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Best of Kyushu Japan self-drive

18 days from £7,330pp

What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

Itinerary highlights

  • Explore the beautiful volcanic mountains and dramatic Mount Aso caldera of Aso-Kuju National Park.

  • Take a boat ride down the striking Takachiho Gorge, amid tumbling waterfalls and picturesque mountain cherry trees.

  • Visit the hot springs of Kurokawa to stay in a traditional inn.

  • Spend time in the Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park of Nagasaki.

  • Explore the picturesque gardens and samurai residences of Chiran.

Price includes

Scheduled international and domestic flights
Fully insured vehicle hire
/svg> All accommodation
  • Tokyo
  • Fukuoka
  • Kurokawa
  • Takachiho
  • Takachiho
  • Ibusuki
  • Kagoshima
  • Kirishima National Park
  • Kumamoto
  • Nagasaki
  • Fukuoka
  • Tokyo

Itinerary idea in detail

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Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Day 1 International outbound flight

International outbound flight

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Tokyo.

Day 2 Fukuoka

Tokyo , Fukuoka

Once arrived into Tokyo, transfer directly to your flight to Fukuoka. Once in Fukuoka you will be met at the airport by a representative to guide you through arrivals. They will then show you to the waiting transfer to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing after your long flight. One recommendation would be to stay local and enjoy 'yatai' or street food in and around Canal City in Hakata.

Day 3 Fukuoka


Spend the morning exploring the vibrant city of Fukuoka. The canals running through the city give a unique flavour. In the evening head out for a street food tour for a true introduction to Kyushu cuisine.

Day 4 Kurokawa

Fukuoka , Kurokawa

Pick up your hire car today and drive to the onsen village of Kurokawa and spend the rest of the day at leisure relaxing in the sumptuous hot springs.


Day 5 Kurokawa


There are some nice walks to be done or make use of your hire car to explore more of the area. You can also take advantage of a day pass to visit other hot springs in the village.


Day 6 Takachiho

Kurokawa , Takachiho

Travel south to sheer limestone cliffs of Takachiho Gorge. Once freshened up, perhaps hire a rowing boat and drift gently along the river through waterfalls and cliff faces.


Day 7 Ibusuki

Takachiho , Ibusuki

Make the drive down South to the small coastal town of Ibusuki famous for the hot sand bathing on offer in the area.


Day 8 Kagoshima

Ibusuki , Kagoshima

From ibusuki head up to the larger city of Kagoshima not before stopping off in the small town of Chiran to see the Kamikaze museum and samurai residences.

Day 9 Kagoshima


Spend a day in the city of Kagoshima. The most prominent feature of Kagoshima is the location in the shadow of the enormous Sakurajima volcano. The active volcano often spews ash over the city and leaves the residents with the almost daily task of sweeping ash from their driveways.

Day 10 Kirishima National Park

Kagoshima , Kirishima National Park

Take a short drive to the Kirishima national park, a fantastic destination for hikers of all levels.

Day 11 Kirishima National Park

Kirishima National Park

At leisure in the Kirishima National Park to enjoy some of the many walking trails, and soak up the beautifully verdant green of this part of Kyushu.

Day 12 Kumamoto

Kirishima National Park , Kumamoto

Return to Kagoshima, drop off your hire car and board the train to Kumamoto and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Our recommendation for the afternoon is to visit Kumamoto castle and its nearby Suizenji gardens.


Day 13 Nagasaki

Kumamoto , Nagasaki

A short drive to the port to board the car ferry over to Unzen Peninsula from where you climb the mountain via the sulphuric bubbling pools at the top of Mount Unzen. After, head back down the mountain over to Nagasaki Bay and the city itself.

Day 14 Nagasaki


At leisure in Nagasaki. It's worth visiting the small yet quite harrowing peace museum but more of what Nagasaki has to offer is in town such as Glover Garden on which 'Madame Butterfly' was based and Dejima Wharf at sunset.

Day 15 Nagasaki


At leisure to explore 'Gunkanjima' or 'Battleship Island' infamous for its eerily vacant and uninhabited atmosphere often used in movies.

Day 16 Fukuoka

Nagasaki , Fukuoka

Continue by train to Hakata, a lovely journey along the coast and through paddy fields. Once in Fukuoka, enjoy the remainder of your evening in this compact but buzzy modern city.

Day 17 Tokyo

Fukuoka , Tokyo

Take the easy subway line to the airport and board your flight back to Tokyo for a final night in the capital.

Day 18 International return flight

Tokyo , International return flight

Take the airport shuttle bus to the airport and board your return flight. Your return flight will arrive the same day.

Audley Travel specialist Harriet
Audley Travel specialist Alice

Contact a specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to Japan will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

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When to go

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Kirishima National Park