questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

kumamoto

Kumamoto

We will be travel to Kumamoto next month for two weeks need help planning the trip starting from Kumamoto and this is our frist time visiting Japan. Thanks!

somphone
somphone

Hi, you need to give more info on what you want to see, how far you want to travel, etc. Did you want to stay in Kyushu? Or travel up to Kansai or Tokyo as well?

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi,
First time to Japan, not sure but we will plan to travel all the way to Tokyo. Thanks!

somphone
somphone

Hi,
Well, it's impossible to suggest any suitable rail pass without some itinerary. A 7 day full JR Pass is ¥29,110 and a 14 day is ¥46,390. It is very doubtful you could make either pass pay off if you stayed only in Kyushu. If that is your plan, then getting one or more JR Kyushu Passes might help you.
But whatever it is, Kyushu has a lot to satisfy nearly any traveler. For Fukuoka, there are many open parks, shopping, seaside historical areas, and urban neon. See this site as a good guide. And don't miss the Nanzoin Temple which is one of Japan's finest yet almost totally unknown to the outside world and completely FREE! There are also many useful videos to give you a preview. Look into a Fukuoka Tourist City Pass also.

In terms of history and varied points of interest, Nagasaki is really the most interesting city on the island. It is worth a couple days to see the city, and another day to see areas nearby like Shimabara/Unzen or whatever interests you. Gunkanjima, while it takes 3 hours, will blow your mind. Be sure to see Mt. Inasa at night if the weather is clear, and try the Nagasaki chanpon and saraudon! Also the Koshibyo Temple Koshibyo Temple is an often overlooked shrine that is quite unique in Japan.
Oita has some nice sites too. Beppu is famous for its hot springs, Hells Tour, plus monkey park & aquarium.
Kumamoto is famous for its castle, Suizenji Garden (a must-see), Mt. Aso (currently off limits 1km from the crater) and Kurokawa hot springs.
Kagoshima is great to see the live Sakurajima volcano, hiking, and hot sand baths such as on Ibusuki. Plus the Senganen Garden has a superb backdrop view of the bay and the volcano. Plus Yakushima is a real gem to see.
Plus Miyazaki has some very pleasant beaches, and its Takachiho Gorge is remarkable (but you can't get there by rail).
Also if you have time, Kitakyushu has a few sights of interest also. It's Kokura Castle is one of the better ones, the view from its Moji wharf and preserved buildings are quite historical, and the view from atop Sarakurayama is one of Japan's best and rarely mentioned.
The best of Japan though is still in Kyoto and Nara.
Along the way there are many good places though, like Hiroshima, Iwakuni, Onomichi, Okayama and Himeji. Start researching and figure out what you want to go see.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Thank you, your inputs are much appreciated , which JR Pass would you recommend ?

somphone
somphone

Hi,
As I said, it's impossible to suggest any suitable rail pass without some itinerary. You must decide that first.

Best of luck.

Toraneko
Toraneko

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