Japan Drive Route Guide

Area
Kyushu
Travel Period
9D8N
Route
731
Overview
Start
Fukuoka
Goal
Fukuoka
Way
return_trip
Travel Pace
relaxing
Distance
1,390 km
Rank
Highway fee
¥ 10,900
About this route

Driving Route to go around almost whole Kyushu except Nagasaki and Westernside within 9 days. Because of continuous stay at both Yufuin and Kagoshima, it is recommended for travelers who prefer relaxing pace.
It covers a lot of wonderful nature scenery such as Kanmon Strait, Hiraodai Karst plateau, Daikanbo and Kusasenri in Aso, Takachiho Gorge one of TOP beautiful gorge in Japan, Aoshima island and Sakurajima volcano and Sogi falls which called ”Oriental Niagara”. In addition, you can visit the towns still keep atmosphere and culture of old Japan, such as Mojiko Port, Yufuin Yunotsubo street, Kitsuki Castle Town, Senganen Garden in Kagoshima, Kumamoto where is famous for castle and Japanese garden and canal city Yanagawa. In spring, you can enjoy cherry blossoms at Oita river, Mochio park in Miyazaki and Tadamoto Park in Kumamoto. Amazing sun flower field will be wait for you at Miyazaki in summer. In autumn,Yabakei Gorge and Kokonoe Suspension Bridge are the best places to see coloured leaves.
Yufuin/Beppu is very popular Onsen towns in all over Japan and highly recommended to stay Japanese style Ryokan.
You can enjoy many local food in Kyushu! The must-eat fod are puffer fish in Shimonoseki, Seki horse mackerel fish, Aso red beef, Miyazaki beef and local chicken, black pork and shaved ice desert in Kagoshima, amberjack fish in Sakurajima, Kumamoto Ramen and eel at Yanagawa. Our daily driving map will guide you recommended local restaurants for these dish.

Fukuoka

rental_car

Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki

sightseeing

Miyajidake Shrine

sightseeing

Kanmonkyo Bridge

sightseeing

Karato Market

sightseeing

Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki

sightseeing

Yufuin/Beppu

sightseeing

Hon Yabakei Gorge & Aonodomon

sightseeing

Usa Jingu Shrine

sightseeing

Kumano Magaibutsu Buddha

sightseeing

Yufuin/Beppu

sightseeing

Yufuin/Beppu

sightseeing

Kitsuki Castle Town

sightseeing

Beppu Jigoku Hells

sightseeing

African Safari

sightseeing

Yufuin/Beppu

sightseeing

Aso

public_facility

Kokonoe Suspension Bridge

sightseeing

Kurokawa Onsen town

sightseeing

Daikanbo Observatory

sightseeing

Aso

public_facility

Miyazaki

sightseeing

Takachiho Gorge

sightseeing

Amanoiwato Shrine

sightseeing

Umagase

sightseeing

Miyazaki

sightseeing

Kagoshima

rental_car

Udo Jingu Shrine

sightseeing

Kagoshima Ferry Terminal

public_facility

Senganen Garden

sightseeing

Kagoshima

rental_car

Kagoshima

rental_car

Black Vinegar Kakuida

sightseeing

Arimura Observatory

sightseeing

Shiroyama Park Observation Deck

sightseeing

Kagoshima

rental_car

Kumamoto

sightseeing

Sogi Falls

sightseeing

Aoi Aso Shrine

sightseeing

Suizenji Park

sightseeing

Kumamoto

sightseeing

Fukuoka

rental_car

Yanagawa Canal Cruise

sightseeing

Yoshinogari Historical Park

sightseeing

Tosu Premium Outlets

sightseeing
Day. 1Fukuoka to Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki

This day will head from Fukuoka to Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki aera. Mileage is about 120㎞ only and you can travel leisurely.
The first destination can be either "Nanzoin Big Buddha(南蔵院)" or "Miyajidake Shrine(宮地嶽神社)" where is famous for panoramic scenery with straight road extending to the sea. The highlights of the day are the Shimonoseki and Mojiko Port is located across the Kanmon Strait. It is recommended to have "Grilled Curry" at Mojiko or "Puffer fish" at Shimonoseki.
"Mojiko Port Retro Area(門司港レトロ)” is famous for it's beautiful old europiean-style buildings include "Old Moji Mitsui Club" where Einstein loved to stay. Shimonoseki is famous for "Karato Market(唐戸市場)" and "Kamon Wharf(カモンワーフ)".
Both Mojiko side and Shimonoseki side have observatory deck and the panoramic Kanmon Strait view with Kanmon Bridge is must-see.
If you have time in the night, to visit "Mt.Sarakurayama Observatory(皿倉山展望台)" is good idea. Amazing night view of Kitakyushu town is waiting for you.

Rent a car at Fukuoka

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).

Stay at Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki

You will stay either Kitakyushu(北九州) or Shimonoseki(下関) city on this day. The two cities are located across the Kanmon Strait and need to cross the Kanmon Bridge by car. Most ofthe accommodations in these cityes are not Ryokans but western style hotels.
If you stay Kitakyushu city, around Kokura station(小倉駅) is recommended. There are many 3-4 star hotels and convenient to have dinner due to many restaurants.
If you stay Shimonoseki city, there are some 5 star hotels with panoramic view and recommended if your budget allows. In that case, it is better to book with dinner and they may provice puffer fish dinner which is their speciality.
About breakfast, Karato Market(唐戸市場) in Shimonoseki side opens from early morning and it is also good idea to book room only and have a breakfast at the markt.

Day. 2Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki to Yufuin/Beppu

This day will head from Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki to Yufuin/Beppu a nationally famous hot spring resort. Mileage is about 160㎞ and not tough.
First destination should be "Hiraodai(平尾台)" very panoramic karst plateau.
Then let's move to the "Usa Jingu Shrine(宇佐神宮)" which is founded AD725. We recommend you to take highway from Hiraodai to Usa Jingu Shrine due to no sightseeing spots. Usa area is known as the land of "Karaage(Japanese fried chicken)" originated in Japan and recommended to have it as lunch. Our daily driving map will guide you nice shop.
Highlight "Beppu Jigoku Hells(別府地獄めぐり)" is highly recommended but is closed at 17:00. If you stay in Yufuin or Beppu continuously or will return back to Fukuoka tomorrow, it would be good visit Beppu on the next day.
In addition, we recommend you different place at cherry blossom period in spring and autumn coloured leaves period with our daily driving map. It is really worth to see and please priority there.

Stay at Yufuin/Beppu

You will stay either Yufuin(=Yufu City(由布院)) or Beppu(別府) on this day. Two cities are about 20 km away and about 30min by car. Both cities are very famous for Onsen and most of accommodations are Japanese Ryokan with Onsen. Some western style hotels there also have Onsen facilities too.
Most of accommodations in Yufuin are 4-5 star Ryokans. They will provide Onsen and nice Japanese Kaiseki style dinners. Restaurants and shops in the city close evening and you must book plan with dinner and breakfast.
Beppu has many accommodations from 3-5 star. If you book nice accommodation, it is also better to book plan with dinner and breakfast. There are many reasonable hotels around Beppu station and you can book without meals because of many local restaurants. But some hotels don't have own parking and they may charge additional parking fee.

Day. 3Yufuin/Beppu to Yufuin/Beppu

This day is the day of between two consecutive stay in Yufuin/Beppu. You can relax this day because mileage is about 100km only and you need not to pack your luggage too.
If you haven't visit "Beppu Jigoku Hells(べっぷ地獄めぐり)" and "Yufuin Yunotsubo street(由布院湯の坪街道)", its are first priority.
Another recommendation is "Kitsuki Castle Town(杵築城下町)". It is unknown small castle town with old Samurai houses and less foreign tourist.
If you have children in your group, "African Safari(アフリカンサファリ)" the zoo where you can drive by yourself inside of safari area, "Harmony Land(ハーモニーランド)" the theme park of Hello Kitty and "Takasaki Monkey Park(高崎山自然動物園)" park of wild monkies are recommended.
If you travel in Spring o Autumn, you can enjoy amazing chery blossoms and autumn coloured leaves from "Beppu Ropeway(別府ロープウェイ)".

Stay at Yufuin/Beppu

You will stay either Yufuin(=Yufu City(由布院)) or Beppu(別府) on this day. Two cities are about 20 km away and about 30min by car. Both cities are very famous for Onsen and most of accommodations are Japanese Ryokan with Onsen. Some western style hotels there also have Onsen facilities too.
Most of accommodations in Yufuin are 4-5 star Ryokans. They will provide Onsen and nice Japanese Kaiseki style dinners. Restaurants and shops in the city close evening and you must book plan with dinner and breakfast.
Beppu has many accommodations from 3-5 star. If you book nice accommodation, it is also better to book plan with dinner and breakfast. There are many reasonable hotels around Beppu station and you can book without meals because of many local restaurants. But some hotels don't have own parking and they may charge additional parking fee.

Day. 4Yufuin/Beppu to Aso

This day will head from Yufuin/Beppu to Aso. Mileage is 140㎞ only. However, this day has many attractions and it is recommended to start 8:00~9:00 if you don't lile huried travel.
The first destination is "Kokonoe Suspension Bridge(九重夢大吊橋)". In particular, you can see wonderful colored leaves in the Autumn. Then you can stop by farm which provide fresh yogurt drinks and beautiful wetland which has 1 - 2.5km walking trails. "Kurokawa Onsen town(黒川温泉)" is good place to have lunch. Our daily driving map will let you know nice recommended restaurants there.
The biggest highlight on this day is driving along the Aso Sky Line from "Skyline observatory" to "Daikanbo Observatory(大観峰)". Driving on outer rim of a Aso caldera will be your lifetime unforgettable memory. If you have time, let's go to "Kusasenri(草千里)". Breathtaking panoramic grass plains are waiting for you.
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.

Stay at Aso

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.

Day. 5Aso to Miyazaki

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.

Stay at Miyazaki

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.

Day. 6Miyazaki to Kagoshima

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.

Stay at Kagoshima

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.

Day. 7Kagoshima to Kagoshima

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.

Stay at Kagoshima

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.

Day. 8Kagoshima to Kumamoto

This day will head from Kagoshima to Kumamoto. Because of long mileage 2000km, it is recommended to start 8:00~9:00 if you don't lile huried travel.
If you haven't been "Shiroyama Park Observation Deck(城山公園展望台)" and "Senganen Garden-仙巌園" in Kagoshima city, you should visit there first.
Then, let's drive to first destination "Maruike Spring Water Park-丸池湧水". There is no sightseeing spots from Kagoshima city to here and better to take highway.
The biggest highlight of this day is "Sogi Falls(曽木の滝)". This is a great water fall which is called Eastern Naiagara whose width is 210m. It can be highlight of your whole trip too. Highly recommended.
Then, let's drive to Hitoyoshi city. You can visit a very unique shrine "Aoi Aso Shrine(青井阿蘇神社)" which has thatched roof.
It is recommended to have a lunch in this city too. There are nice Eel, Ramen and Gyoza resaurant in this city and our daily driving map will guide you there.
There is no sightseeing spots from Hitoyoshi city to Kumamoto too and recommended to take highway. It will be long journey and you may reach Kumamoto at night. You can visit sightseeing spots in Kumamoto city tomorrow.

Stay at Kumamoto

You will stay Kumamoto(熊本) city on this day. Kumamoto city is large and it is recommended to stay around "Kumamoto Castle(熊本城)" where is consider as downtown of Kumamoto city. Most of the accommodations there are not Ryokans but western style hotels.
In particular, restaurants are concentrated in the "Kamidori street(上通り)", "Shimodori street(下通り)"and "Shinshigai area(新市街)" on the southwest side of Kumamoto Castle, and you can enjoy local food of Kumamoto. On the other hand, you better to avoid Kumamoto station area due to location and less restaurants. Many hotels don't have own parking and they may charge additional parking fee.

Day. 9Kumamoto to Fukuoka

This day will go back to Fukuoka from Kumamoto. Mileage is about 150km.
If you haven't visit "Kumamoto castle(熊本城)”, let's go there first.but please take note that it is under reconstruction from the damage of the earthquake. It may be nicer to visit sonderful Japanese garden "Suizenji Jojuen Garden(水前寺成趣園)". Next destination is Yanagawa town. "Ohana Shotoen(御花松涛園)" is old house and amazing Japanese garden which was built about 300 years ago. If you have time, there is 70min "Yanagawa Canal Cruise(柳川お堀巡り)" and you can enjoy old town and warehouses from the boat.
Recommended lunch on this day are traditional grilled eel and cheap and good local Udon noodle. We will let you know all the restaurants with daily driving map.
"Yame Chuo Tea Gaden(八女中央大茶園)" is highly recommended to visit. It is the secret spot where can be reach by car only and you will be amazed due to panolamic scenery covered with green tea trees. If you would like to enjoy shopping before going back to your country, you can stop at "Tosu Premium Outlets(鳥栖プレミアムアウトレット)".
There are some traffic jam adound Fukuoka and it takes time to filling up gas and return your car too. If you don't stay Fukuoka and take flight on this day, please reach rental car shop at least 3 hours before the flight.

Return a car at Fukuoka

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).

Check Other 9D8N Kyushu Route

Route numberStart cityGoal cityWayTravel PaceDistanceRankHighway feeDetail
729FukuokaKagoshimaone_way_tripnormal1,230 km¥ 3,100check
730FukuokaFukuokareturn_tripbusy1,390 km¥ 9,600check
732FukuokaKagoshimareturn_tripnormal1,240 km¥ 6,800check
Sorry, we provide our service for Kyushu and Okinawa only. Other areas are under development.