ISLANDS AND ONSEN
13 nights (Self-guided)
Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Yakushima, Kumamoto, Kurokawa Onsen & Beppu
From £1,795 pp
Our 'Islands & Onsen' tour is a 13-night self-guided trip that visits the southern island of Kyushu, blessed with emerald forests, azure seas, delicious food, and friendly locals abound. Highlights of this wonderful tour include Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Yakushima & Kurokawa Onsen.
Visits to Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Yakushima, Kumamoto, Kurokawa Onsen and Beppu.
Travel on Japan's famous Bullet Train
3 Day Kyushu Rail Pass
13 nights' accommodation
Meet and Greet service upon arrival at the airport
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN JAPAN – FUKUOKA AIRPORT
Welcome to Japan! Our friendly Meet & Greet service representative will be waiting in the Arrivals lobby and holding a sign with your name on. The Meet & Greet will direct you to the subway for the very short journey to your hotel. Check in to your clean and comfortable hotel in central Fukuoka for 1 night.
DAY 2: FUKUOKA TO NAGASAKI – START USING YOUR JR PASS TODAY
Today you will set off by train to Nagasaki. This intriguing city has a vibrant multicultural history being one of the few cities open to foreign traders when the rest of Japan was was closed to the outside world. Visit the Nishizaka area, home to the serene Shofuku-ji (a Zen temple) and Nagasaki's biggest Shinto shrine Suwa-jinja. Head down the hill from here to Nagasaki's Chinatown and on to the old Portuguese and Dutch enclaves where you can get a sense of what life was like for foreign communities in feudal Japan. Check in to your superbly located hotel for the next 2 nights.
DAY 3: NAGASAKI
This morning set out for Glover Garden, with its lovely nineteenth-century European villas, and the nearby Oura Church, the oldest in Japan. The 'Dutch Slopes' Orandazaka area is also well worth a visit. If you wish, consider a visit to the Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Museum, the latter of which has excellent English guidance.
DAY 4: NAGASAKI TO KAGOSHIMA
Today you will head on to the island's southern capital of Kagoshima. Board the train to Tosu, where you will change to the world-famous Japanese Bullet Train. The journey takes around 3 hours, giving you ample time in the afternoon to start exploring the city and check in to your hotel. You will stay here for 3 nights in your clean, comfortable, and centrally located hotel.
DAY 5: KAGOSHIMA
Start your stay in Kagoshima with a visit to Sakurajima Island. Sakurajima itself is an active volcano located in Kagoshima Bay which forms a spectacular backdrop. Take a bus tour or rent a bike and explore the island where you can see spectacular views of the crater and lava fields from the observatories and relax in one of the outdoor hot spring baths on the hillside.
DAY 6: KAGOSHIMA
Today take a day trip to the Satsuma Peninsula, where your first stop should be the samurai villas in the quaint village of Chiran. Move on from here to the sand baths of Ibusuki where the sandy beaches are naturally heated by steam rising from below. Lie in the hot sand and enjoy the gorgeous view across the bay to Sakurajima Island.
DAY 7: KAGOSHIMA TO YAKUSHIMA
Spend the morning checking out a few of the city's other sights such as Sengan-en garden, before boarding the ferry for the verdant island of Yakushima. Check in to your comfortable and relaxing hotel for 2 nights. Dinner is included for both nights of your stay.
DAY 8: YAKUSHIMA
Yakushima is renowned for being one of Japan's most beautiful wild places, and when you see it you will believe it. Head to Shiratani Unsuikyo, home of a large number of the island's famous yakusugi ancient indigenous cedar trees. This is the place that inspired master animator Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke. The park is accessible by bus and is the trailhead for numerous hikes of varying difficulty.
For serious hikers, there can be only one true objective on Yakushima – hidden in the very depths of the island's mountainous interior, the world's oldest tree, Jomon-sugi. If you are up for the challenge, prepare thoroughly for a 10-hour hike through the island's spectacular and rugged interior. For true hiking enthusiasts, this simply cannot be missed.
DAY 9: YAKUSHIMA TO KUMAMOTO
Enjoy a relaxing morning in your hotel before checking out and heading back to the mainland and on to the city of Kumamoto, gateway to Kyushu's gorgeous mountainous interior. Take a leisurely stroll around the city's Suizenji-joujuen garden or visit the residence of Lafcadio Hearn, famous for being the first to record many of Japan's folk tales in English. Check in to your clean and comfortable hotel in Kumamoto for one night.
DAY 10: KUMAMOTO TO KUROKAWA ONSEN
Today you will head into the mountains, bound for the hot spring town of Kurokawa Onsen. This quaint little town has managed to preserve its historic and peaceful atmosphere, as evidenced by its traditionally constructed buildings and abundant nature. Much of the town lies beside the winding river that flows along the valley floor, featuring many traditional shops and onsen hot spring baths that can easily be explored on foot. Check into your lovely Japanese ryokan hotel for a night, enjoy a delicious Japanese dinner (included) and relax in the onsen.
DAY 11: KUROKAWA ONSEN TO BEPPU
Say goodbye to Kurokawa before heading off once more, this time to Beppu. To the Japanese, Beppu and hot springs are virtually synonymous. Visit the eight 'hells' of Beppu which are a collection of hot springs boasting unusual natural properties – sadly these are only for viewing but there are also plenty of other hot springs around town which you can try out. Check in to your clean and comfortable hotel for 2 nights.
DAY 12: BEPPU AT LEISURE
For a change of pace try the nearby Yufuin. Just a short train ride away, this quaint town retains a lot of traditional charm and has plenty of cafes, shops, and museums making it a great day trip. Just outside the town is Lake Kinrinko, reached via a short walk through the paddy fields which should be memorable.
DAY 13: BEPPU TO FUKUOKA
This morning set off back to Fukuoka by train. The journey takes around two hours, leaving you to enjoy your final afternoon in Fukuoka. Maybe get some last-minute shopping done in the stylish Canal City shopping centre, visit Ohori Park, or once the sun sets try one of the famous yatai riverside street food stalls – a great place to try the famous local tonkotsu style ramen. Check in to your hotel in Hakata for 1 night.
DAY 14: DEPART JAPAN– FUKUOKA AIRPORT
Say goodbye to Japan from Fukuoka International Airport (Fukuoka).
HOW INDEPENDENT TOURS WORK
ENJOY INDEPENDENT TRAVEL BUT NOT THE HASSLE OF PLANNING?
OUR INDEPENDENT TOURS COULD BE JUST THE TICKET!
Carefully put together by our team of specialists, our excellent collection of sample itineraries is designed to inform and inspire your next Japan adventure. Every one of our Independent Tours is fully tailor-made for you, ensuring your trip is everything you want it to be.
It's quite straightforward to travel independently in Japan. We will provide just the right amount of support and logistical planning to make you feel comfortable in a very foreign land. These itineraries are available for any departure date (with a few exclusions coinciding with Japanese National Holidays and some weekends). We'll do all the work for you and provide you with an information pack to make your trip run smoothly. You can also add guided tours as indicated and if you do want your own personal guide we can arrange this too.
ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS & LOCATION GUIDES
PRICING & INCLUSIONS
3* Hotels/ryokan: from £1,795 per person based on twin/double room occupancy.
4* Hotels/ryokan: from £2,395 per person based on twin/double room occupancy.
3* single room occupancy: from £2,075.00
4* single room occupancy: from £2,745.00
Upgrade to 5* accommodation available: contact us for details.
10 nights’ accommodation in a twin/double room at 3*/4*hotels on a bed & breakfast basis.
2 nights’ accommodation on Yakushima in a twin/double room at 3*/4*hotels where breakfast and dinner are included.
1 night’s accommodation in a Japanese ryokan in Kurokawa Onsen, breakfast and dinner included.
3 day Kyushu Rail Pass allowing you unlimited travel on the entire JR Kyushu network including Shinkansen (Bullet Train) services.
Meet & Greet service on arrival at Fukuoka Airport
Detailed Japan Journeys Information Pack including detailed train schedules, maps, & brochures.
Personalised Japan Journeys App to help manage your documents.
All Japanese sales taxes and service charge.
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
Taxi, subway, and tramway fees.
To make a booking, a deposit of 10% of the total price is required.
The balance of the price of the trip must be made 12 weeks prior to departure.
Travel can be a great experience, but it can also be fraught with problems, so when going anywhere it is essential you are properly covered with good travel insurance. You should be protected against cancellation, curtailment, and loss or damage to your belongings as well as medical emergencies and have peace of mind if the unexpected happens.
Japan Journeys in association with Holiday Extras, is now able to offer excellent low-cost cover to their customers.