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Kyushu itinerary help 2019/8/27 22:14

I'm planning a 12 days trip to Kyushu and would like to ask if it's better to skip Kumamoto this time. It seems that Mt Aso area is still closed off, so should i skip Mt Aso as well? Also, is it better to hire a car for the entire trip or rely on train and hire car while on Yakushim? I've never driven a car in Japan before and can't speak any Japanese at all. Will that be a problem to drive in Japan?

Many thanks for any input...
by Thai (guest)  

Re: Kyushu itinerary help 2019/8/28 09:22
Hello - there are some specific license rules in Japan that you better check before you arrive. I am not familiar with those as I never rent a car but I think some licenses may not be compatible here. As for renting a car in Yakushima - it really depends on how many days you will spend there but car will definitely give you the much needed flexibility in Yakushima to plan your own hikes. You may however want to act quick as they run out of rented cars in busy seasons. There are public buses but the services are rather limited. May I ask in which season you will be there. Yakushima is among my favorite destinations in Japan (https://www.bizarrejourneys.com/yakushima) Burcu
by Bizarre Journeys rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary help 2019/8/28 09:38
You don't say when you are going to Japan. There are a lot of great sights to see in the Aso area - not simply the crater rim. If by chance it is open when you go, it is icing on the cake. But don't get your hopes up too much.
If you can rent a car, then a whole world of excellent places opens up to you. Nearby, Nabegataki Falls is a beautiful place and walking behind the falls is a rare treat.

There is also the Daikanbo Lookout, and if the weather is good, offers some spectacular scenery. Plus nearby is Kurokawa, one of Japan's best hot spring areas - famous for its outdoor baths, and by car is the most convenient way to get there.

There is much more of course - the Kuju Flower Park when in season, Kikuchi Gorge, among others.
Ultimately though if you want more specific help, you might give more info on your plans - so far you only mention Kumamoto and Yakushima.

by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary help 2019/8/28 10:41
You line of questioning is quite vague without much detail to give you good answers. But-

You need a international drivers license to drive in Japan. You get those from your motor body in your home country.

Kyushu is well serviced by public transport near the major cities and along the coastlines. If you are heading into the central mountainous areas. While there is limited public transport, a car is mostly better.

Yakashima again is similar to the above statement. Car would be better, but you don't need it. Ferry options are cheaper and quicker without a car.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary help 2019/8/28 10:43
Oh and don't worry about not speaking or reading Japanese. Most street signs in Japan have English text on them also. Which you have demonstrated proficy in. And when you hire a car, you can get a satnav in various languages.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary help 2019/8/28 21:50
Thank you very much everyone for your very helpful responses.... and thank you Burcu for a very insightful read....

I expect to arrive in Fukuoka on 29/10 evening and leave Fukuoka on 9/11, so in fact, i will have 10 full days for sightseeing in Kyushu and this is my first time visiting this region..... I haven't worked out my itinerary at this stage yet; however, i already have in mind where i would like to visit, namely Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Yakushima, Miyazaki, Mt Aso area, Kurokawa onsen, Yufuin and Beppu.... I think it seems a lot for only 10 days so i may in the end skip one or two places which i haven't decided yet.... My main interest is nature and beautiful sceneries so i will possibly spend at least two full days on Yakushima island.....

Ken mentioned about Nabegataki Falls and Daikanbo lookout around Mt Aso. If i would like to visit these places, where should i base myself? Due to my budget (say $200AUD or 12000 JPY per night per person with two meals), i will only be able to spend a maximum of 1 night at an onsen. If that's the case, which onsen do you think will fit my budget?

With regards to renting a car, do they have roadside assistance in Japan if the car is broken down on the road? When renting a car in Japan, will the documents be translated to English for foreigners? I'm not very comfortable of signing documents if i don't know what i'm signing....

Many thanks for all your help once again....
by Thai (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kyushu itinerary help 2019/8/29 07:45
Yeah that is too many places for 10 days. Yakashima is about a 4 hours ferry. So you need 2 if not 3 days minimum.

Kagoshima to Asosan is 2.5 hours. Asosan to Beppu is 2 hours.

So to visit all those places. You'll be in a car 3 to 5 hours a day. Doesn't leave much time to enjoy a slow pace view of nature.

I would consider omitting Nagasaki is you are into nature. To give you more time elsewhere.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

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