Kyushu 8 Days Itinerary-D

Summary

  • Start
    Fukuoka Airport or Hakata Station
  • Finish
    Fukuoka Airport or Hakata Station
  • Mileage
    Total 1320km
    170km per day
  • Travel Pace
    Fast
  • Onsen Stay
    Max.6 nights
  • Recommended Seasons
    All year round

This itinerary takes 8 days to circle the whole of Kyushu island.
It doesn’t include consecutive stays and the travel pace is very fast.

 

Fukuoka – Yufuin/Beppu(Sample)

Start : Fukuoka (福岡)
Finish :Yufuin(湯布院) or Beppu(別府)
Mileage:160km
Travel Pace: Fast

On this day, you will head from Fukuoka to Yufuin or Beppu.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Rental car branch at Fukuoka airport or Hakata Station

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9:00
There are many highlight sites along today’s route. And most of the shops at Yufuin are the biggest highlight of the day close around 17:00. Therefore, we strongly recommend leaving from 8:00 to 9:00.
If your departure time is late, such as leaving in the afternoon, adjust your schedule by taking the expressway or skipping some spots.




30min

2

Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine-太宰府天満宮

Parking MAPCODE:

55 333 771*40What is MAPCODE?

9:30
The first destination is “Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine”, nationally famous throughout Japan as the god of learning.

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, where the god of learning is enshrined

The approach from the parking lot to Tenmangu Shrine is called “Tenjin-sama-dori” avenue, which is crowded with many souvenir stores and restaurants.

Tenjin-sama Avenue, the approach to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. Umegae mochi is a specialty.

If you like sweets and fruits, you can also enjoy fruit picking after visiting Tenmangu Shrine. Please refer to the driving map.




70min

3

Sofuren-想夫恋本店

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Soufuren Hita Yakisoba is a must-try B-Grade Gourmet

12:00
Recommended lunch is “Hita Yakisoba”, a local grilled noodle. If you have time, stop by the nearby “Hita Old Town” as it has a charming atmosphere.

Hita, where the old townscape remains

After that, let’s head to Yufuin.
There are no spots between Hita and Yufuin. It is recommended to drive on the highway (E34).




50min

4

Yufuin Yunotsubo Street-湯布院湯の坪街道

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The main street, Yufuin Yunotsubo Kaido, can be strolled for about 2 hours.

13:45
Once you arrive in Yufuin, we recommend strolling along the Yufuin Yunotsubo Kaido (Yufuin Yunotsubo Street), lined with souvenir stores and cute little sweet stores. Enjoy eating and walking to Kinrin-ko Lake at the road’s eastern end.

Lake Kinrin is located at the western end of Yunotsubo Avenue

Another highlight of the day, the “Beppu Jigoku Hells”, will close at 17:00. If you wish to visit it, leave Yufuin by 3:30 p.m. at the latest.




30min

It is a 25-km, 30-minute drive from Yufuin to Beppu. The drive through the foot of Mt. Yufudake is exhilarating.

Yufuin to Beppu through the foot of Mt.Yufu

5

Beppu Jigoku Hells-べっぷ地獄めぐり

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Onsen town Beppu symbolizes the “Beppu Jigoku Hells”, where hot water of various colors boils over! Five of the seven hells are within walking distance.
Be aware that the tour closes at 17:00 p.m.

Umi-Jigoku(Sea Hell), one of the seven Beppu Jigoku Hells
“Blood Pond Hell” of the Beppu Hell Tour




15min

6

Inn in Yufuin or Beppu

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In addition, there are [Shin Yabakei Gorge(HitomeHakkei)] one of the best autumn-colored leave spot in Kyushu along the route of the day.
If you are traveling from end Oct-Mid Nov, we strongly recommend visiting.

Hitome Hakkei of Shinyabakei autumn leave: End Oct – Mid Nov
Driving Map For The Day

The driving map will show additional 10-20 spots for the day! You will travel only to your favorite spots.
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

[Drive Map]Fukuoka-Yufuin/Beppu – Google マイマップ
Fukuoka-Yufuin/Beppu

Where to stay in Yufuin or Beppu

On this day, you will stay in either Yufuin town or Beppu city. It is 20km and takes about 30min. Both of them are nationally famous Onsen areas.

①Yufuin(湯布院)
Yufuin is small but has many luxury Onsen Ryokans.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 4 to 5-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This town is famous for Onsens and most of the inns have one.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are a few restaurants in this area, so be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

②Beppu(別府)
Beppu is a Bigger City and has More Inexpensive Inns.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    Beppu is famous for Onsens and most of the inns have one.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

 

Yufuin/Beppu – Aso🔒

Start:Yufuin(湯布院) or Beppu(別府)
Finish:
Aso(阿蘇)
Mileage:
140km
Travel Pace:
Normal

On this day, you will head from Yufuin/Beppu to Aso.
The driving distance is about 140 km. This is a day where you can enjoy three of Kyushu’s most spectacular driving roads.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Yufuin or Beppu

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9:00
Because there are so many pots to see, we recommend leaving by 8-9 am if you want to travel without rushing.
If you are staying in Beppu, go to the “Yukemuri Observatory” first, and you will see the typical Beppu scene of steam rising.

Beppu’s little-known spot, Yukemuri Observation Deck, can be enjoyed only by car.




60min

2

Kokonoe Suspension Bridge-九重夢大吊橋

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The Kokonoe Yume Suspension Bridge in the autumn leaves is breathtaking (autumn leaves: late October to mid-November).

10:20
The first destination is the Kokonoe Suspension Bridge. It is the highest suspension bridge for pedestrians in Japan and is a must-see, especially during the season of fresh green leaves and autumn foliage.




40min

Head south on the Yamanami Highway, the third most popular driving route in Japan. On the way, you can enjoy a fresh yogurt drink at a ranch and a 1km walk in the marshland at Chojabaru. Please refer to the driving map.
Note that Yamanami Highway is a nickname and is actually a public road, not an expressway.

Yamanami Highway is ranked No. 3 in Japan in Bike Magazine’s Touring Course Ranking

3

Kurokawa Onsen town-黒川温泉

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Kurokawa Onsen I recommend the cream puffs at Patisserie Roku and curry at Warokuya.

12:00
Kurokawa Onsen is a great place for lunch. There are nice curry shops and excellent cream puffs. This spot is also very crowded on holidays. Beyond Kurokawa Onsen, there are a number of soba noodle shops called Oguni Soba Road, which is also recommended. Please refer to the driving map.




35min

4

Nishiyunouraenchi Observatory-西湯浦園地展望所

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Nishiyunoura Observatory, the most beautiful spot in Aso, is along Milk Road.

14:15
Further south down the Yamanami Highway is the “Nishiyunouraenchi Observatory”. Although not very famous, this is Drive Japan’s best lookout point overlooking the Mt.Aso caldera.




10min

The “Milk Road” from Nishiyunouraenchi Observatory to Daikanbo is the most spectacular road of this road trip, passing by the edge of the caldera of Mt.Aso. The most pleasant drive will make you want to scream, and it will surely be a memory you will cherish forever.

The drive along Aso Milk Road will surely be memorable!

5

Daikanbo Observatory-大観峰

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the outer rim of a crater Mt.Aso seen from Daikanbo. The best driving course in Japan.

14:45
This is the most famous observatory in the Mt.Aso caldera. Enjoy a 1 km round trip walk on the plateau from the parking lot to the observatory.




30min

6

Mt.Aso(Kusasenri)-草千里

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Aso Panorama Line

16:15
If you still have time, head to “Kusasenri” on Mt. Aso.
Panorama Line Road, which was ranked No. 1 in Japan in a motorcycle magazine, will greet you with the sight of vast grasslands.

Kusasenri on Mt. Aso. The view from the observation deck behind the restrooms is recommended.

If there are no restrictions on volcanic gases, you can visit the crater. You can take the Aso Park toll road (800 yen) to the parking lot next to the crater.
Please check current restrictions before your visit.

Mt.Aso Nakadake Crater. If there are no restrictions on volcanic gases, you can visit the crater.

Information on restrictions for the Aso Volcano Center



30min

There are also flower gardens such as “Gandhi Farm” and “Kujyu Flower Park” on this day. If you are traveling during the best time for flowers, give priority to this area.

Tulips at Kujyuu Flower Park (late April)

7

Inn in Aso

Parking MAPCODE:

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Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 hidden gems and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Aso

Aso town is a small town located inside the vast caldera of Mt.Aso. The inns are spread over a wide area around Mt. Aso.

  • Inn Type
    There are a variety of inns from 3-star western-style hotels to 5-star Japanese Ryokans. Please book at your preferred type of inn.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    Some luxury Ryokans have Onsen.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    Aso is a rural area and there are few restaurants. Be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

 

Aso – Miyazaki🔒

Start: Aso(阿蘇)
Finish: Miyazaki(宮崎)
Mileage:210km
Travel Pace: Fast

The driving distance on this day is very long, approximately 210 km.
The second half of that 70 km will be on the expressway.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Aso

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9:00
This is a long drive on this day, so if you want to travel without rushing, we recommend leaving by 8-9 am.




75min

2

Takachiho Gorge-高千穂峡

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Takachiho Gorge is an unexplored region that you should visit at least once in your life.

11:15
First, let’s move on at once to visit “Takachiho Gorge”. It is one of the most beautiful gorges all over Japan and one of the most recommended spots on this entire road trip.
Boat rentals are very popular and sometimes crowded, but highly recommended!




10min

There are not many restaurants in Takachiho, but please refer to the driving map for recommended soba restaurants and Takachiho beef restaurants.

soba

3

Amanoiwato Shrine-天岩戸神社

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Mysterious Amanoyashu-Kawara is a 10-minute walk from Amanoiwato Shrine

12:45
10km away from Takachiho Gorge, the “Amanoiwato Shrine” is also recommended. A 10-minute walk along a riverside path called “Amanoyasukawara” will lead you to a fantastic torii gate in a cave.
After that, drive east toward the ocean. The long drive after lunch will make you sleepy, so take a break at one of the roadside stations along the way.




80min

4

Umagase-馬ヶ背

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The amazingly narrow cape Umagase. The “Sea of Kuruzu” is right next to it.

15:00
“Umagasa” is a long, narrow cape jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, offering a panoramic view.
“The Sea of Cross”, a lookout point where the sea looks like a cross, is also close by and should be visited together.

The Sea of Kurus, where wishes come true, can be set up with Umagase.

It is 80 km from Miyazaki. There are not many spots in between, so you can take the expressway (E10) all the way.




80min

The Saitobaru Kofun, located before Miyazaki City, is one of the best flower spots in Kyushu. Especially the cherry blossoms and rape blossoms in spring, sunflowers in summer, and cosmos in fall makes this spot a must-see! If you are traveling during the best time for flowers, give priority to this area.

Spring in Saitobaru Kofun (cherry blossoms and rape blossoms: late March – early April)
Summer in Saitobaru Kofun (sunflowers: mid-July to late July)
Autumn in Saitobaru Kofun (cosmos: late October – early November)

5

Inn in Miyazaki

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Rest early because the next day will be another long drive.




Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 sightseeing spots and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Miyazaki

On this day, you will stay in Miyazaki city(宮崎). The inns are concentrated on the west side of Miyazaki station. “Nishitachi(ニシタチ)” area is downtown of the city and convenient for dinner.
Additionally, there is “Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort” by far the largest hotel in the city, with 700 rooms. If you are looking for a relaxing stay, this is also a good choice.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town. If you would like to enjoy an Onsen, “Sheraton” is recommended.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

 

Miyazaki – Kagoshima🔒

Start :Miyazaki(宮崎)
Finish:Kagoshima(鹿児島)
Mileage:
200km
Travel Pace:
Fast

On this day, you will go from Miyazaki to Kagoshima.
The driving distance on this day is very long, approximately 200 km.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Miyazaki

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9:00
Because of the long driving and many attractive spots along the route, we recommend that you leave by 8-9 am.




30min

2

Aoshima Island-青島 鬼の洗濯板

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Aoshima Island, Demon’s Washboard

9:30
The first destination is Aoshima Island, one of Miyazaki’s most popular tourist destinations. You can walk around the island with its unique scenery, called “Oni no Sentakuita” (washing board of demons).




30min

From Aoshima, head south along the Pacific Ocean. From the Horikiri Pass, the “Nichinan Phoenix Road” is a scenic driving course. The drive along the coastline where palm trees grow along the precipitous cliffs is the best way to feel the tropical area of Miyazaki.

Roadside Station Phoenix along Miyazaki’s best driving route, Nichinan Coast

3

Udo Shrine-鵜戸神宮

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Udo Jingu Shrine stands in a cave on a precipitous cliff. I cannot believe my eyes.

11:00
Heading south along the Nichinan coastline, you will arrive at [Udo Jingu Shrine].
The shrine is located in an incredible place in a cave between steep cliffs, and the contrast between the blue of the sea and the red of the shrine is magnificent. The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Jinmu, the first emperor in Japanese mythology, and is especially blessed with children.




110min

For lunch, grilled meat is recommended in Miyakonojo City, which produces the largest amount of meat in Japan, but if you are short on time, Miyazaki’s specialty, “Chicken Nanban(チキン南蛮)”, is also recommended at the roadside station along the way. Please refer to the driving map.

Yakiniku BBQ

4

Sekinoo Falls-関之尾の滝 甌穴群

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Sekinoo Falls, famous for Ohketsugun

15:00
After lunch, you will visit “Sekinoo Falls”.
You can take a 30-minute walk along the river with its mysterious scenery of waterfalls and potholes.




30min

5

Kirishima Shrine-霧島神宮

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Kirishima Jingu Shrine with beautiful vermilion shrine pavilions

16:30
The final destination is Kirishima Jingu Shrine, which was built over 1,000 years ago. The shrine is especially beautiful during the season of fresh green leaves and autumn foliage.

Since there are few tourist attractions from Kirishima to Kagoshima, it is recommended to drive on the expressway (E3).




6

Inn in Kagoshima

Parking MAPCODE:

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Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 sightseeing spots and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Kagoshima

On this day, you will stay in Kagoshima city(鹿児島). The inns are concentrated around “Kagoshima Chuo station” and the downtown “Tenmonkan(天文館)” area.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    Most inns don’t have Onsens. If you would like to enjoy it, “Shiroyama hotel”, one of Kagoshima’s most prestigious hotels is recommended.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

 

Kagoshima – Ibusuki🔒

Start: Kagoshima(鹿児島)
Finish : Ibusuki (指宿)
Mileage:100km
Travel Pace: Relax

On this day, you will head from Kagoshima to Ibusuki.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Kagoshima

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Car Ferry Booking for tomorrow

Before checking out of your accommodation, make a reservation for the ferry you plan to take the next morning. You’ll need to call, so it’s a good idea to ask the staff at your inn to make a reservation. The reservation details are as follows.

  • Company:
    • Ferry Nankyu(フェリーなんきゅう)
  • TEL
    • +81‐993-34-0012 (Office Hours 8:00-16:30)
  • Reservation Detail
    • Tomorrow Morning10am departure
    • From Yamakawa Port(山川港) to Nejime Port(根占港)
  • Reservations are not accepted during the following peak periods.
    In that case, please give up on making advance reservations and try to arrive at the port early next mornin
    • Year-end and New Year holidays(Around 24Dec to 5Jan)
    • Golden Week (End April-Bgn May)
    • Obon (Mid August)

9:00
The distance traveled on this day is relatively short at approximately 100km, so you can spend your time relaxing at each spot.




10min

2

Shiroyama Park Observation Deck-城山公園展望台

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Sakurajima viewed from Shiroyama Park Observation Deck

9:10
If you haven’t yet, go to “Shiroyama Park Observation Deck” first thing in the morning. You can see the majestic view of Sakurajima, the symbol of Kagoshima.




60min

3

Chiran Samurai house district – 知覧武家屋敷群

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Chiran Samurai Residences

10:40
Next, you will head to the “Chiran Samurai Residences“. Take a leisurely stroll through the samurai residences known as Kagoshima’s Little Kyoto. There are several cafes and restaurants here that have been renovated samurai residences and old folk houses, so be sure to enjoy lunch there.




10min

4

Chiran Peace(Kamikaze) Museum – 知覧特攻平和会館

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Kamikaze airplane on display at Chiran Peace (Kamikaze) Museum

12:50
After enjoying the Chiran Samurai Residences, you will head to the ”Chiran Peace(Kamikaze) Museum”. Chiran is a town where a former army special attack base was located at the end of World War II. Here, valuable materials such as photographs, belongings, and records of Kamikaze Suicide Attack Team members are preserved and exhibited, and they teach us about the misery of war and the preciousness of peace and life.

Pilots on Kamikaze suicide attack(Chiran Peace Museum)




15min

5

Chabakken oka-茶ばっけん丘

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View of Mt. Kaimondake beyond the dark green tea fields from Cha Bakken Hill

14:00
After feeling the horrors of war, you will head to ”Chabakken Hill”. Chiran is one of Japan’s leading tea producing areas. A wide expanse of tea fields spreads out below you, and you can see Mt. Kaimondake beyond the dark green tea fields. You can enjoy a refreshing drive through the tea plantations around this area.




5min

6

Nishitarumizu Chagyo-西垂水茶業

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Matcha soft-serve ice cream (出展:インスタグラムのアカウントnishitarumizu_chagyo Source: Instagram account nishitarumizu_chagyo)

14:30
The next destination is “Nishitarumizu Chagyo (Tea Industry)“. The matcha soft-serve ice cream made with Chiran tea, said to be the most delicious tea in Japan, is the best.




15min

7

Kamafuta Shrine-釜蓋神社

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Kamafuta Shrine which is known for the unique “Kamafuta Wishing

15:45
The last place you will visit on this day is “Kamafuta Shrine“. This shrine is located on a place that juts out into the reef of a cove, and is known for the unique “Kamafuta Wishing”, where you pray by placing a pot lid on your head, and the “Kamafuta Throwing,” where you throw an unglazed pot lid.




45min

8

Inn in Ibusuki

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Ibusuki is known for its sand steam baths

17:30
Ibusuki, where you will be staying on this day, is known for its sand steam baths. After checking in, enjoy the inn’s sand steam bath.




If you’re traveling with children, we recommend ”Kaimon Sanroku Nature Park”, the largest subtropical botanical garden in Japan. The Tokara horses, a native species of Japan and designated as a natural monument by the prefecture, are kept free in the park, and you can even touch them.

The Tokara horses in Sanroku Nature Park
Driving Map For The Day

The driving map will show an additional 10-20 spots for the day! You will travel only to your favorite spots.
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Ibusuki

On this day, you will stay in Ibusuki, a town nationally famous for its sand baths.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    It is highly recommended to stay in with not only onsen but also sand bath facilities .
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are a few restaurants in this area and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

 

Ibusuki- Kagoshima🔒

Start: Ibusuki (指宿)
Finish:Kagoshima(鹿児島)
Mileage:
160km
Travel Pace:
Normal

On this day, you will take the ferry to the Osumi Peninsula first thing in the morning, heading north on the Osumi Peninsula towards Kagoshima.

The driving distance on this day is 160km, which is normal, but there are some risks, such as not being able to book the ferry or being unable to depart due to stormy weather. If you cannot take the ferry, head north on the Satsuma Peninsula towards Kagoshima.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Ibusuki

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9:00
Please leave the inn at 9am to board the ferry departing from Yamakawa Port at 10am.




15min

2

Ferry Nankyu(Yamakawa Port) – フェリーなんきゅう山川営業所

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Ferry Nankyu (Yamakawa Port)

9:15
You will head to Yamakawa Port. Even if you have a reservation, you must arrive at Yamakawa Port 30 minutes before the scheduled departure. Once you arrive at the port, park your car, tell the reservation name at the counter, and pay the fare.

The ferry leaves at 10 am. Enjoy the scenery from the ferry along the way. It is a 50-minute boat trip from Yamakawa Port to Nejime Port.

Enjoy 50min cruise with local ferry




65min

3

Ogawa Falls-雄川の滝

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Ogawa Falls which are beautiful emerald green waterfalls

11:15
After disembarking at Nejime Port, you will head to Ogawa Falls, beautiful emerald green waterfalls. It takes 15 minutes by car from Nejime Port to Ogawa Falls.

The distance from the parking lot to the waterfall is 1.2 km, but there is a promenade so you can walk comfortably. If you have time, enjoy a soft serve ice cream at a cafe near the parking lot after viewing the waterfall.




15min

4

Kamikawa Beach-神川ビーチ

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Kangawa Beach lined with various shadow puppet boards

12:30
Next, you will head to “Kamikawa Beach“, known for its shadow puppet. You can enjoy the art created by shadow puppets, the sea, and the blue sky. Please try to take unique photos using shadow puppets.

Let’s take a unique photo




45min

5

Okan-味処桜勘

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Ohkan kanpachi, a type of kanpachi that you can eat no matter what when you come to Kagoshima.

13:45
After enjoying the art, you head to ”Okan” for a late lunch. This restaurant is run by the wives of fishermen, and we highly recommend it, as you can enjoy sashimi, simmered, and grilled amberjack, which is a local specialty.




10min

6

Arimura Observatory – 有村溶岩展望所

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Arimura Observatory to feel the breath of Sakurajima

15:00
After lunch, you will head to “Arimura Observatory” to feel the breath of Kagoshima’s symbol Sakurajima. The expanse of lava field and the black pine trees that spread their roots over it create an extraordinary scenery. It is not uncommon to hear a rumbling sound or the sound of an explosion accompanying an eruption.




25min

7

Black Vinegar Kakuida – 黒酢本舗桷志田

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There are hundreds of huge jars for mermenting black vinegers

16:10
Next, please check out the “Black Vinegar Kakuida” shop. Brown rice black vinegar and black vinegar dressing are on sale. Black vinegar is a specialty of this area, and you can enjoy the rare sight of large pots lined up here.

You can taste various black vinegars and purchase your favorites.




20min

8

Kokubushiroyama Park – 国分城山公園

Parking MAPCODE:

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Kokubushiroyama Park

17:00
The last stop of the day is “Kokubushiroyama Park“. It is a park with a spectacular view, overlooking the Kirishima Mountain Range to the north, the majesty of Sakurajima to the south, and the calm waters of Kinko Bay. The sunset view from here is especially recommended.




60min

9

Inn in Kagoshima

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

18:30




The following botanical gardens are on this day’s driving route.
Kanoya Rose Garden, one of the largest rose gardens in Japan (best viewing times are late April to mid-June and late October to November)
Tarumizu 1000 Ginkgo Park with beautiful autumn leaves (best viewing period is from late November to early December)
Recommended if you are traveling during this period.

Kanoya Rose Garden
Tarumizu 1000 Ginkgo park
Driving Map For The Day

The driving map will show an additional 10-20 spots for the day! You will travel only to your favorite spots.
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Kagoshima

On this day, you will stay in Kagoshima city(鹿児島). The inns are concentrated around “Kagoshima Chuo station” and the downtown “Tenmonkan(天文館)” area.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    Most inns don’t have Onsens. If you would like to enjoy one, “Shiroyama Hotel”, one of Kagoshima’s most prestigious hotels is recommended.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

 

Kagoshima – Kumamoto🔒

Start: Kagoshima(鹿児島)
Finish : Kumamoto(熊本)
Mileage:200km
Travel Pace: Fast

On this day, you will head from Kagoshima to Kumamoto.
The driving distance on this day is very long, approximately 200 km.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Kagoshima

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

9:00
Because of the long driving, we recommend you to leave by 8-9 am if you want to travel without rushing.
If you have not already been, you should first visit Senganen Garden, one of Kagoshima’s most famous tourist attractions. It is the residence of the Shimazu family, who contributed greatly to the modernization of Japan, and from the garden, you can enjoy a majestic view of Sakurajima.

Sengan-en Garden is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Kagoshima.




50min

2

Maruike Spring Water Park-丸池湧水

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Maruike Spring

9:50
First, let’s head to Maruike Spring, a beautiful pond made of clean spring water. There are not many tourist attractions from Kagoshima to here, so let’s take the expressway (E3).




30min

3

Sogi Falls-曽木の滝

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The unknown waterfall, Sogi-no-Taki, is a force that will leave you speechless!

11:00
After driving 20 km or 30 minutes from Maruike Spring, you will arrive at the biggest highlight of the day, Sogi Falls. This 210m wide waterfall is called the Niagara of the Orient and is overwhelmingly powerful. Although it is not well known due to poor accessibility, it is a place that can be enjoyed only on a road trip.




45min

4

Aoi Aso Shrine-青井阿蘇神社

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National Treasure Aoi Aso Shrine has a distinctive thatched roof

12:50
After that, you will arrive in Hitoyoshi City.
Aoi Aso Shrine has five buildings, including the main shrine, designated as national treasures, and the magnificent thatched tower gate is especially not to be missed.
500m east of Aoi Aso Shrine is the center of Hitoyoshi City. Uemura Eel and Black Ramen are famous and recommended for lunch.
There are not too many tourist attractions between Hitoyoshi and Kumamoto, so take the expressway(E3) again to the north.




80min

5

Okoshiki Beach Observatory-御輿来海岸 展望所

Parking MAPCODE:

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Okoshiki-kaigan (Okoshiki-gaigan) Observatory; best viewing time is from January to April.

16:30
The last highlight of the day is Okoshikai Beach. The tidal flat becomes a wave pattern, and you can look over the Ariake Sea to Unzen Fugendake. Please check the time of low tide before visiting. Also, please note that depending on the time of year, the area may be jammed with many photographers.

Okoshiki beach tide table



60min

6

Inn in Kumamoto

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

It is a long drive and you will arrive in Kumamoto at night. You can visit Kumamoto Castle tomorrow.




Driving Map For The Day

The driving map will show additional 10-20 spots for the day! You will travel only to your favorite spots.
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Kumamoto

Kumamoto is the 3rd biggest city in Kyushu. The inns are concentrated south on the southeast side of Kumamoto Castle. It is better not to stay around Kumamoto Station due to a few restaurants for dinner.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There are no Onsens in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

 

Kumamoto – Fukuoka🔒

Start: Kumamoto(熊本)
Finish: Fukuoka(福岡)
Mileage:
150km
Travel Pace:
Normal

On this day, we will return to Fukuoka from Kumamoto.
The driving distance is about 150 km. The second half of the trip will be on the expressway for about 50 km.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Kumamoto

Parking MAPCODE:

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9:00
If you are not staying in Fukuoka today and will be taking the Shinkansen or airplane, please arrange your schedule so that you can return the rental car to the rental store at least one and a half hours before your flight.




10min

2

Kumamoto Castle-熊本城

Parking MAPCODE:

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Kumamoto Castle. After the Kumamoto earthquake, the Tenshukaku was restored in 2021.

9:10
First, we will head to Kumamoto Castle, the symbol of Kumamoto, which was damaged by the Kumamoto Earthquake in 2016, but restoration work on the castle tower was completed in March 2021.




20min

3

Suizenji Jojuen Garden-水前寺成趣園

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Suizenji Seishuen is a representative Japanese garden in Kumamoto

11:30
Suizenji Jojuen Garden is a Japanese garden with a pond garden style. It is only 4 km away from Kumamoto Castle, so it is recommended to visit there as well.




70min

4

Ganso Motoyoshiya-元祖本吉屋

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The original Motoyoshiya. If you come to Yanagawa, you should definitely try it.

13:20
Yanagawa is famous for its eels. Among them, Motoyoshiya has been in business for 300 years and serves the best eels. There is also a cheap and tasty udon restaurant nearby, which is also recommended.




5min

5

Ohana Shotoen-御花・松涛園

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Gohana of Yanagawa, Japanese Garden at Shotoen

14:30
Ohana Shotoen is a former domain lord’s residence and a splendid garden that has been selected as a national place of scenic beauty.




60min

6

Yame Chuo Tea garden-ハ女中央大茶園 展望所

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Pairotto-Ohcha Garden. A secret and spectacular view that only road trip travelers can enjoy.

16:30
The last highlight of the day was the Yame Chuo Tea garden. This area is the production area of “Yame-cha”, one of the finest teas in Japan. This is an observatory from which you can look out over the vast tea fields as far as the eye can see. This is a spot that cannot be reached by public transportation or even by bus tours, but only by a road trip.

From here, let’s take the expressway (E3) to Fukuoka. It is about 50 km, or 1 hour and 10 minutes.




70min

7

Rental car branch at Fukuoka airport or Hakata Station

Parking MAPCODE:

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18:00
This concludes your Kyushu road trip.
When you return to Fukuoka, refuel and then return the car to the car rental branch. Use the MAPCODE on the driving map for the nearest gas stations at Hakata Station and Fukuoka Airport.
Fukuoka offers a wide variety of culinary delights. For dinner, try Hakata ramen, Motsu nabe (Motsu hot pot), and other local Fukuoka foods, or even try one of the famous Yatai stalls.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen
Motsu-nabe is synonymous with Hakata. Famous restaurants include Yamanaka and Rakutenchi.
Yatai, food stalls, a part of Fukuoka’s culture




Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 sightseeing spots and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Fukuoka

Fukuoka is the biggest city in Kyushu and the gateway of Kyushu Travel. It takes 15 min to Fukuoka Airport by subway. There are hundreds of accommodations around “Hakata Station”, Nakasu downtown area, and “Tenjin Station”.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 2 to 5-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

Process

  1. Highly recommended to book a rental car first to book hotels with special discounts.
  2. Book hotels. Recommend hotels have parking and convenient locations for dining and strolling. Selected hotels can be booked with a single payment.
    With rental car booking number, you can book hotels with exclusive discounts(Avg.18%, Max45% OFF)!
  3. Please book at least 1 night hotel. You will receive day-by-day Driving Maps with parking MAPCODE of the itinerary you choose! Enjoy your trip without the hassle of finding parking!

 

Rental Car Booking

Please rent a car with below “Rentalcars.com” link.

  • The abundant number of rental cars
  • Price comparisons with several major car rental companies
  • Free cancellation
*Please change the location and date by yourself
Pick-up & Drop-off Location Guide
  • Fukuoka Airport
    The main international airport in Kyushu. Recommended for Pick-up.
    If you arrive after 14:00, consider staying overnight in Fukuoka City and departing the next morning.
    It takes 5-20min to Hakata station by metro or bus.
  • Fukuoka City
    The biggest and gateway city in Kyushu. Most car rental shops are located around Hakata Station.
Important reminder for renting a car
  • GPS(Car Navigation System)
    MAPCODE from Drive Japan navigates you precisely to the parking lot. GPS from major car rental companies(Nippon, ORIX, Nissan, Times) are always MAPCODE compatible. However, if you are renting a car from another company, we recommend that you check with the rental company after making a reservation, just to be sure.
  • One-way Rental
    You can rent at Fukuoka Airport and return to Fukuoka city, and vice versa. Normally, the one-way charge is free of charge.
  • Child Seat
    In Japan, the use of a child safety seat or baby seat is mandatory for children under 5 years old.
    Be sure to request one from “Extras”.
  • Snow Tire
    Kyushu rarely gets much snow, even in winter. However, if you drive around Aso from December to February, recommend requesting it.
 
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