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Guide to Kitakyushu, Shimonoseki and the Kanmon Straits

The Kanmon Straits. This narrow strip of water is all that separates the islands of Honshu and Kyushu, but it is also what connects the two cities of Kitakyushu and Shimonoseki. Rich in culture and history, there are many sights to see in the Kanmon area, and the proximity to the sea means the seafood is some of the best in Japan. Conveniently located near three airports and connected by shinkansen lines, getting to the Kanmon area is easy. It is also a short drive away from the major cities of Fukuoka to the south and Hiroshima to the north, making it a perfect destination for a day trip or even a long weekend.

Click here for our map to Kitakyushu, Shimonoseki and the Kanmon Straits.

Places to visit in Kitakyushu and Shimonoseki

1. Kokura Castle and Japanese Garden
2. Mojiko Retro
3. Kanmon Straits
4. Shopping in Kitakyushu: Aruaru, Maruwa and Riverwalk
5. Toto Museum and Factory Nightscapes
6. Kyushu Railway History Museum and Mojiko Station
7. Chofu Castle Town
8. Tsunoshima Island and Toyota

Dining and shopping in Kitakyushu and Shimonoseki

1. Baked Curry and Craft Beer
2. Shopping Arcades in Kitakyushu
3. Tanga Market
4. Udon and Kakuuchi
5. Kitakyushu seafoods
6. Nejichoco
7. Food of Shimonoseki
8. Karato Market

Events, experiences and nature in Kitakyushu and Shimonoseki

1. Kimono Rental and Rickshaw Rides
2. Mt. Sarakura
3. Hiraodai
4. Green Park
5. Shiranoe Botanical Garden
6. Festivals of Kitakyushu
7. Mimosusogawa Park and Hinoyama Park
8. Fireflies and Hot Springs


Getting to Shimonoseki

Shimonoseki is conveniently located a short distance from three different airports and is accessible by both the high-speed shinkansen and regular JR train lines. If you are driving, take the Chugoku Expressway from points east, or the Kanmonkyo Toll Road and the Kyushu Expressway from Kitakyushu and points further south. From Mojiko in Kitakyushu, you can take a ferry operated by Kanmon Kisen or you can even walk or push your bicycle or scooter through the undersea pedestrian tunnel.

To get around inside the city, use Sanden Kotsu’s regular bus routes. To save time and money when visiting the major spots in Shimonoseki, you can purchase a one-day pass (adults: ¥720, children: ¥360), but be advised it comes with fare zone restrictions. On weekends and holidays, however, you can purchase a one-day pass with no fare zone restrictions for slightly more (adults: ¥1,000, children: ¥500).

From the airports
Yamaguchi-Ube Airport
Yamaguchi-Ube Airport → JR Kusae Sta. (10 min. on foot) → JR Shin-Yamaguchi Sta. (train: 40 min.) → JR Shin-Shimonoseki Sta. (shinkansen: 25 min.) → JR Shimonoseki Sta. (train: 10 min.)
Yamaguchi-Ube Airport → JR Shin-Yamaguchi Sta. (Ube City Bus: 35 min.)
Yamaguchi-Ube Airport → JR Shimonoseki Sta. (Sanden Kotsu Bus: 75 min.)

Kitakyushu Airport
Kitakyushu Airport → JR Kokura Sta. (Airport bus: 33 min.) → JR Shin-Shimonoseki Sta. (local train: 13 min.)

Fukuoka Airport
Fukuoka Airport → Hakata Sta. (subway: 5 min.) → JR Shin-Shimonoseki Sta. (shinkansen: 30 min.)
Fukuoka Airport → Hakata Sta. (subway: 5 min.) → JR Kokura Sta. (shinkansen: 20 min.) → JR Shimonoseki Sta. (local train: 13 min.)

By ferry (From Mojiko)
Mojiko Pier → Karato Sanbashi (Kanmon Kisen ferry; 5 min.)

Yamaguchi Call Center
If you need assistance with transit or communicating with the staff at hotels or other tourist facilities during your stay, you can call the Yamaguchi Call Center, which offers support in 15 languages free of charge 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can also download the free Yamaguchi Travel Support app for iPhones and Android phones to get support in six languages right at your fingertips.
Tel.: 083-902-6370
Skype: yamaguchicall

Sanden Kotsu
Inquiries: 083-231-1000

Kanmon Kisen
Inquiries: 093-331-0222

Seasonal Guide
Published: Jun 8, 2018 / Last Updated: Jun 8, 2018

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