Vegetarian's Japan Guide

10 to 14 Days Japan Itinerary – Kansai to Kyūshū – Autumn

When you visit Japan for the first time, Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka are probably the cities on your itinerary. For your second trip, consider flying into the Kansai region and out of Fukuoka this time!

Kansai (関西) or the Kinki region (近畿) lies in the southern-central of Japan’s main island Honshū. Apart from the usual Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka, it also includes Mie, Wakayama, Hyōgo, and Shiga Prefectures. While 10 to 14 days are definitely not enough to explore all the awesome attractions between Kansai and Kyūshū (the island immediately under Honshū), it is just enough to visit all the most popular ones.

Below is what your 2 weeks can look like. This was actually our itinerary when we went to Japan in 2017, except we added a few more awesome attractions that we weren’t aware of back then. For the scenic spots in this article, we focus on those famous for the fall foliage, which mostly peaks from mid to late November. So if you can, plan your visit around that time of the year.

We have also included some other attractions that are less mainstream but may potentially interest some of you (^_-)-☆. For most places, there is also a link to the city/town where that particular attraction is located. You can refer to it for more ideas of where else to visit for those who have the luxury of staying in Japan longer! On the other hand, if you don’t have 14 days, take away a few spots that appeal to you less.

Also, the below itinerary assumes you are taking public transport at all times. We, therefore, recommend you use the Sanyo-San’in Northern Kyushu Pass from day 7 to day 13 because it will save you at least 10,000 yen, assuming you take the bullet train whenever possible. With the pass, whenever you are traveling on the bullet train, remember to reserve your seats in advance at the JR ticket center – Midori no Madoguchi (みどりの窓口) as there is no guarantee that you will get a seat at the non-reserve carriages. And when we say in advance, it is better to do so at least the night before.

Summary of the 14-Day Itinerary

PrefectureCityAccommodation InAttractions
Day 1Osaka/KyotoOsaka/KyotoOsaka/Kyoto
Day 2Osaka/KyotoOsaka/KyotoOsaka/Kyoto
Day 3OsakaMinō OsakaMinoh Park, Katsuo-Ji Temple
Day 4HyōgoHimejiHimejiHimeji Castle, Kōkōen Garden, Mt. Shosha
Day 5OkayamaSetouchiOkayamaBizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum, Myōkōji Temple, Kuroshima Venus Road, Ushimado Olive Garden
Day 6OkayamaOkayamaOkayamaOkayama Castle, Kōrakuen Garden, Kibitsu Shrine, Saijō Inari, Ryusenji Temple
Day 7OkayamaKurashikiKurashikiKaze-no Michi, Kojima Gakuseifuku Museum, Shōshūhō
Day 8OkayamaTakahashiKurashikiBitchū Matsuyama Castle, Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Day 9HiroshimaMiyajimaMiyajimaMiyajima
Day 10Hiroshima/ŌitaMiyajima/HakataHakataHakata
Day 11ŌitaBeppuBeppuBeppu
Day 12ŌitaYufuinYufuinYufuin
Day 13ŌitaYufuinHakataYufuin, Hakata
Day 14ŌitaHakataHakata
Summary of the Itinerary

Day 1 and Day 2

Assuming you are flying into Osaka, depending on when your flight arrives in Japan, you may or may not have time for sightseeing. If your flight is long-haul, you might need another relaxing day to recover from jetlag. This is why we have purposely left the itinerary for the first two days blank.

Day 3 – Minoh Park, Katsuo-Ji Temple

Osaka ⇒ Hankyū Minoh Station ⇒ Minoh Park ⇒ Senri-Chuo Station ⇒ Katsuo-Ji Temple

Day 3 is another easy day. With just two spots planned, you can fit another one or two attractions in the morning, such as the Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda (カップヌードルミュージアム 大阪池田), and have an early lunch before you head to Minoh Park.

Minoh Park (箕面公園)

Minoo-Falls-Autumn-Minoh-Park-Osaka
Ⓒ Minoh city

When you are ready, jump on a Hankyū (阪急) train from Hankyū Osaka-Umeda Station (大阪梅田駅). In less than 30 minutes, you will reach Hankyū Minoh Station (阪急箕面駅) for an afternoon of light trekking.

The well-maintained 2.7 km course – Takimichi Hiking Course (滝道ハイキングコース) will bring you to the spectacular Minoo Falls (箕面大滝) in just 50 minutes. At the trailhead close to the station, don’t forget to grab yourself some Maple Leaf Tempura that suits the season perfectly!

For more information about the track and a few attractions along the way, please refer to our Minoh Park Article.

From Minoo Falls, you can trek further northeast for around 55 minutes to reach the day’s last destination – Katsuo-Ji Temple!

Katsuo-Ji Temple (勝尾寺)

Katsuo-Ji Temple is another scenic spot in Minō City. Differing from its original purpose, the mist surrounding the bridge connecting you to the temple’s main gate is a unique photo spot that sees many tourists posing.

Another special thing about this temple is the Daruma Dolls. There are hundreds of thousands of dolls that the worshipers in the past have offered and placed around the ground of the temple. If you have a goal, it is the perfect spot to pray for some help from Buddha!

Katsuoji-Front-Gate-Osaka-Japan
Ⓒ photo-ac.com

For more information about the temple, please refer to our Minō City Article.

And to get back to where your hotel is, take a bus from the bus stop close to the temple and head to Senri-chūo Station (千里中央駅). From there, you can take the Kita-Osaka Kyūko Railway (北大阪急行電鉄) to get back to Umeda.

Day 4 – Mt. Shosha, Himeji Castle, and Kōkōen Garden

Osaka ⇒ JR Himeji Station ⇒ Mt. Shosha ⇒ Himeji Castle ⇒ Kōkōen Garden

The schedule for day 4 is actually quite tight as we tried to pack all the best spots in Himeji into one day.

Osaka to JR Himeji Station (姫路駅)

From Osaka to Himeji, the fastest way is to take the bullet train, so you can be at JR Himeji Station in 30 minutes from JR Shin-Osaka Station (新大阪駅). The Mt. Shosha Ropeway’s first departure is at 8:30 am. Ideally, catching that one will be the best. But, as the ropeway departs every 15 minutes, we would say catching any of the first four services of the day will give you enough time at all three attractions listed below.

To catch one of the first four ropeway services, you can catch buses depart from JR Himeji Station for Mt. Shosha. For weekdays, buses depart at 8:05 or 8:40. For Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays, buses depart at a 20 minutes interval from 8:15.

We recommend booking your accommodation close to JR Himeji Station. This is so you can drop off your bags with your accommodation provider before you head to Mt. Shosha.

Mt. Shosha (書写山)

Mt-Shosha-Engyoji-Temple-Autumn-2
Ⓒ Himeji City

Mt. Shosha is a hidden gem in Himeji City. A lot of tourists come to Himeji for just the Himeji Castle and remain unaware of the mountain’s natural beauty. Especially in autumn, the autumn foliage scenery combined with the worship halls of the Engyōji Temple (圓教寺) is just stunning. And, from the lookouts in the mountain, you will get a wide view of Himeji City.

For more information, please refer to our article on Mt. Shosha!

It takes around two to three hours to explore the top of the mountain at a relaxing pace. You can also have lunch at the temple. If you are vegan or vegetarian, please refer to our article on Mt. Shosha’s Unique Vegan Cuisine Experience for more information.

Himeji Castle, your next stop for the day, is located close to JR Himeji Station. So after you have your fill at Mt. Shosha, head to the bus stop where you got off the bus in the morning and take the same bus service to get to Himeji Castle. This time, instead of heading all the way back to the station, please get off at Himejijō Ōte Mae (姫路城大手門前).

If you choose not to have lunch at Mt. Shosha, there are many restaurants and cafés that you can choose from before you head to the castle.

Himeji Castle (姫路城)

With its elegant white appearance, not only has Himeji Castle been chosen to be the best castle among hundreds of castles in Japan, but it is also Japan’s first spot to be registered on UNESCO World Heritage List!

For more information, please refer to our article on Himeji Castle.

Himeji-Castle-Autumn
Ⓒ Himeji City

Kōkōen Garden (好古園)

Kokoen-Garden-Autumn-Himeji

Next to the famous Himeji Castle is the castle’s not-so-famous garden – Kōkōen. It is one of our favorite gardens in Japan because although the garden was built relatively recently, it is where you get to experience many different Japanese gardening styles in one garden! Plus, it has an authentic Japanese tea room that serves freshly whisked matcha and a traditional Japanese sweet for anyone up for an afternoon tea!

For more information, please refer to our article on Kōkōen.

Day 5 – Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum, Myōkōji Temple, Kuroshima Venus Road, Ushimado Olive Garden

JR Himeji Station ⇒ JR Okayama Station ⇒ JR Kagato Station ⇒ Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum ⇒ Myōkōji Temple ⇒ JR Oku Station ⇒ Kuroshima Venus Road or Ushimado Olive Garden

Having a good rest after a busy day on day 4, let’s jump back onto the bullet train and head to JR Okayama Station (岡山駅) to drop off your belongings at the accommodation you booked. For a shorter travel time between where you stay and where you will be visiting on day 5, we recommend booking your stay close to JR Okayama Station. On the other hand, if you don’t mind dragging your luggage around, staying at one of the hotels with a great sunset or sunrise view in Setouchi can be a great idea!

Day 5’s attractions are all located in Setouchi City (瀬戸内市), which is just a 30-minute train ride away. So after you have unburdened yourself at the hotel, head back to the train station, and it is time to discover how a Japanese sword is made (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum (備前長船刀剣博物館)

This museum in Osafune is THE SPOT that all the Japanese sword fans will want to visit. Even if you aren’t interested in swords, it would still be a great attraction to observe how part of the sword is made in the museum’s workshop. A sword isn’t just about forging; the number of different specialists that are required to work on one sword before it is completed will definitely astonish you!

Bizen-Osafune-Touken-no-Sato-Bizen-Osafune-Sword-Museum-Swordsmithjpg
Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

For more information about this spot, please refer to the part that talks about the museum in our Setouchi City article.

Myōkōji Temple (妙興寺)

Myokoji-Temple-Setouchi-Japan
Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

If you get to the museum relatively early, you might still have time to spare before lunchtime as you probably won’t be spending more than an hour there. This is when you can get some beautiful photos with the 28 meters tall, 300-year-old ginkgo tree at Myōkōji Temple!

The temple is around a 40-minute walk from the museum for those who don’t mind walking. Or it is a 15-minute walk from JR Osafune Station (長船駅), which is just a station away from JR Kagato Station (香登駅), which the museum is close to.

So where to go for lunch? How about dining at one of the trendy cafés or nicely decorated restaurants at Ushimado (牛窓)? Depending on where you go, you might even get an ocean view! Plus, it is where the next destination of the day is located. In the afternoon, choose from the below two spots! Of course, you can visit both of them. But this just means your itinerary will be really tight.

Kuroshima Venus Road (黒島ヴィーナスロード)

If you enjoy walking along a beach, don’t miss out on the road that connects the Kuroshima Island (黒島) with the Nakanoko Island (中ノ小島) and the Hashinokojima Island (端ノ小島).

When the tide is low, a romantic sandy road will appear that connects the three islands located in the Ushimadoseto Strait (牛窓瀬戸). And if you ask what is romantic about this road, it is because of the heart-shaped stones lying along it!

Kuroshima-Venus-Road-Setouchi-Okayama-Japan
Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

If you enjoy water sports, in November, you can join the half-day sea kayak tour that goes around the small islands departing at Maejima Island at 1:30 pm. If you are going with this option, you will have to catch the boat that departs from Ushimado at 1:10 pm.

As the time of low tide differs each day, you might want to head to the Ushimado Olive Garden first before you head to the port for boat-boarding.

For more information about the Kuroshima Venus Road and Sea Kayak, please refer to our Kuroshima Venus Road Article!

Ushimado Olive Garden (牛窓オリーブ園)

Ushimado-Olive-Garden-Setouchi-Japan
Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

We all know the higher you go, the better the view you are going to get. And for a panoramic view of this part of the Seto Inland Sea, hike up to the Ushimado Olive Garden!

This spot is best to visit in the afternoon to enjoy the moment of the sun slowly sinking below the horizon (^_-)-☆.

For more information, please refer to the part that talks about the garden in our Ushimado Olive Garden article.

Day 6 – Kibitsu Shrine, Saijō Inari, Ryūsenji Temple, Okayama Castle, Kōrakuen Garden

JR Okayama Station ⇒ JR Kibitsu Station ⇒ JR Bitchū-Takamatsu Station ⇒ Saijō Inari ⇒ Ryūsenji Temple ⇒ JR Okayama Station ⇒ Okayama Castle ⇒ Kōrakuen Garden

After you are ready for another day of exploration (we recommend you head to the train station no later than 9 am), let’s hop onto the train and head to JR Kibitsu Station!

Kibitsu Shrine (吉備津神社)

Okayama Prefecture is famous for its peaches. This is probably why the main character of the Japanese folktale Momotarō (桃太郎, “Peach Boy”) that originated from the region, was born from a giant peach!

Unlike most folktales, Momotarō was modeled based on the myth of a shrine.

Yes, your first destination on the fifth day of your trip is Kibitsu Shrine, in which the life of Momotarō has a deep connection. Here, you will also find the only building built in the Kibitsu-Zukuri-Style in Japan, designated as one of Japan’s National Treasures!

Kibitsu-Shrine-Okayama-Japan
Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

And if you have a partner or are looking for one, when you visit the shrine, don’t forget to pray for a happy relationship (=゚ω゚)ノ.

For more information about what to do at the shrine, please refer to our Okayama City article!

Saijō Inari (最上稲荷山妙教寺)

Saijo-Inari-Torii-Gate-Okayama-Japan
Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

The next spot Saijō Inari is just one train stop away from Kibitsu Shrine. It is a 40-minute walk from JR Bitchu-Takamatsu (備中高松駅).

Saijō Inari is a special place as it is one of the few spots in Japan that combines Buddhism and Shintoism. It is also one of the major Inari Shrines in Japan (the other two are Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) in Kyoto and Toyokawa Inari (豊川稲荷) in Aichi).

Not too far from the station, you will be welcomed by this gigantic Saijō Inari Torii Gate that stands out even from a distance. After you feel its magnificence, if you don’t feel like walking, catch a taxi from the station, and you will be at Saijō Inari in 5 minutes.

For Day 6’s lunch, we recommend you have it at Saijō Inari’s Kenmyōkaku (顕妙閣). With 2,750 yen, you will be enjoying an 11-course Shōjin Ryōri (vegetarian set menu) in one of the private rooms! This lunch option requires booking 5 days in advance. If you don’t speak Japanese and can’t make a booking before you depart for Japan, we would still recommend you kindly ask the staff of the hotel that you stay on your first night as soon as you get there to see if they can make a booking for you.

For more information about Saijō Inari, please refer to our Okayama City article!

Ryūsenji Temple (龍泉寺)

If you can’t dine at Saijō Inari’s Kenmyōkaku, we recommend getting a bento box that can be easily found at JR Okayama Station or nearby convenience stores. It shouldn’t be hard to find some vegetarian options there.

Before you head back to Okayama’s city center for Okayama Castle and its garden, drop by Ryūsenji Temple for its beautiful autumn foliage. This lesser-known spot is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the scenery without being disturbed by other tourists.

From Saijō Inari, you can either hike for an hour or take a taxi to get there. Hiking won’t be just a tiring journey. You will be rewarded with some awesome views along the way. And if you really aren’t the active type of person, you should be able to catch a taxi around the car park of Saijō Inari.

For more information about the temple, please refer to our Okayama City article!

Okayama Castle (岡山城) and Kōrakuen Garden (後楽園)

Kourakuen-Okayama-Japan-1
Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

When you come to Okayama, you can’t possibly miss out on Okayama Castle and Kōrakuen Garden. Contrasting the pure white Himeji Castle, Okayama Castle, on the other hand, has a trendy black body.

The castle itself isn’t big and if you aren’t interested in the activities you can do inside the castle, we would say you don’t need to pay to get into the castle as the interior of most Japanese castles looks relatively the same.

But, a photo of the castle and garden is a must!

While giving the castle’s interior a miss won’t make you regret it later on, paying to get into the castle’s garden Kōrakuen is highly recommended.

As one of the Three Great Gardens in Japan, it is one of the most popular destinations in the prefecture.

And in November, there are light-up events in the garden, which is why we leave this spot to the last (so you don’t need to pay your way in twice a day). On your way out, don’t forget to drop by Okayama Castle again because the castle is lit up at night as well!

Okayama-Castle-Kourakuen-Night-Time-Light-Up
Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

For more information, please refer to our Okayama Castle and Kōrakuen Garden article.

Day 7 – Kaze-no Michi, Kojima Gakuseifuku Museum, Shōshūhō

JR Okayama Station ⇒ JR Kurashiki Station ⇒ JR Kojima Station ⇒ Kaze-no Michi ⇒ Kojima Students Uniform Museum ⇒ Betty Smith Jeans Museum ⇒ Shōshūhō

Before going to bed on day 6, pack your things as you will be staying in Kurashiki from day 7 to day 9!

After you drop your bags at your hotel close to JR Kurashiki Station (倉敷駅), let’s head to Kojima, a town famous for its denim industry and the spectacular view of the Seto Inland Sea and the Seto Ōhashi Bridge (=゚ω゚)ノ.

If your day 7 happens to be a Friday, a Japanese public holiday, or on the weekends, instead of catching the train, catch the Jeans Bus! It is a bus that is decorated with jeans and denim elements that is too special to not travel with it! And once you reach Kojima, even if you aren’t interested in shopping, stop by the Kojima Jeans Street to see how the locals promote their denim products (^_-)-☆.

For those who are interested in Japanese gardens and traditional houses, don’t forget to drop by the Old Nozaki Family Residence (旧野崎家住宅), which is just a 5-minute walk from Kojima Jeans Street!

For more information about the bus, Kojima Jeans Street, and Old Nozaki Family Residence (旧野崎家住宅), please refer to our Kojima District article.

Kaze-no Michi (風の道)

If you enjoy cycling, make sure you rent one out from one of the two rental facilities close to JR Kojima Station (児島駅).

Kaze-no Michi is a 6.3 km well-maintained track that will lead you to many scenic spots in Kojima District. And for other attractions that aren’t on the track, you can always make a detour to save on transportation costs!

For those who love trekking, you can also walk on the same track but just be careful with the bikes that may be coming from behind you. A one-way journey will take around 2 hours to complete.

Please refer to Kojima Cycling Map for a visual idea of this trip. The red line on the map marked the abandoned Shimotsui Dentetsu train line. And instead of heading back to JR Kojima Station the same way you came from, follow the blue line to enjoy the view of the Seto Inland Sea!

For more information about bike rental, please refer to our Kojima District article.

Depending on how you plan to explore Kojima, you might want to keep your rental bike until you are ready to head to Shōshūhō, the summit of Mt. Washu.

And after you are done with Kazu-no Michi, it is time to find a restaurant for some delicious lunch!

Kojima Students Uniform Museum (児島学生服資料館)

The afternoon starts with the history of the iconic Japanese school uniform. The museum’s ground floor will give you a big picture of how the uniforms have evolved over the last couple of decades.

When you head upstairs, it is time for a photo session to dress up in uniforms of different styles!

For more information about the museum, please refer to our Kojima District article.

Kojima-Gakuseifuku-Museum-Fitting-Area
Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Betty Smith Jeans Museum (ベティスミス ジーンズミュージアム&ヴィレッジ)

Betty-Smith-Jeans-Museum-Kojima-Kurashiki-Okayama-Japan
Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

Less than a 10-minute walk away from Kojima Students Uniform Museum, there is another museum about jeans. You will find out how the denim used to be made back then before machines took everything over.

Although not from scratch, it is also a place where you can design your pair of jeans!

For more information, please refer to our Kurashiki City article.

Shōshūhō (鐘秀峰)

The last stop of the day is Shōshūhō (鐘秀峰), the summit of Mt. Washu or Washuzan (鷲羽山) in the Seto Island Inland Sea National Park. It is the perfect place to get a panoramic view of 50 islands, together with the famous Seto Ōhashi Bridge!

The sunset from Mt. Washu was chosen as one of the 100 Best Sunsets In Japan. This is why we left this spot till the last.

If your day 7 falls on a Friday or a Saturday or the next day is going to be a Japanese public holiday, there will be a sunset bus tour departing from JR Kojima Station at 3:30 pm.

Washuzan-Shoshuho-Seto-Inland-Sea
Ⓒ Kengo Itou @ Pixabay

But even if the bus tour isn’t running, regular buses still operate during the day. The only thing you need to watch out for is don’t miss out on the last bus that departs for JR Kojima Station from the bus stop at Mt. Washu.

To find out more on how to get there as well as the best time to be there, please refer to our Shōshūhō article (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Day 8 – Bitchū Matsuyama Castle, Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter

JR Kurashiki Station ⇒ JR Bitchū-Takahashi Station ⇒ Bitchū Matsuyama Castle ⇒ Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter

A large part of today’s schedule is at the famous Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. But before that, let’s discover the castle in the sky – Bitchū Matsuyama Castle!

Bitchū Matsuyama Castle (備中松山城)

In this itinerary, you have visited two Japanese castles already. So you might be reluctant to go for a third one. But we guarantee you that this is the castle that you will regret later on if you give it a miss, especially in November as it is the best time to see the castle floating in the sky!

Bitchu-Matsuyama-Castle-In-Sea-Of-Cloud
Ⓒ Okayama Prefecture Tourism Federation

To see this special scenery, reserve your spot for a sightseeing taxi that will fetch you to the Sea of Clouds Observatory (雲海展望台) at 7:30 am or 8 am from JR Bitchū-Takahashi Station (備中高梁駅).

So wake up early and head to JR Bitchū-Takahashi Station (備中高梁駅), which is 25 – 35 minutes away depending on what train you catch.

Taking the sightseeing taxi, you will be back at JR Bitchū-Takahashi Station (備中高梁駅) at 9:10 am at the latest. From then, you can decide whether you want to head up to the castle to meet the castle’s lord – Sanjūrō.

For more information, please refer to our article about Bitchū Matsuyama Castle!

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter (倉敷美観地区)

The Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter is also known as Japan’s “Little Venice”. It is a historical area comprising classical Japanese architecture and a gorgeous canal. With the canal surrounded by unique traditional Japanese housing, it isn’t just one of the main attractions for tourists visiting Okayama Prefecture, but also a popular Japanese drama/movie shooting location!

With a variety of shops, eateries, and galleries in the area, you can easily spend a whole day here without getting bored (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Kurashiki Bikan Area
Ⓒ chechanie @ Pixabay

For more information about where to go and what to do here, please refer to our article about Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter!

Also, for the samurai sword fans out there, there is another sword museum where you might be able to actually hold one in your hand close to Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. Please refer to the part of the Kurashiki City article that talks about Kurashiki Art Sword Museum (倉敷刀剣美術館) for more information.

Day 9 and Day 10 – Miyajima

JR Kurashiki Station ⇒ JR Miyajimaguchi Station ⇒ Miyajima ⇒ JR Hakata Station

After you check out from your hotel on the morning of day 9, head straight to JR Kurashiki Station. If you are holding a JR pass that covers the section between Okayama and Hiroshima, the fastest way to get to JR Miyajimaguchi Station (宮島口駅), which is the station closest to the pier, is to catch a bullet train to JR Hiroshima Station (広島駅).

As JR Kurashiki Station isn’t a stop that the bullet train will stop at, it will take more than one train service to get to Hiroshima. From JR Hiroshima Station, change for the local train line to get to JR Miyajimaguchi Station (宮島口駅). From there, catch one of the ferry services, and you will be at Miyajima in 10 minutes!

Sunset-At-Miyajima-Japan
Ⓒ photo-ac.com

Miyajima has become more and more well-known partially due to its World Heritage Status and potentially due to those friendly and cheeky deer on the island.

So if you haven’t been to this sacred island, you are missing out! And the island is a lot more than just the Ikutsushima Shrine and the Great Torii Gate in the sea. To find out why we allocate a day and a half for this spot, check out our article about Miyajima!

After you have your fill about the island on day 10, hop back onto the ferry, and let’s head to JR Hakata Station (博多駅) in Kyūshū! Depending on what time you leave Miyajima, you may or may not have time to stroll around the city of Hakata.

Tip: As you will be back in Hakata on the night of day 13, we recommend you book the same hotel for day 10 and day 13. So you can leave everything that you won’t be needing on day 11 and day 12 at the hotel in Hakata to light up yourself. And even if your hotel for day 10 and day 13 is different, you can always check with either of the hotels to see if they can hold your bags, as both of the hotels that we stayed at were happy to do so (=゚ω゚)ノ.

Day 11 – Beppu

JR Hakata Station ⇒ JR Okura Station ⇒ JR Beppu Station ⇒ The Hell of Beppu

Get up early on day 11 because it takes around an hour and 45 minutes to get to JR Beppu Station (別府駅) from JR Hakata Station. Ideally, you want to be at Beppu by 10 in the morning, which means you should leave Hakata between 8 and 8:30 am. For this part of the journey, we won’t recommend taking the sightseeing train – Yufuin-no-Mori. Because the train will take longer to get to Beppu compared to the normal limited express train. Instead, please take the limited express sonic (特急ソニック) from JR Okura Station (小倉駅), which you can get to by taking a bullet train from JR Hakata Station.

So why are we in such a hurry? Because the most popular destination in Beppu – The Hell of Beppu takes around 6 hours to explore! Obviously, you can explore some on day 12, but that means you will have less time in Yufuin. So as soon as you drop off your luggage at your accommodation in Beppu, head straight back to the bus stop in front of the station!

For more information about why the hells are so awesome, please refer to our article about The Hell of Beppu!

Chinoike-Hell-Beppu-Japan

For lunch or dinner on the day, give the Jigoku Mushi Kōbō Kannawa a go. Although it is a self-service restaurant, you will have so much fun there! And honestly, we probably wouldn’t be bothered to visit if they cooked the food on our behalf. As the restaurant is quite popular, having an early or late lunch/dinner will cut down your waiting time.

Day 12 and Day 13 – Yufuin

JR Beppu Station ⇒ JR Yufuin Station ⇒ JR Hakata Station

From JR Beppu Station, take the sightseeing train Yufuin no Mori, and you will be at the onsen resort – Yufuin in around an hour! As a reservation is essential to board this train, please refer to our article about Yufuin no Mori for more useful information.

Yufuin-Lake-Kinrinko-Autumn
Ⓒ photo-ac.com/

As always, once you reach JR Yufuin Station, head to your accommodation to drop off your bags.

In Yufuin, there are many hotels, ryokans, and even hostels for you to choose from. If you arent’ sure where to stay and have a bit of budget to splash, we had a great time at Yufunogo Saigakukan (柚富の郷 彩岳館). Follow the link to find out about our experience at this onsen ryokan!

And for information about where to go and when to visit Lake Kinrinko, please refer to our article about Yufuin.

After you had enough of this gorgeous onsen town on day 13, it is now time to head back to Hataka for some last-minute souvenir shopping!

Day 14 – Hakata

Assuming you are flying off from Fukuoka Airport (福岡空港), you should have a bit of time before you have to head to the airport to enjoy the delicious food in restaurants in Hakata. Just make sure that you have plenty of time to get to the airport.

Unlike airports in Tokyo and Osaka, the Fukuoka Airport subway stop isn’t located just at the airport. You have to take a connecting bus from the subway station to the actual airport, which you want to allow an extra 15 to 30 minutes. We weren’t aware of this and were a bit stressed out toward the end of our trip…

Tenjin-Yatai-Street-Fukuoka-Japan
© 福岡市

Lastly…

Hopefully, this itinerary has helped you plan out at least parts of your next Japan visit. If you have any questions about this itinerary, you can contact us HERE and we will get back to you!

More Japan Itinerary

Kappa-Bridge-Kamikochi-Nagano-Japan-2
Click the photo for more Japan Itinerary

If Kansai and Kyūshū aren’t the areas that you want to visit, check out other Japan itineraries HERE!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.