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About to Book Please Comment on Itinerary

About to Book Please Comment on Itinerary

Old Oct 10th, 2009, 06:39 AM
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 44
About to Book Please Comment on Itinerary

We arrive in Osaka on March 23 and depart Tokyo on April 15, giving us 22 full days to make the most of our first visit. I have come up with the following itinerary and would welcome your comments. I am interested in all comments but particularly where I have ? marks.

We arrive in Osaka late afternoon and overnight with friends of a friend.

We then have:
Osaka 2 nights Sumo Tournament,
Miajima 2 nights Hiroshima Peace Park and Island
Matsuyama 2 nights ?
Kotohira 2 nights ?
Kyoto 4 nights Including Miayako Odori Day trip to Nara
Yudank Onsen 2 nights Jigodudani Park (snow monkeys) (must do)
Tsumago 2 nights short hike Tsumago to Magome
Matsumoto 2 nights ?
Fujiyuoshida 2 nights Itchiku Kubuto Art Museum (must do)
Tokyo 2 nights Fish Market

We like to hike and are looking for a scenic walk or two (or more)
Also very keen photographers
Temples, cultural events, festivals
and of course lots and lots of Sakura.
Any suggestions of where to stay, Western and Japanese style
Accommodation budget $200 per day with splurges to $400! Ouch
Most travel will be with a 21 day JR pass.
Thanks for the help. Sue
Sukie is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2009, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 392
Palaceside Hotel was a great budget choice in Kyoto. Splurge on a ryokan in Miyajima.
puttakka is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2009, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 53
I was in Japan two years ago and many, many years ago. The highlight of both trips was the Peace Museum in Hiroshima (taken on the first trip). At the time, in my twenties, I stayed at the International Hostel, and the stay there was as memorable as the museum: a movie about the history and effects of the bomb is held every night; breakfast was Japanese style; and the hostel was beautiful with a spectacular view. I am still a hostel member, and recommend them highly. My son also was in Japan twice, the second time with a friend. He stayed at the hostel in Osaka and told me that the hostel was the memorable part of that second trip.
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Old Oct 10th, 2009, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Matsuyama 2 nights ?
If you wanted to make it 1 night, you could. Your travel getting there and leaving there to Kotohira are not long duration. Take the hydrofoil to get there. Definitely visit Dogo Onsen and the castle. I recommend Hotel Patio Dogo in Matsuyama.

Kotohira 2 nights ?
I don't know about this. It won't be a long trip getting there.

Matsumoto 2 nights ?
Not really necessary. But you could. You might look into visiting Kamikochi

That is a great trip. You have a good variety of places to visit (not just a Tokyo/Kyoto trip) with not a lot of travel time between stops.

I think that Yudanaka would come after Matsumoto. I think it is in Nagano prefecture north of Matsumoto. So: Kyoto- Kiso Valley- Matsumoto- Yudanaka-
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2009, 11:25 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2
Hi I lived in Japan for 6 years so here are my best recommendations and well worth seeing.

With it being Sakura (Cherry blossom season) it depends when they start and finish and where. Tokyo normally has them the end of March to first few days in April if it rains most of them will fall off. Esp that season can sometimes be start of rainy season even though most places dont say so.

The snow monkeys is def a must do.

Kyoto - Such a wonderful great city. Miyako im not sure where you mean are you talking about the port town ?

You can do Miyajima and Hiroshima in one day or overnight very easy from Kyoto I would recommend doing that and adding an extra night to Tokyo.

Tokyo 2 nights is def not enough you might want to think about doing and overnight on the JR Rail pass that way you dont pay for a hotel and can arrive early morning to the town and leave again.

Tokyo sights must see:

The train lines are very involved and you def want a plan on how to acess and move around so not to be spending you time all day on the train.

Asakusa - Temple, shopping street (Nakamise Dori) and Kappashi Dori.
From there go to the Asahi Brewery right by there is a place called the Kamiya Beer Restaurant very good food and drink enjoy and catch the water taxi to Odaiba the man made island that is very futuristic Japan or you can do this other way nearby Odaiba is the Hama riku gardens very peacful.

For hiking I would recommend going to spend a night out of Tokyo in Hakone many onsens and nature walks a def must do.

For a great cheap traditional onsen its way off the path not many people but truely you will have this place to yourself. Very clean and nice staff its a short bus ride from Hakone station.


Its a little way from station and a small town area but its really cheap at times of the year.

682 Yumoto Hakone-machi | Ashigara-Shimogun Kanagawa, Hakone 250-0311, Japan
Hakone, Japan


Hours: Check in 3.00pm and Check out 10.00am.
Directions: 5 min. by taxi from Hakone-Yumoto Station. Cost around 1500 yen. 12 - 15 min. walking but the road is very narrow in parts and hard if you have a lot of luaggage. I wouldn't recommend walking.

I really have so much information I would love to share with you im just new to this forum so im not sure if we can send a direct message to each other but if there is anything you would like to know please feel free to check out my own personal page about Japan.

AussielivedinJapan is offline  
Old Oct 11th, 2009, 12:13 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 993
We absolutely loved doing the hike between Tsumago and Magome. Our time staying there was one of the highlights of our trip. We stayed at Shimosagaya in Tsumago. It is very traditional. (Booked through Japanese Guesthouse Reservations)

As you are into hiking, I would second the idea of dropping one night off Matsumoto and spending a night at Kamikochi instead. We were quite happy with just one day in Matsumoto but really wished we had time to spend at Kamikochi. It looked fabulous as we passed by.

Do you know that you can take a fast ferry from Miyajima/Hiroshima to Matsuyama through the Inland Sea. If you have a JR Pass, it would be free by train but a long trip and may well be worth spending the money for the ferry trip. There is also a cheaper slower ferry as well.
shandy is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2009, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 45
unfortunately, kamikochi would be closed until late april because of the heavy snow. instead, you can explore picturesque Azumino, northern suburb of Matsumoto. set against the backdrop of magnificent alpine vistas, this patoral area is known for crystal-clear springs/streams from Japan Apls and beautiful wasabi farm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:-D...bi_farm02c.jpg Azumino area is also dotted with charming art galleries, museums and cafes. cherry blossom against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains would be also nice.
http://pds.exblog.jp/pds/1/200807/08...7_17112963.jpg (view from someone's house in azumino)
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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 07:26 AM
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Posts: 44
Thank you for all your helpful responses. I am working through the suggestions. How did we manage before the Internet? Sue
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