip 日本九州自驾旅游

  4. Kyushu Road Trip

  5. Traveling to Sendai, Japan Part 1

  6. North Kyushu Trip `23/ May

COMMENTS

  1. Kyushu Travel Guide

    1 Fukuoka• Kyushu's largest and most vibrant city. 3.7 ★★★★★ 2,718 2 Dazaifu• Historic town south of Fukuoka. 3.7 ★★★★★ 951 3 Munakata Taisha Three shrines and a sacred, off-limit island. 3.4 ★★★★★ 20 4 Kitakyushu Industrial city in the north of Kyushu. 3.1 ★★★★★ 397 Saga Prefecture 1 Yutoku Inari Shrine• One of Japan's three best Inari shrines.

  2. Kyushu

    Destinations Kyushu Easily reached by land, sea and air, dynamic Kyushu is bubbling with energy, culture and activity Japan's third-largest island is internationally famous for its tonkotsu ramen, varied hot springs, dramatic mountains, and peaceful beaches.

  3. 10 Day Itinerary For Your Kyushu Trip

    Day 1: Fukuoka Day 2: Fukuoka - Saga - Nagasaki Day 3: Nagasaki - Shimabara - Kumamoto Day 4: Kumamoto - Kagoshima Day 5: Kagoshima - Yakushima Day 6: Yakushima - Kagoshima Day 7: Kagoshima - Kirishima Day 8: Kirishima - Takachiho Day 9: Takachiho - Mount Aso Day 9: Kurokawa - Yufuin Day 10: Beppu - Oita Tour Packages Blogs you might also enjoy

  4. Visit Kyushu

    Adventure Travel Book Kyushu Experiences Seasons Getting to Kyushu Getting around Kyushu Good to Know Staying in Kyushu Downloadable Pamphlets Endless energy, wild beauty and warm smiles Takachiho Gorge SCROLL Kyushu is a land full of energy, from its vibrant people to its famous volcanoes.

  5. Plan Your Trip

    Kyushu is Japan's warm and friendly southern island, with verdant green hills, active volcanoes, abundant hot springs and delicious food. It's also well connected to the world, with many transport options, lively cities and free Wi-Fi in many areas. Here are some tips on when to go, where to stay and how to make the most of your trip. LEARN MORE

  6. The Ultimate Kyushu Travel Guide

    Contents 1 Practical Matters 2.1 When to Visit Kyushu 2.2 Where to Stay in Kyushu 2.3 How to Get Around in Kyushu 2.4 Money, Costs and Communication 2.5 Kyushu vs. Shikoku 2 Where to Go in Kyushu 2.1 Fukuoka 2.2 Nagasaki 2.3 Kumamoto and Mt. Aso 2.4 Oita and Beppu Onsen 2.5 Miyazaki and Takahicho Gorge 2.6 Kagoshima and the Satsuma Peninsula

  7. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Kyushu

    Things to Do in Kyushu, Japan - Kyushu Attractions Things to Do in Kyushu Explore popular experiences See what other travelers like to do, based on ratings and number of bookings. Self-guided Tours (5) Cultural Tours (59) National Parks (10) Day Trips (17) Private Sightseeing Tours (92) Mass Transportation Systems (85) City Tours (41)

  8. Japan Travel Itinerary

    Day 12 and 13 - Beppu. Head to Beppu and visit the town's hot springs. Stay in Beppu and return to Fukuoka via Kitakyushu the next day. The above itinerary is somewhat fast-paced. Tourists preferring a slow pace of travel should consider spending more time at some of the destinations along the way. Questions?

  9. Kyushu 2024: Best Places to Visit

    Kyushu Plan Your Trip to Kyushu: Best of Kyushu Tourism Essential Kyushu Stay A mix of the charming, modern, and tried and true. 2023 Hotel Okura Fukuoka 1,103 from $133/night 2023 Hotel JAL City Fukuoka Tenjin 234 Amane Resort Seikai 399 from $321/night Yamashiroya 273 from $249/night Richmond Hotel Nagasaki Shianbashi 858 from $74/night 2023

  10. 4-day Itinerary to explore Kyushu Island in Japan

    At the lip of southern Japan, facing the sea, is creased, cratered Kyushu Island, the historic gateway between Japan and the rest of Asia. Steaming onsen, time-honoured temples and formidable Japanese fortresses characterise its northern prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Oita.

  11. The Perfect Kyushu Itinerary: 5-Day, 7-Day & 10-Day

    June 24, 2023 JAPAN Are you heading to Kyushu for 1-2 weeks and want to pack your itinerary with lots of epic locations and adventures? I have got you covered. This 5-day Kyushu Itinerary (7-day & 10-day also included) will be your best resource for adventurous activities in Kyushu.

  12. 10 Days Kyushu Itinerary: A Complete Travel Guide Blog

    Day 1: Kumamoto Day 2: Takachiho Gorge Day 3, 4: Mt Aso - Kurokawa Onsen Day 5: Beppu Day 6: Yufuin Day 7, 8: Nagasaki - Huis Ten Bosch - Sasebo Day 9: Kitakyushu (Shimonoseki, Mojiko, Kokura) Day 10: Fukuoka - Yanagawa- Dazaifu Kyushu Transport Guide Getting To Kyushu Getting Around in Kyushu Self Driving in Kyushu By Using Public Transport

  13. The Ultimate Road Trip Guide to Exploring the Kyushu Island, Japan

    Watch on The Ultimate Road Trip Guide to Exploring the Kyushu Island, Japan Kyushu Island is a unique part of Japan that is often overlooked by visitors. It's far away from the busy hotspots of Tokyo and Kyoto. What if I tell you that Kyushu Island is only a short domestic flight away and it's easy to reach and explore?

  14. 7-Day Kyushu Itinerary: Where to go and what to see in Kyushu

    You can also do a road trip or tour to Mount Aso, one of the most beautiful areas in Kyushu. Kumamoto is a very doable day trip from Fukuoka. Read about my day trip to Kumamoto from Fukuoka here. Kumamoto Castle 4. Kagoshima (1-2 days)

  15. One Week in Kyushu Itinerary: Explore the Best of Northern Kyushu, Japan

    Kyushu Itinerary Day 1-2: Fukuoka. Fukuoka (福岡市) is the main city in Fukuoka Prefecture. As the northern city in Kyushu, it's the perfect introduction to this island. With a mix of traditional and metropolitan architecture and culture, you'll love spending a few days in Fukuoka (also referred to as Hakata in the Hakata area).

  16. Kyushu Itinerary: 10 days on a budget

    What you need to know before your visit to Kyushu. Kyushu travel budget tips. Kyushu itinerary: 10 days exploring Kyushu Island from north to south. Day 1 - 5: Fukuoka (5 days) Where to stay in Fukuoka. Day 1 - 3: Arrive in Fukuoka and explore the city in 3 days. Day 4: Day trip to Dazaifu. Day 5: Day trip to Takeo.

  17. Trip Ideas

    2 Days A two-day trip in Kurume:2 day tour featuring Mt. Kora Nature Walk and Japanese Craft experiences in cool Kurume Journey into the Countryside and Pottery of Northern Kyushu A two-day trip in Minami Shimabara:a town with a stunning natural environment, where you can enjoy the company of seamen who have travelled the world. 4 Days

  18. 7 Day Kyushu Itinerary For First Time Visitors

    Kyushu doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. Living in Kyushu myself, I will continue shouting from the mountaintops for first-time visitors to come here and then go to Osaka and Tokyo. If you're looking to have the perfect trip to Japan, consider adding Kyushu to your Japan bucket list. Conclusion - One Week Kyushu Itinerary

  19. THE 10 BEST Kyushu Tours & Excursions for 2024 (with Prices)

    3,615. Top Kyushu Tours: See reviews and photos of tours in Kyushu, Japan on Tripadvisor.

  20. 7, 10, 14-day Kyushu itinerary in beautiful Japan

    A wonderful day in Aso during my Kyushu trip itinerary. The bus to the crater is 650 yen (£4.42) or 1300 yen return. Hiking or hitchhiking, either way, is of course free. I actually hitchhiked with a local on my way back down because I was worried about getting sunburnt.

  21. Japan Kyushu Travel Itinerary

    10 days, 9 nights. one less day. one more day. The following is a suggested, very fast paced itinerary for travelers who spend 10 days and 9 nights in Kyushu. This itinerary is designed around using a rental car for some of the rural areas where public transportation is inconvenient. Public transportation can be used instead of a rental car ...

  22. Adventure through the heartland in Japan's Kyushu

    This article is brought to you by Visit Kyushu. Experiencing Kyushu for the first time is like unwrapping the best of presents. An unexpected surprise that warms the heart and soul. It is achingly beautiful, with aquamarine water, verdant islands, steaming hot springs, historical significance, soaring mountains, and everywhere, the warmth of ...

  23. Kyushu 7 Days Itinerary

    Beti March 16, 2023 Japan 4 Comments If you are thinking of a road trip in Japan - this 7 days Kyushu itinerary might be exactly what you need! Kyushu is the southernmost main island in Japan, famous for its active volcanoes, relaxing hot springs and beautiful mountain ranges.

  24. How to Discover Kyushu with Kids: 6-Day Road Trip Adventure

    July 26, 2022 How to Discover Kyushu with Kids: 6-Day Road Trip Adventure Japan Sharing is caring! Last Updated on January 23, 2024 Known as the "Land of Fire", the island of Kyushu, Japan is the third-largest island in Japan. It is famous for its hot springs, active volcanoes, lush greenery, temples, and delicious foods.

  25. The 10 Best Places to Visit in 2024

    Kyushu, Japan. Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands, has long drawn in-the-know visitors from mainland Asia. But lately a supersize dose of new tourism projects has made its ...

  26. 九州大学の国際戦略

    Co-designed by six core-partner universities, including Kyushu University, in collaboration with the United Nations, this program builds global knowledge and literacy by focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Students engage in teams, tackle global challenges, and propose social innovation solutions. ... ・Onsite community visit ...