Best of Kyushu Japan self-drive

17 days
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4.9/5 Excellent
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Private Guided
Japan’s distinct culture, futuristic cities and striking natural landscapes make it one of our most rewarding destinations. While the lifestyle may seem intimidatingly different, our specialists have spent time living, and often working, in the country and can help you navigate the cultural idiosyncrasies. With their expert guidance and help in planning your ...
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Trip type
Private Guided
Lodging level
Premium - 4 star
Physical level
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

What's this trip about?

    Japan’s distinct culture, futuristic cities and striking natural landscapes make it one of our most rewarding destinations. While the lifestyle may seem intimidatingly different, our specialists have spent time living, and often working, in the country and can help you navigate the cultural idiosyncrasies. With their expert guidance and help in planning your tailor-made itinerary, experiencing a culture far removed from your own is part of the country’s charm.

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Itinerary focusClassic Highlights
Group sizeIndependent
Age rangeNo age restrictions
Flights and transportAll internal ground transport included
Start CityTokyo
End CityTokyo

Travel Themes

  • Cultural
  • National Parks
  • Nature & Wildlife


  • Asia
  • Japan


  • Meiji Shrine
  • Nagasaki
  • Tokyo


  • Culture
  • Hiking
  • Hot Springs
  • Trains & Rail
  • Independent

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Day 1 : International outbound flight

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Tokyo.

Day 2 : Fukuoka

Once arrived into Tokyo, transfer directly to your flight to Fukuoka.Once in Fukuoka you will be met at the airport by a representative to guide you through arrivals. They will then show you to the waiting transfer to your hotel.Spend the rest of the day relaxing aft...

Day 3 : Kurokawa

Pick up your hire car today and drive to the onsen village of Kurokawa and spend the rest of the day at leisure relaxing in the sumptuous hot springs.

Day 4 : Kurokawa

There are some nice walks to be done or make use of your hire car to explore more of the area. You can also take advantage of a day pass to visit other hot springs in the village.

Day 5 : Takachiho

Travel south to sheer limestone cliffs of Takachiho Gorge. Once freshened up, perhaps hire a rowing boat and drift gently along the river through waterfalls and cliff faces.

Day 6 : Ibusuki

Drive south to Ibusuki and spend the evening unwinding in a traditional sand bath after a long day of driving through some delightful scenery.

Day 7 : Ibusuki

Using your hire car, drive to Chiran, a very small town that has been relatively untouched by time and home to beautiful samurai residences and gardens. There is also a small museum dedicated to the kamikaze fighters of WWII.

Day 8 : Kirishima National Park

Continue your drive to Kirishima National Park, bypassing the smoking top of Sakurajima volcano that overlooks Kagoshima city.

Day 9 : Kirishima National Park

At leisure in the Kirishima National Park to enjoy some of the many walking trails, and soak up the beautifully verdant green of this part of Kyushu.

Day 10 : Kumamoto

Return to Kagoshima, drop off your hire car and board the train to Kumamoto and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Our recommendation for the afternoon is to visit Kumamoto castle and its nearby Suizenji gardens.

Day 11 : Kumamoto

Use your car to head east to Mount Aso and over the lip of the caldera. The scenery is quite different to anywhere else and on a good day you reach the top.

Day 12 : Nagasaki

A short drive to the port to board the car ferry over to Unzen Peninsula from where you climb the mountain via the sulphuric bubbling pools at the top of Mount Unzen. After, head back down the mountain over to Nagasaki Bay and the city itself.

Day 13 : Nagasaki

At leisure in Nagasaki. It's worth visiting the small yet quite harrowing peace museum but more of what Nagasaki has to offer is in town such as Glover Garden on which 'Madame Butterfly' was based and Dejima Wharf at sunset.

Day 14 : Nagasaki

At leisure to explore 'Gunkanjima' or 'Battleship Island' infamous for its eerily vacant and uninhabited atmosphere often used in movies.

Day 15 : Fukuoka

Continue by train to Hakata, a lovely journey along the coast and through paddy fields.Once in Fukuoka, enjoy the remainder of your evening in this compact but buzzy modern city.

Day 16 : Tokyo

Take the easy subway line to the airport and board your flight back to Tokyo for a final night in the capital.

Day 17 : International return flight

Take the airport shuttle bus to the airport and board your return flight. Your return flight will arrive the same day.

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Dates & Availability

Price From $7,048
Price per day$415
Last Updated: 2/23/2024

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Audley Travel.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Audley Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.9/5  Excellent
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Our trips don’t come off the shelf. There’s no set recipe. Each itinerary is tailor-made down to the finest detail, built around your tastes and interests. Quite simply, we listen to what you want and then carefully design an individual trip to match, working to your budget and with an absolute commitment to quality.

We have experts for each and every one of our destinations, with the knowledge that comes from having visited many times or even lived there. Our specialists will design a trip around you, show you the highlights from a different angle, and introduce you to places and experiences that others might miss.

Our flexibility promise

As the world adjusts to travel in times of uncertainty, we want you to be able to look ahead to your next trip knowing you can change your plans if needed. And, with specialists who are experts in their destinations and remain your single point of contact before and while you travel, we promise you can book with us in absolute confidence.

Our flexibility promise

Change your plans free of charge up to 30 days before departure

We’ll move your travel dates or switch the value of your booked trip to another destination at no expense to you up to 30 days before you’re due to depart. You’ll receive a 100% travel credit equivalent to the amount you paid toward your original booking.

Valid for new bookings made on or before October 31, 2020, for travel by Dec. 31, 2021. Travel dates may be moved to departures up to December 31, 2022. Excludes select cruises and airfare. Additional charges may be incurred based on changes to your trip such as accommodation and/or seasonality.

Full-refund guarantee on trips close to home

14-day cancellation policy for trips to the US, Canada or Caribbean

We want to help you navigate the uncertainty that remains around travel by giving you the flexibility to book a trip to any of our destinations in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean this year in complete confidence. With our 14-day cancellation policy, you can cancel your trip up to two weeks before you’re due to depart for any reason and receive a full refund, when you book your trip on or before October 31, 2020 for travel before December 14, 2021**.

Valid on new bookings within the US, Canada or Caribbean made on or before October 31, 2020 for travel by December 14, 2021. Certain policy variations may apply dependent on property selection and dates. Specific details will be provided by your specialist. Any portion of a new booking paid with an existing travel credit will be refunded in the form of a travel credit. Excludes flights and select properties.


Set your travel plans in motion with a video appointment


Talking face to face with your specialist can be an invaluable starting point for sharing thoughts and ideas as you begin to imagine your next trip. You can take as much time as you need to speak to your specialist and discuss all your plans with one of our video appointments. Just think of it as your own personal webinar — your specialist will share a wealth of insight, aided by images, maps and other visuals, to inspire you and provide advice for your trip, based on what you want to experience.

It's easy to arrange

  • Book a video appointment (we’ll ask you for a few details about your travel plans).
  • One of our specialists, who’s an expert in your chosen destination, will get in touch to arrange a time and date to suit you. If your travel companions are in different households, we’ll invite them to join, too, so you can all chat together.
  • Your specialist will send you a link to your video appointment by email. We suggest using a computer or laptop, which means there’s no software to download.
  • Settle down with a drink, click on the link to join the appointment and your specialist will be there to welcome you.

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