Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Fukuoka/Yufuin in golden week 2023/3/6 15:31
We are a couple and will arrive Osaka/ Kyoto on 23th April and depart from Fukuoka on 6th May.
Our plan are as follows
2 nights- Osaka
4 nights - Kyoto ( day trip Nara/ Himeji Castle)
1 night Hiroshima ( Sat -29th ),
3 nights 30th to 2nd May) out in YUfuin/ Mt Aso or Takachiho gorge- can't seem to find a hotel in minami Aso at the moment.
3 nights in Fukuoka city. ( right in the midst of golden week peak is 3-6th May) before we return home.

It is our first time to fukuoka /Kyushu and first time getting a car in Japan if we want to go as far as Takachiho Gorge.

Plan to get a whole Japan Rail pass or other JR pass best suited for this route. Can we exchange the voucher to the pass at Kansai airport upon arrival? will the shinkansen reserved seats will all booked out when we arrive on the 23th Apr?

Will the Takkyubin service to forward luggages also be affected? How about car rental pickup & return at Hakata Chikushi exit(roads leading to expressway) be affected by Hakata Dontaku event ?

plan is to pick up car on Sunday -30th Apr & return car 3rd May. We expect crowds and now asking for information/suggestions what we can alter (drive out as early as possible and return car at Hakata station as late as possible etc. Is the Karato market in Shimonoseki closed in golden week ?

Appreciate all your kind advice. Thank you

by Lauren (guest)  

Re: Fukuoka/Yufuin in golden week 2023/3/6 19:42
The reson you are not finding many hotels in outside of the major cities is because they are already booked out. As the influx of touirsts during goldern week generally move away from the cities.

I would suggest redoing your itinerary so you are in a bigger city for the busy weekend so you have more hotel options.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Fukuoka/Yufuin in golden week 2023/3/6 21:52
I don't know the exact days - but checking carefully is important when choosing days also to travel by train.

I've once had to stand on a train from Yamaguchi to Nagoya (400KM!) with a heavy 20KG backpack as it was that busy on the Shinkansen.

I'd also book hotels before you go - specifically when it comes to around Golden Week. For one day - the Tokoyo Inn (I think they have 100 hotels) had every room full for 1 day
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Fukuoka/Yufuin in golden week 2023/3/7 05:03
Yes you could activate a pass at KIX, but if you are only going one way, I can't see any pass that would work for you, unless you fit in the day trip to Himeji with it too. The full JR Pass would be a waste of money. Geographically the 2 worth looking at would be the JR Setouchi Area Pass which could take you up to Hakata (Fukuoka City), or the JR Sanyo Sanin Northern Kyushu Pass which covers Aso and Oita as well.
Fukuoka will be one big exception of people swarming into the city, for Dontaku. Actually the overwhelming majority of people will be locals and not foreign tourists. If you have the chance, I recommend taking a look at some of the activities if you can.

If you have trouble finding a hotel, you can also try the suburbs. That's what I did - think outside the box, and you might be able to find something that wouldn't occur to many others.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Fukuoka/Yufuin in golden week 2023/3/7 18:35
Thank you very much for the helpful advice. JR west Setouchi pass is the one that I will get based on my itinerary! great value !And being able to use Smart-Ex app to reserve seats on says Nozomi Shinkansen by just using my credit card without getting the prepaid store value card is so convenient! and will reduce much stress about not able to get reserved seats on the train (forward journey) .. maybe all full when we arrive Kansai airport.

We are travelling from Kyoto to Hiroshima on the 29th Apr (Sat) - not sure whether it is opposite direction of most locals. I am worry about getting a car on the 30th to drive out from FuKuoka to Yufuin ( probably same direction as the locals getting out.. and returning the car on the 3rd May when the Hakata Dontaku will start. I wonder whether I should choose a slightly off centre car rental branch to pick up & return eg. Nippon rent a car at Tenyamachi branch or even at the fukuoka airport instead of Hakata main station , to avert the traffic jam or blockage.. Not sure about location of the procession/events that will held on the day. This forum helps me heaps on planning!
by Lauren (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Fukuoka/Yufuin in golden week 2023/3/7 18:41
Get the subway out to the airport to hire a car. better pick up and drop off location. Also pre book it on a rental car comapnies website beforehand.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Fukuoka/Yufuin in golden week 2023/3/7 18:54
I should think so too. May I know anyone has experience with buying the JR west Setouchi pass from Klook and then use the Smart-ex app to just pay for reserved seats while not having the actual pass yet ? should not be an issue I hope. Thanks
by Lauren (guest) rate this post as useful

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