7 days / 6 nights
Max 16 people
Bullet train + limited express + private mini-bus
Discover history and wonder in every corner of Kyushu
Kyushu is the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands and abounds in countless things to discover. On this tour, you’ll step back into Kyushu’s past – all the way to feudal times – and learn how the island served as a crucial gateway in opening up Japan to the West and the wider world.
Basing yourself in Fukuoka, you’ll explore all the corners of Kyushu. Experience everything from the 400-year-old Kumamoto Castle, the spectacular illumination event at Huis Ten Bosch, the touching peace tribute in Nagasaki and Japan’s most active volcano in Kagoshima. Visit Beppu to see the wild monkeys that roam Mount Takasaki and marvel at the sight of the famous bubbling hot springs. All this while sampling some exquisite local Kyushu cuisine along the way.
Ride in comfort across Kyushu on the iconic Shinkansen and stylish JR Limited Express trains that make it so effortless to explore all that each prefecture has to offer.
Kyushu’s majestic scenery, history, unique air, rich food culture and cheerful, open-minded people all combine to make it a must-see destination on your Japan trip.
Built over 400 years ago, Kumamoto Castle is a picture-perfect Japanese
castle with imposing 20m-high stone walls. Restoration efforts have been underway since the 2016 earthquake, a shining example of the Japanese spirit.
Huis Ten Bosch, a Dutch-inspired theme park, is stunning and picturesque by day. But when the sun sets, it comes to life with millions of dazzling, brilliant lights to create an unforgettable illumination event. For the most romantic spot, visit the Light and Fountain Canal that shimmers with the seven colours of the rainbow.
The 1945 atomic bomb was devastating for Nagasaki. Take a moment to
reflect on the past at the Peace Park just north of the bomb’s hypocenter, and visit the Peace Statue that symbolises the Nagasaki citizens’ wish for a peaceful future.
With the highest number of natural hot springs in Japan, Beppu is the
number one destination to see them. Kamado Jigoku is one of the most famous Jigoku (hell) tours in Beppu which boasts six hot springs with mesmerising colourful qualities.
Takasakiyama Monkey Park is home to around 1,500 wild Japanese monkeys. The monkeys roam freely around the park allowing you to get up close (but not too close!). Watch the monkeys as they relax, eat, play and groom themselves.
The epic sight of Sakurajima volcano billowing steam and smoke is awe-inspiring. Senganen, a famed Japanese garden and former home of a samurai lord, is the perfect place to see it from. The tranquil beauty of garden contrasting with the immense power of the volcano is unforgettable.
Your Kyushu journey begins in comfort at the Miyako Hotel Hakata, a new hotel located just a few minutes walk from JR Hakata Station. Spacious, stylish rooms await you, plus access to a rooftop swimming pool and an indoor natural hot spring. This evening you will be greeted at the hotel by your tour escort and get to know your fellow travellers over dinner at a local izakaya (Japanese pub).
* If you are arriving between 9am and 11am at Fukuoka airport, you can request a tour escort to meet you. The escort will provide directions and assist with making your own way to the hotel.
After breakfast, we’ll take the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Hakata Station for a day trip to Kumamoto.
We will visit Suizenji Jojuen, an idyllic Japanese garden that reproduces the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido as depicted in famous ukiyo-e woodcut prints by Utagawa Hiroshige. A little imagination is required, although we’re sure you’ll spot the miniature Mt Fuji! Enjoy a cup of tea in Kokin-Denju-no-Ma, a 400-year-old thatch-roofed tea house that overlooks the garden’s pond.
We then move on to Kumamoto Castle, one of the three most famous castles in Japan. The castle sustained heavy damage in the 2016 earthquake and while the meticulous restoration continues, the castle remains an immensely impressive experience.
Next to the castle is Sakuranobaba Josaien, an area which recreates 17th century atmosphere and where you’ll encounter the local specialties of Kumamoto. Kumamoto Castle Museum Wakuwakuza is a discovery zone of the history and culture of Kumamoto Castle.
From Kumamoto, we will return to Hakata by Shinkansen.
Tomorrow we will be staying in Huis Ten Bosch so you can travel light with a small backpack and leave your main luggage in Hakata.
Today we hop on a limited express train to Huis Ten Bosch, Japan’s largest theme park that recreates a 17th-century-style Dutch town. The train offers a wonderful view of the scenic Kyushu countryside and leads you to a little piece of the Netherlands right in Japan, complete with canals, beautiful seasonal flowers and even picture-perfect windmills.
At Huis Ten Bosch, you’ll be amazed by the attention to detail in recreating an entire foreign town. It’s Japanese precision at the highest level! You’ll also learn of the historical relationship that the Netherlands and Japan have had since 1609.
Enjoy the entire day exploring the vast park and visiting attractions including museums, shops, restaurants, theatres and rides.
As night falls, Huis Ten Bosch comes to life as a staggering 13 million colourful lights illuminate the park and canals.
To cap off the day, we’ll stay in Hotel Amsterdam – an elegant European-style hotel located right in the heart of Huis Ten Bosch. Enjoy a romantic evening!
After breakfast at your hotel in Huis Ten Bosch, we’ll move on to Nagasaki by private mini-bus.
The history of Nagasaki is inseparable from the atomic bomb that devastated the city in 1945. We will visit the Peace Park, a place of remembrance for those lost, and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, a moving look back that also spotlights the Nagasaki citizens’ hope for a peaceful future.
After a hearty lunch of Champon, a famous Nagasaki noodle dish, we will visit Glover Garden. The site of the former home of Thomas Blake Glover – a Scottish merchant who played a key role in the Industrialisation of Japan – Glover Garden was the setting for the world-famous opera Madame Butterfly. The garden sits high on a hill and offers stunning panoramic views of Nagasaki harbour and the city.
We then move on to Oura Tenshudo, a World-Heritage-listed Catholic church that dates back to the 1800s and is one of the oldest churches in Japan. This church was built as a tribute to the 26 martyrs of 1597 and is an important part of Nagasaki history.
Relax on the comfortable Limited Express Kamome train for the approximate two-hour return trip to Hakata.
We start the day on the Limited Express Sonic train to Beppu in Oita prefecture, Japan’s largest hot spring town.
From Beppu Station, we’ll take a private mini-bus to Takasakiyama Monkey Park. 1,500 wild macaque monkeys call Mt. Takasaki home, and each day they descend the mountain for feeding and grooming. You won’t soon forget the sight of hundreds and hundreds of monkeys at your feet!
Next, visit Kamado Jigoku and witness the six different types of “hells”. Each hell is a steaming pool of hot spring water that has a unique colour such as earthy red, cobalt blue, milky white and even bubbling hot mud.
For lunch, we’ll try Oita’s famous Toriten (chicken tempura) and Jigokumushi pudding that is cooked with the steam from the hot springs.
From Kifune Castle, enjoy a panoramic view of the Kunisaki Peninsula, Mount Tsurumi and Beppu Bay.
Before boarding the train to Hakata, try buying a delicious ekiben (boxed meal) to enjoy on the two-hour return trip.
Today we board the Shinkansen and head to Kagoshima, one of the largest cities in Kyushu.
The first thing you’ll notice is Sakurajima. Sakurajima is the most active volcano in Japan and an icon of Kagoshima. At 1,117 metres high, it is a significant presence in Kagoshima skyline. It can often be seen billowing white smoke high up into the sky.
We get started with a visit to the Ishibashi Memorial Park, which preserves the stone building techniques of the Edo period. Next, we stop at Reimeikan, a museum located in the ruins of Kagoshima Castle, to learn about the history and culture of Kagoshima. Then we visit Senganen, an exquisite Japanese garden with a panoramic view of Sakurajima. Step back in time and see how the feudal lords lived.
At Shoko Shuseikan Museum, a World Heritage Site, discover the history and importance of the Meiji era Industrial Revolution of the late 19th century. The surrounding grounds, including traditional gardens and bamboo groves, are beautiful and wonderful to stroll through.
We return to Hakata by Shinkansen and enjoy a farewell dinner together at one of Fukuoka’s food stalls.
Your tour officially ends today. After breakfast, you will have time to explore Fukuoka or relax in your room until check-out time at noon. Have a safe and enjoyable trip!
Superior Twin or Superior Double
This brand new hotel connects directly to JR Hakata Station. From Fukuoka Airport, it’s a quick five-minute subway ride to Hakata Station. From there, the hotel is just a five-minute walk away. At over 30m², your Superior room provides a comfortable space complete with a bathtub. The hotel also offers an outdoor spa and indoor hot spring where you can relax after a busy day of exploring.
Hotel Amsterdam is located in the heart of Huis Ten Bosch. Rooms are spacious – at least 45m² – and beautifully decorated in classic European styling. Situated on the harbour, it’s the perfect spot for a morning stroll. An open-air garden bar and café facing the square complete the European experience. The hotel’s restaurant offers a Japanese and Western buffet based on French cuisine, using Nagasaki ingredients.
For 2022 departure
10 January – 16 January
(TOUR CODE: EAE10012S)
23 January – 29 January
(TOUR CODE: EAE23012S)
06 February – 12 February
(TOUR CODE: EAE06022S)
13 February – 19 February
(TOUR CODE: EAE13022S)
27 February – 05 March
(TOUR CODE: EAE27022N)
13 March – 19 March
(TOUR CODE: EAE13032S)
27 March – 02 April
(TOUR CODE: EAE27032N)
03 April – 09 April
(TOUR CODE: EAE03042S)
Group size: Max 16 people
*This tour is for travellers aged 15 years old and up.
Please read our General Booking Terms & Conditions
Kintetsu International Express (Oceania) is an ATAS accredited travel agent in Australia, a member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents. In Australia, we specialise in arranging Corporate and Group Travel for businesses, schools, religious groups and cultural organisations. We have Travel Centres in Sydney and Melbourne serving our Australian customers and offices in Cairns, Gold Coast and Auckland handling Japanese inbound tours. We are also an authorised travel agent to sell Japan Rail Pass and Kintetsu Rail Pass in Australia
Kintetsu International belongs to the travel arm of the Kintetsu Group, a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate which operates a major Japanese rail system, bus & freight forwarding companies, department stores, restaurants & hotel chains. We have more than 150 offices in Japan and more than 40 overseas offices worldwide. Utilising our global network, we guide our customers to every location around the globe with quality and dependable services.