Sensory Sojourns in Kyushu

Warm, colorful and brimming with bustling night markets, tantalizing tea farms stashed deep in the hills, winding rivers, simmering volcanoes, and a tragic history – Kyushu truly is a phoenix from the ashes. On this enchanting 6-day journey, you can tap into all the senses as you taste, hike, soak and cruise your way around Japan’s most beautiful southern main island. Visit the sweeping hot springs of Beppu, drift down the dreamy Yanagawa Canals, and fall in love with ancient rural cities and towns awash with temples, trading ports, and the warm welcome of local communities.

This journey outline is by no means fixed. As the traveller takes centre stage in our planning – from the type of lodging to daily activities – your journey will be crafted to suit you.

Day by Day Highlights

Day 1
Fukuoka Yatai Night Market

As the sun sets for the evening, yatai begin to pop up all over the city’s streets with their bright lights and shop curtains for a lively, dynamic sight you will only find in Hakata.

Concentrated primarily in the Tenjin, Nakasu, and Nagahama areas, you can find yatai offering a wide variety of cuisines and alcoholic beverages, such as tonkotsu ramen, oden (variety of foods in hot broth), gyoza, tempura, as well as original dishes.

Yatai create the perfect atmosphere for socializing with shopkeepers, regular customers, and fellow travelers alike. Check out yatai to get to know the warm-hearted nature of the locals and feel like a local yourself!

Day 2
Porcelain Heaven & Green Tea Town

Arita ware porcelain boasts a 400-year history. And a related technique that branched off from Arita ware over 300 years ago, known as Nabeshima ware porcelain, was made secretly in Okawachiyama. In the morning, you will visit this Nabeshima porcelain village hidden in the mountain and explore the porcelain heaven with 30 potteries with different designs, colors and patterns. Have Saga beef for lunch in a beautiful Japanese architecture. Every meal will be served with Arita ware porcelain in the restaurant. Move to Ureshino hot spring town after lunch. Enjoy the breathtaking view of tea farms from top of the mountain and meet tea farmers for their local tea ceremony. In the evening, have a relaxing time with an open air hot spring which is a speciality of this town.

Day 3
Yanagawa Cruise

Yanagawa is known primarily for its hundreds of kilometers of canals. Yanagawa was originally a farming village, and the canals were built hundreds of years ago for irrigation. They have since been restored and today are plied by donkobune (low flat boats powered by a man with a pole) that take tourists on short cruises known as kawakudari (going down the river) around the town. Have Unagi lunch in Yanagawa which is their speciality before heading to Kumamoto castle.

Day 4
Volcano Hiking

After breakfast, head to Mt. Aso which is an active volcano in the center of Kyushu. Its ancient caldera ranks among the world’s largest, with a diameter of up to 25 kilometers and a circumference of over 100 kilometers. With a mountain guide, you will hike on the mountain with the spectacular view of crater. After hiking, head to Takachiho to see the Kagura performance in Takachiho shrine. The performance includes four representative dances from the kagura repertoire of 33 dances. Feel the gratitude for nature’s bounty through the traditional dances!

Day 5
Hell Tour in Beppu

The morning kicks off with a visit to eight different jigokus (hell), or hot springs, in the southern city of Beppu. The name jigoku was derived from the boiling pools of water, smoking and steaming as if emerging from the depths of hell – each with its own unique charms.

After a sushi lunch, make your way to Yufuin, another hot spring mecca. Yunotsubo, a street near Yufuin Station, is filled with a variety of shops that sell Yufuin and Oita specialty products, food, souvenirs, and much more. After browsing, check-in to a traditional ryokan set deep in nature for the night and enjoy a kaiseki dinner.

Day 6
Return to Hakata

Leave Yufuin and stop by at Rakanji temple on the way to Hakata. Built on the top of a mountain, and constructed around 700 years ago, this Buddhist temple will steal your breath away. It is claimed to have 3700 stone Buddhas, several caves, and many preserved scriptures.

Let’s plan your perfect escape. To start the conversation, contact us via our interactive form or drop us an email at [email protected].

Practical Information

Fukuoka, Nabeshima, Ureshino, Yanagawa, Kumamoto, Kyushu, Takachiho, Beppu. Yufuin and Hakata.

April (12°C-18°C) to June (21°C-24°C).

Maximum 1,054.6m.

Easy to Moderate. No difficult hikes involved.

From US$4,300/person for a group of 2 on a private basis, including double-sharing rooms. Excludes flights.

As we’ll customise your journey based on your preferences and needs, please note that this indicative price is just a rough estimate. Prices can fluctuate depending on season, type of accommodation and activities/experiences chosen (private vs. shared) etc.

This journey outline is by no means conclusive. It is just a guideline and can be tailored according to your comfort level, interests and preferences for every detail from accommodation to activities.

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