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The principal airport on the island of Kyushu and the 4th busiest airport in Japan. As of 2017, the airport is also the 4th busiest single-runway airport in the world by passenger traffic. The domestic terminal is connected by subway to the Fukuoka business district, which takes less than ten minutes. The international terminal is only accessible by road, but there is a bus service to Hakata Station and the Tenjin area.
This airport, located in Kirishima about 30 km northeast of Kagoshima City, is the 2nd-busiest airport in Kyushu after Fukuoka Airport. Japan Air Commuter, a regional affiliate of Japan Airlines, has its headquarters here. Convenient by car due to the nearby expressways.
This popular regional airport is located about 20km northeast of Kumamoto on the foot of Mt Aso.
With rental car locations and a refueling facility nearby, exploring Kyushu is made easy. If you decide to stay in Kumamoto there are plenty of places to visit.
There are plenty of sightseeing spots you won't want to miss on your trip to Kyushu. Traveling with a rental car means no worries about booking a bus or train ticket or dealing with someone else's schedule - travel where you want to go without worrying about where to put your luggage. Make your own personal schedule beforehand, use your GPS and highway roads well, and take a fun, laid back cruise around Kyushu.
Given the size of Kyushu, there's a lot of distance to cross between each prefecture. As you go, you might spot any number of beautful locales. While you're driving in your rental car, you have the freedom to stop and smell the roses - or anything else you want to see.
Kyushu has any number of famous sightseeing spots including, but not limited to: Huis Ten Bosch; the Hakata ward of Fukuoka; Kokura; the volcanic Mt. Aso; Kumamoto Castle; Takachiho; Beppu Onsen; Kagoshima; Ibusuki; and more. Nicknamed the "land of fire," Kyushu is also home to a number of onsen. Given the sheer number of hidden gems around this region, a rental car is the best way to visit great spots at your own pace!
Kyushu has plenty of gourmet foods, such as Hakata ramen, motsunabe, Nagasaki champon, horse meat, and black pork. That being said, you also won't want to miss each region's local delicacy. Don't just hit the famous shops in the big cities - with a rental car, we recommend going out and trying small town shops and some restaurants that are less expensive, but no less delicious!
Prefectural borders are surprisingly far from each other, so be careful when making your plans!
Sightseeing in Kyushu is easy and convenient with a rental car. In fact, there's a number of people who specifically rent a car for Kyushu trips so they can visit multiple prefectures instead of just one. However, please be aware that each prefecture is surprisingly far apart. If you don't account for this, you'll end up spending much more time driving than you thought, and you may not be able to visit everywhere you planned. For instance, a drive from Hakata to Kagoshima would take 4.5-5 hours without any traffic problems. On the other hand, the famous onsen town Ibusuki is only 1 hour and 10 minutes away from Kagoshima on public highways. We suggest keeping these distances in mind when you make your Kyushu road trip plans! For reference, here are some travel times between Fukuoka Airport and various sightseeing spots.
Fukuoka Airport to Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch: about 2 hours
Fukuoka Airport to Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture: about 3 hours
Fukuoka Airport to Beppu Onsen in Oita Prefecture: about 2 hours
* When using expressways
Kyushu's mountainous areas and mountain roads are frequently home to fog.
In particular, the routes between Yufuin and Beppu, as well as between Kumamoto City and Mt. Aso, are famous for having lots of fog. Here are some steps to take to deal with thick fog on the road:
1. When initially planning out your route, avoid areas that are known for being foggy. While planning your trip, check your route, and see if you can avoid areas known to get foggy.
2. Stop the car. If the road gets foggy, don't continue driving when it's hard to see. Stop and wait for the fog to clear. However, please note that cars behind you may not be able to see that you've stopped, which could result in an accident. As such, we recommend not parking on the shoulder of the road, but finding a proper parking lot to stop your car.
3. Use fog lamps Place fog lamps over your headlights; this will help other cars know where you are.
4. Listen for noise in your surroundings In a foggy environment, it will be harder to see and therefore harder to know what's happening around you. To help listen for other cars or driving impediments, please turn off your radio or any music, and crack open your window to let in sound.
Kyushu does get snow, depending on the region.
Kyushu is in the south of Japan, so many people don't think of it as being particularly snowy, but some regions do get snowfall. We recommend checking beforehand to determine whether or not you need snow tires, and fitting your car accordingly. Please note that typically, you will be asked to pay an extra fee for rental car snow tires.
Whether your pick up and return locations can be different depends on the rental car company.
Here are some examples of large car rental brands that allow one-way car rental from Fukuoka Airport.
* Please note that this is an incomplete list. Some brands not listed here may allow one-way car rental.
For further details, please check the Return location > Shop field on your booking page.
* Times Rental Fukuoka Airport location
Hakata Station: +0 JPY
Kumamoto Station: +10,800 JPY
Oita Station: +10,800 JPY
Kagoshima Chuo Station: +20,520 JPY
* Budget Rentacar Fukuoka International Airport location
Kokura Station, Hakata Gion: +0 JPY
Kumamoto Station: +5,400 JPY
Oita: +7,560 JPY
Kagoshima Chuo Station: +11,880 JPY
Typically, it takes about 30 minutes to 1.5 hours to get to an onsen from the nearest airport.
Oita Airport - Yufuin Onsen: about 60 minutes via expressway
Oita Airport - Beppu Onsentown: about 50 minutes via public highway
Kumamoto Airport - Kurokawa Onsen: about 1 hour 40 minutes via public highway
Kagoshima Airport - Ibusuki Onsen: about 1 hour 30 minutes via expressway
Kagoshima Airport - Kirishima Onsen: about 30 minutes via public highway