Kyushu wandering...

Old Jul 31st, 2008, 04:17 PM
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Kyushu wandering...

Hi. We're taking a self-tour of northern Kyushu in Sept.arriving by ferry to Fukuoka,leaving by ferry Beppu-Matsuyama. The section from Kumamoto through Mt.Aso,Yufuin and through to Beppu is proving difficult to arrange and we thought someone may be able to offer advice.
Thinking to rent a small car for this bit and stay in budget accom. over 4 days.
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 04:53 PM
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Since you imply that you are on a budget, be aware that renting a car and driving may be more expensive than you expect. Renting a tiny 1000 cc car that is very small and not fun for highway or distance (size and comfort issues) starts at around ¥4000 per day and goes up...finding a rental for ¥4000/day would be great. More likely you will pay ¥8000 or more per day for a slightly bigger and slightly more comfortable car but still a basic model. There are typically drop off charges as well if you return the car to another location.

Gasoline at the cheapest self serve station for regular unleaded is in the ¥170 - ¥180/liter range now. Highway tolls are very high. The 3 hour drive from our home in Kanazawa to Nagoya is almost ¥8000 yen each way. Fukuoka to Matsuyama is 930 km and over ¥18,000 in tolls. It is also 13 1/2 hours of driving on expressway...maybe far for 4 days. Not using expressways ups the time to over 30 hours, and stop and go traffic uses more gasoline as well.

If you get a low grade car, 930 km will be about 2 tanks of gasoline...about ¥16,000 for gas, ¥25,000 for rental fee conservative estimate, drop off fee is calculated case by case so I can't estimate, tolls ¥18,000. ¥59,000 before drop off charges and rooms and food. You may want to rethink the trip if budget and time constraints limit you.
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 05:49 PM
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Looking on the maps of the sites I list below you will see that you can access this area pretty easily via a JR train. Much cheaper than renting and driving a car.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4552.html

http://tinyurl.com/5c8rdp

http://tinyurl.com/5zy5n6

Aloha!
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 06:24 PM
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Thanks for the responses. We would rent the car from Kumamoto and there doesn't seem to be toll roads through to Beppu (?)
It seems there is a lot of spread out things to see and the only budget (under Y100.00 room) accom. in the Aso area seems to be hostels and out of town a bit - another reason for a car.
I think maybe we can get the car around Y4000 day through Tocoo (with Y84.00 return fee to Beppu) and remember the trainfare is quite a lot for 2 people.
Budget accom & food is the key I feel -maybe sleep in car? (joking)
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 09:00 PM
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I saw the cars on tocoo that are ¥4000/day...they are 1000 cc cars that are tiny and uncomfortable. People use them as an around town car because they are great for short trips, easy to park, easy to navigate on small roads. Horrible for a long drive, just horrible. Seats with virtually zero support. I know because I drove one for 10 years.

The routings for toll and no toll I got from http://www.navitime.co.jp/ . It has been reliable in my experience. Perhaps you don't plan on driving the whole way?

If you just drive Kumamoto to Beppu, it is very near, only 119 km and ¥3100 in tolls, 2 hours 18 minutes. No tolls, double the time.

Beppu is very touristed by Japanese, most of whom would use the train, so it shouldn't be too troublesome to get there. About 3 hours from Kumamoto to Oita. Access info in English http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4705.html

There is plenty of budget accommodation, but most places lack English language websites. You may have to have some help booking. Most places do not much like walk ins unless they are a business hotel...and plenty of those in every city.
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 09:45 PM
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We'd like to enjoy the Mt.Aso ,Yufuin,Takachiho area for 3 days. It seems a car would be best as these places are a little way apart.
We are having trouble finding a rent car and Y10000 room in that area ,though they must be there as you say.
Any suggestions welcome. We are coming from Kumamoto and taking the Oita-Matsuyama ferry out.
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 10:09 PM
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English language information is sparse. I found Japanese listings you can browse.

Perhaps if you find a place you like you could ask your first hotel or the first tourist info desk you encounter to contact them on your behalf if you can not do it yourself in Japanese.

This page is a list of places in Yufuin by price. Only Japanese, but the price is straightforward.
http://www.yufuin.gr.jp/ryokinhyo/ryokin.html You click on the price, then you get a list of places with photos and the name. You can copy and paste the Japanese name into a search engine to get a website (if they even have one).

Similar for Takachiho. http://www.takachiho-kanko.jp/yadomise/yado.htm

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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 10:11 PM
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For rental cars, tocoo is the only English language supported site that lists local outlets that I know of. But we own a car and don't rent, so it is not something I've looked into much beyond the prices I got for you this morning.
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Old Jul 31st, 2008, 10:53 PM
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Here are some English sites.....only the Toocoo has English locations but you can call the others for site info

http://www2.tocoo.jp/?file=rentcar_inbound/main

http://www.nipponrentacar.co.jp/english/index.html

http://rent.toyota.co.jp/en/index.html

http://tinyurl.com/6mkv47

you can usually rent a car from a JR train station...learn about the gps options in your car and how to operate them before you leave the lot

Aloha!



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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 12:00 AM
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Thanks so much - I'm having fun with Babel-fish translating the hotel pages but a few have email addresses.

Tocoo car rental generally includes other companies and says it does them at special rates.
I have heard there is a car rental place at Mt.Aso which would be good but I can't find them online. Anyone here know of this please?
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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 04:39 AM
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We rented a car last summer in Japan via TooCoo. They referred us to Nissan rental car offices. I was happy with the price/service,though agree with KimJapan that 1000c car seems rather small, esp for mountain roads in Kyushu. I'd go for 1200c both for power and for comfort. Are you determined to rent a car? My understanding is that JR trains serve Beppu/Yufuin/Fukuoka, and you might also find local bus network.
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Old Aug 1st, 2008, 12:47 PM
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Tommmo,

Call the Aso information desk in front of the Aso JR train station at one of the links I gave you

Tel (0967) 34-0751
Open 9:00 to 18:00
not available Mon & Wed

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/rtg/pdf/pg-704.pdf

Don't take this the wrong way but you have to check the links we give you thoroughly.....they usually contain the answers you are looking for or we wouldn't waste the time giving them to you.

As I stated earlier the car rentals are usually situated right outside the JR train stations in small towns

Aloha!


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Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 08:52 PM
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Unfortunately we can't telephone every place we are considering in Japan as they usually speak no English and we end up with a huge call cost for no result. With email, the reciever often can find someone to answer later.
There does not appear to be a car rental office near the Yufuin station.though there is one further away somewhere listed on Tocoo.
We will try to find a nice place in Yufuin and base ourselves (anyone know?)there for 3 days and hope to rent a car (1300-1500cc)to get around the sights. Thank you
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Old Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:49 PM
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We went to Kyushu last year - we rented a car from Toocoo (from Fukuoka). We didn't cross to Beppu, but did visit Takachiho, which was lovely. We actually stayed in Kurokawa (not too far from where you are thinking of going) at a ryokan which was wonderful. Kurokawa is worth considering as part of your trip.
We had a car with a 1300 or 1400 engine, although its a bit hilly around Mt Aso this was fine - we didn't come across so much traffic in that area. We are from the UK so the petrol cost didn't seem that much to us! We found the road taxes to be not that much either. We had a sat nav (only in Japanese) which was useful and although we understood nothing that was said the maps were very good. Just to mention when we had a question at the car hire shop that they could not understand they quickly phoned the main office and the person there spoke to us in very good English and it was all clear - people were very helpful.
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