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An extra day or two--suggestions? (Kanto, Chubu, Kinki or Chugoku)

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Aug 22nd, 2014, 10:11 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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An extra day or two--suggestions? (Kanto, Chubu, Kinki or Chugoku)

First off just wanted to say this forum has been super-helpful with planning my trip Appreciate everyone's input!

I have managed to free a day or two by tweaking my rail itinerary to make sure that I don't backtrack on a route. So now I'm trying to figure out what the best way to spend these extra days would be--I've decided that I should use one of those to add an extra day to Kyoto (from three days to four). With the other extra day, my options are:

1) Between Nikko and Matsumoto (a long train ride that would happen in the evening, which I don't really mind), to overnight in Nagano. Maybe see the snow monkeys (I heard there'a a bit of a hike?). Zenko-ji and its environs look nice too.

2) Between Matsumoto and Takayama, to overnight in Kimikochi, but again only if there are options for nice half-day to day hikes in the area? (Taking the bus to Takayama in the evening will take about an hour, so I pretty much will have a full day in Kimikochi).

3) Between Koyasan and Hiroshima (a full-on 5 hour train ride, which inevitably will happen during the day, which I plan to break up with a quick few hours stop to see Himeji Castle), to overnight in either Kobe or Himeji. Neither are particularly attractive insofar as my research goes (there's only Himeji Castle that I'd like to see, which can easily be done in transit), but perhaps I've missed something?

4) Spend an extra day in Hiroshima to do a day trip to one destination in the Takamatsu region. Not even sure if this is possible without backtracking through Fukuyama.

5) Spend an extra day in the Kyushu region. I'll be based in Nagasaki, and leaving the country via Fukuoka. Any suggestions as to another place to visit in Kyushu?

Am open to taking the extra day off Kyoto so I can use the two for more time in a different place. In a previous thread, I mentioned that my interests are mainly temple-y things for this trip, but I think I've got my itinerary pretty saturated with castles and temples and shrines as it is. A hike or two, or a nature-y/contemporary culture destination would be nice. (Still very open to temples, though, especially in a different setting to the ones you see in Kyoto!)
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Aug 22nd, 2014, 11:22 PM
  #2
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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It is REALLY hard to say what to add when we don't know what you plan to visit or for how long. Please post your current itinerary!

Some brief comments, though -- IMO, 4 days is a bare minimum for Kyoto. I spent 6 days in Kyoto / Nara and did NOT see everything I wanted to see. And of course visiting temples and shrines in Kyoto and Nara is largely about visiting their gardens, so I'm not sure why you think you may be short on nature....

Are you spending the night in Nikko? Well worth it so you can see Lake Chuzenji and Kegon-no-Taki -- and thus fitting in some different "nature-y" things.

Takayama really needs a minimum of 2 days.

Will Himeji-jo be open again when you are there?

Miyajima is well worth seeing -- and a great place for an overnight stay -- in the Hiroshima area. Another great place for nature.

Seriously, we really need to know what you are planning at this point to provide intelligent suggestions.
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Aug 24th, 2014, 10:58 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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1) good option
2) good option
3) nix, just go on to Hiroshima for the night (tho I do recall one fodorite who enjoyed staying in Himeji)
4) this is confused
5) good option, depends on the rest of your itinerary. My first thought on this is Shimabara peninsula (Unzen for example). Or Saga might be my choice. Or both! I have not been to either place but would definitely consider taking that day away from Kyoto (assuming you mean you would then have four nights, three full days in Kyoto)
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Aug 24th, 2014, 11:27 AM
  #4
 
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Bus from Matsumoto to Takayama is 2 hr 20 min (not 1 hour).

Going via Kamikochi would take longer: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6040.html

90 minutes to get from M to Kamikochi. Then another 90 min from K to T. Plus some time for the bus connection at Hirayu Onsen. So really 3 hours.
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Aug 24th, 2014, 11:28 AM
  #5
 
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Nohi Bus timetable for Matsumoto <-> Takayama: http://www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/matsumoto.html
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