There are some great scenic train journeys in Japan and the Kyushu Scenic Train Route is one of the best.

Interested in doing it?

This is what it’s like and how to do it for yourself after I travelled the Kagoshima to Kumamoto direction on the scenic train.



Train travel tip for Japan:

Get a Japan Rail Pass (get one with that link) before going to Japan to save money on the train journeys when there.

The Kyushu Scenic Train Route is covered by the pass for example as well as many of the fast Shinkansen trains.

If you’re already in Japan and don’t have a Japan Rail Pass then you can get a 3/5 Day JR All/North/South Kyushu Pass (Japan Pick Up) specific for tourists visiting Kyushu.


Scenic Train Journeys Japan



The Kyushu Scenic Train Route 



After spending 2 days in Kagoshima having flown in from Tokyo the plan was to head back to Tokyo by the trains.

The next stop after Kagoshima was Kumamoto and what better way to do it than on the small trains (only a 3 carriages long) that take you through some of Kyushu most stunning scenery (hence the name ‘Kyushu Scenic Train Route’).

You have to change the train 3 times on the journey stopping at small stations en-route with enough time at each to see the station itself.


The first of the small trains.

scenic train journey Japan


The trains are old now and that’s reflected by the uncomfortable wooden seating!

But as the journey will only take up half your day with various stops it’s no problem.


Wooden seating.

Kyushu scenic train route


The small stations are very cute and the whole Kyushu Scenic Train Route is set up for tourists and as such the stations are seen in that regard.


Small station on the scenic train journey.

Kyushu scenic train route


That becomes even more glaringly obvious when you are offered to wear a station officers hat and sign!


Couldn’t resist it!

Kyushu train station


Train conductor on the first scenic train journey in Japan.

Kyushu train journey


After a few stops on the first train you then switch over to the next one.


Switching trains.

scenic train journey Japan


Again it’s wooden seating inside.

Kyushu scenic train route


The 2nd of the trains.

Kyushu scenic train


And your new train conductor.

Kyushu train


The scenery takes you through rolling hills covered in trees as the train rolls along slowly allowing you plenty of time to enjoy the views.


View from the train.

Kyushu scenery


At one of the train stops towards the end of the Kagoshima to Kumamoto scenic train route (or the beginning depending on which way you go) there is an old steam train to take a look at.

You can climb up and take a look in the drivers compartment.


Old steam train.

steam train Kyushu


All aboard!

scenic train journeys Japan


Once more you will have to switch trains to another small train that will take you the last short distance into Kumamoto itself and the end of the scenic train journey in Japan.



The Kyushu Scenic Train Route


If you want to do this trip yourself it’s easy to organise, just head to the train station in Kagoshima or Kumamoto and ask for the Kyushu Scenic Train Route journey.

They will know straight away what you mean as it’s a tourist attraction and they are used to people booking it.

Here’s my post about some things to do in Kagoshima in one day at the beginning of your trip or the end depending on which way you go.

When in Kumamoto be sure to take a look at the cities famous samurai history.


If you need to book a place to stay in Kagoshima or Kumamoto take a look at the options here:






This is the official website for the Kyushu Railway Company where you can see timetables for the trains.

Enjoy your scenic train journey in Japan!


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scenic train journeys Japan


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