We (2 adults, 2 toddlers) are planning a trip to Kyushu in November. We are considering 7 days JR Rail passes and will likely be using one day from Osaka to Hiroshima, where we'll have one night there.
That leaves 5-6 days in Kyushu. We have friends around Fukuoka, but where we really want to visit are:
- Beppu (Maybe Yufuin as it's on the way)
- Sakurajima (maybe)
Although I'm pretty sure we can do this on public transit, I'm getting the sense that we may need to rent a car from Beppu to Aso (or Kumamoto). If we have to do this, is it worth it to use a Japan Rail Pass? ~¥30,000 x 2 (kids free).
Also, are there worthwhile things to see in Fukuoka or Kumamoto, or should we concentrate on places like Yufuin, Beppu, Aso and maybe Kagoshima?
My wife speaks Japanese and I can get by.
I guess one question is, is it a lot more expensive (time + money) to: Rent Car between beppu and kumamoto and just buy train tix for the other places?
Are trains convenient enough to see all these places or is it pushing for time?
Is is a sane idea to do this with a 4 year old and 18 month old?
Where would you stay if you wanted to see Kyushu and where could you just make a day trip?
E.g. Hakata - Beppu, stopping at Yufuin as a day trip on the way? Beppu to Kumamoto stopping at Aso on the way doable via transit or is a car necessary for timing?
The only route I'm sure of is anything between Hakata and Sakurajima as that's all Shinkansen now and superfast.