Wednesday, July 17, 2019

8D7N Kyushu Japan Itinerary (Kumamato - Nagasaki - Fukuoka)

When Airasia announced their new route to Fukuoka and thus to the rest of mainland Kyushu, I was probably one of the first in line (online) to book my tickets as soon as they launched last year. And so began half a year of planning for my first visit to Fukuoka.

After much research, I've decided to rent a car to drive down to Kumamoto and Nagasaki before heading back to Fukuoka with trips in between. As there were four people in my group to share the cost of the car, this actually worked out cheaper than buying tickets for the train plus the car gave us some flexibility to go to usually unreachable spots at our own pace. More on my rented car at the end of the post.

For now, this is just a general breakdown of my itinerary with greater detail to be shared in the upcoming Kyushu blog post series. So be sure to like and follow my social media pages or subscribe via email for updates!

Disclaimer: due to the torrent rain that resulted in the Kyushu floods, some of my plans had to be omitted or tweaked according to weather conditions.

Day 1 (KL - Fukuoka - Kumamoto) 

Overnight flight into Fukuoka International Airport - Collect rented car - Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine - Kumamoto
Accommodation: Nest Hotel Kumamoto

Day 2 (Takachiho - Mount Aso) 

Head out to Takachiho Gorge - Takachiho Shrine - Amanoiwato Shrine -Kamishikimi Kumanoza Shrine - Kusasenri - return to Kumamoto)
Accommodation: Nest Hotel Kumamoto

Day 3 (Kumamoto - Shimabara - Nagasaki) 

Check out of hotel - take ferry to Shimabara - half day walking tour in Shimabara - Nagasaki
Accommodation: Nagasaki Washington Hotel

Day 4 (Nagasaki) 
Nagasaki Peace Park - Atomic Bomb Museum - Chinatown - Free and easy - Meganebashi
Accommodation: Nagasaki Washington Hotel

Day 5 (Nagasaki - Takeo - Itoshima - Fukuoka) 
Suwa-jinja - Dejima - check out of hotel - Mifuneyama Rakuen - Suginoya Brewery - Palm Beach - Sakurai Futamigaura of Meotoiwa - Ichiran no Mori - return car in Fukuoka - check into hostel
Accommodation: The Life Hostel and Bar Lounge 

Day 6 (Fukuoka) 
Nanzoin temple - Mentaiko Factory - Hakata Station - Free and easy - Canal City Hakata - Kushida Shrine - Kawabata Shopping Street - Nakasu
Accommodation: The Life Hostel and Bar Lounge 

Day 7 (Fukuoka)
Present shopping in Don Quixote Nakasu - Tochiji Temple - Daimyo - Animate Tenjin - Ohori Park -
Momochi Seaside Park - Fukuoka Tower
Accommodation: The Life Hostel and Bar Lounge 

Day 8 (Fukuoka - KL) 
Check out of hostel - head to Fukuoka International Airport by taxi.

Rental Car
I rented my car from Nippon Rent-A-Car with collection from the outlet closest to Fukuoka International Airport. For a S-S class car, a Honda Fit/Jazz with a ETC card, it amounted to JPY34,500 (est RM1,312) for 5 days usage. However, because I signed up as a member on their website and booked via their official site, I was entitled to a 15% discount which resulted the car total being JPY27,432 (est RM1,043). Nippon Rent-A-Car provided a shuttle van to collect us from the airport to transport to the shop although the wait took about 20 minutes.

When I got to the shop to collect my ride, I also opted for the 5-days Kyushu Expressway Pass (KEP) at JPY6,500 (est RM247) which basically covered some of the major expressways tolls for my trip for five days. It doesn't cover all the tolls in Kyushu so some research and route planning was required to make the most of the pass. However it does remove the worry of taking a wrong turn and paying a bomb or scrambling for change at the toll.

A full tank of petrol lasted us for the whole trip which came up to a mileage of roughly 650km and we paid about RM200 to fill it up again before returning it. Kyushu is a place in Japan that is best explored by car and I would definitely recommend renting a car to drive around to enjoy the countryside as I did.

Stay tune for more details in my Kyushu blog series.

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