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The ultimate road trip guide to exploring the Kyushu island, Japan

Kyushu island is a singular a part of Japan this is frequently overpassed through guests. It’s some distance clear of the busy hotspots of Tokyo and Kyoto. 
What if I inform you that Kyushu island is just a quick home flight away and it is simple to achieve and discover? 
Kyushu is a paradise for nature fans with its surprising geographical region and distinctive panorama with bushes, mountains and lively volcanoes. The island gives a extra comfortable revel in of Japan, providing you with a smash from the hustle and bustle of the most well liked towns in the nation. 
What I maximum like about Kyushu island is how simple and available the island is to guests, and it is the very best location to revel in a road trip in Japan. 
So, what are you looking ahead to? Pack your riding licence, seize a condo automobile and discover the primary attractions round Kyushu island. 
I have put in combination a a laugh itinerary for exploring Kyushu that may be accomplished over the path of 1 week.
From the onsens of Oita to the surprising rolling geographical region of Yufuin and from the volcanoes of Aso to the castles of Kumamoto to the thrilling nightlife of Fukuoka, Kyushu has all of it. 
Here is my ultimate guide to exploring Kyushu, Japan. 

Transportation choices: flying to Kyushu from Tokyo 

Flying to Kyushu island from Tokyo Haneda International Airport could not be more straightforward. Once you might have arrived at the global terminal you’ll switch to the home terminal. 
There are many home flights going to Kyushu. With Japan Airlines or ANA (All Nippon Airways) you’ll fly to Oita, Kumamoto or Fukuoka which has the greatest and most well liked airport of the 3. 
Tokyo Narita Airport additionally has some choices for flying to Kyushu, reminiscent of with Jetstar to Fukuoka. 
You too can take the Shinkansen highspeed educate to Kyushu island. Depending on the place you’re in Japan, you’ll take the educate from Tokyo or from Shin-Osaka station to Hakata (Fukuoka) station through the use of the JR Tōkaidō Shinkansen or Sanyō Shinkansen strains. 
The educate generally is a dearer choice for travellers when compared to flying. Journey time from Tokyo to Hakata through educate is round 5 hours. 
Another choice commute course to achieve Kyushu island is to take the ferry boat from Busan, South Korea to Fukuoka, Japan. 

How to hire a automobile in Kyushu, Japan

It’s fairly simple to hire a automobile on the island of Kyushu, Japan. Be positive to sign up for a global riding licence in your house nation neatly prematurely prior to arriving in Japan. 
I arrived at Oita Airport and used Toyota Rent a Car corporate which presented a pickup carrier from the airport. After exploring Kyushu, I may just drop the condo automobile off in Fukuoka at the finish of the trip. 
One tip can be to request an English navigation gadget to your condo automobile as they’ve each Japanese and English ones to be had. 
Driving in Japan is fairly easy and easy. Just regulate the native velocity restrict. It’s additionally urged to stay some small alternate to hand for parking and tolls as in most cases the machines most effective take money. 

Recommended road trip course round Kyushu island

To whole my really useful road trip course, you are going to desire a week’s period to seek advice from all the locations indexed on this guide. 
If you want, it’s good to get a divorce sections to whole over an extended weekend or take longer and spend extra time in each and every vacation spot and lengthen the trip additional than per week. The choice is solely according to how you favor to commute. 
I have really useful flying into Oita airport to pick out up your automobile condo after which finish the trip in Fukuoka. If you need to transfer the course round it’s good to get started through flying into Fukuoka and finishing up in Oita. 
Another choice is to get started in Fukuoka after which loop round from Oita and head again to Fukuoka (adventure time 2 hours). Toyota Rent a Car has pick out up and drop off issues at each places. 
All course choices are versatile, and it will rely on the way you achieve Kyushu island so be at liberty to adapt and alter my suggestions to suit your commute plans highest. 

Global 3G/4G knowledge and Wi-Fi in Kyushu, Japan

All round the Kyushu island I discovered the 4G sign dependable and neatly attached. I would counsel getting some knowledge while exploring Japan so you’ll keep attached.
Google translate can come in useful to lend a hand with conversations, and Google maps can lend a hand with instructions if the navigation gadget turns into complicated. It’s additionally useful to touch native visitor homes if you stumble upon a lengthen on course. 
I’d counsel getting a Skyroam instrument to take with you for your trip because it gives excellent day by day charges for more than one gadgets so you’ll keep attached while in Japan. 

Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 throughout the island of Kyushu

In 2019 Japan will probably be a number nation to the Rugby World Cup, and lots of of the video games will probably be held at stadiums throughout the Kyushu island making this a ravishing excuse to pass on a road trip. 
Games will probably be held in Oita at the Oita Stadium, in Fukuoka at the Fukuoka Hakatamori Stadium and in Kumamoto at the Kumamoto Stadium.
The video games will probably be as follows: 
– Oita – Oita stadium:
New Zealand vs Canada – 02/10/19 @ 19:15
Australia vs Uruguay – 05/10/19 @ 14:15
Wales vs Fiji – Wales vs Fiji – 09/10/19 @ 18:45
Two of the Quarter-Final video games may also be held in Oita.
– Fukuoka – Fukuoka Hakatamori Stadium:
Italy vs Canada – 26/09/19 @ 16:45
France vs USA – 02/10/19 @ 16:45
Ireland vs Samoa – 12/10/19 @ 19:45
– Kumamoto – Kumamoto Stadium:
France vs Tonga – 06/10/19 @ 16:45
Wales vs Uruguay – 13/10/19 @ 17:15
Fukuoka, Oita and Kumamoto town will probably be hanging in combination a complete host of actions for travelling lovers reminiscent of transportation to the stadiums and fan zone spaces to cheer for your workforce. 

Matsuri in Kyushu 

To mark the birthday party of the Rugby World Cup 2019 and to advertise the distinctive and numerous tradition that may be discovered round the Kyushu island, a different match known as Matsuri in Kyushu will probably be held for global guests.
Matsuri in Kyushu, which in Japanese interprets into Kyushu pageant will probably be held between the 28-29th of September in Kumamoto town centre. It is shut to the Rugby World Cup fan zone house so everybody can participate in the a laugh actions that will probably be on show over the process the two-day match. 
Prefectures taking part in the match will probably be from round Kyushu. Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Okinawa will all come in combination to exhibit their native tradition to the global guests. It will evidently be an entertaining match jam full of plenty of conventional Japanese actions to participate in. 

Practical guides and regulations to figuring out onsen tradition

Bathing in an onsen is a well-liked and stress-free interest in Japan. It is most well liked in Oita, the house of onsen with geothermal task from the volcanoes heating up the sizzling springs. You will to find many naturally heated onsens in the house, and, actually, Oita is the onsen capital of no longer most effective Kyushu however the complete of Japan with 1000’s of sizzling springs to make a choice from. 
So, deliver your onsen towel with you as you are going to have many alternatives to revel in a soothing onsen round Kyushu. 
What I sought after to do this is be offering some phrases of recommendation to global guests and first-time customers of onsen as there are a couple of issues you will have to be mindful prior to you get began. 
– Take a bath prior to getting into the onsen to make sure you’re totally blank. 
– You should be bare in the onsen as garments are thought to be grimy. 
– Public onsens are in most cases cut up into female and male sections. If you want to proportion an onsen, you’ll e book a personal one at decided on visitor homes. 
– No tattoos are allowed in onsen. If you have got tattoos, you’ll search for tattoo pleasant onsen. Tourism Oita have created a map to display the places. 
– Your towel should by no means contact the onsen water. You can position your small onsen towel for your head while taking part in the onsen. 
–  Don’t dunk your head underneath the onsen water.
– Avoid water splashing in the onsen house. 
– Dry your self prior to getting into the converting rooms. 
– Remember to take a seat again, calm down and revel in your onsen revel in in Kyushu. 
You will quickly be told that Japan is a tradition constructed on admire, and regulations are in most cases put into position to make the revel in stress-free for everybody. Now you already know the elementary regulations to taking part in an onsen revel in and also you will have to be all set. 

The prefecture of Oita

Within Oita Prefecture, you are going to to find well-liked places reminiscent of Oita town, Yufuin and Beppu to discover which give a number of onsen choices to make a choice from in addition to stunning geographical region, nature and a laugh town existence. 


First, we will be able to seek advice from the town of Oita which is value staying over for the evening. 

Tenku Open-air City Spa & JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Oita

When you arrive in Oita town, why no longer calm down and revel in your first onsen? Be positive to test into the JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Oita which is well discovered subsequent to Oita railway station. 
Once checked in, you’ll revel in the highest town view of Oita town from the stress-free Tenku Open-air City Spa which is positioned in the roof of the resort. Perfect for stress-free both at sundown when the town lighting fixtures get started to activate or very first thing in the morning as you watch the solar upward thrust over the town. It’s in reality the highest and maximum stress-free spot in Oita town. 
This herbal carbonated sizzling spring options baths with panoramic perspectives of the town, plus saunas.

Bar hopping and native meals round Oita 

The highest nightlife and puts to devour round Oita town will also be discovered north of the educate station. Here you’ll to find a wide array of bars serving izakaya genre BBQ snacks or a complete host of native dishes. 
The house was once made preferred through salarymen taking part in a delectable bowl or two prior to grabbing the closing educate house. 
Local dishes which can be a should check out come with Bugo pork, Seki mackerel and rooster tempura. You can wash down those tasty dishes with a tumbler of Shochu which is produced in Kyushu. Enjoy the nightlife through sampling a style of native dishes for your seek advice from round Oita town. 


Oita as a prefecture has the maximum onsens and the greatest output of sizzling spring water in Japan. One excellent instance of this will also be present in the town of Beppu. Driving from Oita town to Beppu is somewhat simple to do because it’s round a 25-minute force.

Enjoy a soothing foot spa 

If you prefer to to leisure your toes, Beppu has a big collection of loose self-service public foot spas that may be discovered scattered round the town. Don’t disregard to pack your personal towel to dry your toes if you end up accomplished. I’d counsel the Beppu Kaihin Sunaba Onsen which appears to be like out to a shocking sea view. 
Close to this location you’ll additionally discover a sand onsen on the seaside. It works through being buried underneath sand which is heated through emerging steam. This is an overly distinctive type of onsen that may be present in Beppu and round Kyushu. 

Jigoku Hells customer onsen

Beppu may be house to customer onsens known as Jigoku which interprets to English as “hells”. These hells are supposed for viewing most effective. You can to find seven of them positioned round the town of Beppu. 
You should buy a Beppu Jigoku price ticket at any of the entrances that will provide you with get right of entry to to all seven of the hells. Parking may be to be had totally free at the places. 
Because of fumarolic fuel of round 100 levels, those hells don’t seem to be open for bathing and just for guests to view from a distance. Five of the hells are positioned in the Kannawa district and two in the extra faraway Shibaseki district.
Umi Jigoku is the most well liked of the hells and one in every of the most lovely as neatly. Here you’ll see the huge sizzling spring and the huge steam that rises from the pond. 
Worth attempting for your seek advice from to the Jigoku is the sizzling spring steamed pudding which is served at a variety of the cafes at the hells. 
At Chinoike Jigoku location, the pond water is a pink blood color. It is one in every of the maximum photogenic places of the seven. Worth visiting and preventing off evidently. 

Jigokumushi Kobo Steam Cooking Center

Feeling hungry? Why no longer pass to an onsen eating place! At Jigokumushi Kobo Steam Cooking Center you’ll acquire a collection of substances, reminiscent of contemporary greens, dumplings, eggs, meat cuts or seafood to be steam cooked from the sizzling spring steam. 
You can hire a steam chamber to cook dinner your meal in, and when you wait you’ll use the foot baths underneath the eating desk to calm down. A scrumptious, distinctive and a laugh eating and cooking revel in to check out in Beppu. 

Yufuin and Yufu mountains

Yufuin is known for its surprising geographical region and vista like surroundings. A good suggestion is to park up your condo automobile at the Yufu educate station and hire a bicycle for the day from bicycle store ren-cha. Then you’ll pass and discover Mount Yufu which incorporates a collection of glorious foothills that supply a refreshing breath of clean air and surprising perspectives. A good way to spend the day. 
Close to the Yufu educate station you’ll to find the visitor area Yufuin no Take which makes for an excellent spot to park your automobile and leisure your head for the evening for a hectic day forward. You will need to get up vibrant and early to make your manner to Mount Aso.  

Mount Aso

Mount Aso is an lively volcano and the mountain’s lively volcanic peaks come with Mount Nakadake, Komeduka, Kusasenri and Daikanbo crater. 
This house is a impressive house of herbal attractiveness and value the forestall alongside your road trip. The highest and most secure location to have a excellent glance over the edge into the Nakadake crater is from the viewing house.
The toll road to the crater may be open if you want to use your personal automobile, and the crater is a straightforward one-minute stroll clear of the automobile park.
The well-liked ropeway that was once used for guests to get to the best of the crater stays out of carrier.
Before visiting Mount Aso, you will have to test for reside updates on visiting the crater as the customer scenario can alternate day by day due to climate prerequisites.
It’s vital to observe that when you have well being problems reminiscent of bronchial asthma, it’s urged no longer to seek advice from the crater house.
You can discover a collection of gentle mountaineering paths that may take you to other viewing issues of Mount Aso’s volcanic craters.
The mountaineering paths are in most cases much less crowded and a good way to uncover the panorama. You may just to find your self having the complete position to your self, and it nearly feels such as you’re on Mars while strolling round the house. 

Stay at a conventional Japanese ryokan

Otohime no Sato is a conventional Japanese ryokan positioned inside shut riding distance from Mount Aso. 
If it is your first seek advice from to Japan, then staying one evening at a conventional Japanese visitor area known as a ryokan is a should. 
Kyushu gives a ravishing collection of ryokans to make a choice from, in particular the ones with non-public get right of entry to to stress-free onsens. 
The highest ones that supply the maximum stress-free and non violent setting are positioned in the geographical region among nature, and Kyushu has a lot of all these ryokans to be offering with an idyllic atmosphere. 
Traditionally ryokans are handed thru the visitor homeowners’ households, and lots of ryokans can date again thru generations, some even again to the Edo time. 
Normally an evening’s keep at a ryokan will come at an extra price when compared to same old resort remains however the revel in is definitely value the worth. 
Mostly for its distinctive Japanese cultural revel in, a ryokan will also be fairly attention-grabbing to check out for guests as it is so other to a regular evening’s keep. So, why no longer check out it for your seek advice from to Japan at least one time?
Your room will probably be a conventional Japanese room with tatami mat and skinny paper partitions and doorways. It’s urged to take your footwear off prior to getting into and to stay your baggage off the subtle tatami ground to steer clear of harm. 
Normally a visitor could have a yukata gown, mattress pyjamas, towels, bedding, sheets and pillows supplied through the ryokan. These pieces could be saved away whilst you input the room for the first time. This manner you’ll use the room prior to bedtime when the beds are made up to be used. 
Normally your keep will come with a eating revel in and breakfast carrier which is typically integrated in the worth. 
The eating is an excellent revel in to revel in conventional delicacies and dishes from the visitor area house.
What is particular about staying at the Otohime no Sato ryokan is the non-public onsens which you’ll hire out both in the night or morning and you’ve got one all to your self to calm down and revel in. 
Be positive to e book a ryokan for no less than one evening for your road trip round Kyushu. 


Kumamoto is any other well-liked town on the Japanese island of Kyushu in the south-west of Japan. There are many unbelievable points of interest, attractions to see and dishes to check out for travellers who occur to be visiting the town of Kumamoto, the greatest town in the Kumamoto Prefecture.

Hotel the Gate Kumamoto

For an inexpensive keep in Kumamoto, make sure to take a look at Hotel the Gate Kumamoto. This emblem new trendy, snug and blank resort is positioned shut to JR Kumamoto station and gives you a at ease keep. Here you’ll have a excellent evening’s sleep in Kumamoto for an excellent worth. 

Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle dates again to the 17th century and is thought of as one in every of the best 3 maximum vital castles in all of Japan. The fortress was once very much destroyed through the earthquake that hit maximum of the Kumamoto town in 2016. 
Work is underway to rebuild Kumamoto Castle again to its former glory, and it’s going to take a while till the building paintings is done. Until then, a lot of the primary spaces are closed off from get right of entry to however you’ll nonetheless stroll round the out of doors castle grounds of the fortress. 
Kumamoto town is operating on improving and reopening the primary Tenshu external through October fifth, 2019 for the rugby guests.

For the love of Kumamon

Created through the executive of Kumamoto Prefecture, Kumamon is a mascot recognized in Japan as a your-charm. Kumamon is used to advertise the island of Kyushu, and I am positive you are going to spot the satisfied endure mascot throughout the island of Kyushu while for your road trip. Be positive to stay a glance out for him. 
You may also seek advice from Kumamon’s reputable administrative center in Kumamoto to say hi in particular person, and he additionally began a Youtube channel. 
Kumamon has grown in recognition over the years and has transform a large luck for the island’s promotion. Maybe you may want to purchase some Kumamon items to take into account your time in Kumamoto. 

Ajisen Ramen for lunch

If you’re on the lookout for a lunch spot in Kumamoto, then you definitely should check out the well-liked ramen eating place, Ajisen Ramen. The eating place is known for its heavy stage of roasted garlic that takes over the thick broth. This meals is certain to pack flavour, and you’ll get a excellent lunch set deal right here for a cheap worth. 
Based on the Kurume ramen idea, the addition of the further garlic chips and oil idea have earned many lovers. Have a seat and revel in a delectable bowl of Ajisen Ramen. 

Suizenji Garden

Suizenji Jojuen Park is a conventional Japanese lawn that surrounds a herbal pond. Here you’ll revel in and respect the non violent herbal panorama that is positioned in the town. For the highest view of the lawn and the pond, revel in a tea rite at the tea area the place you’ll calm down and unwind with an implausible view. 
The lawn may be house to a Suizenji temple which was once inbuilt 1632. The surrounding lawn represents portions of the 53 Stations of the Tokaido, an historical course that ran from Edo to Kyoto, and the hill is supposed to constitute a small-scale Mt. Fuji. 

Kamitori and Shimotori buying groceries arcade

When on the lookout for nightlife in Kumamoto, make sure to seek advice from the Kamitori and Shimotori buying groceries arcade house. It’s the position to be for night eating and leisure. With plenty of choices to make a choice from, those arcades are ideal for taking part in izakaya genre eating and discovering a very good collection of craft beers. 
My advice is Neginozu for izakaya eating (rooster is a superb choice) and Voyager for a good choice of Japanese genre craft beer. For those that are feeling extra adventurous, it’s good to additionally check out a sushi educate idea eating place. It’s nice a laugh, and the meals could be very scrumptious.


Fukuoka is the capital and the greatest town of Fukuoka Prefecture, positioned at the tip of the northern shore of the Kyushu island. Fukuoka has been a very powerful harbour town for plenty of centuries. The town is highest recognized for its historical temples, nice seashores, trendy buying groceries and a laugh nightlife. 
Fukuoka in reality is composed of 2 towns that have been blended in 1889 when Hakata joined with Fukuoka to create a mega town. Hakata continues to be a well-liked district inside Fukuoka. There’s a Shinkansen railway station there, and the district may be a well-liked spot for ramen fans. 
Here is what you’ll do all through your seek advice from to Fukuoka.

Accommodation: Book and Bed Fukuoka

Book and Bed is the very best keep for e book fans in the town centre of Fukuoka. Nestled between the e book cabinets you’ll uncover hidden cabin beds the place visitors can keep for the evening.  
When you’re no longer snoozing you’ll revel in studying among the never-ending collection of books on show. 
It’s like a tablet resort however with a singular and fascinating twist. This is a a laugh and an alternate manner to revel in a one-night’s keep in Japan, and it’s additionally an excellent location to base your self in Fukuoka. 

Yusentei Park

If you might be on the lookout for tranquillity in Fukuoka and need to get away the town for a second, glance no additional than the Japanese lawn of Yusentei Park. 
It is a calm position and an excellent instance of a Japanese-style lawn that surrounds a lake. Spend a while strolling round right here and try the huge collection of koi carp that occupy the lake in addition to the excellent greenery.  
Be positive to additionally seek advice from the tea area that appears over the lake and revel in a tea rite. 

Dazaifu Tenmangu

Dazaifu Tenmangu is a shrine devoted to Sugawara Michizane who’s referred to as the god of finding out. The shrine grows in recognition round examination time when scholars flock to the location to pray for excellent effects. 
As you stroll up to the shrine you are going to realize a collection of brass ox statues which act as symbols of success for those who rub them. If it is luck in checks or instructional fulfillment you search, that is the shrine for you. 
The temple is positioned 250 meters clear of Dazaifu educate station. The boulevard is covered with snug conventional retail outlets promoting native merchandise, reminiscent of home made chop sticks or the scrumptious bean paste cake known as Umegae Mochi. Perfect spot for locating Japanese items to take again house with you. 
If you want to jazz up your pictures in Dazaifu, you’ll hire a kimono or yukata right here for the night as the snug the town gives an excellent again drop. 
Once you’ve handed the retail outlets, you are going to discover a torii gate that marks the front of the shrine. Leading up to the shrine, you are going to meet a sequence of 2 arched bridges and islands representing the previous, provide and long term. They will then lead you to the walled courtyard of the shrine.
The house may be well-liked for being surrounded through over 6,000 plum bushes which upload a ravishing component of herbal attractiveness to the atmosphere. 

Ichiran Dazaifu Sando ramen noodle

Ichiran Dazaifu Sando is a well-liked ramen chain which was once first established in Fukuoka, Kyushu. Their eating places will also be discovered throughout Japan and the international. 
The Ichiran Dazaifu Sando location is well-liked among scholars on account of its distinctive bowl form which represents excellent success and fortune for checks. That bowl is most effective to be had in the Fukuoka eating place.
Ichiran Dazaifu Sando is exclusive when compared to different ramen eating places for its person eating cubicles which permit you to focal point on the tasty revel in with out distractions. It’s value attempting for global visitors as a result of there’s no different position moderately adore it.

Kyushu National Museum

Within strolling distance of Dazaifu Tenmangu, you’ll to find the Kyushu National Museum. Here you’ll wonder at the surprising structure of the huge blue building that virtually looks as if a sports activities stadium. 
Within the exhibition area you are going to to find a big front corridor that can lead you to 4 flooring of presentations overlaying Japanese historical past from the Prehistoric Era to the Edo Period. 

Ohori Park

Before you end your road trip round Kyushu, why no longer take a morning stroll round Ohori Park positioned in the town centre of Fukuoka? Here you’ll discover the previous grounds of the as soon as status Fukuoka Castle and nonetheless see a few of the ruins. 
You too can seek advice from Maizuru Park which has a big collection of seasonal floral arrangements. Enjoy the stress-free city oasis which gives an excellent house for you to really feel the seasons of Fukuoka. You too can discover a collection of cafes right here for you to revel in. 

Yatai meals stalls

Yatai meals stalls should be the most fun and colourful position in Fukuoka to seize a chew to devour. Located alongside the water you are going to to find a number of meals stalls serving a wide array of Japanese dishes. 
This is the position to be as the lighting fixtures remove darkness from the sidewalk in the night, and keen and hungry meals fanatics look ahead to their flip to seize an to be had stall for some scrumptious dishes to check out. 
Best to arrive right here with out a recreation plan and dive into the area that grabs your consideration the maximum. There’s merely such a lot selection you will have to search your personal stall to create your personal meals journey. 

Thank you for studying my ultimate guide to Kyushu island, Japan

Kyushu has such a lot to be offering for guests to Japan and I am satisfied that you’ve got stumbled throughout this guide to get some guidelines and recommendation to your long term trip to the island. 
I may just most effective duvet a small a part of the island, however you have got many choices to make a choice from to create your road trip course. 
I’m hoping you have got a ravishing time exploring the distinctive a part of Japan throughout the island of Kyushu.


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