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Yufuin or Kumamoto? 2018/12/10 10:55
Hello Japan Guide!

Ifm heading to Kyushu with my parents for 6 days around Xmas time this month, and Ifm gotten most of the trip panned out. Wefre mainly staying between Fukuoka and Nagasaki. In any case, we have free time for a long day trip out of Fukuoka. We have the North JR Kyshu pass, so Ifm deciding between a) Yufuin or b) Kumamoto.

For the former, our main attraction is actually the Yufuin no Mori limited express (assuming we could book a ride!), which I am sure would be a great experience. Regarding the town itself, my parents not really into onsens (though we could probably try a foot bath), but Ifm sure wefd still enjoy a pleasant day around the small town.

For Kumamoto, itfs faster to get to via the shinkansen, but with the castle closed, I am not sure what else is there to see in the city beside Suizenji Garden and the Residences (as per the Japan Guide). Though, we could supplement this trip with nearby areas or activities (suggestions welcome!).

Thank you everyone!
by Josh WM (guest)  

Re: Yufuin or Kumamoto? 2018/12/10 12:36
There's a walk setup around the periphery of Kumamoto castle, so you can look into the center of the grounds to see the repairs going on as well as the fallen walls that haven't been worked on yet. Unless you're interested in earthquake damage, it would only take about an hour after getting there by streetcar from the station.

If you're interested in the Yufuin-no-mori train more than Yufuin, you could take it as far as Hita-shi and check out some sights around that town. The Yufuin-no-Mori was an interesting ride in that the conductors hand out small uniform coats and hats to the kids to have their pictures taken, but you're right, it can be packed with tourists traveling from Hakata to Yufuin. This last August I rode it to Hita, and got put in the Green Car as the rest of the train was full. Only about 4 people got off in Hita where I was going.

For a slower pace with fewer tourists, sights around Hita City and Mameda-cho make a good day trip from Fukuoka.

In addition to the 8 stops he has listed for Hita on his report, there is a pottery town to the north, Onta Village,

and the old gold mine in the south of the city's territory at Taiokinzan which gave Hita its special status during the Meiji Period.

To get to one or the other by bus from Hita Station you can add half a day on a day outing.
by Anaguma (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yufuin or Kumamoto? 2018/12/10 12:53
Hi, I went just after the earthquake in 2016 so I didnt see Kumamoto. We went on the Yufuin no Mori and to be honest I didnt think that the ride was spectacular. It was nice, but not as nice as the Nagoy-Takayama run or the Kyoto - Kinosaki run if you have been on either of those, or the Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchiko trip which is nice as well. Actually I thought that the Karatsu to Fukuoka trip was its equal, though that was coastal rather than mountain.

That said, I really liked Yufuin and I'd go back. It is a nice little town to spend a night, a bit trendy with an owl zoo that was an unexpected treat. The fact that a lot of Japanese are there having fun makes it even better, IMO. I think it would be nicer as an overnight stay, though. We stayed at a great ryokan hotel there but I cant remember its name.

by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yufuin or Kumamoto? 2018/12/10 15:59
Apples and oranges.

It's all up to what you want. Yufuin doesn't have much beyond its famed hot springs. There is some hiking as well if you want. Kumamoto has Suizenji, but with the castle closed it wasn't nearly as good as t used to be. There are other places though - Aso being the obvious one, though it will be time consuming. There is also the Kyusendo Cave, farther south near of all places, Kyusendo Station.

Beyond Yufuin, there is also Beppu, with much more than just hot springs.

by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yufuin or Kumamoto? 2018/12/12 19:24
Hey, Have travelled extensively all around Japan but never been to Kumamoto. Have spent some time in Yufurin and loved it.
I find the Onsens there are a lot newer than Beppu and going on the Mori train is such a delight.
therefs a street that lead to the lake with quaint little shops along the way.
but I think I night is enough at Yufurin, so maybe you can actually get to cover Kumamoto too.
Happy Travels!
by Maggie (guest) rate this post as useful

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