This itinerary includes all part of Kyushu and covers many popular spots in Kyushu island in 7 days. So you can simply use Japan Rail Pass 7 days. You may start this itinerary either from Tokyo or from Osaka. But if you can start this from Tokyo, you need to skip Sasebo and Saikai National Park because of the time. And also you need to take the overnight train Sunrise Seto/Izumo if you start this from Tokyo on 7th day. Otherwise you cannot complete this itinerary. As long as you catch “Nobi Nobi seat” on Sunrise Seto or Izumo before the date change, you can continue to travel without any extra charge. (Please refer Japan Rail Pass official site, “Notes regarding use” point 6.)
If you start this trip from Osaka, you can add sightseeing in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe before or after trip. You don’t need to use Japan Rail Pass for Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. You can take the private railway company, such as Hankyu Railway (Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe), Keihan Railway (Osaka-Kyoto), and Hanshin Railway (Osaka-Kobe). You can buy a single fare or day pass. And also JR West sell JR West Kansai Area Pass. This pass covers Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara and Kansai Airport. If you want to take an easy ride, this pass lets your trip easier.
Departing from Osaka.
06:25am Depart from Shin-Osaka by Sanyo Shinkansen Hikari 541.
09:13am Arrive at Hakata station.
09:32am Depart from Hakata station by Limited Express Midori 5.
11:25am Arrive at Sasebo station.
Enjoy sightseeing in Sasebo or Kujukushima cruise in Saikai National Park.
I recommend you to take Sasebo Burger for your lunch.
15:24pm Depart from Sasebo station by Rapid train Seaside Liner.
16:59pm Arrive at Nagasaki station. After arrival, enjoy exploring Nagasaki.
Departing from Tokyo
06:26am Depart from Tokyo by Tokaido Shinkansen Hikari 501.
09:30am Arrive at Shin-Osaka station.
09:59am Depart from Shin-Osaka station by Kyushu Shinkansen Sakura 549.
12:39pm Arrive at Hakata station.
12:55pm Depart from Hakata station by Limited Express Kamome 23.
14:48pm Arrive at Nagasaki. After arrival, enjoy exploring Nagasaki.
*If you want to depart from Tokyo a bit later, you can make an adjustment. And also some of the travellers arrive at Haneda airport in early morning. Even though it will be very busy day to get Nagasaki from Tokyo on same day as arrival at Haneda, some of the travellers still want to go. In this case, if you can give up your time on the first day at Nagasaki, you can take this itinerary. Hikari departs at Tokyo station every 30 minutes. If you need to check the timetable of Shinkansen, please check JR Central timetable.
Overnight in Nagasaki
You can enjoy Nagasaki in the morning.
13:21pm Depart from Nagasaki station by Limited express Kamome 24.
14:47pm Arrive at Shin-Tosu station. After arrival, transfer to Kyushu Shinkansen.
14:56pm Depart from Shin-Tosu station by Kyushu Shinkansen Sakura 553.
15:23pm Arrive at Kumamoto station. After arrival, enjoy sightseeing in Kumamoto.
*I choose only major cities to stay in this itinerary because you can find the accommodation very easily. But you can skip Kumamoto and go straight to Aso to get more time there. You can take Trans-Kyushu Limited Express 8 that departs from Kumamoto at 18:19 and arrives in Aso at 19:32. But even if you go to Aso on this day, you can take only one earlier bus to Mt. Aso. The first bus to Mt. Aso departs at 09:05am. It is only 55 minutes difference from staying in Kumamoto.
Overnight in Kumamoto
08:35am Depart from Kumamoto from Trans-Kyushu Limited express2
09:43am Arrive at Aso station. After arrival, take a local bus to one of very popular active volcano, Mt. Aso.
10:00am The bus to Mt. Aso depart from Aso station.
10:40am Arrive in Mt. Aso West (Gondola station). The bus fare is 730 yen for one way to Aso Nishi station. The gondola fare is another 1,000 yen for round trip.
13:05pm Depart from Mt Aso West by bus to Kusasenri/Mt. Aso Museum. The bus fare is 140 yen.
13:10pm Arrive at Kusasenri/Mt. Aso Museum.
15:40pm The bus depart to Aso station from Kusasenri/Mt. Aso Museum. The bus fare is 670 yen.
*You can spend your time for the gondola only. In case of that, the bus leave rfom Mt. Aso West at 15:35pm.
*Unfortunately the bus company (Kyushu Sanko Bus Line) does not have any English website. But the gondola company Mt. Aso Ropeway has English site.
16:13pm Depart from Aso station by Trans-Kyushu Limited express 6.
18:13pm Arrive at Beppu station. Stay at most famous hot springs resort in Kyushu.
Overnight in Beppu
09:51am Depart from Beppu station by Lmited Express Nichirin Seagaia 7
12:07pm Arrive at Nobeoka station
12:40pm The bus to Takachiho departs from Nobeoka Bus center. The bus fare is 1740 yen one way.
14:10pm Arrive at Takachiho Bus Center. After arrival, enjoy exploring in Takachiho.
17:30pm Depart from Takachiho Bus Center by the bus.
18:49pm Arrive at Nobeoka Bus Center.
*The bus to Takachiho is operated by Miyazaki Kotsu. But this company does not have any English information. Nobeoka Bus Center is located in front of Nobeoka station. Takachiho Bus Center is located at the center of Takachiho. It is 30 to 40 minutes walk away from Takachiho shrine and Takachiho Gorge.
19:09pm Depart from Nobeoka station by Limited Express Nichirin 21.
20:21pm Arrive at Miyazaki station.
Overnight in Miyazaki
10:30 Depart from Miyazaki station by local train.
11:00 Arrive at Aoshima station. You may walk around Aoshima that is a small island just off the coast.
12:34 Depart from Aoshima by local bus to Udo Shrine. The bus fare is 1020 yen.
13:10 Arrive at Udo Shrine.
15:20 Depart from Udo Shrine by the bus. The bus fare is 570 yen.
15:41 Arrive at Aburatsu Bus Center. Aburatsu Bus Center is located in front of Aburatsu station.
*The bus among Aoshima, Udo Shrine and Aburatsu is operated by Miyazaki Kotsu too. So there is no English information. We have a train between Aoshima and Aburatsu, and can take the bus to Udo shrine from Aburatsu. But Nichinan line (between Miyazaki and Aburatsu) is very local. We don’t have many trains. So I choose the bus from Aoshima to Aburatsu via Udo shrine.
15:50 Depart from Aburatsu station by Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi.
17:14 Arrive at Miyazaki station.
*I did not introduce Limited Express Umisachi-Yamasachi yet on this site. But this train is very unique and has good interior. It is a kind of cruising train. I strongly recommend to take this train. But this train is so popular. This train has some non reserved seat. But it is not many seats there. If you are worry about it, take the bus to Miyazaki station from Udo shrine. I introduce one of good Japanese website about this train. You can see a lot of images.
17:36 Depart from Miyazaki station by Limited Express Kirishima 17.
19:42 Arrive at Kagoshima station
Overnight in Kagoshima
Enjoy half day sightseeing in Kagoshima
15:57pm Depart from Koagoshima-Chuo station by Sanyo Shinkansen Sakura 420.
17:36pm Arrive at Hakata. After arrive at Hakata, enjoy sightseeing in downtown Hakata.
Overnight in Hakata
Hakata give you casual supper experience at Yatai (屋台=Food stalls). You can enjoy many kinds of Japanese comfort food there.
Enjoy half day sightseeing in Hakata. I recommend to go to Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine. Of course you can enjoy shopping in the biggest city in Kyushu.
19:53pm Depart from Hakata station by Sanyo Shinkansen Sakura 580.
22:49pm Arrive at Shin-osaka
*If you go back to Tokyo, get off Sakura 580 at Okayama.
21:57pm Arrive at Okayama station
22:33pm Take Sunrise Seto/Izumo at Okayama station. Overnight in the train.
*As far as you don’t get off overnight train, Japan Rail Pass 7 days cover your basic fare and express surcharge. If you don’t exit the station, Japan Rail Pass still cover basic fare.
07:08am Arrive at Tokyo station.
If you don’t exit the station, you can continue your trip. Japan Rail Pass cover the basic fare. But it does not cover surcharge. So if you go to Narita airport, you can take Rapid Airport Narita with no extra charge.