The southern island of Kyushu has a unique character and variety of attractions. A highly recommended way to experience Kyushu's rural side and see some of its best natural scenery and hot springs, is the Trans Kyushu Route between Kumamoto on the west coast and Beppu on the east coast.
The Kyushu Odan Bus ("Trans-Kyushu Bus") makes it relatively easy to do the journey by public transportation. Nevertheless, a rental car will provide the greatest degree of flexibility and comfort. For a large part of the journey, travelers can follow the attractive Yamanami Highway which runs through the rolling, grass covered hills of Kyushu. While leisurely travelers could spend an entire week doing the journey, it is also possible to cross the island in a single day.
A rental car is the best way to travel the Trans Kyushu Route, affording travelers more flexibility and comfort than the public transportation options. The majority of the route follows the Yamanami Highway, an attractive road that travels through the mountains between Aso and Beppu. Total driving time from Kumamoto to Beppu is about four hours without stops.
By Kyushu Odan Bus
The Kyushu Odan Bus ("Trans Kyushu Bus") by Kyusanko operates multiple times per day between Kumamoto and Beppu, serving Kumamoto Airport, Aso, Kurokawa Onsen, the Kuju Mountains and Yufuin along the way.
The JR Hohi Line connects Kumamoto and Beppu via Aso; however, train service remains interrupted between Kumamoto and Aso due to damage caused by the 2016 Earthquake. Note that the Hohi Line does not pass by Kurokawa, the Kuju Mountains and Yufuin.