Japan Drive Route Guide

Area
Chugoku&Shikoku
Travel Period
5D4N
Route
685
Overview
Start
Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki
Goal
Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki
Way
return_trip
Travel Pace
busy
Distance
860 km
Rank
Highway fee
¥ 8,250
About this route
This driving route is 5 days and 4 nights that starts in Kitakyushu and drives north along the Sea of Japan, through the Chugoku mountains to the Seto Inland Sea. The driving distance is about 900km in total or about 180km per day. Although it is a 5-days itinerary, you can visit the sea, mountains, castles, shrines, temples, and 3 world heritages. It does not include a consecutive stay in the same city, and due to long driving distance and many sightseeing spots, the travel pace is busy. If you prefer a more relaxing itinerary, we recommend that you spend two nights in Matsue (the 3rd night) or Hiroshima (the 4th night). It is also recommended for travelers who like Onsens because you can stay a maximum of 3 nights at inns with Onsen. The "Tamatsukuri Onsen" in Matsue is nationally famous for its beauty skin onsen. The highlight of this route is "Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine", "Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome&Peace Memorial Park", and UNESCO world heritage "Itsukushima Shrine(Miyajima Island)". On day 1, you can enjoy driving across "Tsunoshima Ohashi Bridge" which spans a fascinating stretch of ocean. Recommended food on this route is fresh squid in Hagi, Sea bream rice in Matsue, Okonomiyaki, and oyster in Hiroshima. You also can enjoy a variety of flowers in each season. In spring, you can enjoy panoramic views of Cherry blossom, Tulips, Nemophila, moss pink, wisteria, and more. In summer, sunflower fields are really beautiful. And in autumn, you can enjoy amazing autumn-colored leaves at many sightseeing spots. Our daily driving map will recommend to you only the spots where is the best timing to visit.

Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki

sightseeing
16 716 181*31
Location Guide Page

Hagi

sightseeing
243 857 832*76
Location Guide Page

Karato Market & Kamon Wharf

restaurant
16 743 351*23
Location Guide Page

Tsunoshima Ohashi Bridge

sightseeing
851 347 386*85
Location Guide Page

Motonosumi Shrine

sightseeing
327 877 867*85
Location Guide Page

Karato Market & Kamon Wharf

restaurant
16 743 351*23
Location Guide Page

Roadside Station Hagi Sea Mart

public_facility
588 305 663
Location Guide Page

Hagiyaki Kaikan

sightseeing
588 304 382*02
Location Guide Page

Shokasonjuku Academy

sightseeing
243 890 037*80
Location Guide Page

Akiyoshidai Karst Observatory

sightseeing
243 216 627*55
Location Guide Page

Akiyoshido Limestone Cave

sightseeing
243 216 485
Location Guide Page

Beppu Benten Pond

sightseeing
327 329 114
Location Guide Page

Roadside Station Senza Kitchen&Omijima Cruise

public_facility
327 804 138
Location Guide Page

Senjojiki Country Kitchen

restaurant
327 880 386
Location Guide Page

Motonosumi Shrine

sightseeing
327 877 867*85
Location Guide Page

Tsunoshima Ohashi Bridge

sightseeing
851 347 386*85
Location Guide Page

Tsunoshima Lighthouse Park

sightseeing
851 371 007
Location Guide Page

Granvista Tsunoshima

restaurant
851 341 512*42
Location Guide Page

Hareruya

restaurant
851 317 824
Location Guide Page

Zero Cafe

restaurant
268 751 890*60
Location Guide Page

Fukutoku Inari Shrine

sightseeing
268 397 337
Location Guide Page

Kawara Soba Takase

restaurant
268 187 199
Location Guide Page

Irori Sanzoku

restaurant
93 672 303
Location Guide Page

Hagishinkai

restaurant
93 672 303
Location Guide Page

Nippon Rent a Car(Fukuoka Airport 1 (Domestic Terminal))

rental_car
13 354 214*12
Location Guide Page

Nippon Rent a Car(Fukuoka Airport International Terminal)

rental_car
13 293 280*25
Location Guide Page

Nippon Rent a Car(Hakata Station Hakata Exit)

rental_car
13 320 278*38
Location Guide Page

Hagi Castle Town

sightseeing
243 857 832*76
Location Guide Page

Hagi

sightseeing
243 857 832*76
Location Guide Page

Hamada

public_facility
241 188 265*81
Location Guide Page

Chomonkyo Gorge

sightseeing
870 277 667
Location Guide Page

Tsuwano Old Town

sightseeing
513 153 693*31
Location Guide Page

Taikodani Inari Shrine

sightseeing
513 152 315
Location Guide Page

Tsuwano Old Town

sightseeing
513 153 693*31
Location Guide Page

Taikodani Inari Shrine

sightseeing
513 152 315
Location Guide Page

Misumi Park

seasonal_spot
277 686 759*63
Location Guide Page

Karaoto Suisen Park

seasonal_spot
277 615 481
Location Guide Page

Sesshu's gardens and museum

sightseeing
Check Description
Location Guide Page

Roadside Station Silkway Nichihara

public_facility
513 487 001
Location Guide Page

Hori Teien Garden

sightseeing
410 296 119
Location Guide Page

Ishoku no Manabiya (Former Hatagasako Hospital)

restaurant
410 267 884*52
Location Guide Page

Unrinji Temple (Cat Temple)

sightseeing
410 070 717*56
Location Guide Page

Chomonkyo Gorge

sightseeing
870 277 667
Location Guide Page

Roadside Station Hagi Sea Mart

public_facility
588 305 663
Location Guide Page

Shokasonjuku Academy

sightseeing
243 890 037*80
Location Guide Page

Akiyoshidai Karst Observatory

sightseeing
243 216 627*55
Location Guide Page

Akiyoshido Limestone Cave

sightseeing
243 216 485
Location Guide Page

Hamada

public_facility
241 188 265*81
Location Guide Page

Matsue

sightseeing
163 501 408
Location Guide Page

Iwami Tatamigaura Beach

sightseeing
241 373 637*17
Location Guide Page

Sanbe Buried Forest

sightseeing
258 012 758
Location Guide Page

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

sightseeing
258 832 552
Location Guide Page

Adachi Museum of Art

sightseeing
109 158 324
Location Guide Page

Matsue Castle

sightseeing
163 501 408
Location Guide Page

Lake Shinji

sightseeing
163 441 218*51
Location Guide Page

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

sightseeing
258 832 552
Location Guide Page

Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo

sightseeing
258 832 329*07
Location Guide Page

Cape Hinomisaki

sightseeing
944 030 478*30
Location Guide Page

Yunotsu Onsen Town

sightseeing
599 042 190*60
Location Guide Page

Wadachinmi Vew & Cafe Shinwa

restaurant
599 381 171
Location Guide Page

Kazenoengawa

restaurant
355 694 664
Location Guide Page

Shimane Aquarium Aquas

sightseeing
241 437 829
Location Guide Page

Coin Restaurant Kouran

restaurant
134 457 879*05
Location Guide Page

Minami

restaurant
163 471 834*35
Location Guide Page

Waraku

restaurant
163 472 445*83
Location Guide Page

Iwami Tatamigaura Beach

sightseeing
241 373 637*17
Location Guide Page

Matsue

sightseeing
163 501 408
Location Guide Page

Hiroshima

sightseeing
22 189 435*61
Location Guide Page

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

sightseeing
258 832 552
Location Guide Page

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine village

sightseeing
599 144 182*37
Location Guide Page

No name observatory(Gonogawa River)

sightseeing
430 435 601*87
Location Guide Page

Adachi Museum of Art

sightseeing
109 158 324
Location Guide Page

Matsue Castle

sightseeing
163 501 408
Location Guide Page

Yuushien Garden

sightseeing
109 546 615
Location Guide Page

Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine

sightseeing
258 832 552
Location Guide Page

Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo

sightseeing
258 832 329*07
Location Guide Page

Soba En

restaurant
258 776 300*45
Location Guide Page

Inasa Beach

sightseeing
258 831 631*52
Location Guide Page

Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine village

sightseeing
599 144 182*37
Location Guide Page

Yunotsu Onsen Town

sightseeing
599 042 190*60
Location Guide Page

Roadside station Green Road Daiwa

public_facility
430 167 669
Location Guide Page

Ristorante La Loggetta

restaurant
430 346 091
Location Guide Page

No name observatory(Gonogawa River)

sightseeing
430 435 601*87
Location Guide Page

Wadachinmi Vew & Cafe Shinwa

restaurant
599 381 171
Location Guide Page

Mei Mei An

restaurant
163 531 016*74
Location Guide Page

National Bihoku Hills Park

seasonal_spot
267 614 325*67
Location Guide Page

Kimita Sunflower Field

seasonal_spot
244 686 733
Location Guide Page

Miyoshi Winery

sightseeing
244 389 852
Location Guide Page

Hirata Fruit Farm

seasonal_spot
267 034 809
Location Guide Page

Serakogen Farm

seasonal_spot
Check Description
Location Guide Page

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome&Peace Memorial Park

sightseeing
22 189 435*61
Location Guide Page

Nippon Rent a Car Hiroshima Station South exit

rental_car
22 192 888
Location Guide Page

Nippon Rent a Car Hiroshima Airport branch

rental_car
257 064 402*76
Location Guide Page

Hiroshima

sightseeing
22 189 435*61
Location Guide Page

Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki

sightseeing
16 716 181*31
Location Guide Page

Itsukushima Shrine(Miyajima island)

sightseeing
Check Description
Location Guide Page

Kintaikyo Bridge

sightseeing
115 891 532*56
Location Guide Page

Kanmon Strait(Mekari 2nd Observatory)

sightseeing
16 746 490*44
Location Guide Page

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome&Peace Memorial Park

sightseeing
22 189 435*61
Location Guide Page

Itsukushima Shrine(Miyajima island)

sightseeing
Check Description
Location Guide Page

Karato Market & Kamon Wharf

restaurant
16 743 351*23
Location Guide Page

Shunpanro

restaurant
16 744 602*64
Location Guide Page

Kintaikyo Bridge

sightseeing
115 891 532*56
Location Guide Page

Mori Garden & Museum

sightseeing
93 672 303
Location Guide Page

Kanmon Strait(Mekari 2nd Observatory)

sightseeing
16 746 490*44
Location Guide Page

Irori Sanzoku

restaurant
93 672 303
Location Guide Page

Nippon Rent a Car(Fukuoka Airport 1 (Domestic Terminal))

rental_car
13 354 214*12
Location Guide Page

Nippon Rent a Car(Fukuoka Airport International Terminal)

rental_car
13 293 280*25
Location Guide Page

Nippon Rent a Car(Hakata Station Hakata Exit)

rental_car
13 320 278*38
Location Guide Page

Nippon Rent a Car Hiroshima Airport branch

rental_car
257 064 402*76
Location Guide Page

Nippon Rent a Car Hiroshima Station South exit

rental_car
22 192 888
Location Guide Page
Day. 1Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki to Hagi
On this day you will head from Kitakyushu to Hagi. The mileage is about 160km. The first destination is "Karato Market & Kamon Wharf(唐戸市場&カモンワーフ)". It is a seafood market which is famous for its puffer fish and it is nice for breakfast. Then, let's head to the north and enjoy 60km driving along the seaside. There are some nice cafes along the way and it is nice to have short rest here. The best highlight of this day is "Tsunoshima Ohashi Bridge(角島大橋)" which is the very photogenic bridge connecting to Tsunoshima island. You can enjoy very breathtaking driving scenery. After that, "Motonosumi Shrine(元乃隅神社)" is another must-visit spot. This shrine became famous when CNN selected it as one of the 31 most beautiful places in Japan in 2015. The red torii gate that stretches all the way to the sea is very beautiful and photogenic. It is about 45km from the shrine to Hagi. Because Hagi is a small town and the number of restaurants is limited and spread, it is a little inconvenient to find restaurants after checking into the hotel. It is a good idea to have dinner before hotel check-in.
Rent a car at Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki
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 Hagi
On this day, you will stay in Hagii(Hagi), a small castle town that is registered as UNESCO World Heritage. [Location and type of accommodation] There are inns of various styles like guesthouse and Japanese style Ryokan from 2 stars to 4 stars. However, Hagi is a small town, and the number of inns and restaurants is limited. [Meal Plan for reservation] If you are staying at Japanese-style Ryokan, we recommend a plan with dinner and breakfast. If you are staying at a hotel, we recommend a plan without dinner. Hagi is famous for its fresh seafood, especially squid. It is recommended that you check into the hotel after having dinner. [Parking] Please take note that most inns have official parking. But in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately by some hotels.
Day. 2Hagi to Hamada
On this day you will head from Hagi to Hamada. The mileage is about 130km and it is not a busy day. However, if you haven't visited "Akiyoshidai Karst Observatory(秋吉台カルスト展望台)" and "Akiyoshido Limestone Cave(秋芳洞)" and really want to visit, it is not impossible to visit but highly recommend to depart 8:00. Then, let's head to "Chomonkyo Gorge(長門峡)". From Hagi to this gorge, you can enjoy driving along the Abukawa river and it is really nice driving route. If you are lucky, you may be able to watch wild monkeys too. It is about 35km from the gorge to the next destination "Tsuwano Old Town(津和野)". Tsuwano is a very beautiful old town with a moat where carp swim. There are Japanese-style catholic churches that are worth visiting. Additionally, "Taikodani Inari Shrine(太皷谷稲成神社)" is a must-visit spot. It is a very beautiful red shrine located on the hill and you can look down the Tsuwano town. The shrine also has a red torii gate tunnel with 263 steps. If you are fine walking, it is a great experience to walk from Tsuwano town to the shrine and to try to climb it. It is about 80km from Tsuwano to Hamada and it takes about 1hour and a half. There are some nice places to see flowers on this day too. Only the spots which are in good timing to visit during your travel will appear. If you find these seasonal spots on your map, it is highly recommended to visit.
Stay at Hamada
On this day, you will stay in Hamada city. [Location and type of accommodation] Many inns are concentrated in the southern side of Hamada Station. Most of the accommodations here are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels. However, Hamada is a small town, and the number of inns and restaurants is limited. [Meal Plan for reservation] There are some restaurants south of the station that is open until late and recommended to book a hotel with a breakfast-only plan. [Parking] Please take note that most inns have official parking. But in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately by some hotels.
Day. 3Hamada to Matsue
This day you will head from Hamada to Matsue. The mileage is about 150km. The first destination is "Iwami Tatamigaura Beach(石見畳ヶ浦)". It is an unknown and unique spot. You can stroll through caves carved by the waves and along the mysterious coast lined with chair-like rocks. After that, let's head to Mt. Sanbe's direction. You can enjoy the refreshing drive in the highland. "Sanbe Buried Forest" is a rare place where you can see the fossils of giant trees buried by a volcanic eruption from about 4,000 years ago. The best highlight of this day is "Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine(出雲大社)", the most famous shrine in Japan, along with the Ise Jingu shrine. You will be amazed at how majestic it is. If you still have time, it is recommended to drive to "Cape Hinomisaki(日御碕)". You can enjoy a pleasant drive along the sheer coastline to the cape and the sunset from the cape is amazing. It is about 50km from the cape to Matsue and takes about 70min.
Stay at Matsue
On this day, you will stay in Matsue city, the capital of Shimane Prefecture. There are 2 areas to stay. [Location and type of accommodation] Most of the inns are concentrated in the following two areas. [1]Matsue downtown(松江市街) The area is located between Matsue Station and Matsue Castle. Most of the accommodations here are 3-star western-style hotels and more reasonable prices than accommodations in Tamatsukuri Onsen. [2]Tamatsukuri Onsen(玉造温泉) It is a large hot spring resort located about 8 km southwest of the center of Matsue City. It is nationally famous for its hot spring water for beautiful skin, and most of the accommodations here are 4-5star Japanese Ryokans. [Meal Plan for reservation] [1]Matsue downtown Many restaurants are open until midnight around the hotel. [2]Tamatsukuri Onsen There are few restaurants and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast. You can enjoy a Japanese Kaiseki-style dinner. [Parking] [1]Matsue downtown Some hotels do not have parking lots, so be sure to book a hotel with a parking lot. Normally, the parking fee will be charged separately in addition to the room rate. [2]Tamatsukuri Onsen Most of the accommodations have their own free parking.
Day. 4Matsue to Hiroshima
On this day you will head from Matsue to Hiroshima. The mileage is more than 210km and there are many attractions along the route. It is recommended to depart at 8:00~9:00 especially if you want to visit Izumo Taisya Grand Shrine or Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Village. First, if you haven't been to the "Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine", the most famous shrine in Japan, along with Ise Jingu, it is recommended to visit first. To "Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Village(石見銀山)", please drive on the expressway. It was a prosperous silver mining and trading town and registered as UNESCO world heritage. You can stroll through the old mansions used for silver trading and the wonderful streets of the city. It is possible to see only a small part of the silver mine inside. It is also recommended to have lunch at a nice cafe in a renovated old house. Then, let's head to "Gonogawa River(江の川)". It is a wide river with dozens of beautiful bridges and the driving along the river is very refreshing. After riverside driving, it is time to enjoy flowers. The northern part of Hiroshima prefecture is a flower paradise and "Serakogen Farm(世羅高原農場)" and "National Bihoku Hill Park(国営備北丘陵公園)" are highly recommended especially from end of March to the middle of May. Hiroshima is located about 110-140km away and let's drive the expressway again. Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine Village is a nice spot. However, it takes at least 2hours to see and is time-consuming. If you stay in Hiroshima for one night only and feel you don't have enough time for sightseeing, or if you want to spend more time seeing flowers, you can consider skipping it.
Stay at Hiroshima
On this day, you will stay in Hiroshima(広島) city, famous for the Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park, and is also the largest city in the Chugoku & Shikoku region. It is recommended that you estimate 90-120 minutes to walk around the Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome, including the Peace Memorial Museum. [Location and type of accommodation] Many inns are concentrated between Hiroshima Station and Peace Park, so it is highly recommended to book accommodations that are convenient to walk to there. Most of the accommodations here are 2 to 4-star western-style hotels. [Meal Plan for reservation] Dinner is one of the highlights of Hiroshima city. Especially between Hiroshima Station and Peace Park, there are more than 1,000 restaurants in "Hatchobori (八丁堀)" and "Nagarekawacho(流川町)" area, which are the largest downtown in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions. Therefore. it is recommended to book your hotel with a plan with breakfast only or without meals. [Parking] Some hotels do not have parking lots, so be sure to book a hotel with a parking lot. Normally, the parking fee will be charged separately in addition to the room rate. Please remember that if the parking lot is full, you will be instructed to park in a public paid parking lot, so please be careful.
Day. 5Hiroshima to Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki
On this day you will head from Hiroshima to Kitakyushu. The mileage is about 230km including the expressway. It is a long journey and there are many famous attractions along the way too. It is highly recommended to depart at 8:00 - 9:00. The first and best highlight of this day is the world heritage "Itsukushima Shrine(厳島神社)" in Miyajima island which is really famous for its red Torii gate in the sea. You need to take the ferry to visit Miyajima island, and there are also many other attractions besides the Itsukushima shrine. Therefore, it takes about 3 hours including the ferry and lunchtime. Another highlight is Mt.Misen where there is an observatory where you can look down panoramic views of the Seto Inland Sea. However, it takes an additional hour to get to the observatory, which can be reached by ropeway, and another hour and a half if you want to climb to the top. Same as Nara park, you can meet wild deers on the island. Anagomeshi(Grilled Eel on the rice) and oysters are famous food here and nice for lunch too. After the island, let's drive about 20km to "Kintaikyo Bridge(錦帯橋)". You can take nice pictures with a really beautiful old bridge. Then, let's head in Kitakyushu's direction. Because it is about 160km and not many nice spots, please drive the expressway. Since it is a long drive, take a break at a parking area along the way. There are many sightseeing spots around Kanmon strait such as "Shimonoseki" and "Moji port" but we highly recommend you to visit "Mekari 2nd observatory(和布刈第2展望台)". This observatory is unknown, can be easy to get lost on the way, and it can be difficult to access. However, you will be amazed incredible Kanmon Strait along with a splendid view of the Kanmon Bridge. The view makes all the trouble getting there worth it! From the observatory, please refer below for your destinations. Kokura Station : 14km / 30min Hakata city : 90km / 80min Fukuoka airport : 90km / 80min
Return a car at Kitakyushu/Shimonoseki
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 5D4N Chugoku&Shikoku Route

Route numberStart cityGoal cityWayTravel PaceDistanceRankHighway feeDetail
613Osaka/KyotoOsaka/Kyotoreturn_triprelaxing1,070 km¥ 12,230check
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