Every evening, "Yokagura" dance ritual is performed at Takachiho shrine. An hour-long performance of four dances depicts a scene of Japanese mythology.
The mysterious performance will let you feel you are in the land of myths where gods are believed to be descended from heaven.
Kyushu, the third largest island located in the southern part of Japan, can be a perfect destination for a family trip. Thanks to the warm climate throughout the year, the island is blessed with both green mountains and clear blue ocean. The island is also well-known for volcanic mountains offering quality hot springs. There are a wide range of activities, too. Farm visits in the mountains, marine sports at the ocean are just a few that can be enjoyed with all family members. With this itinerary, you will encounter different charms of Kyushu Island.
Sample Itinerary Overview
Day 1 Arrive at Fukuoka Airport, Sightseeing in Fukuoka/Hakata
Arrive at Fukuoka Airport. Move to the center of Fukuoka city, known as Hakata. In this largest and liveliest city of Kyushu Island, enjoy exploring a variety of sites such as shopping area in the city center and modern spots along the seaside. If you would like, visit Dazaiifu Tenmangu Shrine by one-hour train ride from Fukuoka city, which is worshipped as the god of academic achievements.
In the evening, experience Fukuoka's local cuisine such as Mizutaki chicken hot pot or Tonkotsu ramen noodles in pork bone broth. Stay at a hotel in the city.
Day 2 Transfer to Beppu Hot Spring Town / Explore around Beppu
Enjoy around 2 hour trip by an express train from Fukuoka city to Beppu Onsen Town. After meeting your guide, enjoy the private tour in Beppu. Beppu boasts the largest quantity of hot spring water in Japan, and the hot spring resort consists of eight hot springs, each with different quality of water. First attraction is Jigoku Meguri (exploring hells) which is one of the must-see spots in Beppu. It is impressive to see the dynamism of different types of "hells" (hot spring sources with different colors, all natural). After lunch, visit another fun spot, Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden, where you can observe the large number of wild monkeys very closely.
At night, rejuvenate yourself in hot spring water at an authentic Japanese ryokan.
Day 3 Takachiho
Have a relaxing morning at ryokan. After breakfast, travel to Takachiho by a private car. Takachiho is known as "The Land of Myths", in Miyazaki prefecture. There are many places in Takachiho which relate to Japanese mythology such as Amano Iwato Shrine. Takachiho Gorge, a mysterious V-shaped gorge, created by the Gokase-gawa River, is also must-visit. The main attraction today is a boat ride in Takachiho Gorge. Appreciate a stunning view of gorge during for 30 mins boat ride. Getting close to Manai waterfall by the boat will be thrilling. There is a walking path too, where you can overlook the spectacular scenery of gorge.
Stay at a traditional ryokan in Takachiho where your family will be welcomed with the warm Japanese hospitality.
Day 4 Miyazaki
On this day, you will travel to the southern part of Miyazaki prefecture through the east coast of Kyushu Island. On your way, you will be able to appreciate the magnificent view of Pacific Ocean and feel the tropical atmosphere.
First stop is Hyuga. Visit Hyuga Umagase. This is the precipitous cliff created by volcanic activities since 15 million years ago, stretching 70 meters high and 100 meters deep inland. Next to the cliff, there is the Sea Cross, where the eroded columnar joint creates the shape of a cross. Pray here as it is said your wishes will come true. Then, visit Omi Shrine located right in front of the sea. Move further to south, and you will arrive at another unique spot, Aoshima Shrine. Iconic vermilion torii gate is standing right next to the ocean which is one of the most major photo spots. Close to the main shrine surrounded by tropical trees, you can find interesting pattern of rocks, called "Demon's Washboard", created naturally.
For your night's stay, Bukeyashiki (traditional samurai residence) is recommended. This will be a unique experience staying in a traditional architectural house that was originally used by a high-class Samurai family back in the Edo period (17th-19th century). The house will be reserved for only one group of guests each day. Enjoy staying in this historical yet modernly furnished Samurai residence while you are in the preserved samurai district of Obi.
Day 5 Obi in Nichinan City
Privately guided tour in Obi in Nichinan City. First, enjoy exploring unique Obi town which is the preserved samurai district, often described as the "Kyoto of Kyushu". It is fun to walk around traditional streets lined with former samurai residence, attractive stone and plastered walls, and more.
Thanks to the warm climate through the year, Miyazaki prefecture produces many different kinds of fresh fruits. On this day, enjoy strawberry picking activity. The bright red ripe strawberries are fresh and sweet. Some of strawberries are larger than bite-sized!
Nichinan City is also well-known for surfing and a variety of other marine sports. Your family can have a fun together by trying canoe riding, snorkeling or other activities. If you prefer to have a relaxing moment in the ocean, there is a cruise ship too. You will be escorted to many view spots where the scenery of green mountains of Nichinan City can be appreciated from the sea side.
Have a pleasant night in Bukeyashiki style accommodation in Obi town.
Day 6 Kirishima / Transfer to Kumamoto
Start your another adventure with your guide. The first interesting destination on this day is Mizonokuchi Cave. This cave is the erosion created by spring water of Kirishima mountain and now is surrounded by the dense forest. Behind the vermilion torii gate, you will find the entrance of this cave. From the inside of the cave, look back to the entrance. You will see the sublime scenery of the light falling onto the torii gate through surrounding trees.
Next stop is Kirishima Shrine. This shrine originally established in the 6th century consists beautiful halls surrounded by forest. Feel the sacred ambience here.
Then, visit Kirishima Open Air Museum lying at the foot of Kirishima mountain. Here, you can enjoy walking amidst meadowland while experiencing unique contemporary arts such as the one created by Yayoi Kusama, the famous Japanese artist.
Stay at a hotel in Kumamoto city.
Day 7 Kumamoto and Mt. Aso
Privately guided tour in Kumamoto City and Mt. Aso. In the morning, start from Kumamoto Castle which was established by samurai Kiyomasa Kato in 1601. Considered as the best three castles in Japan and nowadays, it is the most popular sightseeing spot in Kumamoto City.
Drive to Mt. Aso, 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. First stop is Kusasenrigahara, a shallow square prairie spread over the northern base of Mt. Eboshidake. Enjoy the truly idyllic scenery here.
Then, visit Aso Farm Land which offers fun nature activities for your family. There is a zoo area where children can touch with animals closely.
Before moving to your ryokan, stop by Daikanbo where the spectacular vista of five peaks of the Aso and Kuju mountain range can be seen.
At night, immerse yourself in the hot spring water at your ryokan in Mt. Aso.
Note for Kumamoto Castle) As the earthquake happened in 2016 severely damaged the castle. There are many areas of the castle still closed off to entry. However, exterior of the castle can be seen from the surrounding area. It is impressive to see that the castle stands strongly and exudes the sense of presence even under repair.
Day 8 Transfer to Fukuoka Airport / Depart from Fukuoka
After relaxing morning at your ryokan, transfer to Fukuoka Airport by a private car.
Have a safe flight to home!
The tour price will differ according to many factors such as the rank of accommodation (e.g. 5-star hotel, 4-star ryokan), way of transportation (e.g. train, private car), number of days with a private guide, duration of your tour, or season. Please contact us. One of our tour consultants will come up with an ideal plan and cost for you.
For more information, or to start customizing your own itinerary, please contact us.
Michi Travel Japan