Day trip by car from Kyoto?

Aug 31st, 2014, 04:09 PM
  #1  
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Day trip by car from Kyoto?

Having experienced the joy of public transport in Japan, I'm happy to spend our entire trip using trains and buses. Husband, however, has got it into his head that he wants to drive in Japan. I have managed to talk him out of driving for the whole time we are there, but he has now said he'd like to do a day trip by car somewhere. As we'll have our longest stay in Kyoto, I think it makes most sense to do it from there.

I'm off to do various searches, but has anyone got any ideas of where might be a good day trip from Kyoto by car? Preferably not too long a drive - 1 - 2 hours max is probably the best, as we'll have a 3 yo and a 7yo with us. If it is somewhere relatively inaccessible by public transport that would be good too (or else I'd be tempted to just get the train and leave them to it!)

I'm guessing/hoping you can rent child car seats when you hire a car in Japan? (I'll be looking into it anyway - as it's a complete deal breaker if you can't)

Thanks!
jviola is offline  
Sep 1st, 2014, 06:07 AM
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Personally, I would recommend the following day trips: Kobe, Osaka and Nara. Yes, from what I know, you can also rent the child seats when renting the car. You will have to pay an extra fee for them, of course.
LucyStanmore is offline  
Sep 1st, 2014, 06:30 AM
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All of those destinations are easily accessible by train from Kyoto.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 1st, 2014, 12:31 PM
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If you're going to go by car, go somewhere hard to reach.

Kobe, Osaka and Nara are all easy to reach by train and for the first two it's faster by train than by car.

But honestly, try to get the hubby to smarten up. Japan's gas prices are nearly Norwegian ($9/gallon area), the signs are in Japanese, the motorways have high tolls, driving is on the wrong side of the road, the car seats are extra, and you can set your watch by the shinkansen, not by the traffic.

And the hobbits would prefer the bullet trains too.
BigRuss is offline  
Sep 1st, 2014, 02:18 PM
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I think if we do drive, it'll definitely be to somewhere hard to reach otherwise. Seems pointless to drive somewhere that a train can get you faster.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, because it's part of the reason we met) husband likes to "experience" things. So all the things that would make you want to avoid driving, are the reasons he wants to do it... different road systems, strange signage etc etc. At least we drive on the same side of the road in NZ as they do in Japan though, so that won't be a factor.

Honestly, his original plan was to drive for the whole 10 days we're there - getting him down to a one day excursion is miraculous.

Maybe if I price car rental for a day, the amounts might put him off....
jviola is offline  
Sep 1st, 2014, 02:31 PM
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Ok so the wrong side of the road point doesn't matter.

Maybe tell him there are fewer sheep to see (sorry, reflexive Kiwi joke).

Pricing the car rental may shock the stuffing out of him. And remember, if you have a JR pass, that rental fee is completely avoidable . . .
BigRuss is offline  
Sep 1st, 2014, 02:51 PM
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Miho Museuem is a pleasant ride through the countryside of Shiga.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7027.html

Ceramic town of Shigaraki is on the way, Tanuki statue center of Japan. Some interesting ceramic attractions.
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/r...shigaraki.html

Hikone Castle also in Shiga, could be a destination on a long day trip loop.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7001.html

I admire your husband's adventurousness

Have fun
kalihiwai2 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2014, 04:52 PM
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I had serious art ecstasy in the Miho museum--the interplay between art, architecture and the beauty of surrounding hills is amazing! It was among the top three museum experiences of my life. Do that and you won't be sorry.
cmstraf is offline  
Sep 1st, 2014, 07:54 PM
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Although I missed the Miho Museum during my trip (to my great regret!), I believe it can be visited by public transportation from Kyoto:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7027.html
kja is offline  
Sep 6th, 2014, 08:00 AM
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When I was planning both first and second trip, we planned to arrange an adhoc car rental and visit Miho Museum. On the first trip, I lost a couple of days to illness and on the second trip, we just had too much else on itinerary and still didn't do it. So it's on list for 3rd trip. Even more so when posters here have reported how much they enjoyed it.
Kavey is offline  
Sep 6th, 2014, 08:34 AM
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You can either rent a car, be drive, or take public transportation. We had an u knowledgable taxi driver on the there, took public trans on the way back. Both ok...just try your best to get there somewhere. This museum by the way is not a big crowd buster. Part of its beauty lies in how each room is carefully filled with just a few chosen things. It does not overstimulate I. The Stendhal sense. It's Egypt room did make it so for the first time I longed to go to Egypt.
cmstraf is offline  
Sep 6th, 2014, 10:04 AM
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jviola, I suggest having the drive-day experience at a different point in your itinerary that is not a big city like Kyoto (if your itin includes one).

I have not rented a car in Japan. If I do, it would be in a place like Takayama where public transport is limited. Would be much easier to visit from there to Shirakawago, Gokayama, etc by car than by bus.

When I visited NZ it made sense to rent a car in Taupo, but using one in Auckland or Wellington might have been more of a PITA experience.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Sep 8th, 2014, 07:20 PM
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PITA?
cmstraf is offline  
Sep 9th, 2014, 08:41 AM
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PITA=pain
mrwunrfl is online now  
Sep 9th, 2014, 10:20 AM
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I'm not sure where else you are going in Japan but just last week my husband and I had a wonderful time on the Izu peninsula. We were lucky enough to be driven around by our friends who live in Japan. We drove from Yokohama to Hakone and then to their home in Ito. It was a beautiful drive through the countryside. The coastal area around Ito reminded us of the Mediterranean or some of the California coast. The traffic was not bad at all around Yokohama as we were leaving town on a weekday morning. Ito is a lovely town and our hostess said there are many hot springs hotels in the area.
SeeHag is offline  
Sep 9th, 2014, 05:03 PM
  #16  
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We've only got 10 days in Japan, so I can't see any other option for driving other than from Kyoto.

We fly into Narita, overnight there, then 4 nights Kyoto, 2 nights Hiroshima and 3 nights Tokyo. So Kyoto seemed like the best/only option.

It may be that it just makes it too expensive to do it at all anyway.

(But I've taken note of that fabulous museum - I think it will go on our short list of day trip options, no matter how we get there!)

Thanks!
jviola is offline  
Sep 10th, 2014, 10:56 PM
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Perhaps check out the Takeda Castle ruins (about a 3-3.5hr drive from Kyoto per google maps): http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2...-machu-picchu/ / http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction...ure_Kinki.html

I meant to get out there during my 3 week trip but ran out of time. Looks like a nice little hike and a cool view for something different from the temples and shrines of Kyoto.
musicdiver is offline  
Sep 10th, 2014, 10:59 PM
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ah, just realized you have a 3 year old with you (glossed over that and just saw 7 year old. Might be a bit too adventurous, though I know a lot of people who pack toddlers with them on local hikes here. Depends on what sort of family you are. ) Meets the adventurous/small town/out of the way requirement but perhaps not as family friendly.
musicdiver is offline  
Sep 11th, 2014, 03:35 PM
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We're most definitely not hikers! Or rather, DH and I were, once upon a time, and I love walking. But 3yo is small for her age and not a great walker, so we've put off anything hiking related for another few years.

Plus it will be January, and might be a bit chilly for hiking.

It looks stunning though. I'll put it on the list for "next time".
jviola is offline  
Sep 11th, 2014, 06:15 PM
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I didn't take in children either--museum probably not the best plan....
cmstraf is offline  

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