Review: Kyushu Karnival – Introduction

Introduction
Cathay Pacific The Cabin Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
KA 380 HKG – FUK 333 J
Grand Hyatt Fukuoka
Seikai Beppu
Dining at Seikai Beppu
Exploring Beppu
Hoteiya Yufu City
Dining at Hoteiya Yufu City
Exploring Yufuin
Lounge Fukuoka Fukuoka
KA 381 FUK – HKG 333 J

Wow, wowwow. While this was just another of those short trips I took, I can’t say how rejuvenated I feel after the trip.

One of the few “honeymoon trips” my parents took before I was born was to Kyushu, and they stayed in ryokans similar to those we stayed in this trip. Suffice to say that they had so much of a blast, they said back then, “in ten years we’re coming back with our kids”. The radiation in northern Japan limited our options to travelling to Japan to Okinawa, Kagoshima/Southern Kyushu and Fukuoka/Northern Kyushu – in other words, Kyushu. I’ve been to Okinawa (which is a nice “paradise” resort but so overloaded with tourists it’s nothing special), so my parents picked Northern Kyushu as our destination this trip. We soon decided on visiting Beppu and Aso (though the latter changed).

I was given the job to pull up some luxury ryokans for my dad near Aso. Humorous moments included pulling up Kai Aso from Hoshino Resorts, which for four people retailed for HK$14000 (~US$1800) per night with the given dates. Basically my dad was looking for resorts that retailed for HK$1500 (US$190) – HK$2500 (US$320) per person per night (basically HK$6000/US$775 – HK$10000/US$1290 per night), and we eventually settled on Hoteiya Yufu City, a fourteen ryokan property nestled in Yufuin (we abandoned Aso due to a lack of hotels in the area). It retailed on the high end of our scale – HK$2500 per person, without child discounts, resulting in HK$10,000 a night.

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Hoteiya Yufu City HOTEI Ryokan Room

A friend recommended Seikai Beppu to us, a fusion ryokan-hotel combination. Given that it was #1 out of 48 hotels in Beppu on TripAdvisor it was kind of a no-brainer. It cost more at HK$2700/person, but children were half price (they had different dinners – dinner is included in the price), so it came out slightly cheaper for us than the Hoteiya did. Pricey, but money well spent!

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Seikai Beppu L Room Private Onsen

For the shopping fan that my mom is, we decided to spend the first night in Fukuoka (we initially wanted to stay two nights, but my dad turned that down – all our family income comes from him, so he’s got a point). 😉 We settled on the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka, a Hyatt Gold Passport Category 3 property – as this was my first Hyatt stay and I didn’t (and still don’t) have a Hyatt Gold Passport account, for a club room we paid the revenue rate of HK$2880 (US$370), while it would only have costed 17,000 Gold Passport points (which is the equivalent to HK$2040/US$272). I had a few booking mishaps, but they all worked out in the end. 😉

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Grand Hyatt Fukuoka Club King

We then looked up flights to Fukuoka. Dragonair runs the only non-stop flights to Fukuoka (at least until Hong Kong Express started their flights), so we booked to our dates, August 2nd to August 7th (we tailored our dates specifically so we could take the A330, as our family knows what my sister thinks about narrowbody planes). There were only two business class award seats available, so my parents snatched them and with good report card results bumped us up there as well for both flights.

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Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class

Our final itinerary was:

02/8 KA 380 HKG – FUK 11:20 – 15:35 333 J
07/8 KA 381 FUK – HKG 16:35 – 19:10 333 J

Bottom line

This was one of the most fun trips I’ve taken. My family is always a pleasure to travel with (I’ve traveled with friends and family and enjoyed just as much), so I really looked forward to this trip and I always find myself looking back to it. Stay tuned!

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One thought on “Review: Kyushu Karnival – Introduction”

  1. Hyuganatsu? Mais franchement tardif alors (comme vous pouvez le deviner). Je n’ai pas saisi (c;q©ruo&Ãstait un jardin privé et piquer des prunes ou des oranges n’est pas une action courante ici, heureusement), et donc je ne connais pas le goût. Ce doit être l’effet d’un micro-climat puisqu’en cette saison, hormis les mikan sous serres, tous les agrumes, saufs certains limes, viennent de pays lointain, apparemment.

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