The island of Kyushu is home to legends, gods, and the beginning of Western influence. We invite you to explore this great island, traveling the winding roads by car, and visiting the cities and villages that feel both very Japanese, and yet wholly separate. *We will gladly tailor the length and content of the trip to fit you best.
- Self-drives through beautiful countrysides and less-traveled cities
- Viewing the dance of the gods known as the kagura
- Visiting the ports that acted as the first gateways to Western influence
- Relaxing in the hot springs of Beppu and Kurokawa
- A homestay experience in the Kyushu countryside
- Adventure through an island of pure forests
*Highlight availability varies season to season and is subject to change.
The following tour is an example of what we can offer you as your next trip to Japan, making sure you experience even more of this multi-faceted land in good contrast to what you’ve seen and experienced before. If interested, feel free to contact us to find out what we can add to this schedule to make it special for you. We look forward to making a custom tour for you!
Day 1 Yokoso and Welcome To KyushuOvernight in Fukuoka
After arriving in Japan, you will transfer to your accommodation in Fukuoka. Upon arriving at your accommodation, you will receive the custom guidebook we made for your brand new journey. Feel free to browse through it, orienting yourself further with the great adventure that awaits in Japan’s southern island. Itinerary will be tailored according to your flight schedule.
Day 2 The Old Port and Castle TownsOvernight Hirado
Starting your adventures through the island and area of Kyushu, we take you to the castle town of Hirado, driving through the seasides and gorgeous shores of Karatsu. This day you will come into first contact with the history of foreign influence that is unique to Kyushu, once the only place where international trade and cultural exchange was tolerated and allowed while the rest of Japan shut out the world.
Days 3 and 4 Islands Seas and CityOvernights in Nagasaki
Driving from Hirado you will go along dramatic coastlines, including the area of the Kujukujima Island chain, which though named for being home to ninety-nine islands that adorn the blue sea with emerald green trees, actually boasts over two-hundred islands, some of which are uninhabited, left to go wild. Driving on, you will make your way to the city of Nagasaki where politics and battles often came to a head. Nagasaki, not only being the second and last city to experience nuclear attack, has survived drastic change due to foreign influence, and religious persecution.
Day 5 Castle City of RebellionOvernight in Shimabara
Coursing through the samurai streets of Shimabara are natural spring waters ready to warm you right to your soul. Though nowadays a place to relax, Shimabara holds its own dramatic history of religion and rebellion. Spending time in this city, you’re sure to get another view of early foreign influence, and the imprint it left on Japanese culture.
Day 6 Gardens and OnsenOvernight in Kurokawa Onsen
Leaving the port cities and areas of deep history, conflict, and peaceful exchange, you will move to inland Kyushu where you will visit one of Japan’s most well defended and designed castles, as well as a wonderful example of a Japanese landscape garden. Later in the day, you will make your way to a well-preserved onsen town where you can enjoy soaking in the hot springs as well as strolling through the winding and scenic streets in traditional yukata robes. Kurokawa onsen town is proud to have kept its pristine historic atmosphere, and you will see for yourself why the locals are happy to be a part of this area.
Day 7 Home of Gods and LegendsOvernight in Takachiho
From warming hot springs, today you will venture on to lands of legends and the area of Takachiho where the kami spirits still have influence, and where shrine traditions and festivities of more ancient Shinto are still practiced. Time in Takachiho is time spent learning dances of the gods, ancient legends, and visiting sacred places. Allow us to introduce you to ancient Japanese history, and stories of creation.
Day 8 KagoshimaOvernight in Kagoshima
More scenic drives await as you make your way from the inland to the coast once more. Kagoshima is a beautiful bayside city, and is made even more geographically amazing with the volcano of Sakurajima adding an artistic scene in the distance. An overnight here, gazing over the bay, will help you prepare for the natural wonders ahead.
Days 9 and 10 Island ForestsOvernights in Yakushima
Taking a ferry from Kagoshima you will make your way to a UNESCO World Heritage island that is home to endangered species and beautiful old growth forests. Staying on this island offers numerous hiking opportunities, as well as time to simply take in this ecosystem seemingly untouched by time.
Day 11 Return to KyushuOvernight in Kagoshima
Returning to the Kyushu mainland by ferry, you will spend one more night in Kagoshima, this time taking part of the day to enjoy the sights of the city from its landscape garden to its museums on its colorful history.
Day 12 One More Night of Historic BathsOvernight in Beppu
To complete the hot spring aspect of your Kyushu adventure, today you visit the hot spring haven of Beppu. Known for its several “hells,” called such as they are all fonts of water clearly heated quite well by a volcanic source, you can enjoy the unique colors they give off naturally, while later enjoying soaks in more temperate waters.
Day 13 Friends and FamilyOvernight in Usuki
For a most lasting memory, we take you for your last night in Kyushu to the home of locals who welcome you into their life and culture. Visiting the town of Usuki, you will meet your host family for the day who may take you through the streets samurai once roamed, and introduce you to the famed caves and large, stone-carved homages to Buddha unique to the city. The day may also be spent learning more about the life and town of the family in less-traveled countryside Kyushu. The late afternoon and evening will be spent at the family’s home, enjoying dinner, and having a relaxed night, living as locals do.
Day 14 Sayonara For NowItinerary will be tailored according to your flight schedule.
We wish you pleasant travels as you leave this land of the rising sun. Making your way by train to Fukuoka and leaving the country by plane, we hope that you are taking with you lasting memories of the times you had here, and hope that you can return one day to discover even more. Farewell from all of us at Windows to Japan, and sayonara.