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Kyushu for first visit to Japan?

Kyushu for first visit to Japan?

Old Mar 11, 14, 12:53 pm
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Kyushu for first visit to Japan?

KLM are running a promotion on points to Fukuoka and we can get there for very few points. We have never been to Japan, how is Kyushu compared to Japan's main tourist destinations on Honshu? We are looking to travel in May for two weeks.
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Old Mar 11, 14, 1:19 pm
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Kyushu is a great part of Japan for a visit. It will be warm in May but not terrible.

Suggestions for places to visit abound here in the forum. I particularly liked Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Shimabara and also had a pleasant stay in Fukuoka/Hakata. Other folks favor the far southern part of the island or the hot springs area around Beppu. I am sure others will chime in with suggestions.

I really recommend a few days spent in Nagasaki, which is a fascinating city with a rich history beyond the atomic bomb strike that everyone knows about. The bombing museum and park are better than the ones in Hiroshima and the rest of the city is worth a few days exploring. Several neighborhoods reflect the international flavor they developed during the time that Nagasaki was one of the few parts of the country open to foreigners. The tram system is easy to use and several areas are great for just walking and exploring. Highly recommended.

Last edited by abmj-jr; Mar 11, 14 at 3:21 pm
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Old Mar 11, 14, 2:36 pm
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Kyushu is quite highly regarded amongst other Asian tourists. Quite a lot to see and do. Be sure to go during mid-may, just after the golden week holidays. The end of May can start to become quite humid and hot (for northerners). There is nothing wrong with renting a car as the island is quite compact. The train system is also quite extensive. If you would like to splurge look into the 7 Star Trans-Kyushu train.

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Old Mar 11, 14, 7:24 pm
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This Kyushu trip report inspired one of my own trips on a Kyushu JR pass

I found it a fantastic place to visit.

Jr Kyushu Pass details
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Old Mar 12, 14, 12:19 am
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Mt Aso is one of the best places I've visited anywhere in the world. Staring into the crater of a live volcano? Yep, you're in Kyushu.
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Old Mar 12, 14, 4:44 am
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Originally Posted by valve bouncer View Post
Mt Aso is one of the best places I've visited anywhere in the world. Staring into the crater of a live volcano? Yep, you're in Kyushu.
Unfortunately the crater has been off limits for a while due to heightened volcanic activity.

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Last edited by midtech; Mar 12, 14 at 6:28 am
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Old Mar 12, 14, 3:56 pm
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This post has my opinion on Kyushu and what to do. In short, it is awesome.
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Old Mar 12, 14, 7:28 pm
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I think Kyushu is a great place for first time visitors to Japan. There is no reason Tokyo and Kyoto have to be places to visit for first time visitors to Japan.

Shinkansen (Bullet Train) now runs all the way to Kagoshima (Kagoshima-Chuo station, 鹿児島中央) where you can go from Hakata (JR station at Fukuoka is called Hakata, 博多) to Kagoshima-Chuo in one hour and twenty minutes, from north Kyushu to south Kyushu in less than an hour and half. It will be easy to get around Kyushu by train.

Also, as a train geek I must say JR Kyushu has a lot of interesting trains running around. The best of all is Seven Stars in Kyushu (ななつ星in九州) where least expensive journey is JPY 180000 (about 1269 Euro) per person. I understand this may be out of your budget, but on the website look under Course description and will show train route on a map of Kyushu. These locations where Seven Stars in Kyushu train stops are definitely places to visit in Kyushu. Using Rail Pass you can visit those locations by JR easily.

If you have two weeks stay then you can visit outside of Kyushu easily. By Shinkansen (Bullet Train) Hiroshima is only an hour plus from Hakata (JR station at Fukuoka), and Osaka is two hours and half from Hakata. Both are easy reach from Fukuoka by Shinkansen (Bullet Train).

If you would like to get another stamp on your passport then there is a jet ferry service from Fukuoka to Busan, South Korea which is three hours journey. Also StarFlyer Airline flies from Kita-Kyushu to Busan, 50 minute flight. There is 9 a.m. departure from Kita-Kyushu and 8:05 p.m. departure from Busan. StarFlyer provide discounts fares and there are a lot of people take a day trip to Busan taking advantage of discount fare.

To get to Kita-Kyushu airport, from Hakata to Kokura 17 minutes by Shinkansen (Bullet Train) and 40 minutes bus ride from Kokura station to Kita-Kyushu airport.

Hope you enjoy the trip to Kyushu.
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Old Mar 14, 14, 11:23 am
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Arriving Fukuoka airport is awesome!! Unlike Narita (that is a painfully far from Tokyo downtown) or other regional airport, Fukuoka airport is smack in the middle of downtown (sort of). Even closer to the city-center than Haneda,Tokyo.
The transportation in/out of Fukuoka airport is extremely fast!!
Oh, how I wish the discoutinued route from USA to Fukuoka comes back someday....(I guess not.)

Everything the other posters said above is true. If you have 2 weeks, you can explorer so much of Kyushu island, and maybe up to Hiroshima/Osaka/Kyoto area.

Mid-May is a fantastic time to travel. You are lucky! that timing is awesome.
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Old Mar 16, 14, 7:11 pm
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Agree with positive opinions on Kyushu..very nice part of Japan to visit.

I would suggest though that if you are coming in May, be sure to do it after golden week

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