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Touring Kyushu, Mt. Aso, highlights and road condtions

Jacek sieka

Sep 16, 2017
Hi all!

I've been reading up on Kyushu, and the more I read, the more I want to be there already! I have my bike, a tent and two weeks of free time starting a week from now, when I land in Fukuoka, and I'm looking to make the best of it.

I have no desire of turning this into an ironman race, but was rather thinking about meandering around the island at a convenient pace of maybe 60-100km per day and enjoying the locations as well as the road.

I have a rough plan to circle the island in some fashion, but no fixed itinerary - instead I'm making a list of places, roads and areas to visit - or avoid. Do you have any favorites? I'd love to hear about them - places you remember from your tours - roads that were particularly pleasant - camp sites - anything!

I have of course read famous Lessons learned thread on the forum, but 10 years have passed since then and I'm curious what's changed.

There are also a few specific things I've been wondering about:

* how are the roads around mount Aso? I've seen some reports that there might still be some difficulties after the 2015 earthquake, but I'm not sure how recent they were - the pre-quake posts speak of stunning nature and beautiful scenery that I really would not want to miss!

* many people warn against route 10 with discouraging heavy traffic and narrow tunnels, but on maps there seems to be a newly built highway right next to it - is route 10 still to be avoided?

* I'm still unsure where to put the focus of the trip - north/south/east/west? Islands like Amakusa or Kyushu itself? It's like at the candy store - too much to choose from!

* is Fukuoka a good starting point, or does it make more sense to take a train somewhere else and start from there?

Good advice above. Allow me to add that Saga is worth a visit from Fukuoka also. Has lovely coast on the road to Karatsu and beyond, and some lovely mountain roads. Avoid the main roads of course.

Fukuoka also offers pretty good cycling for a big city. Nice cycling close by. If you like climbing, the roads up to Mt. Kusenbu (850m) and Mt. Sefuri (1050m) can offer great views.
I'd suggest you have a look at Yufuin or so. That's a beautiful onsen town in the mountains. Get yourself a room in a ryokan, enjoy traditional Japanese breakfast, take a bath after a long day in the saddle and climb a few of the local mountains.
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