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Thread: Kitakyushu to Beppu.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,126

    Default Kitakyushu to Beppu.

    For most people, getting from Kitakyushu to Beppu means taking the coastal route 10 from Kitakyushu to Usa, and hopping on the Usa-Beppu road (toll road). But this is a miserable way to get there because of the high traffic volume and the backups you encounter while passing through the numerous small towns along the way.

    I've chosen the following route because it connects two very useful ports connecting Kyushu to Shikoku (Kitakyushu - Matsuyama and Beppu - Yawatahama). It can also be slightly modified to accomidate access from the Shinmoji port which connects Kyushu to Osaka. This route also has great access from the Sanyo and Sanin expressways via Shimonoseki if that's your flavor.

    My current favorite route looks like this: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xx...nk&usp=sharing

    This includes some local favorites of mine. This route is salted with loads of fun for a bike, including lots of tight technical single track touges as well as lots of really fast sweeping bends, canyons, and reservoirs that can easily be taken at 100+ kph. I just did this yesterday, and it took me about 3 hours start to finish, including a lunch stop.

    This starts with a visit through two reservoirs I frequent. Kawachi and Masubuchi. Kawachi is where all the local bikers get together and chat. When it's biking season it's common to see 10+ bikes parked up at the reservoirs parking lot.

    Take route 62 all the way through Kawachi, and make a left onto route 61 and over your first touge to the scenic Ouma valley.

    At this point, you have a couple of options. You can head south on 322 which is a major road, but once you get past the Kokura Minami IC (this is a great place to join the route if you're coming by expressway), the traffic thins out significantly, while the road remains 4 lanes.

    Yesterday, I was on the twisty warpath and added Masubuchi reservoirs by turning right onto 258. This is really fun up until the very end where there are some really tight hairpins covered with gravel. Watch out.

    Now turn right onto 322 and over your second touge, and down into Kawara town. Kawara has very narrow roads with lots of dump truck traffic from the local gravel factory, but it doesn't last long. Most of the traffic is headed either to Tagawa (to the West) or up to Mt. Hiko via route 52.

    You can avoid all this (including the tour buses), by going up route 418, past Aburagi reservoirs, which takes you all the way up to the top of Mt. Hiko and your first major touge of the day. When you get to the flashing red traffic signal at the route 500 junction, there is big parking lot and several buildings. It's a good place for a rest stop and you'll see lots of bikes. Recently, they opened a really nice cafe if you want something higher class than the standard michi no eki fare. There's a cool shrine here as well, if you're into that sort of thing. This is a favorite day-trip destination for my pillion and I.

    Head East on route 500, keeping a close watch for center lane crossers and huge tour buses, since this is a pretty major tourist area. Fortunately you'll be off of this road fairly quickly, as you'll be turning right onto 496.

    496 starts very technical, tight, and narrow, but once you're down into the Yamakuni canyon, it opens up into some very nice fast sweeping bends and some really great views carving through the Yamakuni river canyon. Unfortunately, the fun ends at route 212.

    At the stoplight, turn left onto route 212, and if you're lucky and the traffic is light, there's still more sweepers here for you, but don't count on being able to open it up so much. And avoid this area at all costs during the Autumn season as the area (Yabakei) is famous nation wide for momiji. Down the way a bit is another option for food at the Yamakuni michi no eki. They have a really great all-you-can-eat udon/soba buffet for about 600 yen.

    From the Yamakuni michi no eki, you also have a couple of options. If you find the traffic to be too high on 212, you can just head Southeast on 43 and East to 210 where you can hook up with the very enjoyable Yamanami highway (route 11) which will take you all the way into Beppu.

    Yesterday, the traffic was light, so I continued North on 212 until I hit route 28. This takes you up past the Yabakei reservoirs and the twisties here are really fast. You can hop onto the to-be-completed 212 bypass (which is free for the time being) and hook up with route 500, but I do suggest you continue on route 28 all the way up to route 27.

    This turn is quite tricky because the route number is not marked on the sign, and the sign is not labeled in romaji. If you have a navi unit, you should mark this turn. Otherwise, look for the sign that says 院内 (Innai). Unfortunately, (in typical Japanese fashion) the sign is actually placed shortly past the turn. There is also a big bilboard advertizing (among other things) Shika curry. Trust me when I say, this road is worth finding because it's very fast and twisty with amazing canyon views.

    If you do miss the turn, no worries. Just head all the way into Bungomori where you can hook up with route 210, and then the Yamanami highway.

    If you could find route 27, turn left onto 387 and mourn at it's passing. Continue up to route 500 where you'll be turning right, and take route 500 all the way into Beppu. Route 500 is also fast and twisty, but as with any route into Beppu, the tour bus density increases as you get closer to Beppu. Though, in my opinion, route 500 is much better than the Yamanami highway as you get closer to Beppu.

    Enjoy, I sure did!

    Last edited by dmizer; 21-06-18 at 11:22 PM. Reason: Fix errors/add detail.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    2,414

    Default

    Nice! Brings back so many good memories.

    Have you ever been to the Iwashita Collection in Yufuin? If you haven't, I highly recommend it. http://goo.gl/maps/85wgu
    ----------------
    2008 R1200GS | 2009 NSF100 | 2009 CRF250X | 2011 Address V125S


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Kitakyushu
    Posts
    1,126

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rider2371 View Post
    Nice! Brings back so many good memories.

    Have you ever been to the Iwashita Collection in Yufuin? If you haven't, I highly recommend it. http://goo.gl/maps/85wgu
    I have not, and didn't know about it. Thank you! May be up for that next week!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Tokyo
    Posts
    2,414

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dmizer View Post
    I have not, and didn't know about it. Thank you! May be up for that next week!
    Knowing how big a CB lover you are, the collection of classic CBs Iwashita-san has in the first floor will blow your mind!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Also check out the Ducati Apollo sitting in its crate. It's the only prototype in existence today. Built in 1963, no tires were available then that could handle it, so it never made it to production. Iwashita-san sometimes lets Ducati borrow it to display in their factory museum.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And make sure you don't have anything important to do afterwards because you will spend a good bit of time there



    PS: Sorry Guy, too lazy to upload and paste nice big photos
    ----------------
    2008 R1200GS | 2009 NSF100 | 2009 CRF250X | 2011 Address V125S


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