Japan self drive holiday, Best of Kyushu

“18 day self drive tour of Japan travelling on a round-trip from Fukuoka via Kagoshima and Kirishima. Walking trails, Zen gardens and hot springs.”


Fukuoka | Kurokawa hot springs | Takachiho | Ibusuki | Kagoshima | Kirishima National Park | Kumamoto | Nagasaki |

Description of Japan self drive holiday, Best of Kyushu

Thought by many to be the birthplace of the Japanese nation, Kyushu is the southernmost of Japanís four main islands, with a turbulent history matched by its seething volcanic terrain.

This island was the focal point of foreign interest in Japan, and the only place during Japanís long years of self-imposed isolation where contact with the outside world was permitted.

A land of cosmopolitan cities and castles, active volcanoes and scenic crater lakes, Kyushu is a prime location to explore Japanís history, both ancient and more recent. An ideal location for scenic hikes in an unspoilt landscape and for visiting hot spring resorts well beyond the reach of conventional tourists.

Fukuoka. With some wonderful art and crafts museums to visit and some great food on offer it is worth using as a base point to explore the area.
The population of the city is very young and hence the city has a very vibrant and international outlook with a great nightlife on offer. Ramen noodles and the infamous Fugu fish are the local specialties should you wish to play culinary Russian roulette, the former being served almost everywhere and in every combination imaginable.

Kurokawa Onsen is one of Japan's finest hot spring resorts and time here should be spent slowly and without a thought to the outside world. A preservation order has been issued by the local authority to keep the traditional character of the town in place.

Kirishima is the first of Japan's designated national parks and is home to an array of stunning sights, including smoking volcanoes, vast plateaux, sparkling lakes, rugged coastlines and dense forests.

Kumamoto is a pleasant castle town which has its place in Kyushu's turbulent history as the island's major government stronghold during the Shogun period.

Nagasaki is Kyushuís best-known city, made infamous on 9th August 1945 as the site of the second atomic bomb. The understated Peace Park and museum are a likely point of interest for every visitor.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

This itinerary shows the visitor to Japan a slower paced way of life and offers the opportunity to explore an area which is often overlooked among the tourist rush from city to city. Clients will have the chance to get out into the countryside and experience older, more traditional towns. The itinerary has a strong emphasis on experiencing the outdoors in an area of outstanding natural beauty with plenty of opportunity for walking.

Responsible Travel doesn't mean having to compromise on the enjoyment of your trip or the quality of your accommodation. We feel strongly that we should directly benefit the communities we visit whenever possible through sustainable travel, environmental protection and social projects, without sacrificing comfort or character.

Whilst we recognise that a vital element of any holiday is relaxation, we do try to encourage our clients to be aware of the impact they have on their destinations. For each booking, we provide notes on cultural sensitivities and our local guides brief our clients upon their arrival about environmental concerns and what they can do. We hope this will help to ensure the sustainability of our destinations and improve the quality of our clients' overall experience.

We ask that guests respect the environment throughout the trip to make sure they do not cause detrimental harm to the environment.
Ethical considerations are also part of our research and development process and we encourage feedback on our practices. Clients are asked to comment and make suggestions on our responsible practices when completing their post-trip questionnaire. In addition to this, as well as visiting destination-based initiatives whilst on their educational trips, our country specialists are encouraged to help continually improve our responsible travel initiatives.

The Impacts of this Trip

Accommodation will be in small local hotels and traditional inns, helping to support local communities and allowing you to try the famous Japanese hospitality and local food.

Through client-specific notes in our tailor-made itineraries, we continue to actively recommend restaurants, shops and other local businesses so that the community is directly benefited. Most of these have been discovered by our country specialists.

We promote environmentally friendly tours and accommodation in a number of destinations. We prefer, where possible, to use smaller, locally owned ground agents. Not only does this ensure that it is the host community who are managing and benefiting from the local tourist industry, but we also believe that our clients will have a better trip as local agents have a much more intimate knowledge of the region.

We favour ground agents who have an awareness of responsible tourism policies and strong environmental commitment. Responsible practice is one of the principle criteria during the selection of new suppliers, and ethical initiatives form a fundamental element in our ground arrangements. Where available we recommend our clients stay in ethically responsible accommodation that aim to preserve the beauty of natural surroundings.


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