questions & answers: using the japan rail pass

traveling from ibusuki to kurokawa onsen near mt. aso in kyushu

Traveling from Ibusuki to Kurokawa onsen near Mt. Aso in Kyushu

Hi there,
Need some help, using my JR pass, how would I travel from Ibusuki to Kurokawa onsen on May 11, Sunday?
Thanks for any input!
yethein in California


Hi yethein,

Good question, there is no train to Kurokawa onsen. The best way to get there would be to take a local train to Kagoshima-Chuo station, from there ride the Shinkansen to Kumamoto and there take the express bus to Kurokawa-onsen.

Details can be found here.

Hope this helps and good luck with your travels.


Dear Daniel-san,
Thank you for your prompt response.

Please look over my itinerary we are traveling beginning May 8th, I would appreciate any additional suggestions and comments:

Day 1 Arrival Fukuoka
Day 2 Fukuoka to Kagoshima. Activate 14 day JR pass.
Day 3 Ebusuki. Kagoshima Chuo, take local train to Ebusuki.
Day 4 + 5 Kurokawa Onsen. Local train to Kagoshima Chuo Shinkansen to Kumamoto, express bus to Kurokawa- onsen
Day 6 Kumamoto. Reverse back to Kumamoto from Kurokawa Onsen.
Day 7 Osaka. What is travel time from Kumamoto to Osaka? I think we change lines at Fukuoka?
Day 8, 9, 10 Kyoto.
Day 11, 12 Miyajma . Stop in Hiroshima, Peace Park. Local train to Miyajima and ferry. What is travel time from Kyoto to Hiroshima?
Day 13 Arima near Kobe.
Day 14, 15, 16 Tokyo.
Day 17 Leave Tokyo for home. Use express bus to Narita.

  1. What time of the day is the busiest and therefore, we should avoid Shinkansen travel during those times?
  2. What trains and stations?
  3. Our pass will expire once we get to Tokyo, is there a special 1 or 2 day pass that we can purchase to use the local subways?

Thank you for your help!


Hello yethein,

Looking at your route, I think that it looks great. Here and there there are some small things you could optimize though.
Mainly visiting Hiroshima, when you travel from Kumamoto on the Shinkansen to Osaka, Hiroshima is right in the middle. Thus it would make much more sense to drop bay on your way from Kumamoto - Osaka than to visit Hiroshima later on from Kyoto. This would save you at least 4 hours of travel time.

The website is a great resource we use to look up travel times, route information and ticket prices. However it is currently down for maintenance so I can't give you the exact travel time Kumamoto - Osaka. However we do have a great blog post on How to your trip with Hyperdia. You could read it and later use it for your own planning. You are indeed correct that there's a transfer at Hakata (Fukuoka) station.

As for some general advice, Shinkansen are generally more packed in the weekend that on normal weekdays. I would this recommend travelling on week days to avoid some of the crowds.

Once you are in Tokyo, consider a Tokunai Ticket for 750yen it allows for unlimited travel within Tokyo on the JR.

Hope this helps!


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