Team Travel Kuramoto


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7 Days
Visit of Eastern Kyushu

Itinerary Summary

    Day 1 – Depart from Fukuoka and visit the Chikugo region

    Chikugo is one of Japan’s three largest plateaus and also the name of Kyushu’s largest river. Thanks to the abundant water, the Chikugo region is well known for its agricultural industries and many farms.

    Our first stop of the day will be Akizuki town. Akizuki is a former castle town located in the northern part of Asakura. You can enjoy the harmony of the countryside landscape and the former castle town where the scenery hasn’t changed for 400 years. Asakura is the only area in Japan to use water wheels for irrigation of rice fields. The irrigation system used the triple water wheel and was completed in 1760.

    While at Akizuki, visit the Fujii Apiary. Established in 1909, Fujii Apiary still produces honey by traditional methods, mainly from Acacia flowers. Enjoy a tour of the apiary and sample some delicious honey renowned for its rich taste.

    Next stop today, The Ukiha Inari Shrine. As you ascend the 300 steps to reach the Shrine, you’ll pass through 90 bright red torii gates. The shrine is dedicated to the gods of prosperous businesses, abundant crops, brewing, longevity and scholarship.

    The city is also home of a unique brewery: Beniotome Shuzo.

    Shochu is a Japanese beverage, less than 45% alcohol by volume, distilled from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, or brown sugar. The shochu of Beniotome Shuzo, however, is distilled from sesame seeds. Tour the brewery and taste their different products.

    Fruit Harvest Experience (depending on season). A fruit lover’s dream, the Chikugo region produces tons of varieties of grapes, peaches, persimmon, and it’s an instant hit for those looking to do some strawberry picking.

    Night in Harasuru Onsen
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 2 – Okubungo region

    The original name of Oita prefecture is “Bungo.” Located south-east of Oita prefecture, the Okubongo plateau is nestled between Mt. Aso and the Kuju mountains. This nature blessed region is the perfect outdoor escape.

    Crossing the Kokonoe Yume Otsurihashi Bridge is like walking across the sky. This great suspension bridge is Japan’s largest suspension bridge (overall second in the world) and offers panoramic scenes of Oita’s countryside and marvelous views of one of Japan’s 100 waterfalls.

    Next, visit the Takara Hachiman Shrine. Have you ever seen a white boar? They are supposed to be non-existent (except in some Ghibli movies) but here, at Takara shrine, a giant white boar acts as both a guardian and messenger for the deities. The white boars are thought to bring happiness.

    Walk to the Harajiri Waterfall, a scenic waterfall selected as one of the “Top 100 Waterfalls of Japan”, as well as one of the “Top 100 Views of Oita,” it is also commonly referred to as the “Niagara of Japan”.

    Final stop of the day, Oka Castle Ruins. Originally erected in 1185, during the Edo Period, the castle grew during the Edo period and housed thousands of samurai. It was thus one of the centres of Kyushu samurai culture until the new Meiji Government ordered the castle to be destroyed in order to get rid of the old samurai centers. After a history of about 700 years, the samurai were forced out by the new powers of modernization. They left peacefully and tore down their own castle, but left the basic stone fortification walls still standing today.

    You will finally arrive at Nagayu Onsen where you will stay for the night. Due to high volcanic activity, the Okubungo region is home of the world’s most carbonated hot-springs. Nagayu is a very popular destination and only hot-spring resort in Japan where you can soak in naturally occurring, highly carbonated water.

    Night in Nagayu Onsen
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 3 – Yufui and Beppu

    After checkout, you will head first to Yufuin. Yufuin is another very atmospheric small hot-springs town backed by Mt. Yufu, a volcano that stands 1,583m tall. Because of its double peak, it’s fondly known as the Mt. Fuji of Oita amongst the locals.

    One of the landmarks in Yufuin, the Kinrinko lake is located at the end of the town’s main walking street. Hot water gushes from the bottom of the lake, and hot steam rises from its surface on a cold day. The lake is surrounded by walking paths and there is a small shrine located at the lake’s southern end.

    After lunch, head to Beppu. Scientists believe that Beppu, a volcanic hot spring, was formed about 50,000 years ago. It is characterized by its high temperature and a wide variety of chemical water types. The city is well-known for its “Hells”, 7 spectacular hot springs for viewing rather than bathing. Tour the “Hells” before arriving at your accommodation for the night.

    Night in Beppu onsen
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 4 – Visit Kitakyushu

    Today, it is time to return north of the prefecture to Kitakyushu city (North Kyushu).

    Kita-Kyushu is famous for Kawachi wisteria Garden, a private garden famous for its spectacularly large numbers of wisteria flowers. The garden is opened to the public seasonally during the wisteria season. The garden’s most prominent features are two, roughly 100-meter-long tunnels made of wisteria trees of different varieties and colors, ranging from white to dark purple.

    Kokura Castle was built in 1602 but destroyed by fire in 1866, and the current castle tower is a reconstruction from 1959. Kokura Castle has an unusual keep, referred to as a Karazukuri. With most castles, when you go up from one floor to the next floor in the keep, the rooms get smaller. But the characteristic feature of this Karazukuri keep is that the fifth floor is actually larger than the fourth floor. With its unique architecture, Kokura Castle is highly regarded by many people.

    After visiting Kokura, you will head to  Mojiko, or Moji Port.Opened 120 years ago during the Meiji period (1868 – 1912), originally created and used for the purpose of exporting coal dug in the Kyushu region. Thanks to the great work of preservation, you can still today walk the street just as they were 100 years ago.

    Finish the day on top of Mt Sarakura. Mt. Sarakura is the most famous night view spot in Kitakyushu City. After taking a cable car and a slope car, you arrive on the top of the 622-meter-high mountain, where the observation deck offers a panoramic view of Kitakyushu City. The view spread out beneath your eyes is called a “night view worth 10 billion dollars,” recognized as one of Japan’s new three greatest night views.

    Night in Kitakyushu
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 5 – Half-day in Kitakyushu and transfer back to Fukuoka

    Today, before leaving for Fukuoka, we will visit another great historical site of Kitakyushu:

    The state-owned Imperial Steel Works in Kitakyushu were built towards the end of the Meiji Period and played a major role in the development of the modern steel industry in Japan. The complex still operates under a private owner today, and its historic buildings, including the former head office, forge and repair shop sit preserved within the factory grounds and can be seen from a special visitors’ platform.

    Lunchtime: Visit the Tanga market. Opened in the early Taisho period (around 1913-1914) and is a historical market known as the “Kitchen of Kitakyushu area”, beloved by the locals. After the war, it prospered as a market dealing in fresh fish, vegetables, fruits and other fresh products. Currently, in addition to the fresh foods, there are vendors that sell prepared foods, meats, dried foods, confectionery, tea, liquor, even a 24-hour supermarket.

    Night in Fukuoka
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 6 – Fukuoka Highlights

    Early morning, head a little outside the city to Nanzoin Temple. Nanzoin is home to what is possibly the world’s biggest bronze statue. The Reclining Buddha’s dimensions are impressive, 41 meters in length, 11 meters in height, and weighing in at 300 tons.

    Following this, visit the beautiful Japanese Garden in Ohori Park before heading to central Fukuoka to Tenjin and enjoy the evening eating at one of the numerous “Yattai” shops (famous street food stalls in Fukuoka).

    Night in Fukuoka
    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 7 – Departure

    Today marks the last day of your southern Japan adventure. Take an international flight from Fukuoka International airport, or head to the station and take the bullet train to another direction.

    Inclusions: Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

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