Best Way to Travel Kumamoto-Amakusa (Dolphin-spotting Cruise)

Amakusa(天草) is located in the southernmost part of the main island of Japan. Amakusa has full of magnificent nature, marine treasure, engaging activities of Dolphins and the most famous Seafood like Sushi, Sashimi. This place is literally a treat to visit!

Also, recently Amakusa was in news for it’s  ‘Hidden Christian sites’ in Sakitsu village backed for World Heritage status.If you are in Japan and planning to visit Amakusa. Then, here are all the tips you’ll need to know for your first visit to Amakusa from Kumamoto.

How to get in: Public Transport

There are various way to go to Amakusa from Kyushu & Osaka.

amakusa map.png

By Air: Amakusa Airlines

There are some limited flights for Amakusa Airport on Shimoshima Island from Kumamoto (around 20 min journey one way), Fukuoka (around 35 min journey one way), Osaka  (around 1.5 hours journey one way). For more details about booking click here

Express Bus: Time-table

Kumamoto-Amakusa Bus.png

There is only “Amakusa-go” Bus that connect to Kumamoto-Amakusa. Kyushu Sanko Bus operates hourly buses from Kumamoto City. The one way trip between Kumamoto to Amakusa (Hondo Bus Center, 本渡バスセンター) takes around 2 hours (cost 2240 Yen) in the lively lap of nature.

Bus Route-Stops :

Kumamoto-Amakusa Route and Stops

Kysushu Sanko Bus operates hourly buses from Kumamoto Kotsu Center and goes via Kumamoto Sta.

⇒ Depart from Kumamoto Kotsu Center


⇒ Depart from Kumamoto Sta. (Platform #2)

Way to Amakusa from Kumamoto

Way to Amakusa from Kumamoto (“+” sign in the Sky)

Bus Fare: 

  • Kumamoto – Matsushima: 1,520 Yen / Person
  •  Kumamoto – Hondo Bus Center: 2,240 Yen / Person

Sightseeing Spots:

3 main islands of Amakusa (Oyano, Ueshima & Shimoshima) are connected to one another by bridges. All 3 islands have their own attraction such as  magnificent nature, home of wild Dolphins, most famous and mesmerizing Sun-set view of Japan, engaging activities, Catholic Churches, Museums etc..

Dolphin-spotting Cruise:

Sea Cruise @ Maeshina Amakusa

Sea Cruise @ Maeshina Amakusa

In the Indo-Pacific of Tsuji-Shima Island near Itsuwa-machi live about 200 wild Dolphins. It is said that 98% tourists visit here to encounter Dolphins. More details about fare, Dolphin watching time Click.

Catholic Church: Sakitsu & Oe

Oe Catholic Church.....

Oe Catholic Church (Our Lady of Lourdes, The Grave of Fr. Garnier)

It is a symbol of faith. ‘Hidden Christian sites in Sakitsu’ village backed for World Heritage status in 2018. On the other hand ‘Oe Church’ is the first churches build after the ban of Christianity in Amakusa. More details about history Click.

Bus Tour Course Options:

Amakusa Rosary Hall

Local Bus Tour “Lets enjoy Amakusa Treasures”

The local tourist & bus company starts three kind of “Bus Tour” course to attract visitors. It cost only 1000 Yen (entrance fee not included). If you don’t want to drive here, then this is best option.

A course: 

Half-day sightseeing of Takara-shima (Island of Treasure). It includes “Sea, Dolphin”

B course:

Half-day sightseeing of Catholic Churches. It includes “Sakitsu, Oe, Amakusa Rosary Hall”

C course: 

A full-day sightseeing of South Amakusa & Catholic Churches. It includes both Catholic Churches as well as experience local culture”

Other Sightseeing Options:

Amakusa has many other spots that attract visitor. If you are planning to stay overnight then, you can enjoy as per your choice, such as:

Don’t forget:

  • Dolphins
  • Sakitsu and Oe Church
  • Test Sushi and Sashimi


Japanese Food 海鮮

Japanese Food 海鮮 @ Yamamoto Restaurant

Amakusa is known for Sea foods. If you are fond of fish then don’t miss enjoying the fresh fishes. In most of the restaurants, you can choose live fishes as per your test and they will serve you withing 10-15 mins. Yummy! It is too delicious!

L'isola Terrace Amakusa

L’isola Terrace Amakusa

But, if you want to watching the spectacular view of Sea with coffee, deserts or verities of lunch menu with music then try Lisola Terrace.


If you are in Japan other then Kumamoto and wanna to visit Amakusa then come to Amakusa Airport by Flight from Osaka/Fukuoka. But if you are in Kumamoto then, there are hourly buses departing from Kumamoto. It is the best option for you and even affordable.

It is good to book Amakusa Bus Tour and select the course as you wish. And don’t miss Dolphin-spotting Cruise, Museums on Christianity’s tumultuous and delicious seafood. Hope it will help you in traveling to Amakusa and how to enjoy there! Have a nice journey!

Link & Resources:


4 replies »

  1. Hi, About the tour buses, do you know how do we get more information on how to book the tours? I cannot find much information on it in English. Thank you.

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