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2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/29 20:06
Hi all,

my family of four will be going to Kyushu from 27 Nov to 11 Dec. This is our first trip there and we would like to focus more on nature and onsen. This is the planned itinerary and we would appreciate if you could offer some advice. Thanks in advance.

Day 1 : Arrive at Fukuoka at 1pm. Stay in Fukuoka
Day 2: Sight-seeing In Fukuoka
Day 3: Take shinkansen in the morning from Hakata to Kagoshima-chuo. Change to Ibusuki no Tamatebako (limited express train) to Ibuski. Stay in Ibusuki for one night
Day 4: Take Jetfoil from Ibusuki to Yakushima at 8:30am
Sightseeing or hiking in the afternoon. Stay in Yakushima
Day 5: Hiking in Yakushima. Stay in Yakushima
Day 6: Take Jetfoil from Yakushima to Kagoshima
Stay in Kagoshima
Day 7: Sight seeing in Kagoshima
Stay in Kagoshima
Day 8: Take Shinkansen from Kagoshima to Kumamoto in the morning
Visit Castle in Kumamoto in the afternoon
Stay in Kumamoto for 1 night
Day 9: Rent car and drive to Kurokawa
(should we go to Takachiho Gorge on our way to Kurokawa? Or would it be too long a ride?)
Stay in Kurokawa for 1 night
Day 10: Drive to Aso
Sight seeing in Aso
Stay in Aso for 1 night
Day 11 (sat): hotairballoon in Aso at the morning
Take Aso boy (Limited Express train) in the afternoon to Beppu
Stay in Beppu for 1 night
Day 12 : Sight seeing in Beppu in the day. Leave Beppu in train in late afternoon for Yufuin
Stay in Yufuin for 1 night
Day 13: Sight seeing in Yufuin during the day. Take Yufuin No mori (at 18:09hrs) (limited express) for Hakata
Stay in Hakata
Day 14 : Sightseeing in Fukuoka
Stay in Hakata
Day 15: Flight

Is the above feasible? Thanks in advance.

by oasis (guest)  

Re: 2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/30 11:02

I have only been to Yakushima (account of my travels https://bizarrejourneys.com/yakushima) and Kagoshima among the places listed in your itinerary so I can only comment on those. I think two nights stay is reasonable for Yakushima if you want a fit in only a hike or two. You mentioned your interest for onsens and I know there are wonderful ones on the mainland Kyushu but I also like the super local and super hot (49c) Onoida Onsen in Yakushima. It sits in the beginning of a nice waterfall hike which can possibly done on your first day since it is a relatively short 4 hours hike. You may however want to focus on more popular trails with your limited time (Shiratani and Yakusugiland). In think one full day is enough for Kagoshima. It is a nice little town which is connected to Sakurajima by a 5mn ferry. I hope you enjoy your trip.

by Bizarre Journeys rate this post as useful

Re: 2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/30 12:05
I see no issue with the itinerary. Not eushed which is good.

Kumamoto to Kurokawa via the gouge is about 3 hours in a car. So doable in a day.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/30 14:11
You write that you plan to visit the castle in Kumamoto. Are you aware of the destruction and access restrictions?


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

Re: 2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/30 15:36
Thank you for your recommendations. Your blog was very well written. Will try to cover the hikes as mentioned.
by Oasis (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/30 15:39
Thanks Hakata14 for your advice. Hopefully we donft get lost on our way.

Thanks LikeBike. Yes I am aware of the access restrictions. Thatfs why we planned to just see the exterior and donft think we will need too much time there.
by Oasis (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/30 17:28
Looks like a good itinerary. I'm jealous!
In Kumamoto, you may want to spend half an hour checking out the small contemporary art museum (centre of town, not far from castle walls/gardens, on a main street near where the main covered arcade crosses the road). There's also a good local crafts/history museum near the castle. If you walk around the outside of the castle grounds in an anticlockwise direction from the main entrance, you'll come on the museum at around 2 or 3 o' clock, IYSWIM.
Car is a good way to get to Kurokawa, but be warned that the first part of the drive from Kumamoto is quite dull (endless suburbs and mini malls, plenty of traffic lights) and speed limits are low (50kph isn't unusual), so it takes some time. If I were to do that journey again, I'd have a look if I couldn't get a train part of the way (maybe in the Aso direction?), and then hire a car once I'd got into the countryside.
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: 2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/30 19:26
Hi Winter Visitor,

Thanks for the tip. I will check out the museum when I am at the castle.
I was hoping that we donft have to drive out of Kumamoto city towards Aso area. But it seems that the railway tracks are still not up and the only way to get there is by bus or car. Will check again if therefs any alternative. Thanks.
by Oasis (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/31 04:13
If you go to the contemporary art museum, make sure to:
- sit on the Marina Abramovich people-bookshelves in the library
- lie down under the James Turrell skyscape (also in the library)
- look in the space beneath the stairs from library level to next level to see the Yayoi Kusama infinity bubble room

The museum is so central, and those works are so cool, it would be a waste not to take half an hour to pop by
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: 2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/31 15:35
As a whole your itinerary is feasible, but I would like to comment on from Day 8 to Day 12.

You may have noticed JR Kyushu Rail Pass (for All Kyushu Area Pass 5 days).


If you use this pass from Day 3 (Hakata to Kagoshima-Chuo to Ibusuki), it will expire on day 7 and you will stay in Kagoshima and travel back to Kumamoto on Day 8. Instead you can travel to Yufuin (via Kurume on Day 7. As a resident of Kagoshima prefecture I think half a day is enough to see the city of Kagoshima. Sakurajima is very nice and late November to early December is a good season to see it, but other than that Kagoshima has not so many to see. You may better use your 1 spare day at Yufuin, Beppu, Aso or Kumamoto. So my recommendation is as below.

Day 7: Take Shinkansen to Kurume and then Yufuin No mori to Yufuin.
Day 8: Leave Yufuin in train (or bus) in late afternoon for Beppu. Alternatively you can stay in Yufuin for 2 nights and then move to Beppu in the morning of Day 9.
Day 9: Sight see in Beppu. Stay in Beppu.
Day 10: Take Aso boy (Limited Express train) in the morning to Aso. Rent car and drive around Aso Area.
Sight seeing in Aso. Stay in Aso for 1 night.
Day 11 (sat): Hotairballoon in Aso at the morning. Drive to Kuju highland and then to Kurokawa.
Day 12 : Drive to to Takachiho Gorge and then to Kumamoto. Return car at around Kumamoto. As far as I know, Toyota renta car does not charge drop off fee for the same prefecture (Kumamoto in this case).
Day 13: Sight seeing in Kumamoto. Shinkansen to Hakata. If you book in advance, it will cost 3000 yen.
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: 2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/31 22:53
Thank you Winter Visitor for your good tips. Will jot them down!
by Oasis (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 2-week itinerary in Kyushu 2019/8/31 22:54
Thank you Frog1954 for your detailed advice. Luckily I havenft made accommodation booking for the second half of my trip. Will see how I can make adjustment to the plan.
by Oasis (guest) rate this post as useful

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