Thinking of visiting Kyushu?
Here's my 5-day itinerary - a whistlestop tour of a few highlights of Kyushu, including recommendations for sights, restaurants and hotels for each day, with photos.
5 Days In Kyushu
The starting point for our return trip was Kobe - 20 minutes east of Osaka by train. But you could be starting in any number of cities in Japan that have an airport.
Of course, you could start in one city, fly to Kyushu, use this itinerary, and then fly onto a new city as your next destination.
Just choose somewhere where the flight time isn't too long so that you can make the most of your first and last days in Kyushu.
Day 1: Kobe to Fukuoka
Day 2: Fukuoka
Day 3: Fukuoka to Nagasaki
Day 4: Nagasaki to Saikai
Day 5: Saikai to Kobe
Fly: 08:00 Osaka Itami to Fukuoka (5am start)
Lunch: Cafe Brasileiro - Fukuoka's oldest cafe (food OK, coffee good, atmosphere great)
See: ACROS building (stunning 'half-pyramid' architecture cultural centre covered in greenery)
Stay: Hotel Forza (just thirty seconds from Hakata Station)
Activity: Stroll around Ohori Park (walk across bridges connecting three islands in a large lake)
Lunch: Restaurant Mizutaki Nagano (top quality, proper nabe, reservations essential)
Coffee: Cafe 'Knock' (run by an 89 year old lady for more than 40 years)
Buy: Traditional sweets from Ishimura Manseido Deitos (gorgeous original shop and sweets)
Day 3: Fukuoka > Nagasaki
Train: 09:55 Kamome Limited Express from Hakata (interior looks like business class airline designed by Mercedes Benz)
Stroll: Nakashima River/Tera-machi districts (more than 10 bridges + traditional machiya repurposed as shops, cafes, galleries, etc.)
View: The stunning city lights at night by taking the Nagasaki Ropeway to the top of Mt. Inasa
Video: Nagasaki Ropeway at Night
Dinner: Restaurant Yossou (chawan mushi - steamed egg custard specialist, incredible pork)
Stay: Hotel Forza (rated #1 hotel in Nagasaki on Trip Advisor)
Want to see the famous 'Spectacles Bridge' for yourself? Use this self-guided tour of Nagasaki (ideal for couples).
Your Personal Travel Concierge Service in Japan
Start your Japan vacation on the right foot with this convenient meet-and-greet service.
Your assistant will monitor your flight status and wait for you in the arrival hall, holding a sign board with your name on.
After welcoming you, your personal assistant can help you deal with various procedures such as buying train or bus tickets, buying a SIM card or rent a mobile phone, etc.
If you encounter any issues, your bilingual helper smooths things out.
Airserve have dedicated offices in the following 6 main airports: Narita, Haneda, Nagoya Chubu, Kansai International, Osaka Itami and Fukuoka.
The service is also available at the main train stations in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya and Fukuoka.
Your assistant will escort you to the boarding point of your chosen mode of transportation (Limousine Bus, train, taxi). They can also inform awaiting party of your arrival time, train car and seat number (if requested).
- Buying train or bus tickets
- Exchanging the Japan Rail Pass voucher for the actual pass
- Exchanging currencies
- Buying a SIM card or rent a mobile phone
- Handing over documents
- Bilingual assistant helps with any language difficulties
Now part of the Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group, Airserve is a Japanese company established in October 2001. Previously, the company had gained over 20 years experience in providing passenger assistance services at Narita Airport.
Video: Nagasaki Tram Ride - Route 5
Day 4: Nagasaki > Saikai
Ride: The Nagasaki Electric Tramway for a cool retro way to get about the city
Experience: Atomic Bomb Museum, Nagasaki (sobering, be sure to visit the blast hypocentre outside)
Train: 15:00 Sea Side Liner from Nagasaki Station to Huis Ten Bosch Station
See: Omura Bay (sit on the left hand side of the train when leaving Nagasaki Station for the best views)
Stay: Minshuku (stay in a regular home with a local family)
Day 5: Saikai > Kobe
Experience: Mikan picking at Saikai Genkimura eco-village (thoroughly recommended - full article to follow!)
Lunch: Restaurant Kasayama (good quality Japanese staples, reasonably priced, large portions served in private dining rooms)
Bus: From Huis Ten Bosch (we didn't go inside the theme park) to Nagasaki Airport
Fly: 17:20 Nagasaki to Kobe Airport
I hope you got some insights, motivation and, if you're thinking of spending a few days in Kyushu, some ideas from this quick snapshot of just a small sampling of what Kyushu offers.
I have a real fondness for the island. I'll be back for sure.
I also hope this inspires you to do some research, maybe dig a little deeper, start some planning yourself.
If you have any feedback or comments to add please and let me know what you thought.