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Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • A local, English speaking, Japanese guide,
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (flight inclusive option). If you are travelling land only, check with our office for joining time at the airport
  • Airport transfers (to fit with the Mountain Kingdoms group flights)
  • All baggage transfers as per the itinerary
  • All road transport by train, bus and private vehicles
  • Ferry crossings
  • Sightseeing as specified
  • Good standard accommodation in a variety of accommodation styles
  • Activities as specified
  • The option of joining one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms micro fleece

Kyushu Trails - Island of Fire

Walking & Trekking

Japan | Walking & Trekking

New for 2018
Kyushu Trails - Island of Fire
Moderate / Vigorous

Moderate: Suitable for anyone who enjoys hill walking.

Vigorous: Suitable for enthusiastic hill/mountain walkers.

Find out more...

Grade: Moderate / Vigorous ? Moderate / Vigorous
Duration:  17 days from the UK

Flight inclusive from £6,345,
Land only from £5,495

Book now or call 01453 844400

Walk the ancient paths and volcanic mountain trails of imperial Kyoto, historic Kyushu, and the hauntingly beautiful island of Yakushima.


  • Walk on Mount Kirishima - an active volcano
  • Explore the beautiful island of Yakushima - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Travel up to 200mph on a thrilling bullet train ride
  • Enjoy traditional accommodation in minshuku and ryokan


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Flying into Osaka, we begin our adventure following in the footsteps of ancient Samurai warriors and walk the historic Yagyu Kaido Trail, before taking an overnight boat journey through the Inland Sea to Kyushu Island. We arrive the next morning into Beppo, a city of natural steam plumes spectacularly set beneath a ring of mountains. Sub-tropical Kyushu is Japan’s third largest island, and has a wealth of natural treasures for us to enjoy; active volcanoes, brilliant blue volcanic lakes, hot black sand beaches and natural hot springs. We explore the other-worldly landscape on foot, staying in minshuku and ryokan inns which offer a unique chance to experience traditional Japanese culture first hand. 

Another ferry ride takes us to UNESCO listed Yakushima Island where we hike into the mystical rainforest interior amongst the mighty Yakasugi cedar trees, some the width of a small car, and many of them thousands of years old. Returning to Kagoshima we ride the Bullet Train to Nagasaki and tour some of its historic sights - both ancient and modern, before finally taking another bullet train to Osaka where we say farewell with a celebratory dinner.

At a glance

Grade: Moderate / Vigorous
Moderate / Vigorous

Duration:  17 days from the UK

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clients

Maximum group size: 12

Land only joining city: Osaka

Accommodation types: Hotels, Minshuku/ryokan, Ferry

Itinerary overview
Fly to Osaka.
Walking on Yagyu Kaido. Overnight ferry to Beppu.
Travel to Mount Aso and walks near Mount Kijimadake
Travel to Takachiho. Visit Amanoiwata Shrine. Local walks and visit to Yokagura dances.
Travel to Kirishima. Volcano walks.
Train to Kagoshima. Sightseeing and time at leisure.
Ferry to Yakushima Island. Walks and sightseeing on the island.
Ferry back to Kagoshima. Bullet train to Hiroshima.
Sightseeing in Hiroshima. Bullet train to Osaka.
Fly to London.

Kyushu Trails - Island of Fire Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Fly London to Osaka

    Fly on an overnight flight from London to Osaka.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Overnight Flight To Osaka
  2. Day 2 - Arrival in Osaka. Transfer to hotel. Welcome dinner.

    Upon arrival at Osaka airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. You will have some time to explore the city before meeting up in the evening for a traditional Japanese meal. Welcome to Japan!

    Overnight iconOvernight: Monterey Grasmere Hotel Or Similar, Osaka
  3. Day 3 - Walk the historic Yagyu Kaido Trail to Nara - 5 hours. Overnight ferry to Beppu on Kyushu Island.

    Today you will travel by train and bus to the historic Yagyu Kaido trail which linked the sword-making village of Yagyu with Nara. You will walk a 7.5 mile / 12km option from Enjo-ji Temple to Nara, following in the footsteps of Samurai warriors of old. The hike ends with a wonderful stroll through Nara Park, with its famous deer and temples. After you finish the walk, you will take the train to the ferry port and board a ferry for the overnight journey to Kyushu, through the Seto Inland Sea. On board the ferry there is a fine Japanese 'Sento' (bath) and a good restaurant.

    Walking: 7.3 miles / 11.7 km,
    with 790 feet / 240m of ascent, 1,755 feet / 535m of descent.
    Time required: About 5 hours

    Overnight iconOvernight: Overnight Ferry To Beppu
  4. Day 4 - Disembark at Beppu. Train to Aso. Visit Volcano Museum. Walk around Mt Kijimadake and the trail to Mt Eboshidake.

    This morning you will have an early breakfast on board before the ferry docks in Beppu. Arriving in Beppu by sea can be a dramatic and memorable experience. The city is surrounded by mountains and steam from the abundant hot springs can rise skyward to give it an otherworldly feel.

    You will then board your train for the journey to Aso, this town is set inside a massive volcanic caldera stretching 25km x 18km and is the second largest caldera in Japan.

    Upon arrival at Aso station near the centre of the caldera you will leave any luggage you do not need for walking in the lockers at the station before boarding your bus to the Volcano museum near to the crate of Mount Aso. After an interesting visit to the museum you will head out on the walking trails around Mt Kijimadake and the Furumi-Ike Craters. If time permits you may also walk the trail to Mount Eboshidake (1337m). Walking time 2-3 hrs.

    You will then head back to your accommodation. Dinner will be another Japanese feast, prepared by the ryokan chef and presented as a multi-course banquet.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Ryokan
  5. Day 5 - Day walk along rim of Mt Kijimadake.

    Today you will head up to explore the rim of this gigantic Caldera, with great views looking towards Mt Aso in the middle. This will be a full day's walk and is on lesser visited trails.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Ryokan
  6. Day 6 - Walk around Takachio - 5 hours.

    This morning you will take a loop walk around Takachio visiting all the main sites and exploring the more remote areas as well. This is a 12km walk that should take around 5 hours. Along the way you will walk alongside the magnificent Takachio Gorge and number of strange rock formations created by volcanic activity, which have become part of local folklore.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Ryokan
  7. Day 7 - Travel to Kirishima area. Visit Ebino Eco Museum. Walk from the museum.

    Today you will travel to one of the most spectacular areas in Japan, the Kirishima Geo-park. This area is breath takingly beautiful and is relatively untouched by western tourism. You will arrive today at the fascinating Ebino Eco Museum visitor centre. Here you will find lots of interesting maps, video's and information about the walks you will be undertaking over the next 2 days.

    From the centre you will head out on one of the walks, the exact route will depend on the weather conditions and the status of the volcanoes in the region. There are plenty of routes and each one is sure to leave you speechless. The route around the caldera of Mt Karakunidake and Onbami Pond are two great options.

    From here you will head to your hotel in the small town of Kirishima. This town has plentiful hot springs and you will see the steam rising from various different Onsens inviting you in.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Kirishima Kanko Hotel Or Similar, Kirishima
  8. Day 8 - Visit Kirishima Shrine. Walk to caldera of Mt Ohachi and the summit of Mt Takachihonomine. Return to Kirishima .

    This morning you will transfer up from Kirishima to the Kirishima Shrine, this is actually the 3rd location for this shrine, it was originally located up near the summit of Mt Takachihonomine but was moved further down the mountain around 1500 years ago due to volcanic activity. It was then moved again to the current location. You will visit all the locations on today's walk and will understand why the shrine was moved!

    You continue driving uphill to get to the trailhead at the Takachio visitor centre, this also a great place to visit before you start the walk to provide you with more of an insight into today's walk. From the visitor centre you will visit the 2nd site of the old Kirisihima Shrine.

    The trail climbs steadily, starting on stone steps before you make your way up on volcanic rock and before getting to the stunning caldera of Mt Ohachi.

    As you head down from the Caldera you will arrive at the original site of the Kirishima Shrine. You are now at around 1400m and you get a bit of an understanding how committed the worshippers would have been 1500 years ago as they will have started their walk all the way back down from Kirishima at sea level.

    From here you continue up the short distance to the summit of Mt Takachihonomine. From the top you will get 360 degree views of the surrounding area with it's smouldering volcanoes and expansive views towards Kagoshima. There is also an interesting mountain hut which people used to overnight in when the trail started further down the mountain.

    When you have taken in all the views you will walk back down to the visitor centre and meet your transport back to Kirishima for a well deserved hot spring bath.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Kirishima Kanko Hotel Or Similar, Kirishima
  9. Day 9 - Train to Kagoshima. Visit Sangen-en Gardens.

    After breakfast you will head to the train station for your 45 minute journey to Kagoshima. This is a modern looking city with lots of interesting history to be explored. You will head to the beautiful Sangen-en gardens. This gardens are quite expansive and there are some lovely walks inside to enjoy.

    You will then head back to town. Dinner is on your own and there are many restaurants offering delicious local delicacies to choose from.

    Overnight iconOvernight: R E I Hotel Or Similar, Kagoshima
  10. Day 10 - Jetfoil to Yakushima Island. Time at leisure.

    From Kagoshima you travel by jetfoil to Yakushima Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The small population lives around the coast of this mountainous island, while the interior is almost totally undeveloped. Giant cedars - Yakusugi - stand tall in the moss-laden forest, some of them thousands of years old. Two other endemic species are found here; the Yakushika Deer, and Yakuzaru Macaque. Around the coast are stunning beaches and hot springs. You will stay at a local guesthouse to enjoy the local hospitality and evening meals prepared from the day's catch. There will be some free time in the afternoon today to explore the surroundings.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Minshuku
  11. Day 11 - Walk in the interior of Yakushima Island.

    We have a full day on Yakushima. We will visit the Yakusugi Shizenkan to learn about the nature of the island. Then we hike into the interior, walking amongst the giant yakusugi trees, and if we are lucky spot some of the macaques. The oldest tree on Yakushima has been dated as 3,000 years old, and many of the trees have huge trunks, wider than a car. The centre of the island is a temperate rain-forest, and the highest peak on Yakushima is the tallest mountain in the south of Japan. It's a unique ecosystem and has escaped any significant development. We will return by bus to our guesthouse in the evening.

    Walking: 12 miles / 19 kilometres
    With 1,150ft / 350m of ascent, 820 ft / 250m of descent
    Time required: about 5 hours

    Overnight iconOvernight: Minshuku
  12. Day 12 - Ferry back to Kagoshima. Bullet Train to Hiroshima.

    Leaving Yakushima by ferry you will arrive back in Kagoshima in time for a relaxed lunch before you board the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) in Kagoshima and travel to Hiroshima. The Shinkansens are still very space age looking even though they have been around since the 80's. The onboard experience is very relaxing with spacious seats and a hostess selling hot drinks and Shinkansen Paraphernalia.

    On arrival at Hiroshima you will head to your hotel before heading out for dinner. There are a number of restaurants to choose from within convenient walking distance of your hotel.

    Overnight iconOvernight: A N A Corwne Plaza Or Similar, Hiroshima
  13. Day 13 - Morning sightseeing in Hiroshima. Afternoon Bullet Train to Osaka. Farewell Dinner.

    This morning you will be taken to the Peace Memorial Park at Hiroshima. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. This can be quite an emotional place to visit and if you would like to relax and explore the city then there are lots of other options.

    After lunch you will board the Bullet Train and continue onto Osaka for your last night in Japan. You will say farewell with a delicious meal at a local restaurant.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Monterey Grasmere Hotel Or Similar, Osaka
  14. Day 14 - Transfer to the airport. Fly to London.

    After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Departure day breakfast
  15. Day 15 - Fly Osaka to London


DatesAvailabilityLand OnlyFlight Inclusive from
Fri 28 Sep - Sun 14 Oct 2018Available£5495 Book£6345 Book
Fri 9 Nov - Sun 25 Nov 2018Available£5495 BookContact us


DatesAvailabilityLand OnlyFlight Inclusive from
Fri 3 May - Sun 19 May 2019AvailableContact usContact us

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Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on 0044 (0)1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

Optional supplements
  • Single Room Supplement
    From £560
No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

What’s included

  • A local, English speaking, Japanese guide,
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (flight inclusive option). If you are travelling land only, check with our office for joining time at the airport
  • Airport transfers (to fit with the Mountain Kingdoms group flights)
  • All baggage transfers as per the itinerary
  • All road transport by train, bus and private vehicles
  • Ferry crossings
  • Sightseeing as specified
  • Good standard accommodation in a variety of accommodation styles
  • Activities as specified
  • The option of joining one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms micro fleece

What’s not included

  • Lunches and one dinner
  • Travel insurance
  • Locally paid bar bills and laundry
  • Optional activities
  • Tips

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Extend your holiday

There are many ways you can extend your holiday with Mountain Kingdoms: book extra hotel nights, relax at a beautiful beach resort, take a warm-up trek, arrange a personal sightseeing tour or enjoy specialist activities such as rafting, birdwatching or a safari.

We're happy to suggest ideas, provide quotes and make all the arrangements. We can also assist with flight and hotel upgrades. Just call us on +44 (0)1453 844400 or email and we will be pleased to help.

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