Side Trip

We are not organising any side tours

However, some ideas for your own planning  ...

Hakata station is where you catch the JP Kyushu line to Nagasaki and the Shinkosen to Osaka/Kobe and beyond for any side trips you might plan.

At the moment it is advisable to check the LCC airfares and compare to the train. The train is more luxurious and goes centre to centre but cheap flights are taking off!

From Fukuoka you can get the Shinkansen to Osaka in about 2.5 hours. Osaka is a vibrant city with some interesting modern architecture and good food. It is where you change Shinkansen to get the extra half hour to Kyoto which is the top of everyone’s must see list.

The city of Kyoto is built on a flat plain and is surrounded by mountains at the foot of which are most of the temples. Buy a bus pass to get around. A very efficient service that gets you quickly between temples. Air Asia fly daily to Osaka so you can get your return flight from there.

Nagasaki. Well worth a day trip on the train from Fukuoka. To the north of the station is the ground zero for the atom bomb. To the south is the historic area where the first foreign traders were allowed to live. Built in a fiord it is an interesting city. Buses between sites are straightforward. It is also the site of the first brewery in Japan and has a famous China town.

Travel to Korea. Fukuoka is the main port for Korea via Busan. At the moment it is cheaper to book a half hour flight to make the crossing.

Fukuoka is not on any major fault lines so earthquakes are rare and mild. You can however visit Sakurajima volcano in the south of Kyushu Island which is one of the most active volcanos in the world. Before you go check if the access to climb it is open. It was closed at the beginning of the year due to outgassing.

If you hire a car, hire a narrow one. Roads are very narrow. Houses in suburbia have chamfered corners to make driving local streets possible. Tolls on the highways are expensive and most have sound barriers in residential areas so there is nothing to see of the beautiful countryside. The speed limit is also dramatically slower than most countries with the top speed on the highway being 80 kph on many sections. However, the police have very strict safe pursuit laws so people with supercars often opt to outrun the police. Its doubtful your hire car would be up to the task though.