Japan Drive Route Guide
This is a one way driving route to go through Kyushu from North to South via Nagasaki within 6days. It is recommended for traveler who would like to visit nature spots as mush as possible in limited days.
It covers many wonderful nature scenery that represent Kyushu such as Kagamiyama Observatory in Karatsu, Ishidake Observatory in Sasebo, Unzen Jigoku, Kusasenri in Aso, Takachiho Gorge one of TOP beautiful gorge in Japan, Aoshima island and Sakurajima volcano. In addition, you can visit the towns still keep atmosphere and culture of old Japan, such as Arita and Imari Okawauchiyama world-famous pottery town, Dejima in Nagasaki, Shimabara Samurai town, Kumamoto where is famous for castle and Japanese garden and Senganen Garden in Kagoshima. You will take 1hour car ferry cruise inbetween Nagasaki and Aso too.
In spring, you can enjoy the wonderful cherry blossoms in Aso and Mochio Park in Miyazaki. Sun flower garden in Miyazaki is recommended in Summer. In autumn,Takachiho Gorge and Kirishima Shrine are the best places to see coloured leaves. Takeo/Ureshino is famous Onsen town and highly recommended to stay Japanese style Ryokan.
Of cause, you can enjoy local food! The must-eat food are squid in Yobuko, Saga Beef, Sasebo Burger, Nagasaki Champon, Kumamoto Ramen, Aso Red beef, Miyazaki beef and local chicken, black pork and shaved ice desert in Kagoshima and amberjack fish in Sakurajima. Our daily driving map will guide you recommended local restaurants for these dish.
This is one way route from Fukuoka to Kagoshima. You can go back to Fukuoka by 1.5 hour bullet train ride or take flight.
This route covers many spots but 6D5N is not enough. Travel pace will be busy and you need to skip some spots.If you have time, it is recommended to choose route at least 7D6N or longer.
Niji no Matsubarasightseeing
Mifuneyama Rakuen gardensightseeing
Urakami Catholic Churchsightseeing
Unzen Nita Ropewaysightseeing
Udo Jingu Shrinesightseeing
Kagoshima Ferry Terminalpublic_facility
Black Vinegar Kakuidasightseeing
Shiroyama Park Observation Decksightseeing
This day will head from Fukuoka to Taoke/Ureshino famous hot spring resorts.Mileage is about 190km without highway and it is recommended to start 8:00～9:00 if you don't lile huried travel. People arriving in Fukuoka afternoon should consider to stay in Fukuoka one night.
The first recommendation is "Sakurai Futamigaura Couple Rock(桜井二見ヶ浦の夫婦岩)" and you can take typical Japan-ish photo with Torii gate stainding in the sea.
The biggest hightlight on this day is "Kagamiyama Observatory(鏡山西展望台)". This is a observatory where you can see very panolamic scenery with Karatsu Bay and "Niji no Matsubara Pine Tree Forest(虹の松原)".It is highly recommended. After that you can drive through the forest and move to Yobuko(呼子) town to have a lunch. Their speciality is squid and you can taste amazing flesh squid you may never eaten before. Our daily driving map will guide you recommended restaurant. Before going to the inn, hidden pottery town "Imari Okawa Uchiyama(伊万里大川内山)" is nice to stop by.
At night, please take a rest with Onsen in either Takeo or Ureshino.
Rental car rental and return at Fukuoka
All Kyushu driving routes we providing start from Fukuoka.
Below 3 branchs is the most recommended.
①Fukuoka Airport International Terminal Branch : For travelers who take international flight.
②Fukuoka Airport No.1 Branch (Domestic Terminal) : For travelers who take domestic flight.
③Hakata Station Hakata Exit Branch : For travelers who stay Fukuoka before or after driving trip and who take Shinkansen(Bullet train).
You will stay in Takeo(武雄) town or Ureshino(嬉野) town on this day. The two towns are about 15 km away and about 30 minutes by car. Both cities are famous for Onsen and most of accommodations are Japanese Ryokan with Onsen. Some western style hotels there also have Onsen facilities too.
Takeo is smaller and quieter Than Ureshino and most of the accommodations are 4-5 star Ryoans. Ureshino has more options from 3 to 5 star hotels and Ryokans. Many restaurants in both town will be closed in the evening, so it is better to book a plan with dinner and breakfast. Most of accommodations don't charge parking fee.
This day will head from Takeo/Ureshino to Nagasaki. Since mileage is long(about 170km) without highway and it is recommended to start 8:00～9:00 if you don't lile huried travel.
The first destination is "Ishidake Observatory(石岳展望台)". You can enjoy 360 degree panolamic view with Kujukushima(99 islands) and Sasebo city with huge shipyard. Another "Tenkaiho Observatory(展海峰)" is more famous but the view from hear is more great.
Recommended lucnch on this day is either oyster or Sasebo burger. Our daily driving map will let you now nice shop and you must try.
Then let's drive to "Roadside Station YuhigaokaSotome(道の駅 夕陽が丘そとめ)" via "Saikaibashi Bridge(西海橋)". You can enjoy refreshing driving through beautiful coastal road "Nagasaki Sunset Road".
If you reach Nagasaki early, why don't you visit "Nagasaki Peace Park(長崎平和公園)"?
After dinner, it is highly recommended to take "Nagasaki Ropeway(長崎ロープウェイ)" to "Mt.Inasayama observatory(稲佐山展望台)". Japan Top 3 night veiw is waiting for you.
In addition, there are amazing cherry blossom and azelea places on this route. If you will travel in spring, our daily driving map will guide you these spots. It is really worth to see and please priority there.
You will stay in Nagasaki(長崎) city on this day. Nagasaki is very big city and there are many choices from 5 star hotels to reasonable 3 star hotels. It is city area and most of the accommodations are not Ryokans but western style hotels.
Nagasaki can divided into "Nagasaki Station side" and "Mt.Inasayama(稲佐山) side". There are many hotels with 3-4 stars on the Nagasaki station side, and it is convenient for sightseeing using a tram. As there are many restaurants, it is recommended to book your hotels wih breakfast only or without meals.
Some 4-5 star hotels on Mt.Inasayama side is inconvenient but you can enjoy beauriful night view of Nagasaki city which is counted top 3 night veiw in Japan. It is recommended to book with dinner and enjoy it with amazing night view.
Many hotels don't have own parking and they may charge additional parking fee.
This day will head from Nagasaki to Aso. Mileage is about 150km but you need to take car ferry from Shimabara port to Kumamoto port and there are many sightseeing spots along this load. So It is highly recommended to depart Nagasaki as early as possible. You had better to reach Shimabara port at reast before 14:00 to take 14:50 ferry.
From Nagasaki, let's move to "Unzen Jigoku Hell(雲仙地獄)". Unzen is famous for its volcanoes and Onsen. You can see fantastic scene with steam blowing our from the ground.
If the weather is nice, it is nice to go "Nita Pass 2nd Lookout(仁田峠第二展望所)" to see spectacular views looking over the Shimabara town. Then let's go to a samurai town Shimabara. Our daily driving map will guide you to recommended "Guzoni" local hot pot with vegetables and Mochi(rice cake) restaurant. Near Guzoni restaurant, you can visit "Shimabara Samurai town(武家屋敷跡)". You can visit traditional samurai houses there.
You need to take "Kyusho Ferry(九商フェリー)" from Shimabara port to Kumamoto port. It is better to reach Shimabara port one hour before departure. And it is 1 hour voyage to Kumamoto port.
Our daily driving map will let you know details about Kyusho ferry and how to take it.
The symbol of the city Kumamoto castle is under reconstruction from the damage of the earthquage. It may be nicer to visit sonderful Japanese garden "Suizenji Jojuen Garden(水前寺成趣園)".
Aso aea is 60km away from Kumamoto port and it takes about 2 hours. Aso area where you stay this day is countryside and you had better to eat dinner at your inn. Then please control your schedule to reach your inn by 18 around o'clock.
You will stay Aso(阿蘇) area on this day. Accommodations are located around Mt.Aso(阿蘇山) the symbol of this area. You can choose prefer type of accommodations from variety of options like fine Ryokan with Onsen, reasonable western style hotels and so on.
Aso area is consider as countryside. Restaurants, shops and convenience stores are very limited and difficult to find place to have dinner and breakfast. Don't forget to book plan with dinner and breakfast. Most of accommodations don't charge parking fee.
This day will head from Aso to Miyazaki famous hot spring resorts. Because of long mileage 210km, it is recommended to start 8:00～9:00 if you don't lile huried travel.
The biggest highlight of this day is "Takachiho Gorge(高千穂峡)" one of the most beautiful gorge in Japan and it can be highlight of your Kyushu travel too. It is located inconvenient area but you can visit there by your car easily. They have rental boat and highly recommended to try boating in amazing view.
"Kunimigaoka Observatory(国見ヶ丘展望台)" near the gorge is also worth to visit. You will be amazed due to 360 degree mountain view.
There are not many restaurants there but our daily driving map will suggest you nice soba restaurant, Beef steak restaurants and so on.
Then let's move to "Umagase(馬ヶ背)" a beautiful cape where you can sea panoramil ocean view. If you still have time before heading to Miyazaki, you can stop by "Mimitsu Town(美々津)". It is not well-known small fisherman's village which is listed as preserved district of traditional buildings.
We recommend you to take highway from Takachiho gorge to Umagase and Umagase to Miyazaki due to no sightseeing spots.
In addition, There are amazing cherry blossom places spring. If you will travel in sprong, our daily driving map will guide you these spots. It is really worth to see and please priority there.
You will stay in Miyazaki(宮崎) city on this day. Many accommodations are concentrated around Miyazaki Station. Most ofthe accommodations in this city are not Ryokans but western style hotels. As many restaurants opens till midnight, it is recommended to book your hotels wih breakfast only or without meals. Many hotels don't have own parking and they may charge additional parking fee.
If you would like to stay hotels with bigger room or Onsen facility, huge 5 star hotel "Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort" is recommended. It is located 6 km north of Miyazaki Station and you can enjoy nice Onsen too.
This day will head from Miyazaki to Kagoshima. Because of long mileage 210km, it is recommended to start 8:00～9:00 if you don't lile huried travel.
The first destination is "Aoshima Island(青島 鬼の洗濯板)" an island with unique terrain called demon's washboard. After coming back to Miyazaki, let's take highway to Miyakonojo(都城) city whose production of the meat is the highest in all ove Janan. Of cause beaf BBQ restaurant is recommended but our daily driving map will guide you other nice Itarian restaurant and cheap and good Udon noodle restauant too.
After lunch, why don't you enjoy 30 min walking at "Sekinoo Falls(関之尾の滝甌穴郡)" with unique terrein river?
Then, you can face to Kirishima(霧島)area. "Kirishima Shrine(霧島神宮)"which founded more than 1000 years ago is must-see. There are many other sightseeing spots like farm, highland, park which Onsen steam blowing us from the ground and so on.
There are not many sightseeing spots from Kirishima to Kagoshima and better to take highway.
In addition, there are amazing cherry blossom places on this route. If you will travel in spring, our daily driving map will guide you these spots. It is really worth to see and please priority there.
You will stay in Kagoshima(鹿児島) city. Kagoshima is a big town, there are many choices from 5 star hotels to reasonable 3 star hotels. Most of accommodations are western style hotels but some of them have Onsen facilities.
Around "Tenmonkandori station(天文館通駅)" of tram is consider as downtown area of Kagoshima city and many hotels and restaurants are concentrated.
If you go back to Fukuoka by bullet train, it is also recommended to stay around "Kagoshima Chuo Station(鹿児島中央駅)".
Kagoshima airport is located 40km away from Kagoshima city and it takes about 1hour and half. Please be careful if you take flight from there.
As many restaurants opens till midnight, it is recommended to book your hotels with breakfast only or without meals. Many hotels don't have own parking and they may charge additional parking fee.
This day is the day of between two consecutive stay in Kagoshima. You can relax this day because mileage is about 120km only and you need not to pack your luggage too. It is recommended to travel in a clock wise direction along the Kagoshima bay.
In the morning, let's drive up to ”Shiroyama Park Observation Deck(城山公園展望台)” in Kagoshima city to see an active volcano Sakurajima(桜島) the symbol of Kagoshima.
The biggest highlight of this day is "Senganen Garden(仙巌園)". There is house of Shimazu family who contributed to modernzation of Japan and you can enjoy Sakurajima view from their beautiful garden. After that, let's stop by "Tsubobatake(坂元のくろず壺畑情報館)" where is producting black vineger with traditional way since 200years ago.
Today's recommended lunch is ambejack fish restaurant. Our daily driving map will guide you know secret fisherman's restaurant which is not known by foreign tourists.Then let' s drive to "Yunohira Observatory(湯之平展望所)" at bottom of Sakurajima.
You can take ”Sakurajima Ferry” from Sakurajima to Kagoshia. It is 15min cruise. They are perating 70 cruises 24 hours and you need not to make reservation. We will let you know hoto to take it with driving map.
In addition, there are amazing azelea place in spring and cokoured Ginkgo trees forest. If you will travel in sprong or autumn, our daily driving map will guide you these spots. It is really worth to see and please priority there.
Kagoshima Chuo Station for bullet train to Fukuoka is located near the Kagoshima city. However, Kagoshima airport is located 40 km away from the city and it takes at least 1 hour. There are some traffic jam adound Kagoshima city and it takes time to filling up gas and return your car too. If you don't stay Kagoshima one more night and take flight on this day, please reach rental car shop at least 3 hours before the bullet train or the flight.
Return a car at Kagoshima
If you choose "One way route", you need to return your rental car at Kagoshima city. Below 2 branches are recommended.
①Kagoshima Chuo Station East Exit Branch : For travelers who take Shinkansen(Bullet train) to Fukuoka.
②Kagoshima Airport Branch : For travelers who take international or domestic flight from Kagoshima airport.