Kurume

Kurume (久留米) is a city in Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan.

Get in

By train

Kurume is on the JR Kagoshima Main Line.

From Hakata station in Fukuoka there are generally one local and two rapid trains per hour operating to Kurume, with more trains during rush hours. Rapid trains take 40 minutes, and local trains take about an hour, at the same cost of ¥720.

Paying a ¥600 surcharge (¥900 for a reserved seat) will allow you to travel on one of the many limited express trains that operate on the Kagoshima line, which will bring you from Fukuoka to Kurume in half an hour. These trains operate on the same or higher frequency than regular trains, and include the Relay Tsubame for Kagoshima (connecting to the Kyushu Shinkansen), the Ariake for Kumamoto and Hikarinomori, and the Yufu trains for Yufuin, Oita and Beppu.

If you have a Japan Rail Pass you can take any of these limited express trains at no extra charge; for unreserved seating, simply show your pass to the conductor on the train.

Kurume is also on served by Nishitetsu Railway on the Tenjin Omuta Line, stopping at Nishitetsu Kurume station which is about 2.5 km east of the JR station. From Nishitetsu Fukuoka station in the Tenjin area of Fukuoka, take any Omuta-bound train. Train tickets can be purchased from the ticket machines at the station, and cost ¥600. Limited Express trains depart every 30 minutes on the hour and half-hour, and take approximately 30 minutes.

By bus

Highway buses bound for Nishitetesu kurume station can be boarded at Fukuoka airport and run two or three times an hour until 10 at night. One can also board Kurume-bound highway buses at Nishitetsu Tenjin Station or JR Hakata Station. Buses take about an hour to reach Kurume.

By car

If you are driving to Kurume, you will be able to park your car in one of roughly a dozen cheap parking lots, a happy side effect to the Japanese economic depression. Look for parking signs near either of the stations. Expect to pay around 100 yen per hour.

Get around

Although Kurume has the appearance of a city with cramped quarters and tall buildings, it is very small and can be easily navigated by bicycle.

The main bus center is located on the ground floor of the Nishitetsu train station. Buses depart frequently. Although there is no English-language time table posted, a travel agency on the same floor may be able to offer some advice during business hours.

See

Do

Kurume is host to Japanese festivals and parades, occurring regularly throughout the year. Events usually take place on Japanese holidays, and will include dressing up in yukata, which are cotton kimono worn in the summer, and walking through the hooded shopping street for matsuri games such as fishing and balloon tosses. In the summer, there are also fireworks which will coincide with matsuri events at the local temple.

Buy

A small shopping mall named EMax is located above the Nishitetsu train station. Stores include InCube, Quest bookstore, and a variety of clothing stores.

Across the main street from the station is "Ichibangai 1", a long covered pedestrian mall with stores that change often. There are a few restaurants there as well.

About 10 minutes by bus from the station is one of Japan's growing chain-mall locations, YouMe Town. Take the #20 bus from the Nishitetsu station and get off right in front of the large mall complex.

Kurume is famous for its kasuri, an indigo dyed cloth used to make kimonos and other traditional Japanese clothes, but you are not likely to find much kasuri in Kurume itself. Yanagawa nearby actually sells more Kurume kasuri than Kurume itself, both in cloth and kimono form, and it looks a lot more like a traditional Japanese town, too.

Kurume is also the home of Bridgestone tires and famous for ramen noodles which are available in plentiful supply.

Eat

While at first glance there isn't an abundance of restaurants in Kurume, in reality there are plenty if you know where to look.

In the "Ichibangai" pedestrian mall across from the Nishitetsu Kurume train station, there are 3 or 4 larger Japanese Izakaya restaurants which are worth a visit if you're hungry. They are all right next to the am/pm store.

About one block down from the station to the west is a good Korean restaurant, which can be quite busy on weekends, so you might want to make reservations. Another delicious korean restaurant named Uji is located in Shojima-machi between JR and Nishitetesu kurume stations. Follow the road south that runs in front of Nishitetsu station past Kogashiramachi park. It is located 2 blocks past the park on the right.

Also, lining the small canal to the west of "Ichibangai" are a number of quaint restaurants, such as Toride (french italian), Nixon (fusion) and Le Peu (french), as well as a new Mexican restaurant called "El Sol" a little further away.

There is also an Okinawan restaurant called little Okinawa near St. Mary's Hospital that has occasional live music.


Don't forget to try Taiho Ramen for some of the best Kurume ramen out there.

Go next

The same train which runs in from Fukuoka continues out into the countryside.

Routes through Kurume

Hakata Shin-Tosu  N  S  Shin-Tamana Kumamoto
Fukuoka Tosu  N  S  Tamana Kumamoto
END  W  E  Hita Oita
Fukuoka Tosu  N  S  Yame Kumamoto


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, September 03, 2013. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.