【Guided】Visit Kyushu - 13 days

Located south of the Japanese archipelago, Kyushu is the island where Japan itself begins.

Kyushu island is the place where the gods enshrined by Shinto lived, according to the many legends that sets in Kyushu.
Many sites in Kyushu are derived from the Japanese mythology.  In addition, geographically, Fukuoka Prefecture and Korea are separated by the sea only 200 kilometers, and from Antiquity to the Medieval Ages, it was the gateway to continental culture and diplomatic relations. During the period of national isolation, Nagasaki was the only commercial port which opens to the western countries . This part of Japan was always ahead of the cultural knowledge of its time.

Far from the capital city, traditions and ancestral culture continue with full of nature, Nagasaki is fascinating place to discover various charms of the country. 
Kyushu is also common for a mine of gourmet what is extremely popular among Japanese. They made original mixture dishes with European and with Chinese, but little is known about those dishes, so you will discover something new.
Kyushu is also known for Shochu (Japanese brandy distilled from barley, rice, sweet potato ... and contains 25% to 45% alcohol), which will satisfy fans.
The people of Kyushu are warm and friendly. You will probably have great time with local people!
 

The amount written on the page is the price for 2 people (price per person).
If you would like a price for a group of more than 2 people, please feel free to contact us. 

Please indicate the preferred departure date by clicking on the calendar and then the preferred details in the request section.

 Other Guided Tours
 Contact us here


 

- Travel to Japan with Peak Experience -

13
From ¥586,000

Overview

Located south of the Japanese archipelago, Kyushu is the island where Japan itself begins.

Kyushu island is the place where the gods enshrined by Shinto lived, according to the many legends that sets in Kyushu.
Many sites in Kyushu are derived from the Japanese mythology.  In addition, geographically, Fukuoka Prefecture and Korea are separated by the sea only 200 kilometers, and from Antiquity to the Medieval Ages, it was the gateway to continental culture and diplomatic relations. During the period of national isolation, Nagasaki was the only commercial port which opens to the western countries . This part of Japan was always ahead of the cultural knowledge of its time.

Far from the capital city, traditions and ancestral culture continue with full of nature, Nagasaki is fascinating place to discover various charms of the country. 
Kyushu is also common for a mine of gourmet what is extremely popular among Japanese. They made original mixture dishes with European and with Chinese, but little is known about those dishes, so you will discover something new.
Kyushu is also known for Shochu (Japanese brandy distilled from barley, rice, sweet potato ... and contains 25% to 45% alcohol), which will satisfy fans.
The people of Kyushu are warm and friendly. You will probably have great time with local people!
 

The amount written on the page is the price for 2 people (price per person).
If you would like a price for a group of more than 2 people, please feel free to contact us. 

Please indicate the preferred departure date by clicking on the calendar and then the preferred details in the request section.

 Other Guided Tours
 Contact us here


 

- Travel to Japan with Peak Experience -

Day 1 :

Itinerary of the day 1

Arrival in Fukuoka  -  Check in at the hotel  -  Free time at Fukuoka city
Overnight near Hakata station.

※ If you wish to extend your stay, please contact us on the day before the tour begins.

Free visit of Fukuoka

Fukuoka is the next largest city after Osaka in western Japan, its central district called Hakata, consisting of many shops surrounding the station.

Fukuoka airport is only about 5 minutes away from Hakata station by metro, one of the most accessible city from the airport nearby in the world. Another very popular area is the Tenjin area along with Nakagawa river, where there is a large number of restaurants and food stalls offering local specialties.

In addition, the Canal City shopping center includes some of the most famous brand stores, and many trendy cafes. You should not miss the famous Hakata Ramen, noodles soaked in the pork-bone soup.
 
The Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

Shinto Shrine, Dazaifu Tenmangu is a popular tourist site, a 40-minute bus ride from Hakata Bus Terminal, and a 25-minutes train ride from Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station. Dazaifu was once the province of the government general agency, intended to protect the country from possible attacks from the Asian continent.

Michizane Sugawara who had been a high-ranking government officer, was demoted from Kyoto in the 10th century because of the slander and political chicanery of his rivals. After his death he was deified and worshipped as a diety and enshrined in the Dazaifu. 
Michizane was an excellent in scholar and known widely, so that he has been respected as the deity of scholarship. 
The Dazaifu Tenmangu becomes busy at the school examinations season every year. Besides of the event, worship-visitors from across the country visit the shrine to pray for passing various examinations. 

There are shops offering the Dazaifu specialty, a rice cake plum, which is said to have been eaten by Michizane Sugawara and to healed the sorrows of the demotion.
 
Hotel near Hakata station

Day 2 :

Itinerary of the day 2

Depart from Fukuoka  -  about 3 hours drive - arrival at Kurokawa onsen (hot springs) around noon - after check-in at an accommodation, free visit to Kurokawa onsen, also eat lunch freely

Accommodations in Kurokawa onsen
Ryokan in Kurokawa onsen
breakfast, dinner

Outline and charms of the region Kurokawa hot spring/ Stay at Kurokawa onsen

What is Kurokawa onsen?
Surrounded by lush green mountains, Kurokawa Onsen holds 30 onsen structures and is located far from highway and rail stations. You will be impressed by the nature in the rural area changing beautifully through seasons, and the water of the onsen is pure and of a rare quality. Kurokawa makes you forget about time.
The concept of Kurokawa Onsen is: 30 onsen and landscape of the Satoyama (describing the harmony of a small village hidden in the heart of the mountains) unite as “One inn” to constitue Onsen-kyo (Onsen village).
Nowadays, the Onsenkyo is a nationwidely well-known onsen site. It is gaining interest from overseas for ranking two stars by Michelin Green Guide Japan 2009, which is a rare case for an onsen.
Each ryokan is a “detached room” whereas  small pathes connecting each ryokans are “corridor “.  The whole scenery of the onsen village blends with the surroundings as if one ryokan was built in nature. 

 
How to enjoy Kurokawa Onsen

1.Food & Strolling the village

Once you stroll the Kurokawa Onsen-kyo (onsen village), you may have impression as if you are strolling a Japanese garden, because the ryokans freckle along the river melted into the surroundings and make the great harmony.

Since the village avoid overbuild stores and restaurant, the number of the restaurant is relatively small. But those restaurants create beautiful harmony with the landscape and even it makes the restaurants more attractive. While you are strolling the area, why don’t you rest at a trendy cafe or stop over various restaurants.

If you are Sake lover, there is a “Kappo ticket” (1500 yen p.p.) available, which enables you to taste Sake with snacks at three different shops.


2. Walking in the vicinity

How about stretching your legs on one of the nearby hiking trails?

There are 3 hiking trails along with the Chikugo-gawa River, you hear the rustle of the forest trees, the singing of birds with the background music of the brook, all your senses will be awake. Each trail takes about 1.5 hours on foot, that is enough for the forest bathing. In the vicinity of Mount Aso-Kuju National Park where you can reach 1 hour walk at a slow pace, you will have beautiful landscapes and panoramas in Hiranodai.

Rental bicycles, bento box for your hiking are available with additional charge.
 
3. Go round the onsen (hot springs)

The highlight of Kurokawa onsen is of course many hot springs (onsen in Japanese) tour. The village establishes a pass (1200 yen p.p.) to access the three different hot springs at ryokan. Each ryokan has elaborated baths independently that will bring you hard decision. 
When you stroll the area after you have changed into the Yukata (light summer version of Kimono), you will forget about the time.
 

Day 3 :


Depart from Kurokawa by a private car  -  Mt. Aso sightseeing: Daikanbo, Kusasenri-gahama, Nakadake crater and Sunasenri (the access may be prohibited in case of the volcanicity is active)  -   lunch at Aso caldera (included)  -  Takachiho sightseeing: Amanoiwato jinja, Takachiho walk  -  Check in a hotel (Takachiho)  -  Walk to Takachiho jinja after the dinner  -  Watch Yokagura  (traditional Shintoistic danse, approx. 1 hour) starts at 20:00

Accommodation is located at Takachiho town

*In case Mt. Aso Nakadake crater is restricted to enter, we go to Shirakawa river head and so on as alternatives. 
 
Hotel in the city of Takachiho
dinner, lunch

Visiting Mt.Aso regeon


What is Mt. Aso?

Mt. Aso is one of the world's largest calderas, an active volcano registered in the World Geopark, composed of a central crater hill and outer rim. There are several towns inside the huge rim, which stretches 25 km north-south and 18 km east-west.

The mountain has been active since ancient times, and it still spouts fumes. The reason why Kumamoto is called the country of fire is derived from Mt. Aso.
On the other hand, there are several clear spring water sources in the caldera whose land is fertile and flat suitable for agriculture and livestock farming, and has provided many benefits to the local area.

In addition, volcanic activity provides good quality hot springs spread everywhere in Kumamoto prefecture, including the previously introduced Kurokawa Onsen. That gives various tourist resources as a hot spring paradise.
 
Daikanbo

There is a landmark observation deck located on the north side of Aso Gairinzan. You can overlook a central cone called Aso Gogaku, the surrounding Gairinzan, and the entire town of Aso. There is Kuju range you can also overlook in the other side. 
Aso Gogaku (five mountains) can be seen from Daikanbo is also referred as ”Buddha lying in the Nirvana” since those mountains look as if Buddha is lying.
 
Kusasenri-gahama

Kusasenri is located in a great location where you can overlook Mt. Aso rises smoke. There is a large pond with rainwater in the middle of a large prairie, 1 kilometer in diameter, where cows and horses are grazing. The landscape is completely changed in seasons, each of them attracts tourists.
 
Nakadake kako (crater)

The first crater of Nakadake, one of the Aso Gogaku, is a rare tourist attraction in the world where you can experience activities of active volcanoes close by. The crater lake (Yudamari) filled with rainwater and spring water boiled by magma. You can see the mysterious crater lake of emerald green from the observation deck.
A short distance from the observation deck, Sunasenri is a black plain covered with volcanic ash, where erupted volcanic bombs here and there. The site presents mysterious landscape, when the rain stops falling, the earth starts steaming.

※ Access to the crater is restricted if volcanic activity becomes active and toxic gas is generated.
In that case, it will be changed to an alternative tourist site such as Shirakawa water source in Aso caldera.
 
Take the panoramic road of Aso Gogaku and go down to the flat area in the caldera, lunch time.
 

Sightseeing of Takachiho / Staying in Takachiho


After lunch, we will run for 1 to 1.5 hours to Takachiho.

What is Takachiho?

Takachiho is located northwest of Miyazaki prefecture, next to Kumamoto.

In Japanese mythology, the town is known as a place where the gods descended from Takamahara. Thus, the town is referred to sacred area where “living place of the gods” and “the country of the mythology”.

There are several mysterious sightseeing spots in the town that creates the right atmosphere for the setting of the mythology.

Also you will see the scenic beauty to present Japan with full of mysterious atmosphere created by Takachiho Gorge and the waterfall of Manai that falls in the Gokase River.
 
Amanoiwato-jinja & Amanoyasugawara

Amanoiwato-Jinja enshrines “Amano-iwato cave” as the object of worship that is believed be once the hiding place of Amaterasu Omikami (the god of the highest rank according to the Japanese mythology) when she got angry with his brother’s boisterous.

As you walk up to Iwato river from the shrine for 15 minutes, you will reach mystic riverside, where pile of stones and torii (guard frame) are waiting.
That is “Amanoyasu-gawara”, famous as a power spot, location thought to be flowing with mystical energy, where myriad of Japanese gods gathered from all over the country to consult how they lure Amaterasu out from the cave she hid.
 
Takachiho Gorge

Takachiho Gorge is designated in the scenic point and the national treasure, where cliffs as much as 80 to 100 m high continues for 7 km. The gorge is the best known sightseeing spot in Takachiho, where you will see many scenic spots along the gorge.

Once you enter the gorge, it takes your breath away with cliffs stand in a characteristic square shape made of cooled coagulated lava flow.
There is a pavement along the gorge where you can view such as “ Kihachi no chikaraishi (huge stone)” and “Sennin no byobuiwa (stone pier)”.
Also there is a must-see spot in Takachiho called “Manai falls”, mysterious falls that falls  17 m high.If you look up the falls from a boat afloat nearby, you will feel the splash and see rocks deeply curved, which you will not discover from the pavement walking. 
 
Takachiho Yokagura

Kagura is a shrine ritual to conciliate souls with the gods welcomed from Takamahara.Traditional Kagura that has been transmitted Takachiho region is performed in nights as it can trace back to the date when Amaterasu Omikami hid in the cave and myriad of gods tried to lure her out by dance performed by Ameno Uzume. The performance starts at 8 pm every nights for one hour, representative four works from Kagaku #33 are performed: Tajikarao no mai, Uzume no mai, Totori no mai, and Goshintai no mai.

It is a great opportunity to watch the Takachiho Yokagura, designated as an important intangible folk-cultural property.
 

Day 4:


Itinerary of the day 4

Leave Takachiho after lunch  -  approx. 3 hours by long distance coach -  Arrive at Kumamoto city, around noon  -  Suizenji park (admission is included)  -  Free lunch time (option lunch is available)  -  Check-in the hotel (*even though the room is not ready, you can leave your luggage)   -  Kumamoto castle (no access to inside the castle due to reconstruction from the Kumamoto earthquake) 

Accommodation is located in Kumamoto city
 
hotel in Kumamoto city
breakfast

Sightseeing in Kumamoto city【Staying in a hotel of Kumamoto city】


Kumamoto city

Kumamoto city is the prefectural capital of Kumamoto prefecture, the third largest city in Kyushu next to Fukuoka and Kokura. 
It is located in the center of Kyushu Island and has assumed the role of relay station from around the island.

In 2016, several magnitude 6 earthquakes occured in the region caused severe damage in and around Kumamoto. Since then, not only Kumamoto, but also all of Japan, are making efforts to rebuild the city as it was before.
Suizenji Park

This garden is one of the most representative sites of the city of Kumamoto. The style of the garden called Momoyama, an elegant stroll garden with a central pond whose spring water comes from Mt. Aso. It was created by the feudal lord of Kumamoto almost 400 years ago, since then it has been maintained and improved for generations by successive lords. There you will see the finesse of a Japanese garden in addition to a tsukiyama (mound imitating Mt. Fuji) is not to be missed.
As you see the landscape, it may bring you a image of  the ukiyo-e painting painted by Hiroshige Utagawa from the view of Mt. Fuji seems to rise on the pond imitating the ocean.

There is the Izumi shrine inside the park, dedicated to the lords who have succeeded for generations, and the spring water known as "Kami no mizu (the water of the gods)" present in the enclosure of the sanctuary to attract people from neighboring prefectures for drinking the water.

After visiting the garden, you have free lunch time. The option : lunch at a restaurant of long standing called "Kami no mizu" for a local cuisine .
 
Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto castle whose nicknamed "ginnan-jo (Ginkgo Castle)"  is reffered as one of the three most beautiful castles in Japan, originally a medieval fortress built by Kiyomasa Kato, the master of castles.
It was also the scene of the battle between the rebellion of the last samurai and the government army during the Satsuma Rebellion, a model for the film "The last samurai", the castle saved rebellion samurais for 52 days.
Its tenshu (donjon) was destroyed during the war and rebuilt, the architecture of this vast castle continues to impress with its ingenuity, specially its large stone wall were real masterpieces.

But the earthquake hit Kumamoto in April 2016 severely, that damaged the stone wall and it partially collapsed unfortunately.
Since the castle is not merely the symbol of Kumamoto but also a national treasure, it has been repairing to aim at complete reconstruction until now.
Such a stupendous project starts with detail checking the past references, then numbering the stones one by one and rearranged; however, if a stone is completely damaged, it ought to be ordered to the same production and reshape it.
Unfortunately, we are still not allowed to enter the castle, but we can admire the people who never give up until the castle recaptures its beauty with their renovation work.
 
Free time for the diner in Kumamoto.

Since there is a  large shopping arcade with many shops, restaurants and bars in the heart of Kumamoto city, your choices for dinner are numerous.
Not to mention the local cuisine, you can also taste Kumamoto ramen which recently becomes more popular with different charms from famous Hakata ramen.
Or you could try exotic food: Basashi (horse meat), Karashi Renkon (lotus roots sorked in mustard).
 

Day 5:


Itinerary of the day 5

Depart from the hotel, Kumamoto station  -  sightseeing train "SL Hitoyoshi"  -  arrive at Hitoyoshi station, strolling a historical town and free lunch time (recommended buy a bento box either Kumamoto or HItoyoshi station and eat it in the train)  -  transit to another sightseeing train "Isaburo / Shinpei" : you will enjoy the view selected one of the three great views from train windows  - arrive at Yoshimatsu station  -  transit to another sightseeing train "Hayato no Kaze": you will enjoy a few stations remain their shape since their construction in the Meiji era and the view along the Kinko bay where you can see Sakura jima island  -   Kagoshima central station - Kagoshima city
 
breakfast

【3sightseeing trainsbetween Kumamoto and Kagoshima sta.】/ Staying in Kagoshima city

Sightseeing train "SL Hitoyoshi"

"SL Hitoyoshi" is steam locomotive train established in 1922, connects Kumamoto station and Hitoyoshi station located in south part of Kyushu island.
The train used to travel place to place in Kyushu island and retired in 1975, then it restarted in 1987 after maintenance and operated until 2005. Then the train was reactivated in 2007 with a large-scaled renovation. Since then the train has been operating. 

You could call the train "running histrical heritage" due to a history of 100 years of the operation, "SL Hitoyoshi" grabs the hearts of train enthusiasts.  
 Hitoyoshi-Kuma region

Hitoyoshi-Kuma is a very rare region which has been gouverned by one and only federal lord's lineage from 12th to 19th centuries over 700 years.
The lord of Hitoyoshi has been respected the culture of the people like Kuma-Shochu (Shochu is a traditional Japanese spirit), and he introduced the new technique of construction from the capital to build the temples so that the Aoi Aso Shrine (National Treasure) has been built and those temples having historical and cultural value succeeded with the respection and worship.

Today, those historical and cultural value of this region are highly recognized, and they are classified in the list of Nihon Isan ( Japan cultural heritage ).
Once you step out from the Hitoyoshi station, you will find a mechanical clock and then you will arrive at Aoi Aso shrine with thatched roofs with 1200 years of history.
It is one of the few national architectural treasures, which has the own style of the region and also the decorative aspects of the capital.
When you go to the centre of the city, you can walk down the streets like a charming retro street Ohina-dori and a histrical street Kajiya-dori.
You can take a walk in 1hour during waiting for your next train but you will enjoy a historical time trip there.
It is also recommended to buy a very famous bento (lunch box) called Kuri-meshi (boiled rice with chestnut) and eat inside of the train afterward.
 
Sightseeing trains "Isaburo" and "Shinpei":

The trains "Isaburo" and "Shinpei" are the sightseeing trains that run between Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu. The trains run the mountains 430.3 m of the difference of altitude and they are using twise of switchback and with a radius of 300 m loop line which are very rare in Japan.

The stations of those line until the terminal Yoshimatsu station are only 3, but they stop at each station for 5 minutes, and you can enjoy the atmosphere of those rural stations. At the Okoba station, which is the station with switch back on the loop line in Japan, it is a wooden station with charms. It is said like a myth that when you paste your visiting card on the wall of this station, you will be promoted so that you will see many visiting cards on the wall.

In Yatake station, you will see the building displaying a steam locomotive D51 which has been loved by people and called as "De-go-ichi".

From Yatake station, and passing through the tunnel, you will see one of the best 3 views from the train in Japan. If it is a fine weather, you will see the mountain range of Kirishima over the valley of Ebino bonchi. Then, in the Masaki station with a rock garden, you will see a bell used before the privatization of Japanese National Railways
is a popular ornament among travelers and is thought to bring happiness.
Sightseeing train "Hayato no Kaze" (Winds of Hayato)

The train runs between Yoshimatsu (Hisatsu line) and Kagoshima chuo stations.It is a jet-black train with a dignified looking with the historical background of the region with a wooden interior. The both aspects of the design give the retro but modern both charms. The route is very scenic with the views of the Mt. Sakurajima, the Kinko bay and Kirishima called holy mountains so that you can enjoy the beautiful contrastsof the mountains and the sea.

The Kareigawa station, the oldest station in Kyushu (since Meiji 36, 1903), is a wooden station. It is a very popular sightseeing spot, and as the staying time is long,  you can get off the station for taking photos.
You will arrive at the station Kagoshima-chuo in the late afternoon.

It is the southernmost station of Shinkansen, but it is a bustling city of the Kyushu south. There are Tenmonkan area and the water front park where you can enjoy your night-out.
The specialty of Kagoshima is shochu, and it is very famous that the people of Kagoshima are strong drinkers. You may have a chance to exchange a cup of shochu with local people.
And you are highly recommended to taste the Kagoshima ramen and the Satsuma-age (deep-fried minced fish and vegetables).
breakfast, dinner

Day 6 :


Itinerary of the day 6

Hotel - Free time all day long(Option: Kagoshima city and Sakurajima island 1 day tour ) - Kagoshima Honko Port ~ High speed boats (approx. 2.5hours)~ Anbo-ko port (Yakushima) - Ryokan/ Hotel or Minshuku (guest house)

※【Local tours】You can join a tour of Kagoshima city, or bus tour of Sakurajima island (additional charge, inquiry requested)
※ One day pass for City view buses, and round trip bus of Sakurajima island can be usable)
※ Your accomodation can be Minshuku. In this case, there are amenity goods provided but please note that the bath and toilets are common, and you can not chose a room. 
※ Dinner is not included, but we can arrange your dinner nearby. Please contact us before the departure. (The dinner fees are around 2,500 - 3,000 yen per person.)
 

Free time in Kagoshima/ Staying in Yakushima island


The prefecture of Kagoshima has been called Satsuma-Han (The domain of Satsuma) and they played the leading role for establishing the modern Japan in the transition period between samurai, Japan were closing its doors for abroad, and modern era. And they were having the Japanese samurai spirit and they died for the rebellious war against the modern government.

The prefecture of Kagoshima is the centre of the domain of Satsuma, and there is a Mt. Sakurajima which erupts once a day, in 15 minutes by a ferry, so that the people of Kagoshima are familiar with the smokes and ashes in their everyday life. 
The highlight of the city is Sengan-en park originally built as a second residence of Satsuma-Han, and a part of it is registered as a constitutional heritage of the World Heritage. The beautiful garden is designed the sea as their pound and the Sakurajima as their own hill, and as it is built by the sea, it is called as the "Sea castle" or "Sea Park". There is also another consitutional heritage of the World Heritage, the Kagoshima Spinning Mill, the ancient residence with semi-Western style for English engeneers.
The high hill in the north of Tenmonkan is called Shiroyama, and it is the place where Saigo Takamori has chosen the self-determination. Saigo Takamori is the one who rose in revolt against the new gouvernment in the end of 19th century, leading samurais, and he killed himself for keeping his faith.
He is truly the pride of the people of Kagoshima, the great person.
Known as simple, sturdy, and a man of intergrity, Saigo Takamori was respected even by his enemies of the new gouvernment. His statue of 8 m high is standing on the foot of Shiroyama. On the way to the top of the hill, there is a cavern where he killed himself called "Saigo Dokutsu" (Cavern of Saigo) and the Shiroyama garden on the top is a panoramic spot to see the Sakurajima island.
In this neighbourhood, there are the Terukuni shrine dedicated to the family of the lord Shimazu, and the castle Tsuruyama. The highlights of this region.
 
The Sakurajima island off the coast of the city of Kagoshima is also the popular spot for taking a walk. With a luck (?), you may see the volcanic smoke very near.
You can go to the island by ferry departing each 15 minutes from the port of Kagoshima, and it takes 15 minutes to go. You can go around the port of the island, and there are the round trip buses going through the island from the west side of the island to the close to the volcano in 1 hour with 3 times of stops where find 3 observatories. So you can enjoy the sightseeing in before the afternoon.For the sightseeing of the Kagoshima city, a round trip bus called "City View Bus" is highly recommended. It goes to the highlights of the city. Or, it is also nice to take a retro trum to visit the city.There is also one-day bus tour organized locally for visiting the Shiroyama park, the Sengan-en park, and Sakurajima main spots.

【Local bus tour】
Departure from Tenmon-kan or Kagoshima chuo station (8:30) - Terukuni shrine(view from the window)- Statue of Saigo Takamori(view from the window)- Tsurumaru castle(view from the window)- Shiroyama observatory - Cavern of Saigo Takamori(view from the window)- Taking a ferry boat to Sakurajima island - Lava of Showa(view from the window)- Kuro maibotsu torii gate(view from the window)- Lava of Taisho(view from the window) - Arimura lava observatory - Yunohira observatory - Taking a ferry - Park of Sengan-en(Lunch:additional charge・Visiting the garden - Ishin-furusato-kan (Museum of the miji Restoration). End of the tour
From the Kagoshima port, taking a high-speed ship to Yakushima island for 2.5 hours.
Arriving at the island in the late afternoon, and going to a ryokan or a hotel.

Day 7~Day 9:

Itinerary of the day 7

Free time all day long

【Optional local tour】Round trip bus tour for visiting Yakushima island(with a tour conductor)
Fee:6,000yen/ person
Duration (approx.):8 hours
Departure time:8:30  Ending time:16:50
For the further details, please see the next page.

※In case if you do not participate in the above optional tour, we recommend you following activities:
Public busses, rental bicycles, Kayak tour, Snorkeling, Wood crafts.... There is also a half-day tour of the gorge Shiratani-unsui-kyo or one day trecking tour. (English or Japanese available.)
 Itinerary of the day 8

Free time all day long

【Optional local tour】Jomon-sugi cydar forest trecking tour (with a tour conductor)
Duration (approx.):14 hours
Departure time:4:00~5:00 Ending time:18:00~19:00
Walking time:11hours          Walking distance:22km
Participants must be:elder than junior high school student (Aged less than 10 years-old and more than 75 years-old are advised for consultation)
Challenge level:★★★☆(Open for beginners, but the participants need to be sporty in everyday life.)

※ Shuttle bus (extra charge necessary) departing from Yakusugi museum. Return tickets for adult: 1,380yen. / for child: 700yen
※ Cooperation fees paid upon entry by visitor (both adult and child): 1,000 yen. Your cooperation is highly appreciated.

In the case if there is no participant for the above tour, it is substituted by the following tour.
【Optional local tour】One day trecking tour for Shiratani unsui gorge and Taikoiwa (with a tour conductor)
Challenge level:★★☆☆ (Open for beginners. It is a hiking, normally)

※ Cooperation fees (500yen) will be charged by participant (to be paid on the day)
※In case if you do not participate in the above optional tour, we recommend you following activities:
Public busses, rental bicycles, Kayak tour, snorkeling, woodcrafts.... There is also a half-day tour of the gorge Shiratani-unsui-kyo or one day trecking tour. (English or Japanese available.)Itinerary of the day 9

Free time and lunch (not included) until noon - Anbo-ko port(Yakushima)- High-speed ship (Departure 13:30)- Kagoshima port(Arrival 15:30)- Kagoshima chuo station - Kyushu shinkansen - Kumamoto station - Hotel Check-in in late afternoon:staying in the city of Kumamoto

【Optional local tour】Half day short trecking tour for Shiratani unsui gorge
Duration (approx.):4 hours
Departure time:7:30 to 8:30 Ending time:12:30
Walking time:3 hours          Walking distance:3km
Participants must be:Elder than students of upper level in elementary school
Challenge level :★☆☆☆ - ★★☆☆(Hiking easy for beginners. Proper equipements are needed.) 
Walking course:
Shiratani hiroba - Ikoi no oiwa rock - Hiryu otoshi water fall - Satsuki tsuribashi suspension bridge - Kuguri sugi cedar tree - Nanahonsugi cedar trees - Kokemusu mori (the mossy forest from the film "Princess Mononoke") 【Going back the same way】


※ If you do not wish to participate in the optional tour, please enjoy the free time until the departure.
※ In case if we stay in the city of Kagoshima on this day, we will move to Kumamoto next morning by Shinkansen.
 What is Yakushima island?

It is a round shape island located 60km away from the south end of Kagoshima prefecture, 132km in circumference. There are the more than 45 mountains over 1,000m high after the Miyanoura-dake (1,935m) which is the highest mountain in Kyusu. They are called also as "Yojo Alps" (the Alps on the ocean) and the 90% of the island is covered by the forests.

The differences of the altitude between the flat groud and the mountains in the centre of the island are very big, the island has the varied weather as semitropical weather and the cold weather. The average temparature is 19 degrees, but in the top of the mountain, it can be -5degrees in December to March, and it snows during the winter.
Throughout the year, it rains a lot, and the average annual rainfall is twice to 5times bigger than Kagoshima city.
Most of the island is composed by the granite. The unique weather and the nature of the soil, the vegetation of the primeval cedar tree forest of Yakushima (nationally designated the natural monument) , the various kinds of birds as Akakokko (Turdus celaenops) or Iijimamushikui (Ijima's leaf warbler, Phylloscopus ijimae), and the animals as Yakushika deers or Yakuzaru monkeys, the 20% of the island became Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 together with Horyu-ji temple, Himeji castle and Shirakami-Sanchi.

The most famous element of the Yakushima is Yakusugi, but it is the same kind of cedar trees of the mainland of Japan. However, the age of the cedar tree is about 500 to 800 years, but in the Yakushima, the cedar trees have often 1,000 years old.
That is why, the trees of Yakushima having over 1,000 years old are called as Yakusugi, and it is distinguished from the normal cedar trees.
There are even the ones being over 2,000 years, and we can feel the outstanding powers at sight.
There are other intesting places as Shiratani Unsuikyo Gorge in the mood of the Princess Mononoke world, the beautiful beach, and the biggest cascade of Kyushu. 
 
Overnight at a Ryokan or Minshuku
breakfast

Day 1 in Yakushima/ Yakushima bus tour (optional)

Itinerary of the first day in Yakushima

【Optional local tour】Yakushima bus tour
  At 8:30 departure of the hotel
- Senpironotaki waterfall(20 minutes visit)※ 60m high waterfall from the vast granite bank. 
- Nakama Gajumaru(15 minutes visit)※300 years old huge banyan tree, the biggest of the island.
- Ookonotaki waterfall (30 minutes visit) ※88 m high waterfall, and you can be very close to the basin of a waterfall and you can be showered with negative ions.- Seiburindo road (20 minutes walking)
※This place including the coastline is only classified in the list of World Heritage Site in Yakushima. You may meet Yakuzaru monkeys and Yakushika deers. 
- Nagata inakahama beach (10 minutes visit)
※ It is the most beautiful beach of Yakushima registered in the Ramsar Convention.- Yakusugi Land(50 minutes walking)※It is the forest therapy to see the Yakusugi trees of some thousand years old, and walking in the mossy forest.
Challenge level:★☆☆☆(Easy hiking without any special equipment)
- Kigensugi(15 minutes visit)※You can approach to the roots of the trees which is one of the oldest trees of Yakushima by car.16:50 Arrive at the hotel
 

If you do not participate in the above optional tour:

You can take a walk by using the public bus or rental bicycle, and/ or you can participate in the workshop of woodwork.
There are the buses between Yakusugi Land and you can enjoy the beach of Nagata to relax.
There are Yakusugi museum and the Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Centre to learn the unique nature of Yakushima island, and you can visit the Hombo Shuzo brewery (traditional Yakushima ) to enjoy the tasting of shochu.
It is also possible to participate in the local tours of Kayak or snorkelling. There are also the tours like half-day or one-day trekking tour of Shiratani Unsui Gorge (English or Japanese only).
 

Day 2 in Yakushima / Jomonsugi tour(optional)

【Local optional tour】Jomonsugi (ancient Jomon cedar) trekking tour with a tour conductor

■The first half way     
     Arakawa tozanguchi=approx. 3km【50minutes】=Kosugidani shurakuato=approx. 5.5km【120minutes】=Ookabu hodo iriguchi =approx. 1km【20minutes】=Okinasugi=approx. 0.5km【5minutes】=Wilson kabu=approx. 1km【60minutes】= Daiosugi・Meotosugi=approx. 0.7km【30minutes】=Jomonsugi     
■The way back    
     Jomonsugi=approx. 0.7km【30minutes】=Daiosugi・Meotosugi=approx. 1km【60minutes】=Wilson kabu approx. 0.5km【5minutes】= Okinasugi=approx. 1km【20minutes】=Ookabu hodo = approx. 5.5km【120minutes】=Kosugidani shurakuato=approx. 3km【50minutes】 =Arakawa tozanguchi

Equipements   :
◎→Necessities(some item can be borrowed with charges) 〇→Recommended items
◎Bento lunchbox: can be prepared by your hotel staff
◎Rainwear: Gore-Tex or any similar function. The plastic rainwear is useless.
◎Rucksack: arround 20L size and the shoulder bag or plastic bag are not suitable. The one that you can walk both hands-free is recommended due to rough roads.
◎Climbing shoes: trecking shoes / shoes for trail running either comfortable one
◎Clothes for change
◎Water flask: 500 ml of bottles (plastic bottles are ok) X 2
◎Headlamp: must for long distance course such as Jyomon and Kuromi, beside those courses, still it is useful. Do not forget to bring standby batteries.
◎First-aid box (adhesive plaster, insect repellent, sucscreen lotion, and medicines)
◎Valuables: passport and wallet
◎Portable toilet (in case of emergency): you can buy it at the site.
〇Ziplock: it is so useful to prevent from moisture, you can zip a camera, a smartphone, etc.
〇Folding umbrella: it may not be used while walking, but when you have a break.
〇Towels: it is also useful.
〇Hat: to avoid sunlight and rain.
〇Favourite sweets: for your enjoyment.
〇Gloves (waterproof): work gloves made by cotton are useless when they are wet.
 

around 4:00 to 5:00 am  a staff will come to the accommodation you stay to take you to the Yakusugi museum.

Get on the shuttle bus at the Yakusugi museum  =  approx. 35 min. =  Starting point of Mt. Arakawa  (round fee: 1740 yen is needed)
Start off the Jomonsugi (ancient Jomon cedar) trekking tour!
 After walking on a tram road about 50 min., take a break at the ruins of Kosugi-dani village.

Ruins of Kosugi-dani village: The village, once developed when the timber forestry boosted in the region, lies in the middle of the tram road. The tram discharged timbers at Abo town and comes to the town. There are ruins of an elementary school and a junior high school, which used to see the tram goes by. 
At the present, there is only empty space between cider forests, but the town used to have 540 of residents in 1960 when the most busiest time, yet it closed on 1970. 
Nowadays, the place becomes rest space with benches and a halfway cabin.
 
Depart from the ruins of Kosugi-dani village, continue walking for about 2 hours aside of huge Yakusugi, such are Sandaisugi and Niousugi. Then take a break at the entrance of Okabu hodo where the tram road ends.
 
After you depart the entrance of Oyabu hodo, mountain trail starts. You must wear a pair of climbing shoes due to the unpaved trail, and rocks and roots stand in your way. As you climb for a while, the Ougi sugi comes in your site. The tree is consider to be 200 y.o.; however, it  fell in 2009 due to lost substance caused by the rottenness and the heaviness of parasite plants. 

Farther on the trail, you will find a larger stump called the Wilson stump discovered by an American botanist Ernest Henry Wilson, which 13.8 m around and astimated 3000 y.o. If the tree alive now, it would be the largest and oldest one in Yakushima. Inside of the tree is completely hollow, but the place is popular among women and couples. You will see the reason when you look up from inside of the tree, what you see is the landscape in a heart shaped frame. 
 
After taking a break at the Wilson stump, keep on climbing. So that you will find another huge cider, Daiosugi in about 1 hour. It is also hollow tree estimated 3000 y.o., but still grow leaves lushly.
It was the largest one in Yakushima before the Jyomon tree is discovered. There are Meoto (married couple) cider trees not far from the Daiosugi. The world national heritage registered area begins after you passed those trees. 
 
It is a burden, but you will see the Jyomonsugi a little farther on. The Jyomonsugi is the largest cider as far as confirmed until now, and it is the thickest one in Japan as a cider tree since 1966 when it is discovered. The height of the tree is 25.3 m with 16.4 m around and estimated that 2000 y.o. to 7200 y.o.
Let's feel the natural power of Yakushima in front of this huge tree for a while.
 
Afterward you enjoyed the power of Jomonsugi, concentrate on walking long way back.

You ought to back to the shuttle bus terminal by 18:00, the last one leaves, take the bus to Yakusugi Museum then transit the private car that takes you to the accommodation.
Relieve the weariness of the tour at the hotel and prepare for future plan.
 

If you do not participate in the above optional tour:

You can take a walk by using the public bus or rental bicycle, and/ or you can participate in the workshop of woodwork.
There are the buses between Yakusugi Land and you can enjoy the beach of Nagata to relax.
There are Yakusugi museum and the Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Centre to learn the unique nature of Yakushima island, and you can visit the Hombo Shuzo brewery (traditional Yakushima ) to enjoy the tasting of shochu.
It is also possible to participate in the local tours of Kayak or snorkelling. There are also the tours like half-day or one-day trekking tour of Shiratani Unsui Gorge (English or Japanese only).
 

Day 3 in Yakushima / Shiratani-unsuikyo gorge half day tour ( option )


【Optional local tour】Half day short trecking tour for Shiratani unsui gorge

Walking course:
Shiratani hiroba - Ikoi no oiwa rock - Hiryu otoshi water fall - Satsuki tsuribashi suspension bridge - Kuguri sugi cedar tree - Nanahonsugi cedar trees - Kokemusu mori (the mossy forest from the film "Princess Mononoke") 【Going back the same way】

Duration (approx.):4 hours
Departure time:7:30 to 8:30 Ending time:12:30
Walking time:3 hours          Walking distance:3km
Participants must be:Elder than students of upper level in elementary school
Challenge level :★☆☆☆ - ★★☆☆(Hiking easy for beginners. Proper equipements are needed.) 
※ If you do not wish to participate in the optional tour, please enjoy the free time until the departure.
※ In case if we stay in the city of Kagoshima on this day, we will move to Kumamoto next morning by Shinkansen.
 Satsuki tsuribashi suspension bridge-Kuguri sugi cedar tree (get through under the cider)Nanahonsugi cedar - Kokemusu mori (the mossy forest from the film "Princess Mononoke")

Let’s immerse ourselves into the universe of the famous animation movie Mononoke. As it is a short round trip of 3 kilometers, take your time to relax in the wonderful rainforest atmosphere. After the walk, we will head for the ferry. (2 hours to Kagoshima)

Once we arrive at Kagoshima, we will go to Kagoshima Chuo station, and Kumamoto by taking the Shinkansen, then overnight in Kumamoto. 

※ We might stay in Kagoshima for the night after getting back from Yakushima. If so, we will head for Kumamoto by taking the shinkansen the next day.
 

Day 10:


Itinerary of day 10

Departure from the hotel Kumamoto station - ferry terminal of Kumamoto by bus - Kumomoto ferry - boarding Ocean Arrow and crossing of Ariake sea (April - October enjoy giving food to seagles !) - Shimabara port - Boarding the local train (Shimabara railroad) heading for Shimabara city - samourai mansion and city of Shimabara, stroll into the city where little rivers full of carps flow - destroyed houses of Mt Unzen eruption - Check in at Unzen Onsen and free time to stroll in the thermal town. 

Overnight in Unzen Onsen

Overnight in Unzen Onsen
breakfast, dinner

Shimabara et Unzen onsen

Shimabara Peninsula
 

Shimabara peninsula is located south of Nagasaki Prefecture, and appeared after the eruption of a very active volcano : Mt Unzen. On the other side of the interior sea is Kumamoto Prefecture. Formerly, during the samurai period, the occidental culture was deeply rooted into Nagasaki area which was considered as a christian territory where by the way lived a lord named the christian Daimyo. But came the oppression period against christianity and in order to reinforce the surveillance in the area has been built the castle of Shimabara surrounded by numerous of samurai mansions developed after the war period of the XVIIth century. Therefore, the houses are very well preserved and boast a unique beauty. The little thermal town of Shimabara is widely appreciated for hot springs which flows from former eruption lava, and where swim plenty of carps.

Mt Unzen has erupted many times into the second half period of the XXth Century, and is sadly known for the eruption of 1991 that killed 40 people in 1991. 

The eruption continued until 1995 and spearhead  Mt Heisei-Shinzan, a lava dome with 1486 meters high. 

It is still possible to see the damaged houses nearby.

 

Unzen Onsen (hot springs)
 

Although the terrific eruptions of Mt Unzen, it is a place where there are many activities to enjoy. On the peninsula, the mountains of Unzen boast the best hot springs spots in Japan, besides you surely notice the smell of the sulphur everywhere. The best spot there is a place called Unzen Hell or Unzen Jigoku in Japanese. Maybe you have already heard about another famous hot springs spot in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, which is also called Hell because of the spectacular baths all around the town. However, in Unzen hell, the entire scenery seems to be the hell itself. The steam that escapes from the boiling springs are so impressive that we could easily imagine demons exit from it.

Day 11 :

Itinerary of day 11

Departure from Unzen Onsen (9:10 or 1h10 pm) - it takes about 1h40 -after we arrive in Nagasaki check in at the hotel (if we arrive in the morning, visit of the peace memorial / if it would in the afternoon visit of Dejima or Yamate district - Check in at the hotel

※You could participate at the excursion for admiring the night view of Nagasaki (2000 yen per person without tour leader)

Departure around 5:30 pm, 8:00 pm : it takes about 80/90 min to access it. 

Overnight in Nagasaki
breakfast

Visit of Nagasaki, memorial of peace, night view

After we arrive in Nagasaki, we will let our luggage at the hotel then we will go to visit the city. 

First, we will lead to Urakami district that still keeps the scars of the past. (visit possible if we arrive in the morning). 

~Peace memorial and its vicinity~

3 days after the total destruction of Hiroshima by the US atomic bomb, the 9th of August at 11h02, another atomic bomb is dropped on the north part of Nagasaki, in the Urakami district blowing away the entire city and its inhabitants. Although the bomb dropped in Nagasaki was 1.5 times more powerful than the one dropped in Hiroshima, there were 2 times less victims thanks to the mountainous terrain that surrounds Nagasaki. However, nowadays we can still see the scars and remember these tragic Historical events that should not occur in the future. We will head for Urakami district, the hypocenter,  the memorial of peace, and the Urakami church that has been rebuilt at the exact same place it was before. 

Excursion to admire one of the three most beautiful night views in Japan. 
 

Let’s go to Mt.Inasa to admire one of the three most beautiful night views in Japan, and which is also known as one of the most beautiful in the world along with Hong Kong and Monaco. From the top we see the city, the port, and the houses located in the mountains. Indeed, thanks to the mountainous terrain, the scenery boasts a wonderful contrast of light and shadow.

breakfast

Day 12 :

Itinerary of day 12

Morning :Free time in Nagasaki 

 

- Yamate district :Glover garden, Oura church、Oranda Zaka、 confucian temple 

- Dejima

- Chinatown of Nagasaki and Tojin Yashiki mansion

- Megane bridge

-  Fukusai-ji temple and Shofukuji temple

- Excursion on Gunkanjima abandoned island  (morning tour)

Afternoon: express train「kamome」to Fukuoka(2 hours). -arrival in the evening and check-in at the hotel in Fukuoka. 

Overnight at a hotel in Fukuoka
breakfast

Free time in Nagasaki

Dejima
 

At the beginning of Edo period, Japan officially starts an isolationist policy and Dejima was the only port accessible for foreign ships. It is a little artificial island with a fan shape and a size of two soccer fields. During 300 years, from the XVIIth to the XIXth century, the foreign ships that berthed there were highly controlled. This island was one of the most important places where all importants information from abroad were gathered. Nowadays, the port has been renovated and it has extended inland, but the old buildings do not longer exist. However, due to the Historical importance of this place, the former appearance of the island have been rebuilt. 

Chinatown・Tojin Yashiki mansion
 

During the isolationist period, China and Japan still maintain their commercial activity and  many Chinese people settled in Nagasaki. However, they lived in a place called Tojin mansion, located in a restricted area located into the mountainous region. After the end of isolationism, the chinese residence moved near the coastline and became the chinatown we know today. 
This Chinatown is one of the most important in Japan with the one in Yokohama.

Minami Yamate (south)・Higashi Yamate (east)
 

Minami Yamate・Higashi Yamate are districts that built after the end of isolationism. There are listed in the list of Important Preservation Districts, as the Glover garden and its charming paved roads built by Frederick Ringer in the XIXth century, the Oura Church listed in the World Heritage and plenty of other things to discover. While you admire Nagasaki bay, you can imagine the time where former merchants berthed in the harbour. Moreover, if you go to the observatory located higher up, you could enjoy a stunning night view as the one from Mt Inasa. 

Excursion at Gunkanjima (extra expenses)

Excursion at Gunkanjima (extra expenses)
 

The island of Gunkanjima is located south-west of Nagasaki and about 19 kms offshore. In Japanese, Gunkan means cruiser. Indeed, when you see the islands away, it seems to be a cruiser sailing far away. The official name of the island is Hashima. It is a small island 160 meters wide and 480 meters long where formerly lived 5 200 people, the most important population density in the world, 9 times higher than Tokyo. 

During the Edo period, coal was discovered on the island that immediately became a mining area that attracted many workers. In addition, the island’s activity increased with the development of mining technology. 

A wall surrounds the island and high buildings line up as it seems to be a big cruiser when we look at it from a far distance. Actually, it looks like a famous old cruiser called the Tosa which belonged to the Japanese Imperial Army. 

There were a school, a cinema, restaurants, a hospital on the island. The main activity were the mining but the mine closed after the new energy conversion policy of the country. Therefore, the inhabitants leave the island and no one has ever settled there again for 30 years. Today, all we can find in Hashima are the ruins. 

Today, the island remains a testimony of the country's history and cultural values ​​regarding its energy conservation.

The island has been listed at the world heritage in 2015 and nowadays, many tourists came to visit it. Notice that due to the collapse risks, it is not possible to visit the island freely but a small part only. 

※Regarding the weather, and sea conditions, it might be impossible to go to the island. 

Around 9:45 embarkation counter-  around 10:10 meet up - around 10:30  embarkation  - crossing 11:30〜12:30 - Arrival at Gunkanjima - 13:00  disembarkation. 

Day 13 : ( End of the trip )

After the breakfast, check out at the hotel : end of the tour. 

If you want to pursue your stay, thank you for contacting us. 
Shinkansen tickets available at Hakata station, or possibility to take a domestic flight from Fukuoka airport.

Customize your trip!

This is a original tour made by our travel designers.

If you wish to change the duration of your stay, add few activities or some guided visits, or if you need the help of an assistant, thank you for contacting us. 
We can also recommend some sightseeing or give you information about the local cuisine and popular activities to enjoy.

 

This is customizable tour according to your wish.
Please select your departure date on the calendar below in order to make your own tour.

Click here to discover other suggested itineraries.

Click here to discover other small group tours.

Where to Go

Itinerary

Day 1 :

Itinerary of the day 1

Arrival in Fukuoka  -  Check in at the hotel  -  Free time at Fukuoka city
Overnight near Hakata station.

※ If you wish to extend your stay, please contact us on the day before the tour begins.

Free visit of Fukuoka

Fukuoka is the next largest city after Osaka in western Japan, its central district called Hakata, consisting of many shops surrounding the station.

Fukuoka airport is only about 5 minutes away from Hakata station by metro, one of the most accessible city from the airport nearby in the world. Another very popular area is the Tenjin area along with Nakagawa river, where there is a large number of restaurants and food stalls offering local specialties.

In addition, the Canal City shopping center includes some of the most famous brand stores, and many trendy cafes. You should not miss the famous Hakata Ramen, noodles soaked in the pork-bone soup.
 
The Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

Shinto Shrine, Dazaifu Tenmangu is a popular tourist site, a 40-minute bus ride from Hakata Bus Terminal, and a 25-minutes train ride from Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station. Dazaifu was once the province of the government general agency, intended to protect the country from possible attacks from the Asian continent.

Michizane Sugawara who had been a high-ranking government officer, was demoted from Kyoto in the 10th century because of the slander and political chicanery of his rivals. After his death he was deified and worshipped as a diety and enshrined in the Dazaifu. 
Michizane was an excellent in scholar and known widely, so that he has been respected as the deity of scholarship. 
The Dazaifu Tenmangu becomes busy at the school examinations season every year. Besides of the event, worship-visitors from across the country visit the shrine to pray for passing various examinations. 

There are shops offering the Dazaifu specialty, a rice cake plum, which is said to have been eaten by Michizane Sugawara and to healed the sorrows of the demotion.
 
Hotel near Hakata station

Day 2 :

Itinerary of the day 2

Depart from Fukuoka  -  about 3 hours drive - arrival at Kurokawa onsen (hot springs) around noon - after check-in at an accommodation, free visit to Kurokawa onsen, also eat lunch freely

Accommodations in Kurokawa onsen
Ryokan in Kurokawa onsen
breakfast, dinner

Outline and charms of the region Kurokawa hot spring/ Stay at Kurokawa onsen

What is Kurokawa onsen?
Surrounded by lush green mountains, Kurokawa Onsen holds 30 onsen structures and is located far from highway and rail stations. You will be impressed by the nature in the rural area changing beautifully through seasons, and the water of the onsen is pure and of a rare quality. Kurokawa makes you forget about time.
The concept of Kurokawa Onsen is: 30 onsen and landscape of the Satoyama (describing the harmony of a small village hidden in the heart of the mountains) unite as “One inn” to constitue Onsen-kyo (Onsen village).
Nowadays, the Onsenkyo is a nationwidely well-known onsen site. It is gaining interest from overseas for ranking two stars by Michelin Green Guide Japan 2009, which is a rare case for an onsen.
Each ryokan is a “detached room” whereas  small pathes connecting each ryokans are “corridor “.  The whole scenery of the onsen village blends with the surroundings as if one ryokan was built in nature. 

 
How to enjoy Kurokawa Onsen

1.Food & Strolling the village

Once you stroll the Kurokawa Onsen-kyo (onsen village), you may have impression as if you are strolling a Japanese garden, because the ryokans freckle along the river melted into the surroundings and make the great harmony.

Since the village avoid overbuild stores and restaurant, the number of the restaurant is relatively small. But those restaurants create beautiful harmony with the landscape and even it makes the restaurants more attractive. While you are strolling the area, why don’t you rest at a trendy cafe or stop over various restaurants.

If you are Sake lover, there is a “Kappo ticket” (1500 yen p.p.) available, which enables you to taste Sake with snacks at three different shops.


2. Walking in the vicinity

How about stretching your legs on one of the nearby hiking trails?

There are 3 hiking trails along with the Chikugo-gawa River, you hear the rustle of the forest trees, the singing of birds with the background music of the brook, all your senses will be awake. Each trail takes about 1.5 hours on foot, that is enough for the forest bathing. In the vicinity of Mount Aso-Kuju National Park where you can reach 1 hour walk at a slow pace, you will have beautiful landscapes and panoramas in Hiranodai.

Rental bicycles, bento box for your hiking are available with additional charge.
 
3. Go round the onsen (hot springs)

The highlight of Kurokawa onsen is of course many hot springs (onsen in Japanese) tour. The village establishes a pass (1200 yen p.p.) to access the three different hot springs at ryokan. Each ryokan has elaborated baths independently that will bring you hard decision. 
When you stroll the area after you have changed into the Yukata (light summer version of Kimono), you will forget about the time.
 

Day 3 :


Depart from Kurokawa by a private car  -  Mt. Aso sightseeing: Daikanbo, Kusasenri-gahama, Nakadake crater and Sunasenri (the access may be prohibited in case of the volcanicity is active)  -   lunch at Aso caldera (included)  -  Takachiho sightseeing: Amanoiwato jinja, Takachiho walk  -  Check in a hotel (Takachiho)  -  Walk to Takachiho jinja after the dinner  -  Watch Yokagura  (traditional Shintoistic danse, approx. 1 hour) starts at 20:00

Accommodation is located at Takachiho town

*In case Mt. Aso Nakadake crater is restricted to enter, we go to Shirakawa river head and so on as alternatives. 
 
Hotel in the city of Takachiho
dinner, lunch

Visiting Mt.Aso regeon


What is Mt. Aso?

Mt. Aso is one of the world's largest calderas, an active volcano registered in the World Geopark, composed of a central crater hill and outer rim. There are several towns inside the huge rim, which stretches 25 km north-south and 18 km east-west.

The mountain has been active since ancient times, and it still spouts fumes. The reason why Kumamoto is called the country of fire is derived from Mt. Aso.
On the other hand, there are several clear spring water sources in the caldera whose land is fertile and flat suitable for agriculture and livestock farming, and has provided many benefits to the local area.

In addition, volcanic activity provides good quality hot springs spread everywhere in Kumamoto prefecture, including the previously introduced Kurokawa Onsen. That gives various tourist resources as a hot spring paradise.
 
Daikanbo

There is a landmark observation deck located on the north side of Aso Gairinzan. You can overlook a central cone called Aso Gogaku, the surrounding Gairinzan, and the entire town of Aso. There is Kuju range you can also overlook in the other side. 
Aso Gogaku (five mountains) can be seen from Daikanbo is also referred as ”Buddha lying in the Nirvana” since those mountains look as if Buddha is lying.
 
Kusasenri-gahama

Kusasenri is located in a great location where you can overlook Mt. Aso rises smoke. There is a large pond with rainwater in the middle of a large prairie, 1 kilometer in diameter, where cows and horses are grazing. The landscape is completely changed in seasons, each of them attracts tourists.
 
Nakadake kako (crater)

The first crater of Nakadake, one of the Aso Gogaku, is a rare tourist attraction in the world where you can experience activities of active volcanoes close by. The crater lake (Yudamari) filled with rainwater and spring water boiled by magma. You can see the mysterious crater lake of emerald green from the observation deck.
A short distance from the observation deck, Sunasenri is a black plain covered with volcanic ash, where erupted volcanic bombs here and there. The site presents mysterious landscape, when the rain stops falling, the earth starts steaming.

※ Access to the crater is restricted if volcanic activity becomes active and toxic gas is generated.
In that case, it will be changed to an alternative tourist site such as Shirakawa water source in Aso caldera.
 
Take the panoramic road of Aso Gogaku and go down to the flat area in the caldera, lunch time.
 

Sightseeing of Takachiho / Staying in Takachiho


After lunch, we will run for 1 to 1.5 hours to Takachiho.

What is Takachiho?

Takachiho is located northwest of Miyazaki prefecture, next to Kumamoto.

In Japanese mythology, the town is known as a place where the gods descended from Takamahara. Thus, the town is referred to sacred area where “living place of the gods” and “the country of the mythology”.

There are several mysterious sightseeing spots in the town that creates the right atmosphere for the setting of the mythology.

Also you will see the scenic beauty to present Japan with full of mysterious atmosphere created by Takachiho Gorge and the waterfall of Manai that falls in the Gokase River.
 
Amanoiwato-jinja & Amanoyasugawara

Amanoiwato-Jinja enshrines “Amano-iwato cave” as the object of worship that is believed be once the hiding place of Amaterasu Omikami (the god of the highest rank according to the Japanese mythology) when she got angry with his brother’s boisterous.

As you walk up to Iwato river from the shrine for 15 minutes, you will reach mystic riverside, where pile of stones and torii (guard frame) are waiting.
That is “Amanoyasu-gawara”, famous as a power spot, location thought to be flowing with mystical energy, where myriad of Japanese gods gathered from all over the country to consult how they lure Amaterasu out from the cave she hid.
 
Takachiho Gorge

Takachiho Gorge is designated in the scenic point and the national treasure, where cliffs as much as 80 to 100 m high continues for 7 km. The gorge is the best known sightseeing spot in Takachiho, where you will see many scenic spots along the gorge.

Once you enter the gorge, it takes your breath away with cliffs stand in a characteristic square shape made of cooled coagulated lava flow.
There is a pavement along the gorge where you can view such as “ Kihachi no chikaraishi (huge stone)” and “Sennin no byobuiwa (stone pier)”.
Also there is a must-see spot in Takachiho called “Manai falls”, mysterious falls that falls  17 m high.If you look up the falls from a boat afloat nearby, you will feel the splash and see rocks deeply curved, which you will not discover from the pavement walking. 
 
Takachiho Yokagura

Kagura is a shrine ritual to conciliate souls with the gods welcomed from Takamahara.Traditional Kagura that has been transmitted Takachiho region is performed in nights as it can trace back to the date when Amaterasu Omikami hid in the cave and myriad of gods tried to lure her out by dance performed by Ameno Uzume. The performance starts at 8 pm every nights for one hour, representative four works from Kagaku #33 are performed: Tajikarao no mai, Uzume no mai, Totori no mai, and Goshintai no mai.

It is a great opportunity to watch the Takachiho Yokagura, designated as an important intangible folk-cultural property.
 

Day 4:


Itinerary of the day 4

Leave Takachiho after lunch  -  approx. 3 hours by long distance coach -  Arrive at Kumamoto city, around noon  -  Suizenji park (admission is included)  -  Free lunch time (option lunch is available)  -  Check-in the hotel (*even though the room is not ready, you can leave your luggage)   -  Kumamoto castle (no access to inside the castle due to reconstruction from the Kumamoto earthquake) 

Accommodation is located in Kumamoto city
 
hotel in Kumamoto city
breakfast

Sightseeing in Kumamoto city【Staying in a hotel of Kumamoto city】


Kumamoto city

Kumamoto city is the prefectural capital of Kumamoto prefecture, the third largest city in Kyushu next to Fukuoka and Kokura. 
It is located in the center of Kyushu Island and has assumed the role of relay station from around the island.

In 2016, several magnitude 6 earthquakes occured in the region caused severe damage in and around Kumamoto. Since then, not only Kumamoto, but also all of Japan, are making efforts to rebuild the city as it was before.
Suizenji Park

This garden is one of the most representative sites of the city of Kumamoto. The style of the garden called Momoyama, an elegant stroll garden with a central pond whose spring water comes from Mt. Aso. It was created by the feudal lord of Kumamoto almost 400 years ago, since then it has been maintained and improved for generations by successive lords. There you will see the finesse of a Japanese garden in addition to a tsukiyama (mound imitating Mt. Fuji) is not to be missed.
As you see the landscape, it may bring you a image of  the ukiyo-e painting painted by Hiroshige Utagawa from the view of Mt. Fuji seems to rise on the pond imitating the ocean.

There is the Izumi shrine inside the park, dedicated to the lords who have succeeded for generations, and the spring water known as "Kami no mizu (the water of the gods)" present in the enclosure of the sanctuary to attract people from neighboring prefectures for drinking the water.

After visiting the garden, you have free lunch time. The option : lunch at a restaurant of long standing called "Kami no mizu" for a local cuisine .
 
Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto castle whose nicknamed "ginnan-jo (Ginkgo Castle)"  is reffered as one of the three most beautiful castles in Japan, originally a medieval fortress built by Kiyomasa Kato, the master of castles.
It was also the scene of the battle between the rebellion of the last samurai and the government army during the Satsuma Rebellion, a model for the film "The last samurai", the castle saved rebellion samurais for 52 days.
Its tenshu (donjon) was destroyed during the war and rebuilt, the architecture of this vast castle continues to impress with its ingenuity, specially its large stone wall were real masterpieces.

But the earthquake hit Kumamoto in April 2016 severely, that damaged the stone wall and it partially collapsed unfortunately.
Since the castle is not merely the symbol of Kumamoto but also a national treasure, it has been repairing to aim at complete reconstruction until now.
Such a stupendous project starts with detail checking the past references, then numbering the stones one by one and rearranged; however, if a stone is completely damaged, it ought to be ordered to the same production and reshape it.
Unfortunately, we are still not allowed to enter the castle, but we can admire the people who never give up until the castle recaptures its beauty with their renovation work.
 
Free time for the diner in Kumamoto.

Since there is a  large shopping arcade with many shops, restaurants and bars in the heart of Kumamoto city, your choices for dinner are numerous.
Not to mention the local cuisine, you can also taste Kumamoto ramen which recently becomes more popular with different charms from famous Hakata ramen.
Or you could try exotic food: Basashi (horse meat), Karashi Renkon (lotus roots sorked in mustard).
 

Day 5:


Itinerary of the day 5

Depart from the hotel, Kumamoto station  -  sightseeing train "SL Hitoyoshi"  -  arrive at Hitoyoshi station, strolling a historical town and free lunch time (recommended buy a bento box either Kumamoto or HItoyoshi station and eat it in the train)  -  transit to another sightseeing train "Isaburo / Shinpei" : you will enjoy the view selected one of the three great views from train windows  - arrive at Yoshimatsu station  -  transit to another sightseeing train "Hayato no Kaze": you will enjoy a few stations remain their shape since their construction in the Meiji era and the view along the Kinko bay where you can see Sakura jima island  -   Kagoshima central station - Kagoshima city
 
breakfast

【3sightseeing trainsbetween Kumamoto and Kagoshima sta.】/ Staying in Kagoshima city

Sightseeing train "SL Hitoyoshi"

"SL Hitoyoshi" is steam locomotive train established in 1922, connects Kumamoto station and Hitoyoshi station located in south part of Kyushu island.
The train used to travel place to place in Kyushu island and retired in 1975, then it restarted in 1987 after maintenance and operated until 2005. Then the train was reactivated in 2007 with a large-scaled renovation. Since then the train has been operating. 

You could call the train "running histrical heritage" due to a history of 100 years of the operation, "SL Hitoyoshi" grabs the hearts of train enthusiasts.  
 Hitoyoshi-Kuma region

Hitoyoshi-Kuma is a very rare region which has been gouverned by one and only federal lord's lineage from 12th to 19th centuries over 700 years.
The lord of Hitoyoshi has been respected the culture of the people like Kuma-Shochu (Shochu is a traditional Japanese spirit), and he introduced the new technique of construction from the capital to build the temples so that the Aoi Aso Shrine (National Treasure) has been built and those temples having historical and cultural value succeeded with the respection and worship.

Today, those historical and cultural value of this region are highly recognized, and they are classified in the list of Nihon Isan ( Japan cultural heritage ).
Once you step out from the Hitoyoshi station, you will find a mechanical clock and then you will arrive at Aoi Aso shrine with thatched roofs with 1200 years of history.
It is one of the few national architectural treasures, which has the own style of the region and also the decorative aspects of the capital.
When you go to the centre of the city, you can walk down the streets like a charming retro street Ohina-dori and a histrical street Kajiya-dori.
You can take a walk in 1hour during waiting for your next train but you will enjoy a historical time trip there.
It is also recommended to buy a very famous bento (lunch box) called Kuri-meshi (boiled rice with chestnut) and eat inside of the train afterward.
 
Sightseeing trains "Isaburo" and "Shinpei":

The trains "Isaburo" and "Shinpei" are the sightseeing trains that run between Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu. The trains run the mountains 430.3 m of the difference of altitude and they are using twise of switchback and with a radius of 300 m loop line which are very rare in Japan.

The stations of those line until the terminal Yoshimatsu station are only 3, but they stop at each station for 5 minutes, and you can enjoy the atmosphere of those rural stations. At the Okoba station, which is the station with switch back on the loop line in Japan, it is a wooden station with charms. It is said like a myth that when you paste your visiting card on the wall of this station, you will be promoted so that you will see many visiting cards on the wall.

In Yatake station, you will see the building displaying a steam locomotive D51 which has been loved by people and called as "De-go-ichi".

From Yatake station, and passing through the tunnel, you will see one of the best 3 views from the train in Japan. If it is a fine weather, you will see the mountain range of Kirishima over the valley of Ebino bonchi. Then, in the Masaki station with a rock garden, you will see a bell used before the privatization of Japanese National Railways
is a popular ornament among travelers and is thought to bring happiness.
Sightseeing train "Hayato no Kaze" (Winds of Hayato)

The train runs between Yoshimatsu (Hisatsu line) and Kagoshima chuo stations.It is a jet-black train with a dignified looking with the historical background of the region with a wooden interior. The both aspects of the design give the retro but modern both charms. The route is very scenic with the views of the Mt. Sakurajima, the Kinko bay and Kirishima called holy mountains so that you can enjoy the beautiful contrastsof the mountains and the sea.

The Kareigawa station, the oldest station in Kyushu (since Meiji 36, 1903), is a wooden station. It is a very popular sightseeing spot, and as the staying time is long,  you can get off the station for taking photos.
You will arrive at the station Kagoshima-chuo in the late afternoon.

It is the southernmost station of Shinkansen, but it is a bustling city of the Kyushu south. There are Tenmonkan area and the water front park where you can enjoy your night-out.
The specialty of Kagoshima is shochu, and it is very famous that the people of Kagoshima are strong drinkers. You may have a chance to exchange a cup of shochu with local people.
And you are highly recommended to taste the Kagoshima ramen and the Satsuma-age (deep-fried minced fish and vegetables).
breakfast, dinner

Day 6 :


Itinerary of the day 6

Hotel - Free time all day long(Option: Kagoshima city and Sakurajima island 1 day tour ) - Kagoshima Honko Port ~ High speed boats (approx. 2.5hours)~ Anbo-ko port (Yakushima) - Ryokan/ Hotel or Minshuku (guest house)

※【Local tours】You can join a tour of Kagoshima city, or bus tour of Sakurajima island (additional charge, inquiry requested)
※ One day pass for City view buses, and round trip bus of Sakurajima island can be usable)
※ Your accomodation can be Minshuku. In this case, there are amenity goods provided but please note that the bath and toilets are common, and you can not chose a room. 
※ Dinner is not included, but we can arrange your dinner nearby. Please contact us before the departure. (The dinner fees are around 2,500 - 3,000 yen per person.)
 

Free time in Kagoshima/ Staying in Yakushima island


The prefecture of Kagoshima has been called Satsuma-Han (The domain of Satsuma) and they played the leading role for establishing the modern Japan in the transition period between samurai, Japan were closing its doors for abroad, and modern era. And they were having the Japanese samurai spirit and they died for the rebellious war against the modern government.

The prefecture of Kagoshima is the centre of the domain of Satsuma, and there is a Mt. Sakurajima which erupts once a day, in 15 minutes by a ferry, so that the people of Kagoshima are familiar with the smokes and ashes in their everyday life. 
The highlight of the city is Sengan-en park originally built as a second residence of Satsuma-Han, and a part of it is registered as a constitutional heritage of the World Heritage. The beautiful garden is designed the sea as their pound and the Sakurajima as their own hill, and as it is built by the sea, it is called as the "Sea castle" or "Sea Park". There is also another consitutional heritage of the World Heritage, the Kagoshima Spinning Mill, the ancient residence with semi-Western style for English engeneers.
The high hill in the north of Tenmonkan is called Shiroyama, and it is the place where Saigo Takamori has chosen the self-determination. Saigo Takamori is the one who rose in revolt against the new gouvernment in the end of 19th century, leading samurais, and he killed himself for keeping his faith.
He is truly the pride of the people of Kagoshima, the great person.
Known as simple, sturdy, and a man of intergrity, Saigo Takamori was respected even by his enemies of the new gouvernment. His statue of 8 m high is standing on the foot of Shiroyama. On the way to the top of the hill, there is a cavern where he killed himself called "Saigo Dokutsu" (Cavern of Saigo) and the Shiroyama garden on the top is a panoramic spot to see the Sakurajima island.
In this neighbourhood, there are the Terukuni shrine dedicated to the family of the lord Shimazu, and the castle Tsuruyama. The highlights of this region.
 
The Sakurajima island off the coast of the city of Kagoshima is also the popular spot for taking a walk. With a luck (?), you may see the volcanic smoke very near.
You can go to the island by ferry departing each 15 minutes from the port of Kagoshima, and it takes 15 minutes to go. You can go around the port of the island, and there are the round trip buses going through the island from the west side of the island to the close to the volcano in 1 hour with 3 times of stops where find 3 observatories. So you can enjoy the sightseeing in before the afternoon.For the sightseeing of the Kagoshima city, a round trip bus called "City View Bus" is highly recommended. It goes to the highlights of the city. Or, it is also nice to take a retro trum to visit the city.There is also one-day bus tour organized locally for visiting the Shiroyama park, the Sengan-en park, and Sakurajima main spots.

【Local bus tour】
Departure from Tenmon-kan or Kagoshima chuo station (8:30) - Terukuni shrine(view from the window)- Statue of Saigo Takamori(view from the window)- Tsurumaru castle(view from the window)- Shiroyama observatory - Cavern of Saigo Takamori(view from the window)- Taking a ferry boat to Sakurajima island - Lava of Showa(view from the window)- Kuro maibotsu torii gate(view from the window)- Lava of Taisho(view from the window) - Arimura lava observatory - Yunohira observatory - Taking a ferry - Park of Sengan-en(Lunch:additional charge・Visiting the garden - Ishin-furusato-kan (Museum of the miji Restoration). End of the tour
From the Kagoshima port, taking a high-speed ship to Yakushima island for 2.5 hours.
Arriving at the island in the late afternoon, and going to a ryokan or a hotel.

Day 7~Day 9:

Itinerary of the day 7

Free time all day long

【Optional local tour】Round trip bus tour for visiting Yakushima island(with a tour conductor)
Fee:6,000yen/ person
Duration (approx.):8 hours
Departure time:8:30  Ending time:16:50
For the further details, please see the next page.

※In case if you do not participate in the above optional tour, we recommend you following activities:
Public busses, rental bicycles, Kayak tour, Snorkeling, Wood crafts.... There is also a half-day tour of the gorge Shiratani-unsui-kyo or one day trecking tour. (English or Japanese available.)
 Itinerary of the day 8

Free time all day long

【Optional local tour】Jomon-sugi cydar forest trecking tour (with a tour conductor)
Duration (approx.):14 hours
Departure time:4:00~5:00 Ending time:18:00~19:00
Walking time:11hours          Walking distance:22km
Participants must be:elder than junior high school student (Aged less than 10 years-old and more than 75 years-old are advised for consultation)
Challenge level:★★★☆(Open for beginners, but the participants need to be sporty in everyday life.)

※ Shuttle bus (extra charge necessary) departing from Yakusugi museum. Return tickets for adult: 1,380yen. / for child: 700yen
※ Cooperation fees paid upon entry by visitor (both adult and child): 1,000 yen. Your cooperation is highly appreciated.

In the case if there is no participant for the above tour, it is substituted by the following tour.
【Optional local tour】One day trecking tour for Shiratani unsui gorge and Taikoiwa (with a tour conductor)
Challenge level:★★☆☆ (Open for beginners. It is a hiking, normally)

※ Cooperation fees (500yen) will be charged by participant (to be paid on the day)
※In case if you do not participate in the above optional tour, we recommend you following activities:
Public busses, rental bicycles, Kayak tour, snorkeling, woodcrafts.... There is also a half-day tour of the gorge Shiratani-unsui-kyo or one day trecking tour. (English or Japanese available.)Itinerary of the day 9

Free time and lunch (not included) until noon - Anbo-ko port(Yakushima)- High-speed ship (Departure 13:30)- Kagoshima port(Arrival 15:30)- Kagoshima chuo station - Kyushu shinkansen - Kumamoto station - Hotel Check-in in late afternoon:staying in the city of Kumamoto

【Optional local tour】Half day short trecking tour for Shiratani unsui gorge
Duration (approx.):4 hours
Departure time:7:30 to 8:30 Ending time:12:30
Walking time:3 hours          Walking distance:3km
Participants must be:Elder than students of upper level in elementary school
Challenge level :★☆☆☆ - ★★☆☆(Hiking easy for beginners. Proper equipements are needed.) 
Walking course:
Shiratani hiroba - Ikoi no oiwa rock - Hiryu otoshi water fall - Satsuki tsuribashi suspension bridge - Kuguri sugi cedar tree - Nanahonsugi cedar trees - Kokemusu mori (the mossy forest from the film "Princess Mononoke") 【Going back the same way】


※ If you do not wish to participate in the optional tour, please enjoy the free time until the departure.
※ In case if we stay in the city of Kagoshima on this day, we will move to Kumamoto next morning by Shinkansen.
 What is Yakushima island?

It is a round shape island located 60km away from the south end of Kagoshima prefecture, 132km in circumference. There are the more than 45 mountains over 1,000m high after the Miyanoura-dake (1,935m) which is the highest mountain in Kyusu. They are called also as "Yojo Alps" (the Alps on the ocean) and the 90% of the island is covered by the forests.

The differences of the altitude between the flat groud and the mountains in the centre of the island are very big, the island has the varied weather as semitropical weather and the cold weather. The average temparature is 19 degrees, but in the top of the mountain, it can be -5degrees in December to March, and it snows during the winter.
Throughout the year, it rains a lot, and the average annual rainfall is twice to 5times bigger than Kagoshima city.
Most of the island is composed by the granite. The unique weather and the nature of the soil, the vegetation of the primeval cedar tree forest of Yakushima (nationally designated the natural monument) , the various kinds of birds as Akakokko (Turdus celaenops) or Iijimamushikui (Ijima's leaf warbler, Phylloscopus ijimae), and the animals as Yakushika deers or Yakuzaru monkeys, the 20% of the island became Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 together with Horyu-ji temple, Himeji castle and Shirakami-Sanchi.

The most famous element of the Yakushima is Yakusugi, but it is the same kind of cedar trees of the mainland of Japan. However, the age of the cedar tree is about 500 to 800 years, but in the Yakushima, the cedar trees have often 1,000 years old.
That is why, the trees of Yakushima having over 1,000 years old are called as Yakusugi, and it is distinguished from the normal cedar trees.
There are even the ones being over 2,000 years, and we can feel the outstanding powers at sight.
There are other intesting places as Shiratani Unsuikyo Gorge in the mood of the Princess Mononoke world, the beautiful beach, and the biggest cascade of Kyushu. 
 
Overnight at a Ryokan or Minshuku
breakfast

Day 1 in Yakushima/ Yakushima bus tour (optional)

Itinerary of the first day in Yakushima

【Optional local tour】Yakushima bus tour
  At 8:30 departure of the hotel
- Senpironotaki waterfall(20 minutes visit)※ 60m high waterfall from the vast granite bank. 
- Nakama Gajumaru(15 minutes visit)※300 years old huge banyan tree, the biggest of the island.
- Ookonotaki waterfall (30 minutes visit) ※88 m high waterfall, and you can be very close to the basin of a waterfall and you can be showered with negative ions.- Seiburindo road (20 minutes walking)
※This place including the coastline is only classified in the list of World Heritage Site in Yakushima. You may meet Yakuzaru monkeys and Yakushika deers. 
- Nagata inakahama beach (10 minutes visit)
※ It is the most beautiful beach of Yakushima registered in the Ramsar Convention.- Yakusugi Land(50 minutes walking)※It is the forest therapy to see the Yakusugi trees of some thousand years old, and walking in the mossy forest.
Challenge level:★☆☆☆(Easy hiking without any special equipment)
- Kigensugi(15 minutes visit)※You can approach to the roots of the trees which is one of the oldest trees of Yakushima by car.16:50 Arrive at the hotel
 

If you do not participate in the above optional tour:

You can take a walk by using the public bus or rental bicycle, and/ or you can participate in the workshop of woodwork.
There are the buses between Yakusugi Land and you can enjoy the beach of Nagata to relax.
There are Yakusugi museum and the Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Centre to learn the unique nature of Yakushima island, and you can visit the Hombo Shuzo brewery (traditional Yakushima ) to enjoy the tasting of shochu.
It is also possible to participate in the local tours of Kayak or snorkelling. There are also the tours like half-day or one-day trekking tour of Shiratani Unsui Gorge (English or Japanese only).
 

Day 2 in Yakushima / Jomonsugi tour(optional)

【Local optional tour】Jomonsugi (ancient Jomon cedar) trekking tour with a tour conductor

■The first half way     
     Arakawa tozanguchi=approx. 3km【50minutes】=Kosugidani shurakuato=approx. 5.5km【120minutes】=Ookabu hodo iriguchi =approx. 1km【20minutes】=Okinasugi=approx. 0.5km【5minutes】=Wilson kabu=approx. 1km【60minutes】= Daiosugi・Meotosugi=approx. 0.7km【30minutes】=Jomonsugi     
■The way back    
     Jomonsugi=approx. 0.7km【30minutes】=Daiosugi・Meotosugi=approx. 1km【60minutes】=Wilson kabu approx. 0.5km【5minutes】= Okinasugi=approx. 1km【20minutes】=Ookabu hodo = approx. 5.5km【120minutes】=Kosugidani shurakuato=approx. 3km【50minutes】 =Arakawa tozanguchi

Equipements   :
◎→Necessities(some item can be borrowed with charges) 〇→Recommended items
◎Bento lunchbox: can be prepared by your hotel staff
◎Rainwear: Gore-Tex or any similar function. The plastic rainwear is useless.
◎Rucksack: arround 20L size and the shoulder bag or plastic bag are not suitable. The one that you can walk both hands-free is recommended due to rough roads.
◎Climbing shoes: trecking shoes / shoes for trail running either comfortable one
◎Clothes for change
◎Water flask: 500 ml of bottles (plastic bottles are ok) X 2
◎Headlamp: must for long distance course such as Jyomon and Kuromi, beside those courses, still it is useful. Do not forget to bring standby batteries.
◎First-aid box (adhesive plaster, insect repellent, sucscreen lotion, and medicines)
◎Valuables: passport and wallet
◎Portable toilet (in case of emergency): you can buy it at the site.
〇Ziplock: it is so useful to prevent from moisture, you can zip a camera, a smartphone, etc.
〇Folding umbrella: it may not be used while walking, but when you have a break.
〇Towels: it is also useful.
〇Hat: to avoid sunlight and rain.
〇Favourite sweets: for your enjoyment.
〇Gloves (waterproof): work gloves made by cotton are useless when they are wet.
 

around 4:00 to 5:00 am  a staff will come to the accommodation you stay to take you to the Yakusugi museum.

Get on the shuttle bus at the Yakusugi museum  =  approx. 35 min. =  Starting point of Mt. Arakawa  (round fee: 1740 yen is needed)
Start off the Jomonsugi (ancient Jomon cedar) trekking tour!
 After walking on a tram road about 50 min., take a break at the ruins of Kosugi-dani village.

Ruins of Kosugi-dani village: The village, once developed when the timber forestry boosted in the region, lies in the middle of the tram road. The tram discharged timbers at Abo town and comes to the town. There are ruins of an elementary school and a junior high school, which used to see the tram goes by. 
At the present, there is only empty space between cider forests, but the town used to have 540 of residents in 1960 when the most busiest time, yet it closed on 1970. 
Nowadays, the place becomes rest space with benches and a halfway cabin.
 
Depart from the ruins of Kosugi-dani village, continue walking for about 2 hours aside of huge Yakusugi, such are Sandaisugi and Niousugi. Then take a break at the entrance of Okabu hodo where the tram road ends.
 
After you depart the entrance of Oyabu hodo, mountain trail starts. You must wear a pair of climbing shoes due to the unpaved trail, and rocks and roots stand in your way. As you climb for a while, the Ougi sugi comes in your site. The tree is consider to be 200 y.o.; however, it  fell in 2009 due to lost substance caused by the rottenness and the heaviness of parasite plants. 

Farther on the trail, you will find a larger stump called the Wilson stump discovered by an American botanist Ernest Henry Wilson, which 13.8 m around and astimated 3000 y.o. If the tree alive now, it would be the largest and oldest one in Yakushima. Inside of the tree is completely hollow, but the place is popular among women and couples. You will see the reason when you look up from inside of the tree, what you see is the landscape in a heart shaped frame. 
 
After taking a break at the Wilson stump, keep on climbing. So that you will find another huge cider, Daiosugi in about 1 hour. It is also hollow tree estimated 3000 y.o., but still grow leaves lushly.
It was the largest one in Yakushima before the Jyomon tree is discovered. There are Meoto (married couple) cider trees not far from the Daiosugi. The world national heritage registered area begins after you passed those trees. 
 
It is a burden, but you will see the Jyomonsugi a little farther on. The Jyomonsugi is the largest cider as far as confirmed until now, and it is the thickest one in Japan as a cider tree since 1966 when it is discovered. The height of the tree is 25.3 m with 16.4 m around and estimated that 2000 y.o. to 7200 y.o.
Let's feel the natural power of Yakushima in front of this huge tree for a while.
 
Afterward you enjoyed the power of Jomonsugi, concentrate on walking long way back.

You ought to back to the shuttle bus terminal by 18:00, the last one leaves, take the bus to Yakusugi Museum then transit the private car that takes you to the accommodation.
Relieve the weariness of the tour at the hotel and prepare for future plan.
 

If you do not participate in the above optional tour:

You can take a walk by using the public bus or rental bicycle, and/ or you can participate in the workshop of woodwork.
There are the buses between Yakusugi Land and you can enjoy the beach of Nagata to relax.
There are Yakusugi museum and the Yakushima World Heritage Conservation Centre to learn the unique nature of Yakushima island, and you can visit the Hombo Shuzo brewery (traditional Yakushima ) to enjoy the tasting of shochu.
It is also possible to participate in the local tours of Kayak or snorkelling. There are also the tours like half-day or one-day trekking tour of Shiratani Unsui Gorge (English or Japanese only).
 

Day 3 in Yakushima / Shiratani-unsuikyo gorge half day tour ( option )


【Optional local tour】Half day short trecking tour for Shiratani unsui gorge

Walking course:
Shiratani hiroba - Ikoi no oiwa rock - Hiryu otoshi water fall - Satsuki tsuribashi suspension bridge - Kuguri sugi cedar tree - Nanahonsugi cedar trees - Kokemusu mori (the mossy forest from the film "Princess Mononoke") 【Going back the same way】

Duration (approx.):4 hours
Departure time:7:30 to 8:30 Ending time:12:30
Walking time:3 hours          Walking distance:3km
Participants must be:Elder than students of upper level in elementary school
Challenge level :★☆☆☆ - ★★☆☆(Hiking easy for beginners. Proper equipements are needed.) 
※ If you do not wish to participate in the optional tour, please enjoy the free time until the departure.
※ In case if we stay in the city of Kagoshima on this day, we will move to Kumamoto next morning by Shinkansen.
 Satsuki tsuribashi suspension bridge-Kuguri sugi cedar tree (get through under the cider)Nanahonsugi cedar - Kokemusu mori (the mossy forest from the film "Princess Mononoke")

Let’s immerse ourselves into the universe of the famous animation movie Mononoke. As it is a short round trip of 3 kilometers, take your time to relax in the wonderful rainforest atmosphere. After the walk, we will head for the ferry. (2 hours to Kagoshima)

Once we arrive at Kagoshima, we will go to Kagoshima Chuo station, and Kumamoto by taking the Shinkansen, then overnight in Kumamoto. 

※ We might stay in Kagoshima for the night after getting back from Yakushima. If so, we will head for Kumamoto by taking the shinkansen the next day.
 

Day 10:


Itinerary of day 10

Departure from the hotel Kumamoto station - ferry terminal of Kumamoto by bus - Kumomoto ferry - boarding Ocean Arrow and crossing of Ariake sea (April - October enjoy giving food to seagles !) - Shimabara port - Boarding the local train (Shimabara railroad) heading for Shimabara city - samourai mansion and city of Shimabara, stroll into the city where little rivers full of carps flow - destroyed houses of Mt Unzen eruption - Check in at Unzen Onsen and free time to stroll in the thermal town. 

Overnight in Unzen Onsen

Overnight in Unzen Onsen
breakfast, dinner

Shimabara et Unzen onsen

Shimabara Peninsula
 

Shimabara peninsula is located south of Nagasaki Prefecture, and appeared after the eruption of a very active volcano : Mt Unzen. On the other side of the interior sea is Kumamoto Prefecture. Formerly, during the samurai period, the occidental culture was deeply rooted into Nagasaki area which was considered as a christian territory where by the way lived a lord named the christian Daimyo. But came the oppression period against christianity and in order to reinforce the surveillance in the area has been built the castle of Shimabara surrounded by numerous of samurai mansions developed after the war period of the XVIIth century. Therefore, the houses are very well preserved and boast a unique beauty. The little thermal town of Shimabara is widely appreciated for hot springs which flows from former eruption lava, and where swim plenty of carps.

Mt Unzen has erupted many times into the second half period of the XXth Century, and is sadly known for the eruption of 1991 that killed 40 people in 1991. 

The eruption continued until 1995 and spearhead  Mt Heisei-Shinzan, a lava dome with 1486 meters high. 

It is still possible to see the damaged houses nearby.

 

Unzen Onsen (hot springs)
 

Although the terrific eruptions of Mt Unzen, it is a place where there are many activities to enjoy. On the peninsula, the mountains of Unzen boast the best hot springs spots in Japan, besides you surely notice the smell of the sulphur everywhere. The best spot there is a place called Unzen Hell or Unzen Jigoku in Japanese. Maybe you have already heard about another famous hot springs spot in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, which is also called Hell because of the spectacular baths all around the town. However, in Unzen hell, the entire scenery seems to be the hell itself. The steam that escapes from the boiling springs are so impressive that we could easily imagine demons exit from it.

Day 11 :

Itinerary of day 11

Departure from Unzen Onsen (9:10 or 1h10 pm) - it takes about 1h40 -after we arrive in Nagasaki check in at the hotel (if we arrive in the morning, visit of the peace memorial / if it would in the afternoon visit of Dejima or Yamate district - Check in at the hotel

※You could participate at the excursion for admiring the night view of Nagasaki (2000 yen per person without tour leader)

Departure around 5:30 pm, 8:00 pm : it takes about 80/90 min to access it. 

Overnight in Nagasaki
breakfast

Visit of Nagasaki, memorial of peace, night view

After we arrive in Nagasaki, we will let our luggage at the hotel then we will go to visit the city. 

First, we will lead to Urakami district that still keeps the scars of the past. (visit possible if we arrive in the morning). 

~Peace memorial and its vicinity~

3 days after the total destruction of Hiroshima by the US atomic bomb, the 9th of August at 11h02, another atomic bomb is dropped on the north part of Nagasaki, in the Urakami district blowing away the entire city and its inhabitants. Although the bomb dropped in Nagasaki was 1.5 times more powerful than the one dropped in Hiroshima, there were 2 times less victims thanks to the mountainous terrain that surrounds Nagasaki. However, nowadays we can still see the scars and remember these tragic Historical events that should not occur in the future. We will head for Urakami district, the hypocenter,  the memorial of peace, and the Urakami church that has been rebuilt at the exact same place it was before. 

Excursion to admire one of the three most beautiful night views in Japan. 
 

Let’s go to Mt.Inasa to admire one of the three most beautiful night views in Japan, and which is also known as one of the most beautiful in the world along with Hong Kong and Monaco. From the top we see the city, the port, and the houses located in the mountains. Indeed, thanks to the mountainous terrain, the scenery boasts a wonderful contrast of light and shadow.

breakfast

Day 12 :

Itinerary of day 12

Morning :Free time in Nagasaki 

 

- Yamate district :Glover garden, Oura church、Oranda Zaka、 confucian temple 

- Dejima

- Chinatown of Nagasaki and Tojin Yashiki mansion

- Megane bridge

-  Fukusai-ji temple and Shofukuji temple

- Excursion on Gunkanjima abandoned island  (morning tour)

Afternoon: express train「kamome」to Fukuoka(2 hours). -arrival in the evening and check-in at the hotel in Fukuoka. 

Overnight at a hotel in Fukuoka
breakfast

Free time in Nagasaki

Dejima
 

At the beginning of Edo period, Japan officially starts an isolationist policy and Dejima was the only port accessible for foreign ships. It is a little artificial island with a fan shape and a size of two soccer fields. During 300 years, from the XVIIth to the XIXth century, the foreign ships that berthed there were highly controlled. This island was one of the most important places where all importants information from abroad were gathered. Nowadays, the port has been renovated and it has extended inland, but the old buildings do not longer exist. However, due to the Historical importance of this place, the former appearance of the island have been rebuilt. 

Chinatown・Tojin Yashiki mansion
 

During the isolationist period, China and Japan still maintain their commercial activity and  many Chinese people settled in Nagasaki. However, they lived in a place called Tojin mansion, located in a restricted area located into the mountainous region. After the end of isolationism, the chinese residence moved near the coastline and became the chinatown we know today. 
This Chinatown is one of the most important in Japan with the one in Yokohama.

Minami Yamate (south)・Higashi Yamate (east)
 

Minami Yamate・Higashi Yamate are districts that built after the end of isolationism. There are listed in the list of Important Preservation Districts, as the Glover garden and its charming paved roads built by Frederick Ringer in the XIXth century, the Oura Church listed in the World Heritage and plenty of other things to discover. While you admire Nagasaki bay, you can imagine the time where former merchants berthed in the harbour. Moreover, if you go to the observatory located higher up, you could enjoy a stunning night view as the one from Mt Inasa. 

Excursion at Gunkanjima (extra expenses)

Excursion at Gunkanjima (extra expenses)
 

The island of Gunkanjima is located south-west of Nagasaki and about 19 kms offshore. In Japanese, Gunkan means cruiser. Indeed, when you see the islands away, it seems to be a cruiser sailing far away. The official name of the island is Hashima. It is a small island 160 meters wide and 480 meters long where formerly lived 5 200 people, the most important population density in the world, 9 times higher than Tokyo. 

During the Edo period, coal was discovered on the island that immediately became a mining area that attracted many workers. In addition, the island’s activity increased with the development of mining technology. 

A wall surrounds the island and high buildings line up as it seems to be a big cruiser when we look at it from a far distance. Actually, it looks like a famous old cruiser called the Tosa which belonged to the Japanese Imperial Army. 

There were a school, a cinema, restaurants, a hospital on the island. The main activity were the mining but the mine closed after the new energy conversion policy of the country. Therefore, the inhabitants leave the island and no one has ever settled there again for 30 years. Today, all we can find in Hashima are the ruins. 

Today, the island remains a testimony of the country's history and cultural values ​​regarding its energy conservation.

The island has been listed at the world heritage in 2015 and nowadays, many tourists came to visit it. Notice that due to the collapse risks, it is not possible to visit the island freely but a small part only. 

※Regarding the weather, and sea conditions, it might be impossible to go to the island. 

Around 9:45 embarkation counter-  around 10:10 meet up - around 10:30  embarkation  - crossing 11:30〜12:30 - Arrival at Gunkanjima - 13:00  disembarkation. 

Day 13 : ( End of the trip )

After the breakfast, check out at the hotel : end of the tour. 

If you want to pursue your stay, thank you for contacting us. 
Shinkansen tickets available at Hakata station, or possibility to take a domestic flight from Fukuoka airport.

Customize your trip!

This is a original tour made by our travel designers.

If you wish to change the duration of your stay, add few activities or some guided visits, or if you need the help of an assistant, thank you for contacting us. 
We can also recommend some sightseeing or give you information about the local cuisine and popular activities to enjoy.

 

This is customizable tour according to your wish.
Please select your departure date on the calendar below in order to make your own tour.

Click here to discover other suggested itineraries.

Click here to discover other small group tours.

Important to know
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult

  • Please inform us, at the time of booking, about the participation of any person with reduced mobility or suffering from any  condition requiring special needs during the trip.

  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking.

  • The tour operator  reserves the right to cancel the excursion 30 days before departure date if the number of participants is not sufficient.

  • In case of traffic congestion or any other uncontrollable reasons that affect the tour schedule and lead to delay in time, schedule change or visit cancellation etc., our company will not take any responsibility, please be noted in advance.

  • Itinerary order is subject to change depending on traffic, weather and operation hours.

  • The price is per person based on the booking of a double or a twin room.

  • All the bookings must be confirmed not later than 30 days before departure.

Additional informations
  • You have the possibility to stay in a wide range of accommodation types in order to immerse yourself in our culture. Please refer to  “Accommodation

  • Please note that we will take public transport during the trip. Please refer to “Transportation

  • Travel to Japan means also the discovery of a fascinating and a varied cuisine. That is why, sometimes during the trip, you will have  freetimes at noon or in the evening to enjoy a wide range of restaurants. You will be surprised by the large number of restaurants in Japan, and their attractive prices. Please refer to  “Meal”.

  • Your main luggage will be transferred from hotel to hotel every two or three days and it is highly recommended to carry a backpack or a handbag with you personal belongings. Please refer to “Transfer of your luggage”.

  • A moderate amount of walking is involved / This itinerary includes hiking paths; please wear comfortable walking shoes.

  • Each itinerary includes some free times. You will enjoy a wide range of sightseeing on your own. Please notice that there will be no transportation during free times. All the payments made during free times are at your own expense.

  • Please  refer to “Travel information” about any useful information.

  • Please expect an additional price if you are traveling alone. Most of the Ryokan doesn’t have single rooms.

  • Pictures are used for illustrative purpose only.

Included
  • tour leader‘s service every day

  • The breakfasts and the meals mentioned in the itinerary

       : 12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinner

  • Every transport mentioned in the itinerary

  • Accommodation (3 stars) for 4 nights,  3 stars or less on Naoshima island et Teshima island

*Remark: The accomodation on Yakushima island would be Minshuku style. 

  • The visits and the entrance fees in the sites mentioned in the itinerary

  • The transfer of your luggage from  hotel to hotel every two or three day.


*Tour price for children is available. The tour price for the groupe who share the rooms by more than 3 peaple can be also negotiable.Please ask us about further information on the reservation form.

Not included
  • The international flights

  • The insurances

  • The personal expenses

  • The meals not mentioned in the itinerary

  • The transports, the entrance fees and the activities not mentioned in the itinerary.

  • The gratuities (optional).

    *Please ask us for the extra nights before or/and after the tour.

Dates & Prices

Please select & click on the date below to make a reservation / inquiry.
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