Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > Japan
Reload this Page >

4 Weeks in Kyushu

4 Weeks in Kyushu

Old Jun 23, 19, 5:46 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 45
4 Weeks in Kyushu

Hi, my partner and I are planning on spending 4 weeks in Kyushu (October 25th-November 22nd) and I'm finding it quite tricky to come up with an itinerary.
We've been 3 times previously to Japan (visiting Hokkaido, Honshu and Okinawa) and love it. I speak basic Japanese and we are planning to hire a car for part of the trip.
We love eating/drinking well, beautiful nature, onsets, hiking, urban fun and enjoying Japanese Culture in general and we live in Switzerland.
There's clearly too much to squeeze into 4 weeks so we'll have to save some places till next time.
I'd appreciate any tips and suggestions to help improve/ add detail to the itinerary.
Thanks in advance.

Our initial itinerary is as follows:
Attached Files
File Type: xlsx
Kyushu Itinerary.xlsx (9.3 KB, 15 views)
Denis Carlin is offline  
Old Jun 23, 19, 5:48 pm
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 45
I hoped that the excel file would be inserted inline, here's the itinerary:


Last edited by Denis Carlin; Jun 23, 19 at 6:05 pm Reason: Improve Layout
Denis Carlin is offline  
Old Jun 23, 19, 6:01 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: LHR, NRT
Programs: HH, BD
Posts: 8,787
GreatthatyouregoingtospendsometimeonYakushima.That 'soneofmyfavouriteplaces.LookslikeyouregoingtoShim abarabutnotvisitingthecityofNagasaki.Haveyoubeenbe fore?
jib71 is online now  
Old Jun 23, 19, 6:06 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 45
Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
GreatthatyouregoingtospendsometimeonYakushima.That 'soneofmyfavouriteplaces.LookslikeyouregoingtoShim abarabutnotvisitingthecityofNagasaki.Haveyoubeenbe fore?
Thanks, maybe you can see the itinerary better now, I am planning on 2 nights in Nagasaki.
jib71 likes this.
Denis Carlin is offline  
Old Jun 23, 19, 6:15 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: LHR, NRT
Programs: HH, BD
Posts: 8,787
Originally Posted by Denis Carlin View Post
Thanks, maybe you can see the itinerary better now, I am planning on 2 nights in Nagasaki.
Looks like a great itinerary. You're lucky to have four weeks to explore. I hope there is flexibility in your plan so that you can adjust depending on how you find places.

if you're planning to hire a car, you might want to group some things together - You could use train from Fukuoka to Nagasaki, then rent a car from Nagasaki for the trip to Shimabara, and continue to drive through Saga, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Mount Also and the Miyazaki coast. Then hand the car back in Kagoshima and do the island hopping (I'd rent a car on Yakushima - don't know about Amami Oshima). And I believe you can fly from Yakushima to Fukuoka for the flight back to HK. Just a thought.
Denis Carlin likes this.
jib71 is online now  
Old Jun 23, 19, 6:23 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 45
Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
Looks like a great itinerary. You're lucky to have four weeks to explore. I hope there is flexibility in your plan so that you can adjust depending on how you find places.

if you're planning to hire a car, you might want to group some things together - You could use train from Fukuoka to Nagasaki, then rent a car from Nagasaki for the trip to Shimabara, and continue to drive through Saga, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Mount Also and the Miyazaki coast. Then hand the car back in Kagoshima and do the island hopping (I'd rent a car on Yakushima - don't know about Amami Oshima). And I believe you can fly from Yakushima to Fukuoka for the flight back to HK. Just a thought.
Thanks, I am very lucky, who knows what the future holds so I try and make the most of having opportunities like these.
That's a very helpful post, It would make sense to do it that way.
I haven't allowed much flexibility to be honest, I'm unsure of the time wasted changing plans, the additional costs of last minute accommodation bookings when travelling to a country like japan.
Denis Carlin is offline  
Old Jun 23, 19, 7:12 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: LHR, NRT
Programs: HH, BD
Posts: 8,787
For the period that you have a car, you can be very flexible. If I were you I would only make hotel reservations for the following dates
1. Saga since you know that want to attend the festivals, and that weekend is a public holiday weekend so it may be crowded.
2. Fukuoka since your arrival and departure dates are fixed.
3. Amami Oshima since that's a weekend and I guess you'll book flights in advance so the date may be fixed
4. Yakushima - same reason.

Especially when you have a car I think that it's better to be able to make a spontaneous decision to stop somewhere cool that you happen to see, stay longer than planned in one place or get out of town sooner than planned, so I wouldn't reserve accommodation for other dates. YMMV.
jib71 is online now  
Old Jun 23, 19, 7:14 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Hampton->Conrad->Hampton again
Posts: 4,783
With that much time, you really should be able to cover Kyushu comprehensively. One could actually cover all of Jpn in a month.

I probably have different interest than you, but even then I would reallocate some of your dates to Fukuoka. I'd try to minimize having to check in/out of hotels. There's so much to do/eat in Hakata and you could do day trips via train from Hakata to Yanagawa, Dazaifu, and some of the places in Saga such as Karatsu and even Arita. 3 days in Shimabara is a bit of an overkill. In line with what jib said, cover the first part of the trip (Hakata and day trips from there) via train, staying the first 5-6 nights in Fukuoka and then heading on down to Nagasaki to spend a few nights there. From Nagasaki, you can do one or two train day trips including Sasebo with Kujuku-shima cruise. I would then pick up a rental car in either Nagasaki or better yet Isahaya, then head on down to Unzen to check out the volcanic steam and stay at an onsen place. Then drive down the next day to Shimabara. The town is very nice with water flowing everywhere and you should also check out the castle there, but I really don't think the town is worth more than half day (we saw what we needed to see in <3hrs). You can then take the ferry to Amakusa and drive around and make your way towards Kumamoto and onto Aso and Kurokawa Onsen. Then drop off your car in Kagoshima. I've not been to Kagoshima or Miyazaki, so I can't help you there. I think it's okay to give Oita a miss as your schedule has it (Yufuin would be the main attraction).
Denis Carlin likes this.
evergrn is offline  
Old Jun 23, 19, 8:45 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: TYO
Programs: UA MM *G, NH Plat/SFC, HH Diamond, GE
Posts: 230
4 days in Yakushima should be great. If you're going to be doing a lot of hiking and outdoors activities, I highly recommend Yakushima Geographic Tour company. We used them and really enjoyed the personalized experience of a private tour guide. Cheers
Denis Carlin likes this.
groovbusta is offline  
Old Jun 23, 19, 11:48 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Central California
Programs: Former UA Premex, now dirt
Posts: 6,516
I'd switch things around a bit, taking a day from Shimabara and adding it to Nagasaki. If you go to Nakasaki first, you could follow that with the drive over to Shimabara. When done there, I would take the car ferry across to Kumamoto, continuing the trip from there.

I also agree with the suggestion to add a day or two to Fukuoka/Hakata. It is an interesting city, with some hidden gems.
Denis Carlin likes this.
abmj-jr is offline  
Old Jun 24, 19, 2:52 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 45
Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
With that much time, you really should be able to cover Kyushu comprehensively. One could actually cover all of Jpn in a month.

I probably have different interest than you, but even then I would reallocate some of your dates to Fukuoka. I'd try to minimize having to check in/out of hotels. There's so much to do/eat in Hakata and you could do day trips via train from Hakata to Yanagawa, Dazaifu, and some of the places in Saga such as Karatsu and even Arita. 3 days in Shimabara is a bit of an overkill. In line with what jib said, cover the first part of the trip (Hakata and day trips from there) via train, staying the first 5-6 nights in Fukuoka and then heading on down to Nagasaki to spend a few nights there. From Nagasaki, you can do one or two train day trips including Sasebo with Kujuku-shima cruise. I would then pick up a rental car in either Nagasaki or better yet Isahaya, then head on down to Unzen to check out the volcanic steam and stay at an onsen place. Then drive down the next day to Shimabara. The town is very nice with water flowing everywhere and you should also check out the castle there, but I really don't think the town is worth more than half day (we saw what we needed to see in <3hrs). You can then take the ferry to Amakusa and drive around and make your way towards Kumamoto and onto Aso and Kurokawa Onsen. Then drop off your car in Kagoshima. I've not been to Kagoshima or Miyazaki, so I can't help you there. I think it's okay to give Oita a miss as your schedule has it (Yufuin would be the main attraction).
Thanks very much for your help. A problem with your suggestion is that it doesn't take into account the festivals in Karatsu/Saga on the 2nd and 3rd of November, I have booked a hotel in Saga for 3 nights as Karatsu is fully booked. It makes my itinerary more awkward but it seems a shame not to enjoy those festivals, especially Karatsu Kunchi which seems pretty special.
Spending so much time based in Fukuoka would mean not going to Amamioshima, would that really be worth it?
Denis Carlin is offline  
Old Jun 24, 19, 3:06 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 45
Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
I'd switch things around a bit, taking a day from Shimabara and adding it to Nagasaki. If you go to Nakasaki first, you could follow that with the drive over to Shimabara. When done there, I would take the car ferry across to Kumamoto, continuing the trip from there.

I also agree with the suggestion to add a day or two to Fukuoka/Hakata. It is an interesting city, with some hidden gems.
Thanks. However, I'm not sure how I could go Nagasaki-> Shimabara -> Kumamoto due to the festivals based in Saga?

I would quite happily add a day to either of the islands and remove it from Shimabara but I'm limited with the festivals.
Denis Carlin is offline  
Old Jun 24, 19, 11:59 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Hampton->Conrad->Hampton again
Posts: 4,783
Originally Posted by Denis Carlin View Post
Thanks very much for your help. A problem with your suggestion is that it doesn't take into account the festivals in Karatsu/Saga on the 2nd and 3rd of November, I have booked a hotel in Saga for 3 nights as Karatsu is fully booked. It makes my itinerary more awkward but it seems a shame not to enjoy those festivals, especially Karatsu Kunchi which seems pretty special.
Spending so much time based in Fukuoka would mean not going to Amamioshima, would that really be worth it?
i see. In that case, I would just move a couple days over from Shimabara to Hakata/Fukuoka (or 1-2 day to Hakata, 1 day to Nagasaki). And then backtrack from Nagasaki to Saga, instead of Shimabara-Amakusa-Kumamoto ferry and bridge route.

We did Shimabara/Unzen as a day trip from Nagasaki, renting/returning car at Isahaya, because I hate switching hotels. Totally doable but one limiting factor is the hours of operation of the rental car place.
evergrn is offline  
Old Jun 24, 19, 12:08 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Central California
Programs: Former UA Premex, now dirt
Posts: 6,516
Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
... We did Shimabara/Unzen as a day trip from Nagasaki, renting/returning car at Isahaya, because I hate switching hotels.
I did the same as a day trip, only I used trains. Had a great day, saw everything I wanted, made friends with a cute station agent at a small rail station along the way and was back in time for dinner without changing hotel.
The historic castle and volcano museum at Shimabara are immediately adjacent, sharing a parking lot.
evergrn likes this.
abmj-jr is offline  
Old Jul 4, 19, 9:44 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: KHH, FUK, SNA
Programs: BR, UA 1k, CX
Posts: 1,180
I am not sure you will visit Beppu? I was there two weeks ago, liked the hot springs and the Monkey Park (even though there are like Monkeys in Kaoshiung Taiwan here, the ones here are not so tame) and chance to ride the special trains was a thrill for me (JR Kyushu has some interesting trains).
Taipei is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: