3.5 days central Honshu in November

Old Oct 18th, 2015, 08:02 PM
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3.5 days central Honshu in November

I have 3.5 days free after a meeting in Yokohama and am at an uncharacteristic loss as to what to do. We like old cities, nice walks, gardens. Would like to keep travel connections stress-free. Takayama? Kamakura? Hakone? Izu peninsula? We will be departing from Narita at 5:30 PM on a Sunday. Thanks for your advice.
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Old Oct 18th, 2015, 09:42 PM
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You have a wealth of options! If you haven't already done so, consult and thoroughly explore japan-guide.com

As a rule, I would defer Takayama until you have time to visit it along with Kanazawa, perhaps 5 days altogether, to include a stop in Shirakawago in between. That said, if your trip is in November, you might be able to catch koyo (autumn leaves) there, and if you can, do consider going!
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5900.html
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2014.html

Kamakura has some worthy sites, IMO, but I'm not sure that 3.5 days would make sense there -- I would have liked a BIT more than the long day trip from Tokyo afforded, but had seen almost much everything I wanted to see there in that time.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2166.html

Tokyo itself, of course, had little of the old world left, but it does have some nice walks and pleasant gardens, so don't rule it out if a day or so there makes most sense.

Another option = Nikko and Lake Chuzenji, which could also be filled with the colors of turning leaves in Nov.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3800.html
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3806.html

Browse japan-guide and enjoy!
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Old Oct 18th, 2015, 10:40 PM
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Kja is spot on, as always.

I'll add Hyperdia.com as a site worth checking - you can enter the journeys you are considering and it will show you the routing/ changes etc. May help in assessing whether the connections are stress-free.
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Old Oct 19th, 2015, 09:38 AM
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Kavey, is this the link you intended?: http://www.hyperdia.com/en/
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Old Oct 19th, 2015, 10:59 AM
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The wealth of options is exactly the problem.....
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Old Oct 19th, 2015, 02:03 PM
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Yes it is, sorry if I typed it wrong.
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Old Oct 19th, 2015, 06:03 PM
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"The wealth of options is exactly the problem....."

Yup. Always the hardest part of planning a trip, IME. Good luck!
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Old Oct 19th, 2015, 10:47 PM
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Dr Beier, I call it Analysis Paralysis -- I suffer from it a lot when it comes to trip planning, especially for Japan!
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 08:02 AM
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Maybe this seems too obvious, but Kyoto is only 2:20 away from Yokohama and meets all of your criteria: old city, nice walks, beautiful gardens, stress free and comfortable shinkansen with no connections required. The return train requires only one change and will have you at Narita airport in about 3.5 hours.

I can't think of a much better way to spend 3.5 days in Japan. Whatever you decide to do, have fun!
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 10:28 AM
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Been to Kyoto and Nara and loved them (our only other trip to Japan), hence my interest in similar sites near Tokyo.
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 10:15 AM
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That being the case, we loved both Kanazawa and Takayama, but I agree with kja that 3.5 days is not enough time for both. I'd suggest either 3 nights in Kanazawa OR 2 nights in Takayama and 1 in Shirakawago for this trip. I did each area on a separate trip and think either destination is worthwhile on its own, even not having enough time to do all together on this trip.
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 10:39 AM
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Sendai is a nice walk able town with a good bus/trolley service, large parks, great shopping streets and markets and you can day trip to Yamadera from there. Easily reachable by shinkansen you are also close to Matsushima. Just a thought. Wherever you go enjoy.

Aloha!
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 11:05 AM
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Also if your interests include temples Hiraizumi is also close to Sendai
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