Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Kyushu in a Week? (The Plan)

Alright, time to get started on my graduation trip with my family, or I'll never get started (I probably won't be posting consecutively, because I've got some other stuff too(: ). Last March, my family came for my graduation, and since they were here, decided to tour Kyushu. And guess who was their guide? (no prizes for the correct answer).

It was a pretty packed trip, so I thought I'd break it into several posts. But if you're looking to travel to Kyushu without using a travel agent, here's my schedule for you to use as a reference (I'll add links as I post):

Day 1:

The flight to Fukuoka from Singapore is an overnight flight, so I didn't plan much. Just exploring the city - Canal City, Tenjin underground shopping arcade, etc. We also went to the Fukuoka castle ruins, but we were too early for the sakura.

Day 2:

We rented a car and drove to Dazaifu and Yanagawa. And in the evening, we managed to go to Fukuoka Tower as well. You don't really need a car (Nishitetsu does sell packages for these and the train is pretty adorable too) but it does help if you're planning to buy a lot of things or don't want to be at the mercy of the train schedule.

Post for Day 1 and 2, focusing on whether you should rent a car

Day 3:

My graduation and hence absolutely no touristy things were done. You could probably substitute this with a day trip to Itoshima or any other of the places I listed in this post,  or you could head to Sasebo early and go to Kujukushima islands, giving you one full day at Huis ten Bosch.

We arrived in Sasebo at night.

Day 4:

We went to Kujukushima (for the cruise) in the morning and spent the afternoon and evening at Huis ten Bosch! It's workable if you're not planning to play much at Huis ten Bosch, but just to admire the view. If you want to enjoy everything that Huis ten Bosch has to offer, including its new virtual reality rides (post here), then you might want to budget one or two days.

Day 5:

From Sasebo, we took the train to Nagasaki. We went to the Atomic Bomb Museum and the Museum for the Christian Martyrs before heading to Kumamoto. You have to change trains here, so do allocate more time. We did plan to go to Kumamoto castle in the evening, but the trains turned out to be a bit too tiring for my grandparents so we just had an early night.

Day 6:

We went to Kumamoto castle and realised that a large portion of it is still closed off! But there is still stuff to see from the outside. After the castle, we headed to Aso farmland and I found out that the train doesn't go to Akamizu station anymore! It is rather inconvenient and I kinda wished that we still had the rental car.

Kumamoto castle post (also, Freshness Burger is in Kumamoto and that's a good burger choice if you happen to crave it. Even my grandparents enjoyed it)

Day 7:

We went from Aso Farmland to Kagoshima and had enough time to take one loop around the city tour bus and go to the Shiroyama viewpoint and admire the city. If you have more energy than us, you can head to Tenmonkan at night too.

Day 8:

We went to Senganen in the morning and went on a lunchtime cruise around noon. After the cruise, we managed to go to Sakurajima and take the island view bus, which let us take a very quick tour of the place. And in the evening, we took the shinkansen back to Hakata.

Day 9:

My family left for Singapore.

As you can see, we had over a week and we still had a very packed schedule! If you're young and have tons of energy, you can probably fit in more things like Minamata bay (if you're into history and the environment) and a more comprehensive tour of Nagasaki and Kumamoto city. If you have a few more days, you can probably go to Mount Aso as well, or perhaps to Beppu, Mojiko, or even to Miyazaki prefecture.

I will be posting about the trip in-between updates on what's going on right now(: