Notices

A day in the countryside

Reply

Sep 19th, 2013, 10:46 PM
  #1
LvL
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 123
A day in the countryside

My son (age 27) and I are doing a mother/son bonding trip to Japan next month. He is a computer programmer and game developer and is thrilled to be going to Japan to explore the "techie" side of things, whereas I am more into the outdoors, have travelled extensively and would love the idea of staying in a small village "uplugged". We have an itinerary geared mostly to the cities but have one day at the end of our 2 week trip to fill. Our itinerary is:

5 nights Tokyo (with day trips to outside areas)
2 nights HIroshima
4 nights Kyoto
1 night ?? (fly out of Tokyo next day 7pm)

Because we fly out of Tokyo in the evening we can spend our last day travelling. I am looking for an authentic small village experience somewhere between Kyoto and Tokyo. I thought about doing the Nakasendo trail between Magome and Tsumago but it is a bit logistically difficult to get there and I'm not sure if it works time-wise (or does it? Best place to stay?).

I would really like to take the train from Kyoto to a small village, experience a ryokan (not too extravagant) and see a more traditional lifestyle. Possibilties - Takayama? Is it possible to take the train from Kyoto, stay overnight and be in Tokyo the next day be 4pm? What about Matsumoto? or maybe near Mt Fuji? (we were already thinking of doing a day trip there from Tokyo)

Any ideas out there?
Thanks!
LvL is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 20th, 2013, 12:22 AM
  #2
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,135
You might consider putting your time in Tokyo at the end so you don't have to deal with two separate stays there.

You also might want to consider staying on Miyajima rather than Hiroshima. Miyajima is just a short ferry away from Hiroshima, it is tiny and beautiful, and it has a relatively inexpensive ryokan that I thought delightful -- Momiji-so.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3401.html
http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/r...yokan=Momijiso
If you go to Miyajima, given your interest in the outdoors, I would recommend that you leave time to explore the village and go to the top of Mt. Misen.

Takayama has a small preserved core -- as do a number of other cities in Japan -- but I would not describe it as a small village. (That doesn't mean it isn't worth visiting.) Shirakawa-go would be closer to what you are describing, but (a) it represents the tradition of the Japanese Alps, not necessarily other traditional lifestyles and (b) it really only makes sense to visit if you are visiting both Takayama and Kanazawa and can stop in Shirakawa-go en route.

With the time you have, I would urge you to look into Miyajima. It is much more of a small, traditional village than anything else you mention and it is convenient to your other stops.

Enjoy!
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 20th, 2013, 07:53 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,728
kja gave good advice. Shirakawago is what you want but it doesn't fit. Takayama is a large town or small city and most of 3 hours off of the Tokaido shinkansen line (each way from Nagoya). A trip from there to Narita Airport would be 6 hours and ¥16,900 as it would be day 8, the day after your 7-day JR Pass expires.

If you leave Tokyo early enough then you could have some time to see some of Hiroshima that day, and more the next morning. Then go to Miyajima early afternoon the next day. Spend the night there then go on to Kyoto.

I think your best bet is to go to Hakone (i.e. near Mt Fuji). You would be about 2.5 hours from Narita Airport.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 20th, 2013, 09:07 PM
  #4
LvL
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 123
Wow, I knew I should have consulted the experts on Fodors earlier...thanks kja and mrwunrfl...your suggestions make a lot of sense. Unfortunately I have booked our hotels following our itinerary and let me tell you, it was hard to find vacancies, especially in Kyoto! Everything in our price range (mid) and with satisfactory reviews was mostly booked.

Therefore we need to keep to our original itinerary (and kick myself for not asking Fodorite assistance earlier!)

I think the suggestion to stay in/near Hakone and the five-lakes region seems a good compromise. We then wouldn't do the day trip their from Tokyo.

I will explore this more. Many thanks!
LvL is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 20th, 2013, 10:06 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,728
What is your plan for Hiroshima? It is a 5+ hour train trip, one change of trains, from Tokyo to Hiroshima. I recommend that you do this trip as early as possible, but at least arrive in Hiroshima while it is still daylight. That is, do the whole trip in daylight.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 5th, 2013, 11:19 PM
  #6
LvL
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 123
We've decided to do the Hakone Circuit and have booked 2 nights there. While we know it is somewhat touristy, it does get us out of the cities. We arrive from Kyoto and will go directly to the airport on the last day. All-in-all we are happy with our itinerary.

Yes we will leave for Hiroshima early from Tokyo. We have 2 nights there so will have a full day and 2 half days before heading to Kyoto.

We leave in 9 days--so excited! Thanks all, will try to post a trip report when back home.
LvL is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 6th, 2013, 10:23 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,728
Bought your vouchers for the JR Pass? I recommend the Rihga Royal hotel in Hiroshima. I also liked the Sheraton and prefer it over the Granvia for staying near the station.

Will your be using the JR ferry both ways when visiting Miyajima? I think it might be worth the extra cost to take the non-JR boat to Ujina. http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/rtg/pdf/pg-603.pdf

I didn't visit the castle in Hiroshima until my 4th visit but found it to be worthwhile when I did. It is a reconstruction, of course, but it will give you an intro to Japanese castles and I think you have enough time.

The day you leave Hiroshima you could stop along the way at Okayama to visit Korakuen garden and Okayama castle. They are next to each other and easy access from Okayama station. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5701.html

You can skip visiting Hiroshima castle if you make that stop in Okayama.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:05 PM.