Sample itinerary Kyushu 7 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days pass

Former Glover Residence is one of the popular spot in Nagasaki. ©Nagasaki City/© JNTO7 to 9 days
Former Glover Residence is one of the popular spot in Nagasaki. ©Nagasaki City/© JNTO
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Former Glover Residence is one of the popular spot in Nagasaki. ©Nagasaki City/© JNTO

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.

Day 1

Kujukushima cruise in Saikai National Park ©JNTO

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.

Former Glover Residence is one of the popular spot in Nagasaki. ©Nagasaki City/© JNTO

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

Day 2

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

Day 3

Kusasenri at Mt.Aso ©JNTO

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

Day 4

Takachiho Gorge is one of must-see spot in Takachiho. ©JNTO

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

Day 5

Udo Jingu shrine is located along the beautiful Nichinan coast. ©Miyazaki Prefecture Tourist Association and Miyazaki Convention Bureau/© JNTO

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

Day 6

Sakurajima is one of the active volcano in Kyushu. ©Yasufumi Nishi/© JNTO

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.

Day 7

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is one of the most important Tenmangu Shrine in Japan. ©Fukuoka Prefecture/© JNTO

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.

Day 8

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.


  1. Jen says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,
    I will be spending 8 days in Kyushu in March and would appreciate your advise on which rail or bus pass is suitable. My draft itinerary is below. I can adjust the day trip destinations to make full use of the rail pass.

    Day 1: Fukuoka Airport to Nagasaki (stay 1 night in Nagasaki)
    Day 2: Nagasaki to Fukuoka (stay in Hakata area from Day 2 to 8)
    Day 3: Fukuoka -> day trip to Moji/Kitakyushu
    Day 4: Fukuoka -> day trip to Kagoshima & Ibusaki
    Day 5: Fukuoka -> day trip to Kumamoto (if also go Aso, either rent car or join tour)
    Day 6: Fukuoka -> day trip to Yufuin + Beppu
    Day 7: Fukuoka city (Tenjin, Canal City)
    Day 8: Fukuoka International Airport

    Thanks & regards,

  2. Kelefeh
    Lee says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    This is Lee here again.

    I’ve commented on your post but I can’t hit Reply anymore, so I’m posting a new comment again.

    So I’ll be visiting the Kyushu region in early November for 14 days. Here’s my itinerary…

    Fukuoka — 2 nights
    Nagasaki — 3 nights
    Kumamoto — 3 nights (day trip to Aso and Takachiho)
    Beppu — 2 nights
    Miyazaki — 2 nights
    Kagoshima — 2 nights

    Previously, you mentioned that I don’t need a rail pass right?

    Also, I plan to take the bus from Kumamoto to Beppu because it’s cheaper (is it recommended?)

    Anything else I should take note of due to the earthquakes, floods, typhoons that hit Japan recently?

    Thanks again for all your replies.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Lee,

      I will check my site why you could not post the comment later.

      Are you going back to Fukuoka after staying in Kagoshima? If so, you can use 5 days All Kyushu rail pass for the last 5 days at 18,000 yen, Beppu-Miyazaki-Kagoshima-Fukuoka.

      You have to take Shinkansen from Kagoshima to Hakata to get the worth. So if will not travel on this segment, you don’t need any rail passes.

      Kumamoto to Beppu shortest train route has been closed since earthquake hit 2 years ago. Bus ride is the way to Beppu from Kumamoto anyway. Other segment is okay now. But another typhoon is approaching now and it may hit Kyushu in this weekend. Please check train operation status in my site before you travel.


      Takeshi /

      • Kelefeh
        Lee says:

        Hello Takeshi,

        Thanks for your prompt reply.

        I think it’s due to your ‘comment settings’ in WordPress. The default nested comments is set to only 5 levels deep. (You can find it under Settings → Discussion)

        I’m not going back to Fukuoka after Kagoshima. Will be flying off to another country from Kagoshima airport. Luckily I asked you about Kumamoto to Beppu, I checked HyperDia website yesterday and it’s showing 2 route options (Kumamoto → Hakata → Beppu, Kumamoto → Kokura → Beppu). I’ll take the bus then.

        Ok, I’ll keep an eye on the train operation status on your site.


        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
          Takeshi / says:

          No worries, Lee.


          Takeshi /

          • Kelefeh
            Lee says:

            hello Takeshi,

            I’ve a quick question to ask. Previously, you stated that bus is the only option to go to Beppu from Kumamoto. I checked the timetable of Kyushu Odan Bus, the bus departs at 12:15 and arrives at Beppu station at 17:35.

            My question — is it possible for me to arrive at Beppu station earlier? E.g. I take the 8:04 bus and then arrive at Yufuin station at 12:33. Then from Yufuin station, I catch another bus to Beppu. Is that possible?


            • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
              Takeshi / says:

              Hi Lee,

              I don’t have bus timetable for Yufuin to Beppu but you may take train from Yufuin to Oita and Oita to Beppu. You can get there earlier. Please use hyperdia to find the fare and timetable for Yufuin to Beppu.


              Takeshi /

              • Kelefeh
                Lee says:

                Hello Takeshi,

                This is Lee here again.

                Just wanna post a quick comment to thank you for your advice you gave to me and all the information on your blog. They are all super helpful! I’ve had a great time exploring Kyushu island last month. The weather was awesome (no rainy day during my visit) and I managed to see all the places that I’ve planned (luckily I extended another night at Kumamoto to see Takachiho gorge. it’s beautiful!). My only regret is that I didn’t plan more nights in Nagasaki and Kagoshima. I find Kagoshima is quite nice (and Big) to explore but only spent 2 nights there 🙁

                Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to reply all my previous comments. I really appreciate it. Right now, Japan is the country that I’ve visited the most (4th time already) and I plan to go back again to explore further in the near future.

                I’ll keep checking your site to get the latest happenings about Japan. Arigatou gozaimasu!

                • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
                  Takeshi / says:

                  Hi Lee,

                  I’m very happy to hear that. Hope you will go back to Japan to spend more nights in Kagoshima and Nagasaki, and visit many other places.


                  Takeshi /

        • Sook Fong says:

          Hi Lee,

          Would you mind sharing me your full itinerary?


  3. Kelefeh
    Lee says:

    Hi Takeshi ,

    Lee here. I’ve been using your website for my travels to Japan in the past.

    This year I will be visiting Japan for the 4th time and plan to explore the Kyushu region in early November (starting in Fukuoka, around 12 to 14 days).

    I’m currently looking at some sample itineraries on the internet. I noticed your itinerary was last updated in 2015. May I know is it still advisable to refer to your itinerary? I want to see most of the top attractions in Kyushu.

    Can you briefly advise me on where should I spend more time on? Do I need to purchase a pass?

    Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Lee,

      At this point, trip to Aso from Kumamoto by train is impossible. This segment has been closed since earthquake hit 2 years ago. You may take an express bus instead.

      It’s hard to say which area you should spend the time most. I love Yufuin, Nagasaki, Miyazaki. But it depends on your taste.

      I cannot say which pass you need or not. You still haven’t decided how many days you will spend at each spots and which place you will visit. Please finalize your trip plan and we can discuss about the deals.


      Takeshi /

      • Kelefeh
        Lee says:

        hello Takeshi,

        Thanks for your reply.

        I’ve started planning my itinerary for Kyushu. Here’s what I’ve finalized so far…

        Fukuoka — 2 nights
        Nagasaki — 3 nights
        Kumamoto — 2 nights
        Beppu — 2 nights (still looking for accommodation)

        I’m thinking of visiting Takachiho Gorge during my stay in Beppu. Do you think it’s a good idea to do it as a day trip and then back to Beppu on the same day?

        After Beppu, I’m planning to see Miyazaki for 3 nights and then Kagoshima for 2 nights. I’m planning to fly off from Kagoshima.

        I haven’t 100% finalized my itinerary yet. Any thoughts and suggestions to improve from you?

        • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
          Takeshi / says:

          Hi Lee,

          I recommend you to visit Takachiho from Kumamoto. Or Miyazaki is the second option. Beppu is not recommended because it takes more than 2 hours to get Nobeoka and then take a bus to Takachiho. You can take a bus from Kumamoto. It takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to get Nobeoka from Miyazaki. If you can extend your stay in Kumamoto, that will be easier to get Takachiho.


          Takeshi /

          • Kelefeh
            Lee says:

            Hi Takeshi,

            Ok, I just extend another night in Kumamoto to see Takachiho. So my updated itinerary will be…

            Fukuoka — 2 nights
            Nagasaki — 3 nights
            Kumamoto — 3 nights

            I’m not really into Onsen, but I’m thinking to visit Yufuin for 2 nights before heading to Miyazaki for 3 nights. Will skip Beppu.

            Do you think 2 nights in Yufuin is fine? Or 3 nights in Miyazaki will be too much? (I prefer relaxed and leisurely paced travel). Also, should I get a pass?
            Thanks again for your advice.

  4. Hi! My and I traveling first time to japan and want to spend 7days in Kyushu. Flying in to Fukuoka. Don’t plan to drive. Will take train n bus. Pls advise an itinerary to include ryokan, Ibsen, sightseeing n good food.
    Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Thank you,

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / says:

      Hi Jane,

      Sorry but I don’t make an itinerary personally as I mentioned above comment section. I can give you advice if you show me your itinerary.
      If I make it for readers one by one, it’s too much for me. Please understand it.


      Takeshi /

  5. Audrey says:

    Where do you put ur luggage while you sight see? Thanks

  6. beth says:

    hello, i am travelling for 9 nine and plan to stay and visit around tokyo. what is the best transport to take? is is better to buy suica card or or express

    thanks for the reply

  7. Affordable Hotels In Ogaki For Families - Hotel Rooms says:

    […] Sample itinerary Kyushu 7 days by Japan Rail Pass 7 days … – 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…. […]

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