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4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/4/22 05:10
Hi, my partner and I are planning on spending 4 weeks in Kyushu (October 25th-November 22nd) and I'm finding it quite tricky to come up with an itinerary. We've been 3 times previously to Japan (visiting Hokkaido, Honshu and Okinawa) and love it. I speak basic Japanese and we are planning to hire a car for part of the trip.We love eating/drinking well, beautiful nature, onsets, hiking, urban fun and enjoying Japanese Culture in general.
I've identified some must-visits : Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Yukushima, Kurokawa Onsen and the surrounding area (i.e. Takachiho Gorge/Mount Aso). While we're there, the Saga Balloon Festival and the Karatsu Kunchi festival are on so we're hoping to take them in.

We were considering spending 4/5 days in Amami Oshima and it looks gorgeous but there seems to be loads more to see on the main island.
Any tips/suggestions would be most welcome.
Thanks in advance.
by Denis C  

Re: 4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/4/22 15:36
Maybe this is just too much time for Kyushu alone? You most definitely haven't seen eveything there is to see on Honshu, and Shikoku not at all.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/4/22 16:38

Go through this guys travel logs. Well worth the read for Kyushu. Plenty of sights to see over 4 weeks.

by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/4/22 19:41
Ha, 4 weeks aint enough to see and really enjoy the beauty. You'll love the pace and taste of Kyushu.
You mentioned you will rent a car, highly recommended as public transport won't take you to those charm places where bulk-tourism doesn't come (yet). One step further, consider a camper as that gives you even more freedom.
Yakushima and Amami-oshima deserve a separate Japan trip. Both can take up 1 week each to explore.

For camper info, Kyushu Rental Camper in Yanagawa (Fukuoka) will rent to foreign driver's license.
by Alishan rate this post as useful

Re: 4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/4/22 19:48
Well if you want to see every stone in Kyushu, even the most insignificant, more power to you. Meanwhile, you'll miss out on truly magnificent places elsewhere...
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/4/22 20:07
What type of things do you like to do? I can easily make suggestions which will cover 4 weeks without a sweat. I also find that having a car significantly opens up Kyushu.

For example - 3 nights Amami and 3 nights Yakushima basically take up a week. Nagasaki is almost a week in itself (Unzen Onsen, Nagasaki, Hirado + the kitchy Huis Ten Bosch)

Oita has Beppu, Usuki and more specifically the Kunisaki Peninsula including Kitsuki

Miyazaki has Takachiho (one of my highlights of Kyushu if it's nice weather) and Obi Castle Town. The South East of Miyazaki is also a nice drive as well.

I have not really visited Kagoshima yet but liked Izuki

I'm not the greatest fan of Fukuoka - but the prefecture is worth a couple of days. Dazaifu is a good half day and I do like Yanagawa. Most of these places are written up on the forum or are on my homepage on JG (click on my name below)....

Kumamoto has Aso which is some of the most spectacular scenery I've seen period - that's not just for Japan! Hitoyoshi is also not bad but I did find Kurokawa a little bit disappointing (but I probably had too high expectations and have traveled around Japan more than most)

A couple of nights in Saga is also nice when you think onsens. It's very silky water and Yoshinogiri Park and Yutoku Shrine are standouts for what they are for the whole of Japan.
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: 4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/4/22 21:21
Agree with @medfley and @hakata

I am not a great expert on Kyushu, but your dates sound like you could manage to go to see Sumo in Fukuoka. Check it out.
You can buy tickets online and they do not sell out (like the ones on Tokyo) in less than a minute. (Try though for a weekday rather than weekend. )

Enjoy your trip to Kyushu.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/4/22 21:23
Btw, I have spent about 2 weeks in Kyushu myself but would say that I managed to only scratch the surface. Admittedly I am a very slow traveler. Medfly is much faster. So if he needs 4 weeks, Ifd need to plan 2 months... umm, how do I tell that to my boss ?¿?¿
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/4/23 01:00
Lots to fill 4 weeks.
Longer days in Kyushu than further north at that time of year, but itfll still be dark relatively early - itfs November.
With some patient itinerary planning you can possibly mix train with short bursts of car hire for maximum efficiency. Itfs worth checking different hire cofs (which you can do in one hit by using ToCoo), as when we were last in Kyushu we found some cofs that made no charge for one way hires with pickup and drop-off in different prefectures.
Very jealous of your trip ;0)
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: 4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/4/23 07:13
If you can rent a car for at least part of your time in Kyushu, your options vastly improve and you can see a whole world of great sights.
Mt. Aso is one example. The area is much more than the crater itself (and at times it is closed due to poison gas emissions) and there is a score of great other places - but driving is the only practical way to see them - Nabegataki Falls, Yamabuki Springhead, Daikanbo Lookout, etc.

Some others are doable, but much more troublesome relying on slow trains and buses. In Saga, there is the Arita Porcelain Park and Yutoku Inari Shrine - two absolute gems, and really with your amount of time should not be missed. But while the shrine is reachable by train and bus with a moderate level of waiting, the Park really needs a rental car or taxi for at least part of the way.

If you'd like a cheaper place for long term rentals, you could try
and they have some cars for as low as 50,000 yen for a whole month. As I recall though, they also had some rates for 1 or 2 weeks as well. You also might look at getting a Kyushu Expressway Pass.
You should know for your planning that while they say 'expressway', in a lot of areas the speed limit is a meager 80 kph. Some expressway sections are also crammed full of radar-photo speed traps. Since they're immobile, some car navi systems actually tell you when you're approaching one.
Your timing is also perfect for seeing the autumn colors - at higher elevations, you can see some in October, and from mid-November, you can enjoy most of the rest.
http://www.rurubu.com/season/autumn/koyo/ (look under Kyushu - B)
Some famous places include Yabakei, the Kuju Mountains, Mifuneyama Rakuen (Saga), Daikozenji (Saga), Kirishima (Kagoshima), Akizuki (Fukuoka), Kawachi Fujien (Fukuoka), Raizan Sennyoji Temple (Fukuoka; get there before 10 AM or no parking left), Nomiyama Kannonji (Fukuoka), and countless more.
Fukuoka is not Kyoto of course but there are many good sights to see - it's just that most don't know them and then start spreading misinformation like there's only good food there or it's just a gateway city. If you drive, the Shimin no Mori is another good autumn colors spot, and the Nanzoin Temple is one of the finest in Japan - yet virtually unknown to even the well traveled.

The true jewel is Nagasaki though. The city is truly unique in Japan, plus as mentioned you could see Unzen, Hirado, Huis Ten Bosch, plus Sasebo, the Bio-Park, and other good places.
And since you mentioned hiking, you might look through this site:
For a whole range of places in Kyushu, you could also browse here:

by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/4/27 05:35
Very useful looking info guys, thank you so much, I'll spend some time this weekend going through it all.
It's highly appreciated.

For those questioning 4 weeks only in Kyushu...
I most definitely haven't seen all of the rest of Japan but I have seen a reasonable amount of great places (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Takoyama, Kinosaki Onsen, Himeji, Yokohama, Kamakura, Miyakojima, Ishigakijima and lots of amazing parts of Hokkaido), there are loads of places left to visit and re-visit in future trips. I'm very fortunate to be able to visit Japan every year or two for 3 or 4 weeks at a time so I hopefully will have many more opportunities to see other parts of the other islands and Kyushu seems to have too much for 4 weeks, rather than not enough.
by Denis C rate this post as useful

Re: 4 Weeks in Kyushu 2019/7/16 06:29
OK, here's my latest itinerary, any improvement suggestions are welcome, thanks.

Day Date Night Overnight Location Activity

Friday 25/10/2019 1 Fukuoka Arrival/Fukuoka
Saturday 26/10/2019 2 Fukuoka Fukuoka Explore City
Sunday 27/10/2019 3 Kumamoto Fukuoka/Travel Dazaifu
Monday 28/10/2019 4 Unzen Kumamoto/Unzen Stop in Kumamoto on way to Unzen
Tuesday 29/10/2019 5 Unzen Shimabara Peninsula Unzen Onsen/Coastline
Wednesday 30/10/2019 6 Nagasaki Shimabara Peninsula Mount Unzen Hike
Thursday 31/10/2019 7 Nagasaki Nagasaki Dejima/Peace Park
Friday 01/11/2019 8 Nagasaki Nagasaki 99 Islands/Mount Isen
Saturday 02/11/2019 9 Saga Saga (Karatsu Kunchi Festival)
Sunday 03/11/2019 10 Saga Saga (Balloon Festival/Yutoku Inari Shrine)
Monday 04/11/2019 11 Hitoyoshi Saga/Hitoyoshi Pottery/Travel
Tuesday 05/11/2019 12 Kagoshima Airport Hitoyoshi/Kagoshima Airport Flight at 08:00
Wednesday 06/11/2019 13 Amami Oshima Amamioshima Explore Nature and food
Thursday 07/11/2019 14 Amami Oshima Amamioshima Explore Nature and food
Friday 08/11/2019 15 Amami Oshima Amamioshima Explore Nature and food
Saturday 09/11/2019 16 Amami Oshima Amamioshima Explore Nature and food
Sunday 10/11/2019 17 Yakushima Amamioshima/Yakushima 09:50 flight
Monday 11/11/2019 18 Yakushima Yakushima Hiking/Nature
Tuesday 12/11/2019 19 Yakushima Yakushima Hiking/Nature
Wednesday 13/11/2019 20 Yakushima Yakushima Hiking/Nature
Thursday 14/11/2019 21 Kagoshima Kagoshima Explore City
Friday 15/11/2019 22 Kagoshima Kagoshima/Sakurajima Volcano Visit
Saturday 16/11/2019 23 Aoshima Miyazaki Coast Coastline Drive
Sunday 17/11/2019 24 Kurokawa Onsen Takakicho Gorge Hike/Boats
Monday 18/11/2019 25 Kurokawa Onsen Kurokawa Onsen/Mount Aso Onsen/Hiking
Tuesday 19/11/2019 26 Fukuoka Kurokawa Onsen/Mount Aso Onsen/Hiking
Wednesday 20/11/2019 27 Fukuoka Fukuoka See Sumo
Thursday 21/11/2019 28 Hong Kong Fukuoka/Flight to Hong Kong Leave
by Denis C rate this post as useful

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