Kyushu 4 Days Itinerary-D

Summary

  • Start
    Fukuoka Airport or Hakata Station
  • Finish
    Fukuoka Airport or Hakata Station
  • Mileage
    Total 590km
    150km per day
  • Travel Pace
    Normal
  • Onsen Stay
    Max.1 nights
  • Recommended Seasons
    All year round

This itinerary takes 4 days to circle northwest Kyushu. Due to standard mileage, you can travel at a pace that is not too rushed.

If you want to stay in Fukuoka after the road trip, it is also possible to return your car around near Hakata station.

 

Fukuoka – Kumamoto(Sample)

Start: Fukuoka(福岡)
Finish:Kumamoto(熊本)
Mileage:150km
Travel Pace: Normal

On this day, you will head from Fukuoka to Kumamoto.

Recommended Itinerary(Sample)

1

Rental car branch at Fukuoka airport or Hakata Station

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

9:00
If your departure time is late, such as in the afternoon, adjust your schedule by taking the expressway or skipping some spots.




30min

2

Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine-太宰府天満宮

Parking MAPCODE:

55 333 771*40What is MAPCODE?

9:30
The first destination is “Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine”, nationally famous throughout Japan as the god of learning.

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, where the god of learning is enshrined

The approach from the parking lot to Tenmangu Shrine is called “Tenjin-sama-dori” avenue, which is crowded with many souvenir stores and restaurants.

Tenjin-sama Avenue, the approach to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. Umegae mochi is a specialty.




70min

3

Yame Chuo Tea garden-ハ女中央大茶園 展望所

Parking MAPCODE:

37 267 224*20What is MAPCODE?

Pairotto-Ohcha Garden. A secret and spectacular view that only road trip travelers can enjoy.

12:15
This area is the production area of “Yame-cha”, one of the finest teas in Japan. “Yame Chuo Tea garden” is an observatory from which you can look out over the vast tea fields as far as the eye can see. This is a spot that cannot be reached by public transportation or even by bus tours, but only by a road trip.




60min

4

Ganso Motoyoshiya-元祖本吉屋

Parking MAPCODE:

69 874 678*52What is MAPCODE?

The original Motoyoshiya. If you come to Yanagawa, you should definitely try it.

13:15
Yanagawa is famous for its eels. Among them, Motoyoshiya has been in business for 300 years and serves the best eels. There is also a cheap and tasty udon restaurant nearby, which is also recommended.




5min

5

Ohana Shotoen-御花・松涛園

Parking MAPCODE:

69 843 570What is MAPCODE?

Ohana Shotoen in Yanagawa

14:30
Ohana Shotoen is a former domain lord’s residence and a splendid garden that has been selected as a national place of scenic beauty.
If you still have time, a 70-minute canal boat tour called “Ohori Meguri” is also recommended.

The river cruise down Yanagawa takes about one hour. It can be enjoyed in a relaxed manner.




80min

6

Inn in Kumamoto

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

16:45
The last entry to Kumamoto Castle is at 16:30, so you will not make it on this day. Let’s visit tomorrow.




Driving Map For The Day(Sample)

The driving map will show additional 10-20 spots for the day! You will travel only to your favorite spots.
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

[Drive Map]Fukuoka-Kumamoto – Google マイマップ
Fukuoka-Kumamoto

Where to stay in Kumamoto

Kumamoto is the 3rd biggest city in Kyushu. The inns are concentrated south on the southeast side of Kumamoto Castle. It is better not to stay around Kumamoto Station due to a few restaurants for dinner.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

 

Kumamoto – Nagasaki🔒

Start: Kumamoto(熊本)
Finish: Nagasaki(長崎)
Mileage:110km
Travel Pace: Normal

On this day, you will head from Kumamoto to Nagasaki.
The distance traveled is only about 110 km, but you need to be careful with the schedule as you will be traveling by car ferry from Kumamoto Port to Shimabara Port.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Kumamoto

Parking MAPCODE:

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9:00




10min

2

Kumamoto Castle-熊本城

Parking MAPCODE:

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Kumamoto Castle. After the Kumamoto earthquake, the Tenshukaku was restored in 2021.

9:10
First, we will head to Kumamoto Castle, the symbol of Kumamoto, which was damaged by the Kumamoto Earthquake in 2016, but restoration work on the castle tower was completed in March 2021.




20min

3

Suizenji Jojuen Garden-水前寺成趣園

Parking MAPCODE:

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Suizenji Jojuen Garden is a famous Japanese garden in Kumamoto

11:30
Suizenji Jojuen Garden is a Japanese garden with a pond garden style. It is only 4 km away from Kumamoto Castle, so it is recommended to visit there as well.
Please leave here by 12:00 p.m. to catch the ferry. Depending on the time, please consider skipping this spot.




40min

4

Kumamoto Ferry

Parking MAPCODE:

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A one-hour boat ride by car ferry between Kumamoto Port and Shimabara Port

12:30
On this day, you will cross the Ariake Sea by car ferry from Kumamoto Port to Shimabara Port.

There are two ferry companies, Kumamoto Ferry(熊本フェリー) and Kyusho Ferry(九商フェリー). They operate large ships that run every 30 minutes to 1 hour, so it is usually possible to board without a reservation on weekdays or weekends.
During peak season (23Dec-5Jan, 27Apr-7May, Mid Aug) or if you are concerned, it is recommended to make reservations through the official website below.

Kumamoto Ferry is slightly more expensive but takes half the time.
Drive Japan recommends the Kumamoto ferry which departs at 13:00.
Be sure to catch the 13:40 departure of the Kyusho Ferry at the latest.

For passenger cars, please complete the boarding procedure 20 minutes before departure.

Kumamoto
Ferry
Kyusho
Ferry
Fare JPY3,980 JPY3,690
Loaded cars 51 cars 30 cars
Cruise time 30min 60min
Departure Time 13:00 12:25 or 13:40
Fare is one way for a normal car(4-5m) including a car and a driver. 

You can refer detailed time table and make reservations from official website.

Kumamoto Ferry(熊本フェリー)


Kyusho Ferry(九商フェリー)

5

Himematsuya-姫松屋 本店

Parking MAPCODE:

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Himematsuya in Shimabara

Once you arrive at Shimabara Port, let’s have lunch.
We recommend Shimabara’s traditional dish, Guzoni(具雑煮), a healthy hot pot with 13 different ingredients.




40min

6

Unzen Jigoku Hell-雲仙地獄

Parking MAPCODE:

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Unzen Hell. Especially recommended in the morning on cold days.

15:15
After that, let’s head to Unzen Jigoku Hell. In the center of Unzen, famous for its volcanoes and hot springs, you can stroll through the fantastic sight of steam erupting.

Unzen Fugendake seen from Nitatoge Circulation Road

If the weather is fine, it is also recommended to drive along the nearby Nitatoge Circular Road(仁田峠循環道路) and visit the NitaPass 2nd Observatory. You can enjoy a spectacular view overlooking Shimabara City and the Ariake Sea.
The journey from Unzen Hell to Nagasaki is about 50 km, or 1 hour and 10 minutes.




70min

7

Mt.Inasayama observatory-稲佐山展望台

Parking MAPCODE:

Please refer driving mapWhat is MAPCODE?

Inasayama Observatory is famous for its night view of Nagasaki, one of the three best night views in Japan.

17:30
Mt.Inasa is one of Japan’s top three nightscapes along with Mt.Hakodate in Hokkaido and Mt. Rokko in Kobe.
Please remember that general vehicles are not allowed to enter the summit park between 18:00 and 22:00 on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, and during peak season. If you wish to climb the mountain during these hours, use the ropeway.
You can refer to MAPCODE for parking for both the summit and the ropeway on the driving map.




20min

8

Inn in Nagasaki

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

You can visit Peace Park, Dejima, and the rest of the city tomorrow.
Also, if you stay only one night in Nagasaki, you will not have enough time to explore the city. If you want to visit Atomic Bomb Museum, Dejima, or the famous Gunkanjima (Battleship Island), we recommend you stay one more night in Nagasaki.




Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 sightseeing spots and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Nagasaki

On this day, you will stay in Nagasaki city(長崎) which is famous for its night view and the atomic bomb.
The inns are concentrated in between “Nagasaki Station” and “China Town”. If you prefer luxury inns, it is also recommended to stay on Mt.Inasayama side.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

 

Nagasaki – Takeo🔒

Start:Nagasaki(長崎)
Finish:Takeo(武雄) or Ureshino(嬉野)
Mileage:170km
Travel Pace: Fast

On this day, you will leave Nagasaki for Takeo Onsen town or Ureshino Onsen town.
The two towns are only about 15 km apart, so you can stay in either town. It is also a good idea to stay in “Huis Ten Bosch”.
The driving distance on this day is long, approximately 170 km, and there is no expressway so you need to travel at a slightly faster pace.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Nagasaki

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

9:00
If you want to take your time in Nagasaki city, it is recommended to leave early.
The opening hours of major sightseeing spots in the city are as follows.

Open
Glover Garden 8:00
Atomic Bomb Museum 8:30
Dejima 8:00




2

Glover Garden&Oura Catholic Church-グラバー園&大浦天主堂

Parking MAPCODE:

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Glover Garden. It overlooks Nagasaki Port and can be combined with the Oura Tenshudo Temple.

9:10
Glover Garden and Oura Tenshudo are very close by, so park in the public parking lot and walk.
The slope is very steep, so comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
From Glover Garden, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Nagasaki’s harbor.

Town map for Glover Garden and Oura church




15min

3

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum-長崎原爆資料館

Parking MAPCODE:

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Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

This is a museum about the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945. There is also a Peace Park 500 meters away, but the museum is more recommended.




40min

4

Roadside Station Yuhigaoka Sotome-道の駅 夕陽が丘そとめ

Parking MAPCODE:

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Roadside Station Yuhigaoka Sotome on Nagasaki Sunset Road

12:30
After 40 minutes from Nagasaki City, you will arrive at “Roadside Station Yuhigaoka Sotome”.




40min

From here, you can enjoy an exhilarating drive along the beautiful coastal road, Nagasaki Sunset Road, to the north.

Tricolor bridge (blue) at Nagasaki-Sunset Road

5

Saikaibashi Bridge-西海橋

Parking MAPCODE:

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From Saikai Bridge, you can see the whirlpools if the timing is right.

13:20
At Saikai Bridge, you can see the whirlpools if the timing is right. There are also souvenir stores and restaurants, perfect for a rest stop.




40min

Huis Ten Bosch, Kyushu’s largest theme park, is located 15 minutes from Saikai Bridge.
It offers seasonal flowers, attractions, and a variety of events. You will need at least half a day to visit Huis Ten Bosch, so it is recommended that you stay directly in the park or at an inn in the area.

Huis Ten Bosch (Tulips: March) (Roses: May, November)

6

Ishidake Observatory-石岳展望台

Parking MAPCODE:

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Ishidake Observatory. The view is better than that of Junkaibo. The port of Sasebo is on the other side.

The biggest highlight of the day was the Ishidake Observatory.
Generally speaking, the other observatory “Tenkaiho observatory” is more famous, but Ishidake Observatory, which is not accessible by bus, is higher in elevation and is by far the best place to enjoy a truly 360-degree panoramic view of Kujuku Islands and the city of Sasebo with its huge shipbuilding yard.

Ishidake Observatory. The view is better than that of Junkaibo. The port of Sasebo is on the other side.

Tenkaiho observatory is also a famous place for flowers. The rape blossoms and cosmos season are especially recommended.

Tenkaibou is also famous for its flowers (rape blossoms: late March-early April, cosmos: early to mid-October).




50min

The Sasebo area is also nationally famous for its Sasebo Burger. The famous shop is listed on the driving map, so why don’t you try?

Big Man, is a very famous Sasebo burger restaurant.

7

Inn in Takeo Onsen or Ureshino Onsen

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

In the evening, relieve your fatigue in the hot springs of Takeo and Ureshino.




Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 sightseeing spots and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Takeo or Ureshino

On this day, you will stay in either Takeo Onsen town or Ureshino Onsen town. It is 15km and takes about 30min. Both of them are famous for their Onsen. Takeo has more luxury inns.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This town is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are some restaurants around the hotel for dinner but most inns also provide dinner plans, so please make reservations according to your preference.

 

Takeo – Fukuoka🔒

Start:Takeo(武雄) or Ureshino(嬉野)
Finish: Fukuoka(福岡)
Mileage:160km
Travel Pace: Normal

On this day, we will return to Fukuoka from Takeo.
The driving distance is about 160 km.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Takeo Onsen or Ureshino Onsen

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Because there are so many spots to see, we recommend that you leave by 8-9 am if you want to travel without rushing.
If you are not staying in Fukuoka today and will be taking the Shinkansen or airplane, please arrange your schedule so that you can return the rental car to the rental store at least one and a half hours before your flight.




20min

2

Mifuneyama Rakuen garden-御船山楽園

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Mifuneyama Rakuen

9:20
First, stop by Mifuneyama Rakuen, located near Takeo Onsen.
This garden was created in 1845 and offers a variety of seasonal scenery including cherry blossoms, wisteria, azaleas, and autumn leaves.




35min

3

Imari Okawa Uchiyama-伊万里大川内山

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Imari Okawauchi Mountain, which boasts a history of more than 300 years, has been hidden from the public to prevent technological leaks.

10:45

Imari and Arita are world-famous for porcelain, and here in Okawauchiyama, the official kiln of the Saga Clan was located. The scene of many kilns quietly lined up in the mountains was to prevent the leakage of advanced technology to the outside world and it truly makes this place a hidden village.




60min

4

Under Water restaurant Manbo-海中魚処萬坊

Parking MAPCODE:

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Squid sashimi. Geso(legs) is to be served in tempura style.

12:45
If you have enough time for lunch, it is highly recommended to go to Yobuko town for squid. You can enjoy wonderfully fresh and delicious squid that is as good as Hakodate’s.




50min

5

Kagamiyama Observatory-鏡山展望台

Parking MAPCODE:

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Kagamiyama Observatory is the best spot in Saga Prefecture where you can see from Niji-no-Matsubara to Karatsu Castle

15:10

The biggest highlight of the day is the Kagamiyama Observatory. It is one of the most beautiful observatories in Kyushu with a panoramic view of Niji-no-Matsubara pine forest, Karatsu Castle, and Karatsu Bay, and it is a wonder that it is not more famous.

At the foot of the observatory is a 4.5 km-long pine forest of one million pine trees called “Niji-no-Matsubara. You can also enjoy driving through the pine forest, so please refer to the driving map.

Enjoy driving through amazing pine tree forest




60min

6

Sakurai Futamigaura Couple Rock-桜井二見ヶ浦の夫婦岩

Parking MAPCODE:

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Married Couple Rocks at Sakurai Futamigaura in Itoshima are a great photo spot.

16:50

If you still have time, stop by the “Sakurai Futamigaura Couple Rock” in Itoshima before returning to Fukuoka.
The sight of a pure white torii gate facing the husband and wife rocks offshore is very popular as a great photo spot. There are also stylish cafes and Instagram spots scattered around the area.




50min

7

Rental car branch at Fukuoka airport or Hakata Station

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the rental car branchWhat is MAPCODE?

18:10
This concludes your Kyushu road trip.
When you return to Fukuoka, refuel and then return the car to the car rental branch. Use the MAPCODE on the driving map for the nearest gas stations at Hakata Station and Fukuoka Airport.

Fukuoka offers a wide variety of culinary delights. For dinner, try Hakata ramen, Motsu nabe (Motsu hot pot), and other local Fukuoka foods, or even try one of the famous Yatai stalls.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen
Motsu-nabe is synonymous with Hakata. Famous restaurants include Yamanaka and Rakutenchi.
Yatai, food stalls, a part of Fukuoka’s culture




Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 sightseeing spots and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Fukuoka

Fukuoka is the biggest city in Kyushu and the gateway of Kyushu Travel. It takes 15min to Fukuoka Airport by subway. There are hundreds of accommodations around “Hakata Station”, Nakasu downtown area, and Tenjin Station.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 2 to 5-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

Process

  1. Book hotels or rental cars from the links below.
  2. Submit the “Map Request Form” at the bottom after bookings.
  3. We will send you day-by-day Driving Maps with MAPCODE of the itinerary you choose!
    Enjoy your trip without the hassle of finding parking!

 

Rental Car Booking

Please rent a car with below “Rentalcars.com” link.

  • The abundant number of rental cars
  • Price comparisons with several major car rental companies
  • Free cancellation
*Please change the location and date by yourself
Pick-up & Drop-off Location Guide
  • Fukuoka Airport
    The main international airport in Kyushu. Recommended for Pick-up.
    If you arrive after 14:00, consider staying overnight in Fukuoka City and departing the next morning.
    It takes 5-20min to Hakata station by metro or bus.
  • Fukuoka City
    The biggest and gateway city in Kyushu. Most car rental shops are located around Hakata Station.
Important reminder for renting a car
  • GPS(Car Navigation System)
    MAPCODE from Drive Japan navigates you precisely to the parking lot. GPS from major car rental companies(Nippon, ORIX, Nissan, Times) are always MAPCODE compatible. However, if you are renting a car from another company, we recommend that you check with the rental company after making a reservation, just to be sure.
  • One-way Rental
    You can rent at Fukuoka Airport and return to Fukuoka city, and vice versa. Normally, the one-way charge is free of charge.
  • Child Seat
    In Japan, the use of a child safety seat or baby seat is mandatory for children under 5 years old.
    Be sure to request one from “Extras”.
  • Snow Tire
    Kyushu rarely gets much snow, even in winter. However, if you drive around Aso from December to February, recommend requesting it.

Hotel Booking

You can book any hotels for this itinerary from the links below, however we will suggest a recommended mid range
hotel or inn that has:
・Parking
・A convenient location
・A rate of about JPY8,000-15,000/person/night

Start Date

/ stay in Kumamoto
Recommended Inn

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kumamoto Ginzadori

Kumamoto is the 3rd biggest city in Kyushu. The inns are concentrated south on the southeast side of Kumamoto Castle. It is better not to stay around Kumamoto Station due to a few restaurants for dinner.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.
/ stay in Nagasaki
Recommended Inn

Luke Plaza Hotel

On this day, you will stay in Nagasaki city(長崎) which is famous for its night view and the atomic bomb.
The inns are concentrated in between “Nagasaki Station” and “China Town”. If you prefer luxury inns, it is also recommended to stay on Mt.Inasayama side.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.
/ stay in Takeo/Ureshino
Recommended Inn

Yumotoso Toyokan

On this day, you will stay in either Takeo Onsen town or Ureshino Onsen town. It is 15km and takes about 30min. Both of them are famous for their Onsen. Takeo has more luxury inns.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This town is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are some restaurants around the hotel for dinner but most inns also provide dinner plans, so please make reservations according to your preference.
/ stay in Fukuoka(If you need)
Recommended Inn

Canal City Fukuoka Washington Hotel

Fukuoka is the biggest city in Kyushu and the gateway of Kyushu Travel. It takes 15min to Fukuoka Airport by subway. There are hundreds of accommodations around “Hakata Station”, Nakasu downtown area, and Tenjin Station.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 2 to 5-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

Map Request Form

Please send us the form once you book hotels or a rental car, and we will send you day-by-day Driving Maps.







Thank you very much! We will send you driving maps with MAPCODE within 4 working days.
Drive Japan team hopes you will experience a fantastic road trip and make unforgettable memory!

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