Lalalalahhhh, next week is Golden Week!! It’s the longest holiday I get during my stay in Japan, so yeah, means- traveling lots and eating only bread for the next month. Travelling in Japan burns money real fast, especially when Golden Week is like the peak of the peak season in Japan… when most Japanese travelling in the country (some travel elsewhere, but it’s expensive).
And my mom will come visit me!!! Yup, the main purpose of her trip is to bring me a rice cooker, hard drive,
clean my place, cook for me, be my slave, and so on…
No, seriously, her stay is too short to do the above (only one week), and we ‘ll be travelling during that time.
Surprisingly, I did not plan our trip until pretty much- yesterday. Despite knowing about this holiday months ahead, and warnings from others about booking fast….. Yeah, I just had no time. T_T
So the entire time, I was
thinking planning to visit Kansai area (Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Wakayama)… Because
Hokkaido – Needs a car to go far, and Mom has been there several times (without me, of course)
Okinawa- Top place in my want-to-go list. But my team will go there for a conference some time in May, I *may* tag along… depend the cost, of course.
Tohoku- Radiation and stuff. Mom won’t approve.
Kanto- Going to Tokyo doesn’t feel like travelling anymore.. it feels like a walk to a neighbourhood supermarket lol
Kyushu, Chugokku areas- Tooooo farrrrr awayyyyyyyyy. When I heard that Shirley and Helen went to Hiroshima (even from Kyoto, need to take night bus), I wanted to visit too- one of the top 3 scenic spots of Japan is in there (MiyaJima). And they visited a temple wiht hundreds of Jizo!!!! But, my options to go to that area would be flying/shinkansen…. sigh, too broke for those options. Plus, it’s not just me, my mom comes along too, so everything will be doubled.
So my mom had been rushing me to plan, because she needed to buy rail passes from Hong Kong (she’s there still). I was telling her to buy the JR West WIDE pass, a new pass that covers the Wakayama area! Too bad I cannot use any railpass (on working visa), cuz it’s such a steal!
Anyway, I was browsing for hotels and night buses last night after work. AND OMFG, nightbus raised price to 5800 yen each way… and hotels, Kyoto is full- as expected. Osaka hotels still got plenty left, but cost is plenty high too!
And you know mothers.. they can’t take night buses or sleeping at Manga Cafe/MacDonald’s. My mom said she could only take Night bus on the way back.. but going to Osaka, we’d need to take the Shinkansen!! Almost the price of a plane ticket!
A thought struck me- she can buy the JR Rail Pass (country wide version).. at the cost of 28000 yen, she can take unlimited Shinkansens(except for Nozomi and Misuho lines) and JR trains in 7 days! Then, why not go somewhere farther? Somewhere can be reached by Shinkansen- Kyushu!
A complete game changer…. I began to gave up Kansai, and started to plan for Kyushu instead! It’s much easier also- less popular, so easier to book hotels and I get to make better use of my Golden Week to visit places I otherwise wouldn’t be able to go during the remaining of my time here. I mean, I can always take nightbuses to head to Kansai for weekend trips.. Kyushuu is simply less accessible from Yokosuka.
Great~ the only drawbacks would be:
1. Tickets for me are expensive (no rail pass T_T)
Well, it’s roughly 20% more expensive than non-peak season, but I wouldn’t have holiday then.
2. Mom has bought a Kansai Travel Book and she hasn’t been to Kansai before
She said she had been to Kyushu- but she couldn’t remember any places she visited… So yeah, too bad. Kyushu again, and I’m sure she will like it anyway- many scenic places.. different from big cities like Osaka.
For this trip (April 29- May 4), I target several areas: Hiroshima (広島), Kagoshima(鹿児島), Kumamoto(熊本), Oita (大分 )and Hakata(博多).
After staying up all night and today- I have finally booked all hotels and figured out the train schedules. Let’s take a look at the current detailed itinerary:
April 29 (Sun): Hiroshima > Miyajima > Mitaki-Dera > Peace Park
6am: Shin-Yokohama 横浜
~Hikari 新幹線光號 493
10am: Hiroshima 広島
1. Miyajima 宮島 (Free Ferry for JR Pass Holder)
2. Mitaki-Dera 三瀧寺
3. Hiroshima Castle 広島城
4. 原爆ドーム／Peace Park
Hotel Active! (包早餐) :＄7500 w/ Breakfast
〒730-0016 広島県広島市中区幟町15-3 【中国地区最大の繁華街（流川・薬研堀）まで徒歩約３分】
April 30 (Mon): Kagoshima > Ibusuki>Kagoshima-Chuo
(從鹿兒島中央站出發搭乘「指宿的玉手箱號」約五十分就可抵達指宿站 （11：52－12：43）回程 （3：06－4：00）
– 西大山站 (http://www.bubu-jp.com/item/1187)
– 開聞山麓自然公園(2 hr hike)
3. Dolphin Port
營業時間：11:30～14:30 / 17:30～22:00
ホテル ユニオン：099-253-5800 ($4800 w/ Breakfast)
May 1 (Tue): SakuraJima> Kumamoto
Join one day tour – arrive at 3:30pm
1:38pm: Kagoshima 鹿児島
~Sakura 新幹線桜號 558
1. 熊本城+城彩苑 (8:30～18:00 )
2. 新市街 http://www.shinshigai.com/
コンフォートホテル熊本新市街 ($5800) w/ Breakfast
May 2 (Wed): Aso Volcano > > Aso FarmLand
＊買一日券縣內版 ！ or 橫斷Bus http://www.kyusanko.co.jp/sankobus/kyushu_odan/index.php
JR豐肥本線九州橫斷特急／阿蘇Boy！ （8：35－9：49）／（10：26－12：00）*check if Aso-Boy runs
大人來回 日幣 820 , 小孩 410… 須在站前自動售票機購票 班次並不多 需留意時間
－ 白川水源 （〒869-1502 熊本縣阿蘇郡南阿蘇村白川2092-1）
－ 阿蘇火山博物館 http://www.asomuse.jp/
4. Go to Hotel to enjoy SPA/Hotsprings…
Aso Milk, pudding
阿蘇Farm Land （＄２８３００）w/ breakfast and lunch
Check in: 5pm~
May 3 (Thur): Beppu Onsen > Yufuin > Fukuoka
Kyushu-Odan-Tokkyu2 （Miyaji to Beppu）8：35－11：37am/12:41-2:40pm
2. 由布院Hotspring- 湯布院,金鱗湖
May 4 (Fri): Shopping in Fukuoka
Fukuoka/Hakata 福岡 Festival!
19:39pm Depart from Hakata station bySanyo Shinkansen Sakura 570
21:31pm Arrive at Okayama station
22:33pm Take Sunrise Seto at Okayama station. Overnight in the train.(Nobi-Nobi seat)
22:33-06:44 Yokohama (9870yen)
I am really excited for the trip. Have seen too many temples and fast paced cities… Kyushu will be a nice getaway to experience the nature in Japan. From the itinerary, I’m sure I will experience many new things and see a different side of Japan. The trip won’t be cheap… perhaps 2-3 times of the cost of going to Kansai.. but i don’t care, as long as my bank account doesn’t go negative, I’m fine.
Highlights of the trip plan:
1. See Miyajima (日本三景之一）
2. See Sakura-Jima and Aso (active volcanoes)
3. Take scenic trains to travel between cities
4. Stay at Aso Farmland – a onsen/spa resort in Aso, Kumamoto
5. Sand Hot Spring (buried under hot sand)
6. Stay at capsule hotel
7. Take overnight train home =)
Now, time to catch a couple hours sleep and start working on the stupid co-op report and clean my room before Mom comes. It sucked that I couldn’t go anywhere this weekend ( a new mall opened up in Harajuku, so I wanted to visit), but yeah, after I’m back from Kyushu, I will XD