PEACE OF MIND
USA & Canada
Antarctica & Arctic
This fascinating itinerary explores the southernmost of Japan’s 4 main islands, Kyushu. See its vibrant seaside cities, ancient canals and castles, sample Kyushu’s famed cuisine, stay in a ryokan style hotel in a town of hot springs, and see Japan’s largest active volcano up close.
Destinations > Japan > Fukuoka Kyushu Explorer
6 nights 3.5 star accommodation, 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners, all touring (private and join-in) as outlined, arrival assistance in Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Kumamoto.
Note: JR Rail Pass booked separately
Tickle those taste buds as you explore Kyushu and experience some of Japan's most famed cuisines. From seafood delicacies to the famous Hakata ramen, this trip is a food lovers dream. Enjoy more than just the food by exporing the stunning scenery and experiencing the perfect blend of living culture and history at Kumanoto Castle.
Back to Japan Tours
Fukuoka’s superb cuisine, from its street side Hakata ramen shops to seafood delicacies
Stunning scenery including its volcanic interior
A perfect blend of living culture and history, from the imposing Kumamoto Castle to Beppu’s remarkable hot springs and onsens
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Welcome to Kyushu. You will be met on arrival at Hakata Station by our local representative who will direct you to your nearby hotel. After checking in, the remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy this delightful city.
This morning you will be met at your hotel for a guide tour of Yanagawa. This delightful town is known as the Venice of Kyushu, with its lengthy canal system dating back some 400 years. The canals were built as part of the city castle's defenses, but today provide for a scenic and fascinating experience exploring by donkobune, small boats skillfully operated by local boatmen. After a short cruise, you will have some time to explore the town before returning by train to your hotel. Your afternoon is free for further exploration. You may wish to visit the Dazaifu tenmangu, the city's most famous historic shrine with a charming garden, or explore the harbourside. In the evening, perhaps try some of the city's many culinary specialties including seafood from Ariake Bay. There is mitzutaki (a chicken hotpot), the famous Hakata ramen, and seafood delicacies such as karashi mentaiko (salmon roe). (B)
This morning you will use your JR Rail pass to transfer to Nagasaki (approximately 2 hours). On arrival, you will be met and guided to your accommodation. This afternoon, meet your guide at Nagasaki Station for an afternoon join-in tour to Gunkanjima. Gunkanjima is a small island located about 20 kilometers from Nagasaki Port. Until 1974, the island served as a coal mine, and more than 5000 residents called the 480 meter long, 150 meter wide island home, resulting in the highest population density in history recorded worldwide. The island came to resemble a massive battleship, hence its name. After 1700, return to Nagasaki and your hotel for a free evening. (B)
This morning make your way to the station for your 2.5 hour train ride to Kumamoto. On arrival, you will be met by your guide for check in and a private tour of Kumamoto Castle and the Suizenji Temple. Dating back to the 15th century, Kumamoto Castle is one of Japan's three premier castles, and despite the fire damage in the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion and more recent earthquakes, much remains intactand restoration has been extensive. Just a few kilometres away across the Shirikawa River lies Suizenji Jojuen, the superb gardens constructed by the Hosokawa family in the 17th century. This evening is free for your own exploration. (B)
This morning your guide will meet you in the lobby after 0800 for your train and bus trip to Beppu via Mount Aso (about 3.5 hours). Enjoy the views of this spectacular mountain, the largest active volcano in Japan and one of the world's largest. The huge caldera contains the city of Aso as well as Takamori and Minamiaso. After viewing the volcano, resume your trip by bus/train to Beppu, and on arrival check in to your charming ryokan accommodation. This evening relax and enjoy the hot spring baths and a kaiseki dinner at your ryokan. (B, D)
This morning join your guide at the lobby for a tour of Umi Jigoku and Chinoike Jigoku, the famous 'hell tour' of Beppu. Despite the name the scenery is far from hellish - these steaming springs are vibrantly coloured and surrounded by delightful hills, gardens and torii gates. Your tour ends late morning, after which you are free to further explore. Perhaps visit nearby Yufuin to stroll along Yunotsubo Kaido, a historic path of traditional shops and businesses, towards the famous Lake Kinrin. Or relax at your onsen accommodation with a refreshing bath before your kaiseki dinner. (B, D)
This morning check out of your Beppu accommodation and travel by train to Hakata Station in Fukuoka using your JR Rail Pass. Your tour ends here. (B)
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