Take a Trip on One of the JR Kyushu Resort Trains

ByJustin Hanus
Jun 28, 2022

Take a Trip on One of the JR Kyushu Resort Trains

One of the best ways to explore Kyushu is to take a JR Kyushu train. However, with 11 varieties of sightseeing trains — each of which explores a different part of the island — it can be difficult to decide what train to choose. If you’re looking to relax, your best option may be to take one of the resort trains. There are two to choose between one operating in the northern part of the island and the other in the southern part.

Yufuin No Mori

Running from Hakata to Beppu, the Yufuin No Mori train also makes a stop at Yufuin hot springs. This is a great place to relax in the midst of nature. In fact, you can start enjoying the water as soon as you arrive with a foot bath at the station. At the various onsen, you can bask in the alkaline mineral water and take in views of the landscape, including Yufudake Mountain. Make sure to visit Kinrinko Lake — it receives a mixture of hot and cold water, which causes steam to rise from its surface.

The Yufuin No Mori train features wooden upholstered seats in a classic style, giving you the sense that you’re at a resort. As well as rows of seats, there are booths that are worth reserving if you’re traveling in a group. There’s also a lounge open to all passengers where you can purchase snacks as well as souvenirs like keychains, candy, magnets, and towels.

Umisachi Yamasachi

You’ll feel like you’re entering a resort before you’ve even climbed aboard the Umisachi Yamasachi train. Like the interior, the exterior features obisugi cedar wood paneling. You can also purchase traditional toys made from this wood. When making your reservation, you’ll be able to choose the type of seat you want, including a sofa seat or reclining seat. With your ticket, you’ll receive a commemorative card as a souvenir and will be able to watch the cabin attendants present a picture story of the Umisachi Yamasachi legend.

The train runs from Miyazaki to Nango along the coast and through the mountains. The scenery is constantly changing, which makes for an interesting journey. A highlight is the Devil’s Washboard between Aoshima Island and Kinchaku Island. This is an 8-kilometer stretch of beach where the sandstone rocks have formed waves that look like a giant washboard.

There are a few things to do on your journey, particularly in Nichinan. For instance, you could visit the remains of Obi Castle to see the restored front gate. A top choice for a restaurant is Gallery Kodama where you can enjoy the atmosphere of a merchant house from the Meiji period. The signature dish in Nichinan is char-broiled skipjack caught using a pole-and-line method. Everywhere else, skipjack is served either raw or lightly roasted. Finally, you can visit the botanical garden near Nango Roadside Station where you’ll see a wide range of rare flowers and fruits growing in a greenhouse.

Make sure to start planning your trip in advance to ensure you can reserve a seat on the date you want and perhaps also a hotel at Yufuin hot springs.

Takasunrise0921, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

About the author

Justin Hanus editor

Leave a Reply