This route can be combined with either or both of the other Kyushu routes, or expanded on its own.

- The simplest way to expand this route is to follow the suggestion at the beginning of the Story & Photos section: cycle all the way south along the toll road and circle Kaimondake, and then cycle west and go up that very crinkly western coast (warning — it’s LONG: 81.5 km just to get from Makurazaki to Minami-Satsuma!). Later, you could add the second Amakusa island to the route by cycling past the ferry port at the top of the westernmost Amakusa island and down into Amakusa City proper, and then taking one of the short bridges to the easternmost Amakusa island. You could even cycle all the way east back to the Kyushu mainland (across a bridge on the Amakusa Pearl Line), though that would put you very far from Nagasaki. If you wanted to go back from there, you could cycle around 68 km north from there and take the Ariake Ferry back southwest to the top of the peninsula just north of Unzen, and then cycle west from there to Nagasaki.

- Since this route starts at Kagoshima, you can just cycle on after you finish the main Kyushu route that goes vertically down the island from north to south.

- After reaching Nagasaki, you could head east toward the top of the island on the North Kyushu route.

  1. - If you didn’t want to do the entire Kyushu route, you could just start at Miyazaki (a main city with great ferry access from Honshu) and cycle down to Kagoshima along the coast. That would allow you to see the great beaches along the Nichinan Kaigan coast, as well as Ibusuki — most famous for its hot springs and the experience of sunaburo or "sand-bathing" shown in the photo below. In the areas where beach sand is heated by underground hot springs, you lie down and people shovel hot sand on top of you. It's an interesting sensation, but in my experience the top sand cools off rather quickly, after which it just feels like a dead weight on your chest. Still: you can say you did one of the more unusual things in Japan.

  1. -The route goes very near Kumamoto, so you could hop over by ferry to see the famous black castle and then either cycle in a big semi-circle west to Nagasaki or take a ferry back across and continue along the route. On the way back, you could also go through Unzen (the hot springs resort famous for its active volcano —note that this would involve a climb to around 700m elevation) or just head straight along the route to Nagasaki.

  1. -For those interested in seeing the offshore islands of Tsushima and Iki (the latter is famous for dolphins), note that, surprisingly, these are accessed by ferry from Fukuoka, not Nagasaki. From Nagasaki, it appears that a plane flight is your only option.

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