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tridentalx

Week in Kyushu in March

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tridentalx

Hi all,

 

I've booked flights for a week travelling around Kyushu in mid-March. I've visited Tokyo and Kyoto before (I won't claim I have seen it all) and saw a couple of Train Cruise episodes on Kyushu and it looked very interesting. One slight issue is that I think some of the special trains are seasonal and I may be a bit too early for them. At the moment I can only see a timetable up to the end of Feb.

 

So plan is:

 

Day 1 Arrive and Hiroshima

Day 2 Miyajama and Sakura / Sonic trains to Beppu

Day 3 Beppu, Yufuin and Yufuin No Mori train to Kurume. Then Shinkansen Sakura to Kagoshima

Day 4 Sakurajjima

Day 5 Ibusuki No Tamatebako to Ibuskui

Day 6 SL Hitoyoshi (iI'm hoping this is the first day of it running), Isaburo Shinpei and Hayato No Kaze then a rather punishing long trip to Nagoya en route to Tokyo (yes I know I could fly but I have a JR pass).

[if I thought I could get a reservation I'd aim to get on the Sunrise Seto Sleeper but I hear that it is usually fully booked]

Day 7 / 8 Bit of shopping in Tokyo and the Omiya railway museum.

 

I know all the above is a travel heavy schedule but I'm travelling alone and fancy some train rides!

 

Any comments or suggestions welcome. 

 

Paul

 

(oh and a PS - are any of the Kyushu special trains available as models? Will have to bring a few bits home.)

 

Edited by tridentalx

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katoftw

Fairly rushed and not a lot of time for sightseeing.  IF okay with that. All good.

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tridentalx
Posted (edited)

 

12 hours ago, katoftw said:

Fairly rushed and not a lot of time for sightseeing.  IF okay with that. All good.

 

Fair comment! I actually took a couple of bits out already. Day 5 can be a day of rest if I am running out of energy. And on day 7 I just need to visit a couple of model shops in Tokyo.

 

 

Edited by tridentalx

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Ochanomizu

Hello,

 

I'd certainly be trying to ride a 787 series before they're gone, if you haven't already ridden one.  I really miss the 787 green car.  I used to ride it to Nagasaki. 

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JR 500系

Nice plan! I would be weary of day 6 though, cause the Hitsatsu line full journey (SL Hitoyoshi - Isaburo/Shinpei - Hayato no Kaze) in itself is quite a LONG ride, adding in kinda long ride from Kagoshima Chuo to Shin-Osaka and later to Nagoya is really quite a serious train journey... For us rail fans it's a heaven, be weary of non-rail fans travelling along too... 

 

On ‎10‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 4:22 AM, tridentalx said:

 

(oh and a PS - are any of the Kyushu special trains available as models? Will have to bring a few bits home.)

 

 

Of course! 

 

Yufuin no mori by Tomix, Isaburo-Shinpei and Hayato No Kaze by MA, Aso Boy by MA, 783 series Huis Ten Bosch/ Midori, 883/ 885 series Sonic & Kamome just to name a few… 

 

Oh yes, if it's March next year, the very special seven stars of Kyushu by Kato... 

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Das Steinkopf
Posted (edited)

I have to agree with Sammy when it comes to hitting the joyful train trifecta on day 6, we did the trip last year and it took a whole day leaving Hakata early in the morning using the Shinkansen to Kumamoto and then the long trip to Kagoshima Chuo, we got there late in the afternoon and had a bit of a look around at the shops before grabbing a bite to eat and then travelling back to Hakata using the Shinkansen again.  

 

If you are after N scale models the Popondetta in Hakata has an extensive range of JR Kyushu models as well as other models, I was surprised with the prices as most Popondetta stores tend to be a bit pricey whilst the Hakata store offered a lot of discounts on items, Kato track for example was cheaper than at Yodobashi. 

 

Another cool thing you should look out for is the ornamental key rings that they sell onboard each train, my wife really enjoyed getting these but sadly she wasn't able to get one for the Kawasemi Yamasemi as the service had been only running for about a week when we got to ride it.

BC0FAD67-3842-4AE2-B0B8-6284134025DC.jpeg

Edited by Das Steinkopf
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katoftw

I think day 6 will work starting from kagoshima. Dinner at Kumamoto. Relax and maybe sleep on shinkansen to Shin-Osaka before transfer.

 

Day 3 is the issue for me. Beppu Yufuin plus 4 hours of travel. Just doesnt all fit in. As you arrive late at Beppu the evening before.

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tridentalx
9 hours ago, JR 500系 said:

Nice plan! I would be weary of day 6 though, cause the Hitsatsu line full journey (SL Hitoyoshi - Isaburo/Shinpei - Hayato no Kaze) in itself is quite a LONG ride, adding in kinda long ride from Kagoshima Chuo to Shin-Osaka and later to Nagoya is really quite a serious train journey... For us rail fans it's a heaven, be weary of non-rail fans travelling along too... 

 

 

Of course! 

 

Yufuin no mori by Tomix, Isaburo-Shinpei and Hayato No Kaze by MA, Aso Boy by MA, 783 series Huis Ten Bosch/ Midori, 883/ 885 series Sonic & Kamome just to name a few… 

 

Oh yes, if it's March next year, the very special seven stars of Kyushu by Kato... 

 

Yep agree that is very long. I'm on my own so can sleep the whole way on shinkansen if i'm tired.

 

Thanks for the model suggestions. Yufuin No Mori will be on the list,  one of the diesel railcar sets and a Sonic.

 

8 hours ago, Das Steinkopf said:

I have to agree with Sammy when it comes to hitting the joyful train trifecta on day 6, we did the trip last year and it took a whole day leaving Hakata early in the morning using the Shinkansen to Kumamoto and then the long trip to Kagoshima Chuo, we got there late in the afternoon and had a bit of a look around at the shops before grabbing a bite to eat and then travelling back to Hakata using the Shinkansen again.  

 

If you are after N scale models the Popondetta in Hakata has an extensive range of JR Kyushu models as well as other models, I was surprised with the prices as most Popondetta stores tend to be a bit pricey whilst the Hakata store offered a lot of discounts on items, Kato track for example was cheaper than at Yodobashi. 

 

Another cool thing you should look out for is the ornamental key rings that they sell onboard each train, my wife really enjoyed getting these but sadly she wasn't able to get one for the Kawasemi Yamasemi as the service had been only running for about a week when we got to ride it.

 

 

I start in Kumamoto so a bit shorter. Thanks for the Popondetta suggestion. Will have a look in there.

 

1 hour ago, katoftw said:

I think day 6 will work starting from kagoshima. Dinner at Kumamoto. Relax and maybe sleep on shinkansen to Shin-Osaka before transfer.

 

Day 3 is the issue for me. Beppu Yufuin plus 4 hours of travel. Just doesnt all fit in. As you arrive late at Beppu the evening before.

 

Doing it south to north i looked at. if the SL Hitoyoshi is running the timings mean it makes very little difference to the end time. if it isn't running then i can head off on Shinkansen earlier. 

 

Any predictions whether SL Hitoyoshi will be running on 16th March?

 

Will look again at Day 3 and pick between Beppu and Yufuin perhaps.

 

Thanks everybody for the suggestions.

 

 

Paul

 

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katoftw

March being after the normal timetable annual update wont be listed yet. You might find a supplimentary timetable a month or two out.

 

But being a Saturday and not the winter months. It should be running.

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tridentalx
5 hours ago, JR 500系 said:

There's schedule posted on JR Kyushu website, but that is only until 28th Feb 2019... 

 

http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/pdf/timetable_20180714_20190228.pdf

 

Thanks. I have that one and it has been useful for general planning and making assumptions about timings.

 

1 hour ago, katoftw said:

March being after the normal timetable annual update wont be listed yet. You might find a supplimentary timetable a month or two out.

 

But being a Saturday and not the winter months. It should be running.

 

Thanks. Fingers crossed. I will keep watching for an updated TT from the end of the year.

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tridentalx

Thanks for all the feedback. My biggest problem now is the long list of Kyushu related trains I want to bring back! 

 

Tidied up the itinerary a bit. I realised that I shouldn't make a trip on the SL Hitoyoshi the defining factor - after all to be honest I am not a great fan of steam engines in the UK - so the plan now is an optional short trip if its running (and if I can get a reservation) otherwise watch it leave and take some photos / video.

 

Day 1 Arrive and Hiroshima

Day 2 Miyajama and Sakura then Sonic to Beppu

Day 3 Yufuin and Yufuin No Mori train to Kurume. Then Shinkansen Sakura to Kagoshima

Day 4 Sakurajjima. Quick trip to Ibusuki if time permits.

Day 5 Hayato No Kaze, Isaburo Shinpei and Kawasemi Yamasemi to Kumamoto.

Day 6 Watch the SL Hitoyoshi depart or do a quick 40m trip on it. Shinkansen to Tokyo (still a long day). 

Day 7 / 8 Bit of shopping in Tokyo and the Omiya railway museum.

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katoftw
Posted (edited)

The Isaburo-Shinpei normally lines up with the SL Hitoyoshi, so you might catch up with it for photo in Hitoyoshi also.

 

Going by the current timetable.  And I fail to see that it will change much as it ihas been like this for years.  But if you catch the first Hayato No Kaze and Shinpei, then you'll arrive in Hitoyoshi at 1pm.  SL departs at 2:43, and Kawasemi-Yawasemi departs at 1:25pm and 5:something pm.

 

So if you catch the last Kawasemi-Yamasemi, you have time to see the SL come out of its shed and onto the platform.

 

If you do choose to stay in Hitoyoshi for a few hours:- http://maru-piyoko.hatenadiary.jp/entry/2015/10/13/141555  It is just a few minutes walk from the station.

Edited by katoftw

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tridentalx
20 hours ago, katoftw said:

Going by the current timetable.  And I fail to see that it will change much as it ihas been like this for years.  But if you catch the first Hayato No Kaze and Shinpei, then you'll arrive in Hitoyoshi at 1pm.  SL departs at 2:43, and Kawasemi-Yawasemi departs at 1:25pm and 5:something pm.

 

So if you catch the last Kawasemi-Yamasemi, you have time to see the SL come out of its shed and onto the platform.

 

If you do choose to stay in Hitoyoshi for a few hours:- http://maru-piyoko.hatenadiary.jp/entry/2015/10/13/141555  It is just a few minutes walk from the station.

Thanks for the Hitoyoshi link. Never thought to look for local things there.

 

I think the issue with watching the SL at Hitoyoshi is that I'm doing that trip on the Friday and the equivalent week in 2018 the SL only started on the Saturday. Hence the watching trip the next day. If when the 2019 calendar is published I'm wrong then I can replan a little bit.

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