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Hagi or Tsuwano??

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Mar 14th, 2016, 07:28 PM
  #1
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Hagi or Tsuwano??

My Japanese friend (in Japan) suggested going to either Hagi or Tsuwano after Hiroshima on our way to Kyushu. We will have two nights for one of those towns (I don't want to do both - too much traveling). We will be there in early April and early in the week (so the SL Yamaguchi to Tsuwano won't be running). I like the smallness of Tsuwano but it seems Hagi has more of interest. I want to be in a country setting and stay in a traditional-style ryokan. Which place should we choose?? Does each town have enough to do for 1-1/2 days (allowing for travel time)? Recommendations, please! (Oh, and we will not have a car, so will be traveling by public transport and on foot.)
Thank you.
Bobbe is offline  
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Mar 15th, 2016, 04:29 AM
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I cannot speak to Tsuwano, but the main reason to visit Hagi is for its historical significance as a center of the Meiji restoration. There is an excellent shrine/museum to Shoin Yoshida that includes his school and two of Ito Hirobumi's houses. There are also well preserved historical sections in the town, and the Tokoji Temple is excellent. The place is also famous for its pottery but I am ignorant about that. There are a couple of tourist loop buses that take in all the main sights.

Furhter up the coast is the Izumo shrine and the town of Matsue. I'd put both in the top 10 of places in Japan. Travel along that coast is very pleasant and relaxing (single car trains).

If you are interested in Meiji-era history, then combine Hagi with a visit to Kagoshima when you are on Kyushu--that was the other seat of revolution.
someotherguy is online now  
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Mar 15th, 2016, 05:56 AM
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someotherguy-Could you tell me why you consider Matsue one of the top 10 places in Japan? I'm thinking of including it in a forthcoming trip, but since it is 2.5 hours from Okayama, and the Izumo Shrine is another hour beyond that, I'd have to have a good reason to include it.
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Mar 15th, 2016, 03:21 PM
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Shellyk, there's some description in these earlier threads:

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...o-kanazawa.cfm
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...s-in-japan.cfm

Basically, it has a bit of everything and is pleasant and uncrowded.
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Mar 15th, 2016, 11:01 PM
  #5
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Thanks for the replies. We've decided on Tsuwano because it is smaller and less city-fied than Hagi. We're looking at the stay there as a sort of laid-back R&R after 10 days with friends in Yokohama, Osaka, Hijemi and Hirsohima - and before we start the second half of the trip thru Kagoshima, Unzen/Obama, Nagasaki and Fukuoka.
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Mar 16th, 2016, 10:11 AM
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Good decision. Hagi would have been a good decision too. If Hagi is "city-fied" compared to Tsuwano then I am sure that I would enjoy visiting Tsuwano.

I liked Hagi because it was not Kyoto (nor was it Yokohama, Osaka, etc.). I could say that I fled Kyoto for Hagi and I was not disappointed. Had some nice random experiences there, saw a few sites, bought some Hagi-yaki pottery, and would have liked to spend a second night there but had to get on to Matsue, which I loved.
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