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Kyushu itinerary January/February 2019 2018/9/25 22:39
Hi there fellow Japan enthusiasts!

Ifm currently planning my second Japan visit; Ifll be there from 27th January 2019 for 21 nights. During my first visit in 2016 I did kind of a gbest of Japanh tour (Tokyo-Kanazawa-Kyoto/Osaka-Hiroshima/Miyajima/Mount Koya) so this time Ifd like to split my trip with 5-7 days in Kyoto (because I loved the city so much and can use it as a base for travels around Kansai) and the rest of the days in Kyushu (so approximately 2 weeks).

Ifve got an itinerary for Kyoto in mind; I would just require help with Kyushu! I was thinking about using the gBest of Kyushuh itinerary here from japan-guide as a basis for my planning:

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2400_kyushu.html

I would have the following questions/concerns:
- Anyone who has done this or a similar itinerary with some personal opinions/suggestions?

- Ifm not too big of a fan of hiking, I would not mind doing one hike in the Kirishima Mountains if itfs worth it, but doing mount aso & kuju mountains as well would be too much. Any good alternatives? (e.g. add a day somewhere else)

- Kumamoto, Beppu and Kitakyushu seem like places where therefs really not much to do, and they donft have good ratings on this site as well. Any opinions on these places or alternatives?

- How should I go about travelling from one place to another, will I be able to do all of it with public transport or will I require a rental car? Ifm a very good driver so I donft mind driving, but Ifm afraid it would be too expensive for me since Ifm travelling by myself.

About me: Ifm in my mid-twenties, travelling solo with my backpack, donft mind having an action packed and fast-paced itinerary. Love to visit a great mix of cities and nature, meeting people, onsen and of course eating delicious food! Will probably stay in hostels for most of the duration, with the occasional ryokan for some authentic japanese experiences :)

Thanks a lot in advance
Alan
by Alan (guest)  

Re: Kyushu itinerary January/February 2019 2018/9/26 12:31
It's a sample with some popular places - but in the end, you have to tailor it according to your own interests. The highlight of Yakushima is some incredible scenery but also some long hikes, even multi-day hiking. You could do other things like drive around the island, but only you can decide if it is worth it for you or not.
And not all the sights are accessible by train - for Kurokawa and Takachiho you either have to drive or take a bus. If you drive, a whole lot of possibilities open up for Aso, including the Daikanbo Lookout, Nabegadaki Falls, and Yamabuki Suigen springhead. Sogi Falls in Kagoshima also looks great, and the Kyusendo Limestone Cave in Kumamoto is like entering another planet.
Kumamoto City, Beppu and Kitakyushu and not bad places at all. You didn't list your specific interests, though. Kumamoto Castle is still damaged by the earthquake, but the Suizenji Garden there is lovely. Beppu has its hot springs, Hells Tour, and nearby Takasakiyama Monkey Park, one of the better ones in Japan. Nagasaki is one of the most interesting cities in Japan though, and nothing to do with getting A-Bombed. There really isn't any other place with such charming Chinese and western influences. Plus the chanpon and saraudon are just killer and you should try some for lunch or dinner.
And along the way, the Yutoku Inari Shrine is one of Japan's best - yet still unknown to most.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e8390.html
https://youtu.be/2UU_1Aip_l4
If you want, you could skip Yufuin & Beppu and for a hot spring, try Unzen and Kurokawa.
I suggest you go beyond the sample itinerary and look at each prefecture's page here - that will give you a better idea of what to see and if you can cut a day here or there or need to add some.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary January/February 2019 2018/9/26 13:47
Kyushu is quite an interesting mix of locations with some highly impressive attractions which don't attract the number of crowds often found on Honshu.

The read question is what type of things are you really interested in, when are you travelling (seasons plays a more important role in Japan than most countries) and how long will you be in Kyushu?

In general, Nagasaki is probably my favourite city in Kyushu to visit (I have not been to Kagoshima or Kumamoto yet though).

Yufu and Beppu are nice enough - but I do agree that Unzen Onsen is quite nice with the number of live volcanics which is reminiscent of Noboribestsu up in Hokkaido. Knowing how you are travelling around Kyushu is also helpful. Unlike the main cities of Honshu where a car is often more a burden than an advantage, a car really opens up a lot of locations in Kyushu. This is most true in Takachiho which I see as one of the highlights in Kyushu when I visited.

As such, I can't make too many comments until you answer some of the above questions.

Do note that my profile has something like 50 or so user reports of Kyushu which covers the same as JG and a few other places not as often travelled.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary January/February 2019 2018/9/26 13:55
Considering it is winter and not a great time to go to Kyushu and do hiking. If you ain't into it, then omit it.

The ratings on this website are a little misleading. Click through the pages and decide for yourself "if" a location appeals to you.

Asosan, Kurokawa Onsen and Takachiko are three popular places that cannot be accessed by train. These are accessed by bus or car. Car allows a lot more freedom to move around, but comes at a greater cost.

by hakata14 rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary January/February 2019 2018/9/27 03:23
Ken, Mfedley and Hakata14 – thank you very much for replying to this thread, very much appreciate your input! Will include some of your suggestions, look at the JG pages about Kyushu and work out an itinerary.

@Mfedley – I did mention when Ifm travelling, and for how long Ifm staying in Kyushu in my first post ;) Will have a look at your travel guides!
by Alan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary January/February 2019 2018/10/24 04:51
Hello again! Ifve been researching & tinkering with my plans for the past month and came up with this itinerary (return flight is already booked, so dates 27 JAN – 17 FEB are fixed) :

27 JAN – Landing in NRT late evening, overnight at the airport
28 JAN – Fly to Nagasaki in the morning, spend 3 nights there
31 JAN – Train to Fukuoka, spend 2 nights there
02 FEB - Train to Kagoshima, spend a night there
03 FEB – take the earliest ferry to Yakushima, spend 2 nights there
05 FEB – ferry to Kagoshima, then train to Kumamoto and overnight there
06 FEB - **RENTING A CAR FROM HERE** drive to Takachiho, overnight there
07 FEB – Mount Aso & Kurokawa Onsen
08 FEB – Yufuin,Kitsuki Samurai district, overnight in Beppu
09 FEB – Drive to either Kagoshima or Fukoka to return the rental car, fly to Sapporo. Spend 3 nights in Sapporo to view the snow festival & Otaru snow light path festival (I basically added a short visit to Sapporo since I had a few days left in my itinerary and it conveniently fits the timing of their snow festival - flight prices also donft seem too extreme!)
12 FEB – fly to Osaka, take the train to Kyoto and spend 5 nights exploring the city and making day trips around kansai
17 FEB – fly or bus to Narita, evening flight back home

I like to see a little bit of everything, so Ifve made an itinerary which includes a combination of cities, nature, onsen etc. Not too big a fan of hiking, therefore Ifm limiting that only to Yakushima & Mount Aso and am therefore skipping Kirishima and Kuju mountains.

Following questions: does the Kyushu section seem feasible timing wise (as mentioned in my first post, Ifm a fairly speedy traveler so I do not mind a faster paced itinerary)? Also I believe that 3 nights in Nagasaki will be too much for me, so I can allocate an additional night for somewhere in Kyushu if there are any good alternatives.
by Alan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary January/February 2019 2018/10/24 06:01
Feb 6 and 7 you have a little bit of zigzagging on the map. So spending more time in the car than you have to. Have a look at those locations and see if overnight somewhere else.

For example you could go Kumamoto to Asosan to Kurokawa Onsen (overnight)
Then, Kurokawa Onsen to Takachiko to Beppu (overnight)

But you may be selecting Takachiko due to wanting to see the overnight show etc. So ignore my response if so.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary January/February 2019 2018/10/24 06:06
I forgot to add that is is a pretty tight schedule once returning from Yakashima. IF you fall behind for any reason, you would struggle to catch up.

With this in mind, I'd delete a day off Nagasaki. Since you'll be arriving around lunch time one your first day, you should need 3 nights (two more full days) to see the sights.

You could take that one Nagasaki day and spread out your Feb 6, 7 and 8 days to allow a little more freedoms.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary January/February 2019 2018/10/24 17:03
That makes sense Hakata14, thanks a lot!
by Alan (guest) rate this post as useful

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