If you're visiting southern Kyushu which is filled with nature, beautiful views, natural hot springs, and delicious good, then exploring it on a fun tourist train is a great choice. Riding JR Kyushu's "IBUSUKI NO TAMATEBAKO" allows you to visit the tip of the southern Satsuma Peninsula and check out the famous sand bath hot spring Ibusuki.
What is the IBUSUKI NO TAMATEBAKO?
IBUSUKI NO TAMATEBAKO is a tourist train that travels the Satsuma Peninsula and has been made in the theme of the Palace of the Dragon King. It does 3 round-trips every day starting from Kagoshima-Chūō Station and ending at Ibusuki Station. Both carriages of the train are reserved seats only. The time to ride this train is approximately 50 minutes. You're able to head to the Satsuma Peninsula whilst looking out onto Kinko bay and Sakurajima.
・The story of Urashima Tarō can be found here:
1. A Unique Black x White Train, Fun Performances!
The story goes that Urashima Tarō's hair changed from black to white due to smoke, this is why the train has a half-white half-black design, and there is even mist that shoots out from above the door to represent the smoke from the story, how fun!
2. A Unique Interior Design, Sit Facing the Sea
The interior of the train is made from warm-colored wood. You have the typical train seats, and counter seats that face the sea. In the free space of the train, you can find documents talking about Ibusuki as well as a sofa that you can relax on during your journey.
3. What to do on the Train
Looking out of the window during your journey is one thing you cannot afford to miss out on, there are so many sights to see! Once you break through Kagoshima, you will be able to see what's known as Kagoshima's symbol "Sakurajima". You can also check out Kinko Bay's blue ocean! The real pleasure of the journey though is being able to interact with the locals who are around the various stations you'll be passing through on your journey. Within the train, you'll find sweets and drinks for sale as well as even some local foods! There are even exclusive goods that can only be purchased on the train! To commemorate your journey, you'll be given a postcard, make sure to get a stamp from within the train and take it home as a souvenir.
Let's Check Out the Kotodama Service!
Write a message to someone you want to receive your feelings and put it in Urashima's casket! It's said that if you put it into the box, the cabin crew may read it out through the PA system!
4. What Kind of Place is the Final Stop, Ibusuki?
If you visit Ibusuki, you have to try the sand bath hot springs! You immerse yourself into the naturally heated sand, it's almost like a natural sauna!
It is said that Urashima Tarō visited Ryugu Shrine during his journey to the Palace of the Dragon King. It is said if you write your wish on a seashell and give it as an offering, you will receive the grace of the gods.
・Ibusuki Tourist Information
5. 2 Methods for Buying Tickets
Buying tickets for the IBUSUKI NO TAMATEBAKO can be done either at the station's ticket window or through JR Kyushu's official website. The website requires you to register prior to purchasing your ticket.
https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/trains/ibusukinotamatebako/#enjoy（English, Chinese, Korean)
You're able to purchase a tourist ticket that has the options to either go from Kagoshima to Ibusuki / Nishio Oyama through a round-trip or single-way + single-way bus called the "Ibusuki Rail & Pass Ticket" for 3,150 JPY
Model Course from Hakata
Hakata Station 8:30 Departure, Kyushu Shinkansen 601 -> Kagoshima Central Station 9:46 arrival -> Departure from the same station at 9:56 IBUSUKI NO TAMATEBAKO 1 -> Ibusuki Station 10:47 arrival
- IBUSUKI NO TAMATEBAKO
- Train Line：Kagoshima-Chūō Station～Ibusuki Station
- Departure Date：3 round-trips per day
- Required Time：Approx. 50 minutes
- Fee：Single 2,180 JPY
https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/trains/ibusukinotamatebako/（English, Chinese, Korean)