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.

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

  1. Dear Takeshi,

    i would like to get the time schedule from Kagoshima to Fukuoka on 7th and 8th Oct, i am still not cfm which date to access to Fukuoka.

    and please advise if any JR pass i can get a better rate for foreigner.

    fyi, i only take one way from Kagoshima to Fukuoka

  2. Hi Takeshi -San!!! We have just arrived from our Osaka vacation.
    We truly enjoyed our trip to Hiroshima, Miyajima, Nara , Kobe using the 5day Kansai Hiroshima pass as you have suggested. Thank you very much.
    My friend is going to Osaka next month and will be proceeding to Kyushu Island>. This is their plan. They will take JR Shinkansen from Osaka to Hakata, then board a local bus to mountain top for onsen. They will be staying at the Yamashinobu Ryokan @ Kumamoto Pref in Kyushu Island. Any suggestions?
    Thank you.

  3. I wish to travel on a JR Pass from Osaka to Kumamoto, Kumamoto to Hiroshima and then Hiroshima to Tokyo. Is it possible to travel in a Green car on all sections and where/when would I need to change trains? Is the JR Pass the best/cheapest option for this itinerary?

    Thank you for your assistance

    1. Hi Robert,

      JR pass is the best choice. You can ride green car for all segments. You need to change the trains at either Okayama or Shin-Osaka when you go to Tokyo from Hiroshima. Because there is very few Shinkansen trains (Hikari) that run between Hiroshima and Tokyo directly. There are lots of Shinkansen (Nozomi) running between Hiroshima and Tokyo directly but it is not covered by JR Pass.
      http://jprail.com/trains/sort-by-departure-arrival-stations/stations-in-tokai/nagoya-toyohashi/what-is-shinkansen-bullet-train.html

      You can find the timetable at Hyperida. You will find where you need to change the trains.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/timetable-and-reservation/hyperdia-perfect-guide-train-timetable-and-route-search-engine.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. I plan to purchase the Northern Kyushu 5 day Train Pass.

    Question 1: Does having the Kyushu 5 day pass mean I no longer have to buy tickets for trains? As in NO need for tickets at all and no need to pay?
    Question 2: May I know if my itinerary is okay, and if the trains I plan to take are all covered by the 5 day Northern Kyushu Pass?

    Day 1: Arrive at Fukuoka.
    Day 2: Leave Fukuoka and go to Beppu via Limited Sonic Express
    Day 3: Leave Beppu and go to Kumamoto via Limited Kyushu Odan Tokkyu (Is this different from JR Hohi Line or the same?)
    Day 4:
    – Leave Kumamoto and go to Nagasaki (Take Sakura Train to Shin Tosu and go down. Transfer to Kamome 3 and go to Nagasaki).
    – Spend the day in Nagasaki and leave for Fukuoka at night around 8pm. Ride Kamome 3 to Fukuoka (Am I right that there’s a train in Nagasaki going to Fukuoka at night?).
    Day 5: Spend whole day in Fukuoka, then take the plane back to Philippines at night.

    1. Hi Wilrose,

      All trains will be covered by Northern Kyushu rail pass fully other than subway between Hakata and Fukuoka airport.
      Kyushu Odan Tokkyu runs on Hohi line.

      This deal give you a huge saving.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

    2. Thank you so much Takeshi!

      Some follow up questions. May I know if the itinerary I sent sounds feasible? Is there really a train running at night coming from Nagasaki to Fukuoka?

  5. Hi, Would you help me fixing my itinerary(arrive at fukuoka and depart from fukuoka April 14 – 22). I will be travelling to Japan with my mother(senior citizen 63y/o).

    Day 1: Hotel and dinner(Will arrive at night)
    Day 2: Tour around fukuoka
    Day 3: Activate JR Pass and travel to Hiroshima(1 day), Osaka(3days),Kyoto(2days),Tokyo(1day) then on the last day(Day 9/10) back to Fukuoka then to the airport.

    Is this itinerary good or possible?

  6. Hello, my trip plan in Japan will be like this:
    Day 1: Arrive Fukuoka airport – Stay 1 night in Hakata
    Day 2: Hakata – Osaka. Stay in Oska
    Day 3: Sightseeings in Osaka
    Day 4: Osaka – Hiroshima. Stay 1 night in Hiroshima
    Day 5: Hiroshima – Hakata. Stay in Hakata
    Day 6: Depart from Fukuoka
    Please advise me which train to maximize using as I have bought JR Pass for 7 days ready. Many thanks.

  7. Hello, i would like to ask your information about train,time and price on my travel from Kyushu to Tokyo,please?

  8. Hi, i would like to ask your information about my travel from Fukuoka to Kagoshima. Could you share with me some information about train and time? Thank youvso much!

  9. Hi,
    Would you please to let me know which Shinkansen that I’ll take to travel with the routes below?
    I’ll use JRPass for all routing below.

    1. From Fukuoka (Hakata) to Hiroshima
    2. From Hiroshima to Nara (I book hotel in Nara but I’ll go sight seeing at Osaka)
    3. From Nara to Nagoya (I book hotel in Nagaya but I’ll go signt seeing at Kyoto)
    4. From Nagoya to Tokyo

    It would be great if you can share the info as this is the first time I travel to Japan.

    Thanks and Best Regards
    Vu le

  • Your comment will not be shown until I approve. When you submit your comment, the page will be reloaded and nothing happens. But your comment will be shown when I approve. Please click submit only once and wait for my approval.
  • Please do not ask me to make your itinerary. Because I am not your personal travel agent. I am very happy to check your itinerary. But please try to make the plan by yourself. In this website, there are lots of resources to make your plan.
  • Please do not ask me about the access to your hotel. You can google your hotel and find it at hotel website or google map easily.
  • If you want to ask me which pass suits your plan, please tell me your detailed itinerary and location to stay. I cannot choose any deals without the detailed itinerary because I have to compare the total single fare and deals

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