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.
Moving to the northeastern part of Kyushu I arrived in Beppu, famous for its Onsen, using the Sonic limited express. With one transfer north of Fukuoka I needed two hours for the trip.
No city, company or touristic site is genuinely Japanese unless it has a mascot. For Kumamoto that is Kumamon.
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.
Fukuoka is not much a city for tourists but for shopping and living. While there are few cultural sites, the modern and vibrant city has much to offer besides.