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Help with figuring our 19-day Japan trip

Help with figuring our 19-day Japan trip

Old Jan 24th, 2016, 10:05 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 128
Help with figuring our 19-day Japan trip

My husband and I are taking our first trip to Japan April 7-25. Many thanks to all who have posted here and helped me put together an itinerary thus far. We are used to driving everywhere and the need to take public transportation has flummoxed me a bit. I imagine when you are actually traveling it is easier, but it makes the planning harder I think! I have questions posted in the itinerary as you look at it. Thanks for any advice. (We are active 60-year-olds, and we like a combination of culture and nature; I'm a little worried about overdoing the temple-viewing.)

JAPAN ITINERARY

April 7: Leave Miami

April 8-9-10: Arrive Tokyo. Stay: Intercontinental on ihg points

April 11: Go to Hakone by train, stay Hakone somewhere for 2 nights

April 12: Hakone

April 13: Go to Kanazawa; all day travel. An organized tour itinerary that I was consulting said you take the shinkansen from Odawara to Nagoya, then take a Limited Express train to Kanazawa. Does this sound like a good plan? I would like to stay in Hakone overnight, but I could just go on a day trip and then leave for Kanazawa from Tokyo. Stay Kanazawa for 3 nights, somewhere

April 14: Kanazawa

April 15: Kanazawa Here I was planning on renting a car and driving the Noto peninsula, as we love rural areas and seacoasts. Alternatively, or the day before, I could do the villages Shirakawa-go and Gokayama. AND: Should I try to take a day from somewhere else and go to Takayama for a day? Someone told me there's a festival in Takayama around this time, which could be good or bad!

April 16: Train to Kyoto. Not sure if you go back through Nagoya and change or if there are better ways. Stay Kyoto for five nights, somewhere.

April 17: Kyoto, explore

April 18: Kyoto, day trip to Nara and Fushimi

April 19: Kyoto, day trip Arahiyama

April 20: Kyoto

April 21: Is it possible to do a trip to Koyosan and a temple stay then go the next day to Hiroshima? Or is that too complicated? I could do one less day in Kyoto. Or is there somewhere else to be doing a temple stay and then skip Koyosan?

April 22: Travel somehow to Hiroshima; afternoon to explore; stay.

April 23: Go to and stay at Miyajima island

April 24: Take ferry and train back to Hiroshima. Or, I could do Miyajima as a day trip and then do an inland sea islands day trip on this day.

April 25: Leave from Hiroshima to Osaka Airport KIX
pthomas156 is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2016, 10:40 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 79
Ooosss(short for ohio gozaimasu)

Kyoto, you can not spend too much time there.

Our favorite hotel(Ryokan) was the the OLD Miyako, favorite room-Yuki(show). Do not stay in the new part but the original ryokan in the garden. These rooms have a hot tub and you can walk outside your door to a beautiful garden. Have dinner on the tatami in your room.

This is not the Myako hotel at the train station. It may be a Westin now?

The old Miyako is walking distance to many shrines in the adjacent hills and very close to the old center of the city. great resturants, do the noddle shops, walk the streets and a hudge castle is very close.

the bullet train can get you to Hiroshima and back to Osaka

jerry
georgecollins is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2016, 12:29 PM
  #3  
 
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Concerning your travel from Hakone to Kanazawa and then Kanazawa to Tokyo, there is no need to go via Nagoya. You can check hyperdia.com for schedules and prices.

From Odawara to Kanazawa you change in Tokyo and from Kanazawa to Kyoto there is a direct limited express train.

Also japan-guide.com gives travel information as well between various cities....in additional to a being great source of all Japan travel info....
Mara is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2016, 01:12 PM
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Sorry, typo...should be Kanazawa to Kyoto, not Tokyo....
Mara is offline  
Old Jan 24th, 2016, 01:39 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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One day is not much for Kanazawa, IMO, so you might want to stay there on Apr. 16. I would not try to do a day trip from Kanazawa to Takayama, because (a) It would take way too much time and (b) you would have far too little time in Takayama if you did that.

"Is it possible to do a trip to Koyosan and a temple stay then go the next day to Hiroshima? Or is that too complicated?"

It may be possible -- check the hyperdia link that Mara gave you -- but do remember to leave yourself time to visit Koyasan.

"Or, I could do Miyajima as a day trip"

Miyajima is, IME, particularly lovely after day-trippers leave.

Hope that helps!
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Old Jan 24th, 2016, 03:13 PM
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We did go from Koya-san to Miyajima for two nights, then spent a day in Hiroshima, ending it in Kyoto before flying out of Kansai the next day.

It was a long day but we were very glad we did it. Also that we went to Miyajima before Hiroshima. We spent two nights on the island in a lovely though expensive ryokan that was right on the edge of a very beautiful national park.

You will have a wonderful trip.
cmstraf is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2016, 05:44 AM
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Our favorite hotel(Ryokan) was the the OLD Miyako, favorite room-Yuki(((((show). type--SNOW))))
georgecollins is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2016, 11:32 AM
  #8  
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Thanks for your help. Cmstraf, maybe I will change around my coming and going to Miyajima. I really would like to spend a night in a temple, and the only place I can really figure out to do that is Koyasan. I fear that with all this public transportation, there are many ways I could go wrong!

Has anyone stayed out on the Noto Peninsula?
pthomas156 is offline  
Old Jan 25th, 2016, 11:47 AM
  #9  
kja
 
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FWIW, I was very glad I stayed on Miyajima AFTER visiting Hiroshima -- I found visiting the Peace Museum to be a very powerful emotional experience, and wanted a very quiet place to spend a contemplative evening afterwards. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here -- I think its a very personal thing.

The trains in Japan are VERY easy to use. For Koya-san in particular, consider taking advantage of Japan's excellent luggage-forwarding option so you only need to take an overnight bag with you. Luggage-forwarding is called takuhaibin; here's the info:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html
kja is offline  
Old Jan 26th, 2016, 07:24 PM
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I think kja has a good point. We also found Hiroshima Peace Park very moving (a feeling that came back to me very strongly when seeing the completed 911 memorial)--went back to our room in our hotel in Kyoto and rewalked the Philosopher's Path the next day.

Whichever way you do it---make space for some quiet time after your visit to the Peace Park and Museum.
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Old Jan 31st, 2016, 12:54 AM
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I've rented a car to drive up into the Noto Pensinsula for 2 nights for our upcoming trip, also in April. We'll be staying 4 nights in Kanazawa, then the 2 up in Noto, followed by 1 somewhere along Toyama Bay (if I can get this sorted, in order to see the firefly squid) and then continuing to Karuizawa for 2 nights. Looks like we'll be travelling same time as you so won't be able to feed back to you ... unless you're planning for 2017?

I echo the others in suggesting an overnight on Miyajima - it's a wonderful place to relax and it's something special to see the famous floating torii gate at different times of day, and different tide levels. Walking out onto the sand to the gate at low tide is a lovely experience. I can recommend Auberge Watanabe there, a small, traditional family-run ryokan with great location. I have had a few people who stayed there on my recommendation let me know they loved it too.

If you are travelling this year, given that it's also high season, you may have some trouble pinning down accommodations of your choice, unless you already have some of these booked?

For Takayama, we visited during Autumn festival on our first trip to Japan in 2012 and loved being there for that. It was crowded to an extent, but still nothing like Kyoto's Higashiyama and Gion districts were later in the same trip, and we didn't find the crowds unpleasant. They were at their densest when watching the parade of the floats during the evening; these had all their lanterns lit, some had young children sitting up on the top levels, and the men pushing them wore traditional costumes. The morning market was also extended with a street food section the morning after the float parade.
Kavey is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2016, 11:58 AM
  #12  
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Kavey, where are you staying in Noto and why? I have only gotten as far as knowing I want to drive around the peninsula! But I would have time to stay a night there.
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Old Feb 1st, 2016, 03:39 AM
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We are doing one night in Wajima and another night at Hyakurakuso. Then we'll either do a second night at Hyakurakuso or we'll head to Namerakawa for a night to see the firefly squid.
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Old Feb 1st, 2016, 04:03 AM
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This Tour package sounds attractive. Can I know average cost of this package.
gargikale2205 is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2016, 04:51 AM
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Are you really into temples and Japanese gardens? If so, then yeap, your Kyoto stay is of appropriate length. How about spending a day or two in the Fuji Five Lakes Area? Have you considered that already?
TheWorldIn80Days is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2016, 10:49 PM
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What package, Gargikale? These are independently pulled together and booked trips.
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