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

Kyushu Shinkansen Tsubasa
Kyushu Shinkansen Tsubame

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.

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

Kyushu Rail Pass user guide. The best deal to travel Kyushu by train.

Kusasenri at Mt.Aso can be accessed by Aso or Miyaji station on Houhi line. ©JNTO
Kusasenri at Mt.Aso can be accessed by Aso or Miyaji station on Houhi line. ©JNTO

If you will travel in Kyushu only, JR Kyushu sells Kyushu Rail Pass which offers unlimited train travel at very affordable price. There are four types of passes, All Kyushu, Northern Kyushu, Southern Kyushu and Fukuoka Wide. You can choose one of these four types by your trip plan.

In this post, I show you the details about all types of Kyushu Rail Pass. And I will compare Kyushu Rail Pass and a regular fare. You may find the way to get the worth of the pass.

Continue reading Kyushu Rail Pass user guide. The best deal to travel Kyushu by train.

Access to Amakusa from Kumamoto. Limited Express A Ressha de Iko (Take the ‘A’ train)

Ltd Exp A Train runs between Kumamoto and Misumi is not covered by Northern area pass.  (C) Jonathan Ayre
Ltd Exp A Train runs between Kumamoto and Misumi is not covered by Northern area pass. (C) Jonathan Ayre

Limited Express “A Ressha de Iko (Take the ‘A’ train)” was introduced in October 2011. This is the first express train to Misumi in more than 20 years. JR Kyushu tried to expand the market to Amakusa and tie up with Seacruise ferry service to Amakusa. It is easily connected with them at Misumi station and port of Misumi. Port of Misumi is located just in front of the station You cannot miss it.

This train is named from jazz standard “Take the ‘A’train”. So this music will be played at the bar. Misumi station is the gateway of Amakusa. So “Take the ‘A’ train” means this train take you to ‘A’makusa.

Let’s see the details about Takes the ‘A’ train. Continue reading Access to Amakusa from Kumamoto. Limited Express A Ressha de Iko (Take the ‘A’ train)

My trip from Kumamoto to Kagoshima-chuo on March 16, 2012 by Kumagawa, Isaburo and Hayato no Kaze

Isaburo and local train at Yoshimatsu station
Isaburo and local train at Yoshimatsu station

When you go to Kagoshima, Kyushu Shinkansen is the best way to get there. It is fast and the trains come very frequently. But if you have a time, please consider the route from Kumamoto to Kagoshima-Chuo via Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu on Hisatsu line (肥薩線). It is very scenic route. JR Kyushu operate very attractive trains on this route.

I got on three trains, Kumagawa (くまがわ) from Kumamoto to Hitoyoshi, Isaburo (いさぶろう) from Hitoyoshi to Yoshimatsu and Hayato no Kaze (はやとの風) from Yoshimatsu to Kagoshima-Chuo, to travel on this line. I would like to share my experience with you. Continue reading My trip from Kumamoto to Kagoshima-chuo on March 16, 2012 by Kumagawa, Isaburo and Hayato no Kaze

My trip to Udo Jingu shrine by local bus and limited express train Umisachi-Yamasachi.

Udo Jingu shrine is located at Nichinan coast. It is very scenic! (C) JP Rail

Udo Jingu shrine (鵜戸神宮) was one of the place where I really loved to go. When I had a trip to Takachiho, I had a time to go there. I use a local bus on the way and get on cruising train Umisachi-Yamasachi on the way back from Udo Jingu shrine.I would like to show you how to access to Udo Jingu shrine by both transportation. Continue reading My trip to Udo Jingu shrine by local bus and limited express train Umisachi-Yamasachi.

How to access to Takachiho

Takachiho Gorge and Manai Falls (C) JP Rail

Takachiho is known as the land of Japanese mythology. There are lots of shrines and places that are related to the mythology. And also Takachiho Gorge is one of the “Must-See” spots in southern Kyushu area.

I visited there in mid March, 2012. I would like to share my experience with you. I hope this will be helpful for your trip to Takachino.

Continue reading How to access to Takachiho

How to access from Fukuoka airport to downtown Hakata and Tenjin.

Fukuoka subway train (C) JP Rail
Fukuoka subway train (C) JP Rail

Some of you may arrive at Fukuoka International Airport (FUK) from your countries directly. You may transit at Haneda and take domestic flight to Fukuoka. I have received questions about Fukuoka airport and Hakata (博多) station. I have just visited Fukuoka airport by subway. I would like to share what I got with you. Continue reading How to access from Fukuoka airport to downtown Hakata and Tenjin.

Most popular train in Kyushu now! Access to Ibusuki from Kagoshima, Limited Express Ibusuki no Tamatebako

Ibusuki no Tamatebako is operated by specialized KIHA 47 series. Black and White paint is very creative. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Ibusuki no Tamatebako is operated by specialized KIHA 47 series. Black and White paint is very creative. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Ibusuki no Tamatebako (指宿のたまて箱) is limited express train that is operated between Kagoshima-Chuo (鹿児島中央) and Ibusuki (指宿). Japan Rail Pass completely cover this train with no extra charge. But there is no non reserved seat. Reservation must be required.

This is the first limited express train on this section, Ibusuki-Makurazaki line. This train runs very slow and is operated for sightseeing along the shoreline of Kagoshima inlet. This train is operated by specialized KIHA 47 series. This train has the true Japanese atmosphere. The crew attendants are on board. Since this train has been started to operate, this is one of most popular train. It is very hard to book a seat.

*I tried to book only two days after starting to sell. Five of six trips were completely sold out. One trips was too early for my schedule. So I was forced to give up!

I will show you many images of this train and would like to share the details with you. Continue reading Most popular train in Kyushu now! Access to Ibusuki from Kagoshima, Limited Express Ibusuki no Tamatebako

Limited Express train Midori/Huis Ten Bosch. Direct transfer from Hakata to Sasebo and Huis Ten Bosch.

Most of Midori are serviced by 783 series.
Most of Midori are serviced by 783 series.

Limited express “Midori” connects the gateway city in Kyushu, Hakata with very historical port city Sasebo. Some of trains are operated with Limited Express “Huis Ten Bosch” that is most popular theme park in Kyushu. When you go to Sasebo or Huis Ten Bosch, take Shinkansen to Hakata and change these trains.

Of course, these express trains can be used by Japan Rail Pass without any restriction. So let’s see the details. Continue reading Limited Express train Midori/Huis Ten Bosch. Direct transfer from Hakata to Sasebo and Huis Ten Bosch.

Easy rail excursion along Nichinan coast in Miyazaki by Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi

Limited Express train Umisachi-Yamasachi is operated by refurbished KIHA125 series.
Limited Express train Umisachi-Yamasachi is operated by refurbished KIHA125 series.

Umisachi-Yamasachi (海幸山幸) is limited express train that is operated between Miyazaki (宮崎) and Nango (南郷). This train is named from Yamasachihiko (山幸彦) and Umisachihiko (海幸彦) in Japanese mythology.

This is not a real express train and is a kind of cruising train for sightseeing along Nichinan line (日南線). This train is suitable for the tourists who go to Aoshima (青島) and Udo Jingu shrine (鵜戸神宮) at Nichinan coastline (日南海岸). This train makes your trip more memorable.

If you use Japan Rail Pass, you can take this train with no extra cost. I will show you some images of this train and tell you the details. Continue reading Easy rail excursion along Nichinan coast in Miyazaki by Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi

Limited Express Isaburo / Shinpei takes you to one of three best view from the train.

Izaburo / Shinpei are mostly operated by restored KIHA 147 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Izaburo / Shinpei are mostly operated by restored KIHA 147 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Isaburo / Shinpei connects Kumamoto, Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu. This train is called as two train names but this is same train. The only difference is the direction. Isaburo runs from Kumamoto and Shinpei runs from Yoshimatsu. Both Isaburo and Shipei are the name of the key persons when the construction of this section was completed. Isaburo is the named from Isaburo Yamagata who was the minister of transportations and telecommunications. Shinpei is named from Shinpei Goto who was the president of Japanese Government Railways.

This train was operated as a local train between Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu. In 2017, one of two round trips started to run between Kumamoto and Yoshimatsu as a limited express train. Now this train runs as a limited express train between Kumamoto and Hitoyoshi, and runs as a local train between Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu.

Most of seats are reserved seat when this train is operated as even a local train between Hitoyoshi and Yoshimatsu. And this train is not just a regular local train but the cruising train. This train is operated by fully renovated sperized fleet. There is an attendant on the train. She shows you the scenery of Hisatsu line.

You can take this train by JR Pass.

I will show you many images of this train and tell you the details. Continue reading Limited Express Isaburo / Shinpei takes you to one of three best view from the train.

Very popular cruising train to Kirishima and Yoshimatsu from Kagoshima. The Limited Express Hayato no Kaze

Hayato no Kaze is operated by restored KIHA 147 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden
Hayato no Kaze is operated by restored KIHA 147 series. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Hayato no Kaze is the limited express train that runs between Kagoshima-Chuo with Yoshimatsu. You can take this train by Japan Rail Pass with no extra charge. This train is the limited express train but this train is slow on Hisatsu line. Hisatsu line is very scenic route. This train is operated by specialized KIHA 147 series. The fleet of this train was fully renovated and it has very cozy Japanese atmosphere. The attendants are on board. They guide you about the scenery of Hisatsu line. This train stop at Kirishima-Onsen station. So you can take this train when you go to Kirishima mountains.

I will show you many images of this train and explain the details.

Continue reading Very popular cruising train to Kirishima and Yoshimatsu from Kagoshima. The Limited Express Hayato no Kaze

Intercity train between Kagoshima and Miyazaki. Limited Express Kirishima

Some of Nichirin and Hyuga are operated by 783 series.
783 series is used for some of Kirishima train set.

Kirishima (きりしま) connects Miyazaki (宮崎) with Kagoshima-Chuo (鹿児島中央). This train is an intercity train and stop at lots of regional cities in Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures. If you travel along the southeast coast of Kyushu, you may need to take this train. Especially when you go to Kirishima mountains, you can take this train to Kirishima-Jingu (霧島神宮). And then transfer to the local bus.

Let’s see about route, schedule and accommodations of these trains. Continue reading Intercity train between Kagoshima and Miyazaki. Limited Express Kirishima

Intercity train between Oita/Beppu and Miyazaki. Limited Express Nichirin / Hyuga

JR Kyushu's best train 787 series was started to use for Nichirin on Mar 12, 2011.
JR Kyushu’s best train 787 series was started to use for Nichirin on Mar 12, 2011.

Nichirin (にちりん) connects Beppu (別府) and Oita (大分) with Miyazaki (宮崎) and Miyazaki airport (宮崎空港). A few of Nichirin are extended to operate to Nakatsu (中津) and even Hakata (博多). Hyuga (ひゅうが) is an intercity train in Miyazaki prefecture. This train is operated on same route as Nichirin. But it is operated between Nobeoka (延岡) and Miyazaki airport. If you travel along the east coast of Kyushu, you may need to take these trains.

Both Nichirin and Hyuga can be used by Japan Rail Pass with no restriction. Let’s see about route, schedule and accommodations of these trains. Continue reading Intercity train between Oita/Beppu and Miyazaki. Limited Express Nichirin / Hyuga

Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu), train connects Kumamoto to Beppu via Aso.

Limited Express Trans Kyushu Limited Express and Kumagawa are operated by KIHA 185 series.
Limited Express Trans Kyushu Limited Express and Kumagawa are operated by KIHA 185 series.

Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu=九州横断特急) connects both west and east coast of Kyushu. It connects Beppu, Oita and Kumamoto. The biggest volcano, Mt. Aso is located in the middle of this trains’ route.

Due to a huge damage by earthquake, a part of Houhi line between Aso and Kumamoto is closed. This train runs only between Beppu, Oita and Aso until further notice.

Trans-Kyushu Limited Express is covered by Japan Rail Pass fully. I will explain about the train’s route, schedule and accommodations of these trains. Continue reading Trans-Kyushu Limited Express (Kyushu Odan Tokkyu), train connects Kumamoto to Beppu via Aso.

Very popular train to Yufuin from Hakata and Oita. Limited Express Yufuin no Mori / Yufu

The newer fleet KIHA 72 series is used for two round trips of Yufuin no Mori. As of July, 2015, one more car was added to this train set. Not it is five cars formation.
The newer fleet KIHA 72 series is used for two round trips of Yufuin no Mori. As of July, 2015, one more car was added to this train set. Not it is five cars formation.

These trains connect Hakata (博多) with Yufuin (由布院) and Oita (大分) or Beppu (別府). Yufuin is one of the most popular hot springs resort in Kyushu. This is the train that you need to take when you go to Yufuin. Of course these train’s name are named from Yufuin. “Yufuin no Mori” means Yufuin’s forest. These two trains are operated on same route and fully covered by JR Pass. But Yufuin no Mori is operated by the specialized car, KIHA-71 or 72 series. This express train is one of the best in JR Kyushu train and very very popular. So I strongly recommend to take Yufuin no Mori, not Yufu.

I will explain about the route, schedule and accommodations of these trains in this post. Continue reading Very popular train to Yufuin from Hakata and Oita. Limited Express Yufuin no Mori / Yufu

West Japan (Kyoto, Hiroshima and Kyushu) 7 days sample itinerary by Japan Rail Pass 7 days

Kyoto Imperial Palace ©Akira Okada/©JNTO
Kyoto Imperial Palace ©Akira Okada/©JNTO

This itinerary includes Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima and North part of Kyushu (Hakata, Nagasaki, Aso and Beppu). This starts from Tokyo and your Japan Rail pass will be started to use from Tokyo station. You may start this itinerary from Shinagawa station, if you arrive at Haneda airport early morning. And of course, you can start this itinerary from Osaka or Kansai airport too. Osaka and Kansai airport are much closer to Kyoto than Tokyo. If you start this itinerary from Osaka, the itinerary is more smooth and easier. Continue reading West Japan (Kyoto, Hiroshima and Kyushu) 7 days sample itinerary by Japan Rail Pass 7 days

Express train to Oita and Beppu from Fukuoka (Hakata). Limited Express Sonic

Limited Express Sonic (883 series)
Limited Express Sonic (883 series)

This limited express train is one of most popular limited express train that is serviced by JR Kyushu. This connects Hakata and Kokura with Oita and Saeki. If you go to the popular hot springs resort, Beppu, this train is that you need to take after you get off Shinkansen at Kokura or Hakata. Of course this train is fully covered by Japan Rail Pass.

This train is operated by 885 and 883 series. I would like to share the information about this train in this post. Continue reading Express train to Oita and Beppu from Fukuoka (Hakata). Limited Express Sonic