Jump to content
paolo

South Japan two weeks tour

Recommended Posts

paolo

Hello guys,

I'm planning my next holiday in Japan at the end of next month.

The initial idea was to spend two weeks crossing the whole country, from South to North, riding all the Shinkansen's.

It was doable but I wouldn't have that much time exploring. So I decided to the Southern part, from Kyushu to Nagoya.

I bought the JR pass for two weeks, Green. O'll mostly ride JR Kyushu and JR West trains, with a few private railways ones.

I'm still not sure If I want to buy the JR Kyushu pass. It will be 15,000 yen for three days. I will ride a few of the historic trains, and I'm afraid I won't find available seats if I make the reservations only when I get to Kagoshima. If I buy the JR Kyushu pass, it will allow me to reserve seats one month in advance, so I'm sure I'll get them.

 

Here's the itinerary:

 

1315800453_Image097.thumb.png.6ec0796652f1791ddf70a6c6c69905d4.png

 

DAY 1

Fly into Osaka, Shinkansen to Kagoshima, ride the Ibusuki no Tamatebako 

DAY 2

Visit Sakurajima, then Hayato no Kaze, Shinpei, Kawasemi Yamwasemi to Kumamoto

DAY 3

Shinkansen Tsubame to Kurume, Yufuin no Mori to Yufuin, Yufu to Beppu

DAY 4

Sonic to Usa, Sonic to Hakata, then Ltd Exp Kamome to Nagasaki stopping at Hizen Kashima

DAY 5

Gunkajima tour, Ltd Exp Kamome to Hakata

DAY 6

Visit Dazaifu, Shinkansen to Hiroshima, then Miyajima

DAY 7

Hiroshima, Shinkansen and local train to Onomichi

DAY 8

Shimanami Kaido bike ride

DAY 9

Shinkansen to Himeji then to Shin-Osaka, then Ltd Exp Kuroshio to Kii-Katsuura

DAY 10

Ltd Exp Wide View Nanki to Taki, visit Ise then Nagoya

DAY 11

Spaland amuement park in Nagoshima

DAY 12

Wide View Shinano to Nagiso, Nagoya railway museum, Shinkansen to Kyoto

DAY 13

Visit some temples/shrines (I've already been in Kyoto), railway museum, Kintetsu line to Yoshino

DAY 14

Visit Yoshino then Osaka

DAY 15

Shopping in Osaka

 

 

What do you guys think?

 

Paolo

Share this post


Link to post
katoftw

Day one and two I dont think are realistic.

 

Day one has you one a shinkansen for almost 5 hours, plus the time from Kix to Shin-Osaka, so not sure you;d make Kagoshima Chuo in time for your joyful train.

 

Day to also from memory, if you wanna do the Hisatus line in its full length, you need to get the first Hayato no Kaze around 0930.  No time for Sakurajima, which I think you need a half day aka 4hrs for minimum.

Share this post


Link to post
paolo

The flight lands into Kansai at 6:20 am, transfer to Shin-Osaka at 8:08, then Shinkansen at 9:17; I'll be in Kagoshima at 1:30pm

The Ibusuki train leaves Kagoshima-Chuo at 2:02pm, so I should be able to catch it.

If the plane is late, I'll just take some pictures of the train at the station 😉

 

Sakurajima in the morning; then there's an Hayato no Kaze service at 1:23 pm, then Shimpei at 3:16 then Kawasemi Yamasemi at 5:24pm. It should be ok.

My only concern is to be able to find available seats.

 

Share this post


Link to post
katoftw

Any reason you cannot do the itinerary in reverse?  Your only reserved seat only trains are in the first 3 days.  Gives you a 10-12 day head start on booking seats.

 

Plus if you do the day two in the opposite direction, Kawasemi Yamwasemi 1 has a car of non reserved seating, as opposed to Kawasemi Yamwasemi 6 with is all reserved seating.  One less reserved seat you have to worry about.

Share this post


Link to post
paolo

That would have been a good idea actually, to do it in reverse! But I've already booked all the hotels on booking.com so it would be a pain now to cancel them and re-book.

I might get the JR Kyushu pass for 3 days so I can book the trains on line one month in advance

Share this post


Link to post
Kamome

Day 6 looks incredibly busy. The best way to get to Dazaifu is to take the Nishitetsu Omuta line. You need to get into Tenjin which is a short ride on the subway from Hakata and get the train from Nishitetsu Fukuoka station. 

 

Then return to Hakata via Nishitetsu line and subway, catch the shinkansen to Hiroshima. This won’t leave you a lot of time to get the ferry out to Miyajima.

Share this post


Link to post
katoftw

Yeah that is true. Dazaifu warrants 4 hours. Miyajima warrants 4 hours but preferibly all day. Plus travel times. I'd probably omit Dazaifu from that day and just do Miyajima.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
serotta1972

On my next trip to Japan,  I plan on covering the same area.  I just came from Japan and went to Hiroshima and then to Onomichi planning on doing the Shimanami Kaido bike ride.  I wasn't able to do it because I couldn't get a bike at 7 am and the only place that was open at that time already had all their bikes rented out that day.  Most of the rental bike places open at 9 am.  Make reservations if you can.  I plan to return to Onomichi and do the ride and will be bringing my Bike Friday folding bike.  Have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Kamome

Also be aware that a lot of businesses don’t open until 10am in many places. 

 

Its definitely a Japanese style plan. Trying to squeeze in as much everyday as possible. My in-laws took a European trip doing 6 countries in 9 days.

Share this post


Link to post
Keith

That is a very tight schedule, I spent 22 days over the new year period and only went to places basically around and between Hiroshima and Tokyo and up to Nagano. I didn’t really have any days off, apart from a day skiing (well the kids did). 

If I had known I would become interested in JR modeling at the time I would have done a few different things and taken a lot more rail/general photos, I also had no idea this forum existed.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
paolo
On 4/22/2019 at 8:38 AM, Kamome said:

Day 6 looks incredibly busy. The best way to get to Dazaifu is to take the Nishitetsu Omuta line. You need to get into Tenjin which is a short ride on the subway from Hakata and get the train from Nishitetsu Fukuoka station. 

 

Then return to Hakata via Nishitetsu line and subway, catch the shinkansen to Hiroshima. This won’t leave you a lot of time to get the ferry out to Miyajima.

 

On 4/22/2019 at 11:59 PM, katoftw said:

Yeah that is true. Dazaifu warrants 4 hours. Miyajima warrants 4 hours but preferibly all day. Plus travel times. I'd probably omit Dazaifu from that day and just do Miyajima.

 

On day 6 I'll visit Dazaifu in the morning, I'll arrive in Miyajima in the afternoon. I'll visit it also the morning after, so I'll spend almost 24 hours on the island.

 

 

On 4/23/2019 at 2:07 AM, serotta1972 said:

On my next trip to Japan,  I plan on covering the same area.  I just came from Japan and went to Hiroshima and then to Onomichi planning on doing the Shimanami Kaido bike ride.  I wasn't able to do it because I couldn't get a bike at 7 am and the only place that was open at that time already had all their bikes rented out that day.  Most of the rental bike places open at 9 am.  Make reservations if you can.  I plan to return to Onomichi and do the ride and will be bringing my Bike Friday folding bike.  Have fun!

 

Thank you for the hint, I'll make sure to reserve a bike before I go.

 

 

On 4/23/2019 at 2:12 AM, Kamome said:

Also be aware that a lot of businesses don’t open until 10am in many places. 

 

Its definitely a Japanese style plan. Trying to squeeze in as much everyday as possible. My in-laws took a European trip doing 6 countries in 9 days.

 

I know it's very tight, but I usually wake up very early in the morning and never get tired when traveling. Also I'll spend a lot of time on trains, that's not very tiring 😉

 

Most of the shrines and temples open early, those are the only places I plan on visiting early.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
paolo

So I also go the JR Kyushu pass for three days. This way I was able to reserve seats for the Ibusuki no Tamatebako, Hayato no Kaze, Kawasemi Yamasemi, Yufuin no Mori and Yufu (you can book starting from one month in advance). Most of them had very few seats left.

I couldn't find the Shinpei/Isaburo on the reservation page. So I emailed JR Kyushu support, and they replied that unfortunately it's not possible no make online reservations for those trains.

Fortunately they also have non-reserved cars, so that shouldn't be a big deal.

Share this post


Link to post
paolo

Ok, so I came back a few weeks ago from my Japan trip. Every time I visit Japan, I love it more and more.

I managed to to everything I planned, and more.

 

The Kyushu region is really awesome. A lot of beautiful places to visit, and almost no foreign tourists.

 

 

Here are a couple of videos from a few Joyful trains in Kyushu:

 

Ibusuki no Tamatebako

Very cool color scheme, also the benches on the platform are half black and half white.

Only one stop, some nice views of Kagoshima Bay and Sakurajima volcano, but nothing to write home about.

 

 

 

Hayato no Kaze

Some better views of the volcano, a few stops in the country side

 

 

 

Isaburo / Shinpei

Probably my favorite. It stops in very pretty country side stations. At Yatake St., you can admire a D51 steam locomotive.

Lots of really amazing views of the valleys. In most of the stations, you can buy some products from local farmers or artisans.

The train also does a loop and a switchback!

 

 

 

 

To be continued...

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×