Departure date: 21st Mar, 2017 (Tue) Coach & Drive - Gold
Singapore – Haneda
Assemble at Singapore Changi Airport for flight to Haneda.
Haneda – Kagoshima – Ibusuki
Hotel: Ibusuki Hakusuikan (Hot Spring) or similar
(Car pick-up at Kagoshima Airport)
Begin your discovery of Kyushu at Sakurajima - the symbol of Kagoshima. Rising dramatically out of the Kagoshima Bay, this wild untamed heart of Kagoshima is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes and a sight to remember. From the Arimura Observation Deck, you will be able to peak into the volcano’s heart for an idea of the awesome volcanic activities that are happening right beneath your feet. It will be a good idea to head to your hotel early today as the famed hot sand baths of Ibusuki awaits. You can feel all the stress of daily life literally drain away with your perspiration under the gentle massage of the heated sand.
Ibusuki – Kagoshima
Hotel: Hotel Shiroyama (Hot Spring) or similar
Ever find yourself wishing desperately that you know how to prepare foods or drinks that taste exactly like how they did when the professionals do it? Well, let us bring you a few steps closer to this wish today through our Makurazaki activity. We will learn how bonito is made, and how to use it in the preparation of soup stock. After working hard at making the fragrant soup stock, you will get to have it with your udon this afternoon. So pay close attention to your sensei if you would like to have good udon today! Next up is a visit to the Chiran Samurai Town. This well-preserved pre-served samurai district consists of houses and gardens that date back about 250 years. Thanks to the isolated location at the southern end of Kyushu, it has allowed the district to keep much of its historical character intact. You will find the attached gardens delightful as you view them from within the grounds and accented by the beautiful cherry blossoms.
Kagoshima – Kumamoto
Hotel: Hotel Nikko Kumamoto or similar
Sogi Falls is your first stop for today. 210m wide and 12m in height, it is a sight to see when the pure streams fall with a big splash. Suizenji Park is a spacious, Japanese style landscape garden in Kumamoto, best enjoyed by scrolling along a circular path. The garden reproduces the 53 post stations of the Tokaido, the important road, which connected Edo with Kyoto during the Edo Period, in miniature form, including a small Mt Fuji. If the weather permits, a visit to the Kumamoto Castle* will be the perfect end to your day. Built in 1610, this is one of Japan’s three greatest castles, known for being one of most impregnable fortresses even up till today. The dark and majestic castle and solemn grey of its well-known curved outer walls forms a beautiful backdrop to the delicate pinks of the 800 cherry trees that surround the castle. Some cherry tree varieties can live for centuries, witnessing the ebbs and flows of the region’s history from where they stand, year after year, flowering every season.
Kumamoto – Nagasaki
Hotel: Luke Plaza Hotel or similar
Whisking through the waters of the Ariake Sea, you will be taking a ferry to Shimabara this morning. Have a visit at Shimabara Castle, which was built in 1618. The main tower has a soaring five-storied lacqured donjon, featuring Azuchi-momoyama style architecture. You can take another view at the Shimabara town, Fukae-cho and Ariake Sea from a ropeway after going through the Nita Pass, with a peak of 1,080m above sea level.
Hotel: Luke Plaza Hotel or similar
The city of Nagasaki has a history of exposure to foreign cultures due to its proximity to the Asian mainland and also as one of the few ports open for foreign trade during Japan’s period of isolation. This morning you will visit the Nagasaki Peace Park which commemorates the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The 9.7m Peace Statue in the park bears a solemn memory of a heart-rending page of Japan’s history. After that, over at the Glover Garden, European influence is evident in this charming Western-style residence from the Meiji Period and picturesque gardens. Nagasaki Chinatown, also known as Shinchi Chinatown, is Japan's oldest Chinatown. It was established as early as the 17th century, due to the fact that Nagasaki's port remained the country's only major port opened to Chinese trade during the era of isolation. Over the centuries, the residents of Shinchi Chinatown have bestowed the city of Nagasaki which a Chinese flair not felt in any other of Japan's major cities. Today, Nagasaki's Chinatown is best known for its restaurants and their two most famous local noodle dishes, champon and sara udon.
Nagasaki – Ureshino
Hotel: Ryokan Taishoya (Hot Spring) or similar
Take an exhilarating drive while viewing the sea and feeling the wind, first up for today is Shin Saikai Bridge. The area near the bridge has been developed as New Saikai Bridge Park, and you can view large whirlpools directly under the bridge that are said to be one of the largest in Japan. Up next, you can take an outstanding 180-degree view of Kujukushima Islands at Tenkaiho. The garden below the observatory will be filled with season flowers. In the afternoon you will take a trip back in time at Okawachiyama. Hemmed in by steep picturesque mountains specifically chosen to keep its ceramics technology under tight security in the past, this is one of the world’s most famous ceramic and porcelain production regions. Crossing the ceramic arched bridge will bring you to a dense village of historical buildings, working kilns and old fashioned shops.
Ureshino - Fukuoka
Hotel: Hotel Okura Fukuoka or similar
Today is the day to create an indelible memory of Kyushu. Although Kyushu’s local food, sightseeing places and hot springs are in a class of their own, it is the deeper interaction with the locals that will make your holiday a truly unforgettable one. On our Takeo Activities Day, you can immerse yourself in the unique line-up of activities; and Pocahontas said it perfectly “If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew”. Before arriving into Hakata city, you will be dropping by the Tosu Premium Outlets. With 150 shops of famous international and domestic brands all housed under one roof and sales up to 50% all year round, you can get ready for a shopping marathon here!
Hotel: Hotel Okura Fukuoka or similar
After days spent in the idyllic beauty of Kyushu’s countryside, it is time to gear yourself up for the vibrancy and bustle of Hakata city on your free day. Shopping at major department stores and eating at local restaurants tucked into cosy nooks of the city will occupy you from sun-up to sun-down. However, as dusk falls, the city undergoes a transformation. Wheeled mobile food stalls line up to form lively rows selling everything from mouth-watering bowls of the famous Hakata ramen to fragrant barbeque meats. Squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder with the locals of Kyushu and enjoying an easy camaraderie over a steaming bowl of ramen will be a perfect end-stop to your experience of Kyushu.
(Car drop-off at Hakata City)
Fukuoka – Singapore
Flight back to Singapore