Direct access to Fukuoka (Hakata), Kumamoto, Kagoshima from Osaka. Kyushu Shinkansen

Kyushu Shinkansen Tsubasa
Kyushu Shinkansen Tsubasa

Kyushu Shinkansen runs between Hakata and Kagoshima-Chuo. But many trains run from Shin-Osaka and carry many passengers from Kansai area to Kyushu. This is the best way to get Kyushu from Osaka and Hiroshima. But some trains are not covered by JR Pass. I would like to show you about this Shinkansen system in this post.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

Types of trains

There are three types of trains, the fastest train “Mizuho”, second fastest “Sakura” and “Tsubame” that stops at all station. on Kyushu Shinkansen. All Mizuho and most of Sakura go through Sanyo Shiknasen to/from Shin-Osaka. You can ride a train from Shin-Osaka to Kagoshima without transfer. But the fastest train, Mizuho is not covered by Japan Rail Pass. Mizuho is in same restriction as Nozomi of Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen.

Mizuho connects Shin-Osaka with Kumamoto in just 3 hours and with Kagoshima Chuo in 3 hours 45 minutes.

Sakura is a bit slower than Mizuho. It connects Shin-Osaka with Kumamoto in 3 hours 10 minutes to 3 hours 45 minutes and with Kagoshima-chuo in 4 hours 10 minutes to 40 minutes. It takes much more minutes for taking some of Sakura as it stops at many more stations than Mizuho and faster Sakura.

Tsubame is slowest train on Kyushu Shinkansen now. It is operated between Hakata and Kagoshima-chuo only. This train does not go through Sanyo Shinkansen. It connects Hakata and Kagoshima-Chuo around 2 hours. Of course if you need to move to Kagoshima-chuo or Kumamato from Hakata, you can take Sakura, or if you are not Japan Rail Pass user, take Mizuho.

Route and stations


View Kyushu Shinkansen (Bullet Train) in a larger map

Click to enlarge the image of map (C) Hisagi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Click to enlarge the image of map (C) Hisagi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Station Mizuho Sakura Tsubame
Hakata (博多) x x x
Shin-Tosu (新鳥栖) * x
Kurume (久留米) * x
Chikugo-Funagoya (筑後船小屋) * x
Shin-Omuta (新大牟田) * x
Shin-Tamama (新玉名) * x
Kumamoto (熊本) x x x
Shin-Yatsushiro (新八代) * x
Shin-Minamata (新水俣) * x
Izumi (出水) * x
Sendai (川内) * x
Kagoshima-Chuo (鹿児島中央) x x x

x:All trains stop *:Some of trains stop -All trains pass by

Accommodation

There are two types of cars, newer N700-7000/8000 series and JR Kyushu original 800 series. 800 series is used for Sakura and Tsubame. This train does not go through Sanyo Shinkansen. N700 series was introduced for Mizuho and Sakura depart from Shin-Osaka.

800 series

This type is used for the trains that are operated on Kyushu Shinkansen only. This series does not have any Green class. But even ordinary class provides you 2+2 seat configuration. This is a big difference as the standard in Shinkansen ordinary class is 2+3 seat configuration. And also this series has many Japanese decoration in the train. It gives you very unique Japanese atmosphere.

1 2 3 4 5 6
NR NR NR R R R

R:Ordinary class reserved seat NR:Ordinary class non-reserved seat

Images
Ordinary seat
Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series
Sanitary space
Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series Kyushu Shinkansen 800 series

N700-7000 series is new fleet to use for Sakura and Mizuho.
N700-7000 series is new fleet to use for Sakura and Mizuho. (C) Mitsuki-2368

N700-7000/8000 series

This type is used for all Mizuho, Sakura that is go through Sanyo Shinaksen and some Tsubame.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
NR NR NR R R R/G R R

R:Ordinary class reserved seat NR:Ordinary class non-reserved seat G:Green class

Please refer the post, N700 series for Kyushu Shinkansen Mizuho and Sakura for the details about N700 series.

59 thoughts on “Direct access to Fukuoka (Hakata), Kumamoto, Kagoshima from Osaka. Kyushu Shinkansen”

  1. Hi, planning a 14 days holiday in jun, fly in to Fukuoka and out from Osaka airport. First time to Kyushu, planning to hire a car and buy a 7 days JR Pass, any suggestion on itinerary and how to maximize use for the JR pass?

    Thanks
    Bella

    1. Hi Bella,

      If you travel between Fukuoka and Osaka, Sanyo Sanin Area Pass is cheaper.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/sanyo-sanin-area-pass-it-is-much-better-deal-than-sanyo-area-pass.html

      You can visit all places in this area by this pass, such as Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kurashiki, Okayama, Himeji, Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara. I think you can visit these places in 7 day.
      http://www.japan-guide.com/list/e1106.html
      http://www.japan-guide.com/list/e1105.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi San,
        Thanks for your reply. We’ll take your advice to buy the Sanyo-San’in Area Pass.

        Aside from that, can I also buy the JR Kyushu Rail Pass in this trip (2 passes cover different areas in Japan in one trip).

        Thanks again.

        Cheers
        Bella

        1. Hi Bella san,

          You have mentioned that you will hire a car. If so, you don’t need any pass. But if you take a train in Kyushu to visit several places, you may use it. But please make sure where you visit and how much you will use the pass. Otherwise you cannot find the pass is better deal than other tickets or not.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

    1. Hi MCWN,

      You can take JR local train from Kagoshima-Chuo to Sendai. This route is covered by Kyushu Rail Pass. Kagoshima-Chuo can be accessed by Kyushu Shinkansen from Hakata and Kumamoto. This is covered too.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Tks, I am traveling from hakata station , which mean I must stop at Kagoshima Chou then take local train to Sendai Kagoshima ?

  2. Hi,

    I am planning to go to kagoshima on Feb 1 from Osaka and return back to Osaka on Feb 4. In between, I will rent a car and drive around kyushu area (Kumamoto, Hakata ) . What is the best price for the trip? Return trip ticket or any ticket pass?

    Thanks.

  3. Dear Takeshi san
    We will be flying to Fukuoka Airport this Feb. From there, we need to go to:
    a. Fukuoka airport / Hakata Station to Yufuin – 2 Feb
    b. Yufuin to Beppu – 3 Feb
    c. Beppu to Hakata (Tenjin) – 4 Feb
    d. Hakata station to Osaka – 6 Feb
    Can you advise what will be the JR passes recommended for these destinations?

    1. Hi Felly san,

      The best deal is the following:

      Kyushu Rail Pass northern area 3 days at 8,500 yen for Feb 2 to 4
      Single fare ticket with Shinkansen seat fee for Hakata to Osaka around 15,000 yen

      JR pass covers the entire trip but it’s 29,100 yen for 7 days. It’s much more expensive than this combination.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi, I am going to travel this route: Osaka – Kyoto, Kyoto – Hiroshima, Hiroshima – Kagoshima, Kagoshima – Fukuoka.
    What will be the best and cheapest ticket options with Shinkansen for this itinirary?

    Regards
    Anders

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