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The Official Kyushu Travel Guide

Kyushu by Rail

Kyushu by Rail

Make the most of your JR Kyushu Rail Pass as you explore Kyushu's beautiful west coast. To travel through from Fukuoka to Kagoshima, you'll need the All Kyushu Area Pass. The pass covers the shinkansen from Hakata Station in Fukuoka to Kagoshima-Chuo Station in Kagoshima and many local trains; it also covers some fascinating sightseeing trains, including a traditional steam locomotive. You can reserve seats for all these trains online.

Fukuoka: Gateway City

Day 1

Fukuoka is compact and cosmopolitan, with a friendly atmosphere. Closer to Korea than Tokyo, the city is the historic gateway to the Asian mainland. Hakata Station is connected to Tokyo by shinkansen and has rail and bus connections to the rest of Kyushu. Explore the beautiful grounds of  Dazaifu Tenmangu ShrineKyushu National Museum and the surrounding town, just under an hour from the city. Don’t miss the local specialty Hakata ramen, with a rich, pork broth.

Kumamoto: Legendary Samurai

Day 2

Kumamoto is famous for legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi, delicious food and the  Mt. Aso volcano. The city is centered around  Kumamoto Castle. Although the castle was badly damaged by an earthquake in 2016, its restoration has become a symbol of Kumamoto's recovery. Next to the castle  the Sakura no Baba Josaien is a fun shopping area with a traditional atmosphere with samurai in full regalia, who are happy to pose for photos.

Kagoshima: The Power of Nature

Day 3

The skyline of Kagoshima is dominated by Japan's most active volcano, Sakurajima, which often has plumes of smoke rising from the top. The city is sometimes called the Naples of Japan for its geographic similarities. People live on  Sakurajima, and it is a fascinating place to visit by ferry from Kagoshima Port. The trip takes about 15 minutes. The island has hiking trails, hot springs and several observatories to see the volcano. Don't miss the half-buried stone torii gate at Kurokami Shrine.

Samurai, Sand Baths and Serene Forests

Day 4-6

Sengan-En, a short bus ride from Kagoshima Station, was built in 1658 for the Shimazu family, who ruled part of Kyushu from the late 12th century to the beginning of the Meiji period in 1868. Tour the beautiful gardens, with views of  Sakurajima. Take a train to  Ibusuki, a popular hot spring resort area with sand baths, heated by underground geothermal springs. Don’t miss Yakushima, a subtropical island and natural World Heritage Site with Japan's oldest cedar trees. Ferries depart daily from Kagoshima Port.


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