Help with planning an onsen trip to Kyushu (or nearby places)
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Nov 16, 2012 5:37 AM Last Post By: Kaminoge
Nov 14, 2012 9:20 PM
Help with planning an onsen trip to Kyushu (or nearby places)Hi
My friend and I are staying in Busan, South Korea and we are trying to plan a trip to Kyushu (beginning of Dec). Well, more like I'm planning a surprise trip for her haha ;)
It doesn't necessarily have to be Kyushu but it seems closer to Busan but if you have any other suggestions, please let us know.
We're on a budget so it's not like we're expecting to stay in one the best ryokans but we want to find an affordable yet decent place. Being able to enjoy the hot springs and ryokan is our number one priority. (shopping not so much)
Also, transportation is a big issue. Could you recommend us places that are accessible via public transportation (starting from a nearby airport)? We found cheap flight tickets to Kitakyushu airport. We'll try to look for tickets to Fukuoka airport if that's better.
And is it possible to get around without knowing any japanese? I know some Korean but not sure if that'd be helpful.
We're trying to avoid booking our trip through a travel agency to save money (Their package deals are pretty expensive). That means we'll have to do without a guide but I'm willing to give it go if you guys think is doable.
Thanks for your help in advance.
Nov 14, 2012 10:11 PM
1If you are looking for a private time chartered outdoor onsen, try here in Yufuin. It is awarded many times & one of the best but at a reasonably low rate w/ free continental bf. I/we always stay there whenever in Yufuin.
They have many meal packages but optional. There are many restaurants nearby. You can either have a tatami room or oversized twin in a large room(lowest rate). Make sure to soak in Yawaragi-no-yu(there are 3 outdoor onsens) & watch the sun rise over the Yufu ridge.
There are many buses go direct to Yufuin from Fukuoka. From Kitakyushu, take a train to Oita & transfer.
Beppu/Yufuin have many onsen ryokans/hotels options but most are gender separated (standard) in lower ranges.
Nov 14, 2012 11:03 PM
2I have travelled Kyushu a bit. I did the east and south coast by bicycle, lived in Kumamoto for a year, and been to almost every big city at least once.
It's easy enough to travel without knowing Japanese, but you won't find a ton of English or Korean speakers in Kyushu. The best Onsens are probably between Kumamoto and Kagoshima, and Kagoshima and Miyazaki. An easy way to find local ones is to go to a conbini (7/11) and open the road map (reading without paying = yomitachi). Then look for the onsen symbols in the town you are in.
I'm guessing you'd fly into Fukuoka or ferry into Nagasaki. Both are great cities. I think Fukuoka is my favorite big city in Japan (you have to go to the night Ramen stands). Kagoshima is also a great city (try the imoshochu and kurobuta ramen). If you get down that far, then you should look into going to Yakushima (especially if you have camping gear and enjoy hiking). Yakushima was my favorite nature spot in all of Japan and was the inspiration for Princess Mononoke.
Night buses offer cheap travel. It's also a great area for traveling by bicycle.
If you are in Kumamoto, I recommend getting out to Mt. Aso. A trip to the 3,333 stair temple is also worthwhile, though it is hard to arrange (only one bus leaves for this area at 8 a.m. if I remember right) and a killer on the legs. Of course, check out Kumamoto-Jo which is right in the middle of the city. It was the last stand of Satsuma and my personal favorite castle (it's just so militaristic and real).
Nagasaki is also worth a visit.
Edited by: azollo
Nov 16, 2012 5:37 AM
3If you're looking for a specific, budget-conscious recommendation, I was quite pleased with the two nights I stayed at the Nogami Honkan Ryokan in the hot-springs town of Beppu a couple of years ago. I had a very-large Japanese-style room to myself (bathroom included) for only ¥5000 a night. Best of all, the inn had five hot-spring baths, three of which could be booked for private-use.
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