Nagasaki to Beppu, 4 days
Nagasaki is undoubtedly one of the most pleasant cities in Japan. Discover the volcanic landscape and Japan’s rustic countryside by rental car. At the end of the journey you will be hosted by a Japanese family at their home.
This 4 days tour is an add-on tour to one of Japan’s sample itineraries or any of our tailor made tours in Japan. It’s not possible to book an add-on tour separately.
Nagasaki, an enchanting city with many faces
For centuries, the Dutch had a trading monopoly with the Japanese. Between 1642 and 1853, during Japan’s period of isolation, Dejima was the only door open to Europe and gave Nagasaki the status of Japan’s sole international trading port. Nagasaki city is engaging in plans to restore Dejima to its original 19th century state. All buildings and houses from that time period are being restored to illustrate e.g. how Dutch people used to work and live. The names Dutch Slope and the Siebold Memorial museum remind of the Dutch presence in Nagasaki.
Nagasaki became the second city after Hiroshima to be destroyed by an atomic bomb towards the end of World War II. The Peace Park commemorates the bombing of the city and its museum highlights the atrocities of war. Glover park is like an open-air museum that exhibits the old colonial mansions of several of the city’s former foreign residents, e.g., the house of Madam Butterfly. The garden offers nice views of the city and the harbour. The Atomic Bomb Museum is very impressive. Something entirely different is reconstructed temple shaped like a giant turtle with a massive 60-foot statue of Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Nagasaki has Japan’s oldest Chinatown, where you can dine heartily.
In Nagasaki you stay at the Best Western Premier hotel. We specifically selected this hotel, because it’s designed according to the rules of ‘iki’. ‘iki’ is an aesthetic ideal; an expression of simplicity, sophistication, spontaneity, natural elegance and originality. This refinement you find in the architecture, interior design and service of the hotel.
Unzen and Kumamoto, nature and tradition
In the morning you can pick up your rental car and you can start your self drive discovery journey of the rugged Kyushu Island. Pay a visit to the Unzen volcano, In the 1990s, the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) created a list of 16 of the deadliest volcano worthy of special study because of their great potential for destruction. Mount Unzen is such an active volcano that has erupted several times in the last few hundred years with deadly results. The last big eruption was in 1991. Afterwards, continue to Shimabara and cross by ferry to Kumamoto.
In Kumamoto you can visit the Kumamoto castle, built in 1607, and the Suizenji gardens. These traditional gardens were It was built by the Hosokawa family in the 17th century. The Former Hosokawa Residence is the former residence of a branch family of the Hosokawa Samurai Clan, the powerful clan that ruled over Kumamoto during the Edo Period. The building is a great example of a high-class samurai mansion.
Mount Aso and Beppu, a smoking volcano and steaming hot springs
On the way to Beppy, you’ll pass by Mount Aso. Mount Aso is the largest active volcano in Japan. Mt. Aso has a fairly large caldera (25 kilometres by18 km), among the largest in the world. It’s a rugged and barren area, that resembles a lunar landscape. The crater contains an active volcano which continuously emits smoke and has occasional eruptions. The acrid smell of sulphur is overwhelming.
Steam, steam, steam. Beppu is one of the most famous hot spring resorts in Japan. Everywhere hot spring steam is jetting out at countless spots and impressively wafting over the area. Given such an abundance of hot steam and water, it’s no surprise that steam is used for bathing, cooking and heating. In Beppu you will be hosted by a Japanese family. They will proudly show you how steam is used at home, how they live and they will proudly show you around in town.
There are numerous boiling ponds, called jigoku (hells) and they are the main tourist attractions. One of the more beautiful hells, the “sea hell” features a pond of boiling, blue water. In its spacious gardens, there are a few smaller, orange coloured hells. It’s always fun to visit the Takasakiyama Monkey Park, a popular monkey reserve, home to some 1500 wild Japanese macaques.
The price for this 4 days Exploring Kyushu is 550,-€ per person based on double occupancy.
Prices may vary depending on the day (weekend) or season.Included in the price: two days car rental, three nights’ accommodation including breakfast and dinner in Beppu.
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