The route coming from Beppu might not have been the shortest, but I still arrived just two hours later at the southernmost major city of Kyushu after taking the Shinkansen from the very north. I can hardly stop praising the excellent train service.
The train ride with the Kamome (Seagull) limited express was quiet enjoyable. The cars had a parquet floor and leather seats, in addition the overhead shelves looked like the ones in airports. The weather changed for the bad and while travelling along the coast line, all I saw was a rainy coastline.