In and Around Town

Using the train? Check out the JR Kyushu timetable here. All in Japanese but quite easy to use - as long as you know the first hiragana of the station you want.
Using the bus in town? Need to know the time it leaves your stop? How long does it take to get to/from Kokura Station? Check out Nishitetsu`s homepage. Unfortunately it is only in Japanese. If you can manage your way around, this is a helpful site.
Are you driving into Kokura? Looking for a parking lot? Check this site for some of the bigger lots and view their present condition - full (満車), clear (究車), or crowded (混雑).
If you`re looking to park for more than a couple of hours then check out the lots around the convention center area where lots are available for 600-800 yen for 24 hours.

Out of Town


JAS continues to fly to Tokyo 4 times a day. Flights leave Kitakyushu at 8:25, 13:40, 16:15, and 18:40.
The first flight of the day continues on to Sapporo after a 25-minute stop in Tokyo - no need to transfer and wait in Tokyo. The plane arrives at Chitose airport at 11:55. The return flight leaves at 17:15 and arrives in Kitakyushu at 20:55 with a 35-minute stop in Tokyo. Changes to the time schedule occur every month so please check with a travel agent.
There`s also a rumour that there are flights to other domestic destinations in store for this year, depending on how the airport does.
Using Kitakyushu airport(some pix)? JAS flies the 90minute route to Tokyo`s Haneda airport 4 times a day.
To get to the airport there`s a bus that leaves Kokura station and costs 340yen (check here for other access routes). Another option is to take the train to ShimoSone station on the Nippon Honsen Line and take a very short taxi ride. Need some exercise and have no major luggage? Walk, it`s only about 10-15 minutes. Who knows how much it`ll cost to get to the New Kitakyushu Airport (Eng / Jp) scheduled to open in 2005.


Using the bus to get around the country is a cheaper alternative to the train. Sometimes it can even be faster.
There are many buses running overnight routes. These buses start in Fukuoka and make a stop at the Hikino Bus Center in Kurosaki, Sunatsu Bus Center in Kokura, and the bus center in front of Kokura Station; some of the buses also stop at the Mojiko highway stop. Destinations are: Nagoya (10,000 yen one-way; 18,000 yen return), Kyoto (10,000 yen one-way; 17,800 yen return), Osaka (9,500 yen one-way; 16,800 yen return), Okayama (5,900 yen one-way; 10,600 yen return), Tottori-Yonago (9,000 yen one-way; 16,200 yen return), Izumo-Matsue (7,500 yen one-way; 13,500 yen return), and Kochi (10,000 yen one-way; 18,000 yen return). Note that the prices may be cheaper depending on where you get off at your destination.
Buses that run in the daytime are more regional and offer reasonably competitive rates. Destinations are: Fukuoka, Fukuoka Airport, Kurume, Sasebo, Nagasaki, and Kumamoto.


This is one of the cheaper ways of getting around this country, and beyond. Although, depending on where you are headed, it takes a bit of time. Some of the destinations are Matsuyama, Osaka, Tokyo, Pusan and Ulsan(Korea), and Tsingtao (China).

Umashima and Ainoshima
From Kokura port, located behind the International conference center to the north of Kokura Station, there is a ferry service to the two islands of Umashima and Ainoshima, which sit just off the coast. The ferry runs 3 times a day and costs 400yen for adults. The 35-minute ferry ride takes you out to a couple of quiet islands. An interesting getaway for camping, beaching, and dolphin watching (su-na-me-ri, not an actual dolphin but in the same family). For more information on the ferry service call 861-0961.
Using the SeaMax (company site / Kitakyushu site)ferry service out of Mojiko - the terminal is 1minute away from Mojiko station - will get you there in just 2hours and 30minutes, and another 30 to get to downtown by city bus. It`s a great weekend getaway. The ferry leaves twice a day (10:40 and 18:00). A one way ticket costs 7,500yen (a 10% discount on return tickets). For more information contact 322-2222.
There are overnight ferries that run to Matsuyama as well. The overnight one leaves from Kokura Port, located behind the International conference center to the north of Kokura Station, at 21:55 every evening and arrives at 5:00, although you cannot disembark until 7:00. It costs as little as 6,060yen for a return ticket. Check here for more details in Japanese, or call 521-1419.
Kansai (Osaka and Kobe)
阪九フェリー Hankyu ferry has three overnight services from the Shin-Moji marina to the Kansai region. Two go to Osaka, which leave at 16:30 and 20:30 (times change at certain times of the year), and the other to Kobe, leaving at 18:30. Prices start at 6,200yen. Check the site for more information, or call the port at 481-6581.

City Line has two ferries every day plying the route between Shin Moji and Osaka South Port. From Shin-Moji the ferries leave at 17:00 and at 20:00. Prices start from 6,000yen for adults. The ferries running first are new as of 2002 and with more focus on passenger rooms and a barrier-free environment. To get to the marina without a car there is a bus running both from the north exit of Kokura Station (15:40 and 18:40) and from Moji station (16:00 and 19:00). Check the site for more information, or call 481-1780.

Tokyo and Tokushima
オーシャン東九フェリー Tokyu Ferry runs between the Shin-Moji marina and Tokyo. It`s a 2 night 1day trip which includes a brief stopover in Tokushima (徳島). Prices start at 6,090yen to Tokushima and 12,600yen to Tokyo. Check the site for more information,or call the terminal at 481-7711.
Busan, Korea
The Kampu Ferry has overnight service from Shimonoseki to Busan. The ferry leaves at 19:00 every evening and docks at 8:30 the next day both ways (departure from Pusan is at 18:00 from Nov. to Feb.). And with prices starting at 6,800yen it`s definitely the cheapest way to get to Korea. The international ferry terminal building is a 7 minute walk from Shimonoseki station. See the site for more detailed information, or call the company at 0832-24-3000.

This year the Dolphin high-speed ferry, which services Ulsan, Korea, will also be going from Kokura to Busan. In just over 3 hours you can be in Korea`s second largest city. Every Tuesday and Friday the ferry leaves Kokura for Busan at 9:20, arriving in Busan at 12:30. The ferry leaves Busan every Wednesday at 9:20 arriving in Kokura at 12:30; on Fridays it leaves Busan at 14:00 and arrives in Kokura at 17:10. Tickets can be bought at the counter on the 1st floor of the Kitakyushu International Conference Center (Eng / Jp). A one-way ticket for adults is 12,000yen and a return ticket is 20,000yen. Cheaper tickets are available for children depending on age. Travel companies often offer cheaper tickets and include hotel.

Ulsan, Korea
This is Kitakyushu`s first high-speed international sea link; Enjoy a trip to Korea. The city of Ulsan, and the Korean peninsula, is now just a 3-hour ferry ride away. The city sits between the cities of Busan and Kyongju, in Gyeongsangbuk Province and dubs itself "the industrial capital of Korea" - not too different from our fair city. As of March 27th, 2003 this route, run by a Korean company, will have the "Dolphin" running to and from Ulsan for 12,000yen one-way and 20,000yen return. The ferry leaves Kokura at 9:30 arriving in Ulsan at 12:30 on Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays; it leaves Kokura at 14:00 on Wednesdays, arriving in Ulsan at 17:20. The return trip leaves Ulsan on Mondays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 14:00 and arrives in Kokura at 17:20; on Thursdays it leaves Ulsan at 9:20 and arrives in Kokura at 12:40. The ticket office is located on the 1st floor of the Kitakyushu International Conference Center (Eng / Jp). The ferry company can be reached at Tel: 512-0001 Fax: 512-0180.
Tsingtao, China
Another destination from Shimonoseki is Tsingtao (Aoshima in Japanese), China. The Orient Ferry company has a ferry plying the route 3 times every 2 weeks, or thereabouts. A return ticket can be had for as little as 34,200yen. See the company`s site or call 0832(32)6615 for more information.


If your travelling by car and using the highway system you might want to check how much it`s going to cost you before you leave. The Japan Highway tolls are definitely not cheap so put in your starting point and destination point to see how much it`ll set you back. For anywhere in Japan click here. Pre-paid cards, available at rest areas, give some extra value for the yen.

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