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Help with itinerary for 13 D, 14 nights visit to Japan

Help with itinerary for 13 D, 14 nights visit to Japan

Old Jan 21st, 2019, 10:18 AM
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Help with itinerary for 13 D, 14 nights visit to Japan

Sorry for posting this again as I did not tag my previous posting properly.

We are a couple in our 60’s planning a second trip to Japan from late Feb to early March . We had spent a week in Tokyo and Kyoto on a previous visit.

Our interests: Culture, food and art.

Our limitations: Unable to do too many stairs



We fly into Osaka late evening and have a tentative itinerary:



Feb 25 : arrive Osaka late evening

Feb 26 : Osaka Castle and Museum of Oriental Ceramics in the morning ( Should we do the Municipal Museum of Fine Art instead?)

How to book a Bunraku performance?

Dotombori in the evening.

Feb 27: Day trip to Mount Koya

( are there a lot of stairs and steep slopes?)

Feb 28: Travel to Okayama and visit Himeji in the morning

Mar 1 : Okayama and Kurashiki

Mar 2: Daytrip to Naoshima

Will we be able to get the bus to Miyanoura Port and ferry back to Uno Port in time to take the to train to Hiroshima, if we stay for the James Turrell’s “ Open Sky” night program which ends at 1850 hours?

Mar 3: Hiroshima

Mar 4: Miyajima

Mar 5: Travel to Kanazawa

Mar 6: Kanazawa

Mar 7: Shirakawago and Takayama

Mar 8: Kyoto to watch the Hanatoro festival ( is it worth watching)

Mar 9: Travel to Nara late afternoon

Mar 10: Nara

Mar 11: To Kansai KIX



Questions:

1. Is this too ambitious? I am not sure whether the trip to Kanazawa/ Takayama/ Shirakawago will be too rushed to enjoy or should I omit Kyoto and travel straight from Kanazawa or Takayama to Nara? What makes more sense: to travel to Kanazawa or to Takayama first from Hiroshima if I do the Kanazawa/ Shirakawago/ Takayama loop?



2. What is the best train ticket to buy? A 14 day Japan rail pass or combination of Koyasan World heritage pass/ Kansai Thru Pass and Nozomi shinkansen to travel the intercity long distances?



3. Will I be able to stow cabin size luggage in all the train stations on my above itinerary?



4. We do not like very cold weather. We are aware that temperatures are 0-10 degrees Celsius during our visit but wonder if Takayama/ Shirokogawa would be too snowy and slippery during that time of year





Thank you all so much for your help
CahayaMalaysia is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2019, 11:05 AM
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People differ in their preferred pace, but this trip would be too ambitious for me. Some comments:

IMO, Koyasan does not make sense as a day trip. For one thing, getting there takes a very long time; to go and leave in the same day would leave too little time to see even a few of its treasures. More importantly, the things that make it most special – staying a night in a temple there, dining on temple cuisine, exploring Okuno-in at dawn or dusk (or both) really require an overnight stay. IIRC, once you reach Koyasan, most of the temples and shrines are in a relatively flat area.

Visiting Himeji-jo involves a LOT of stairs, including many steep ones.

Are you sure you can see what you want of Kanazawa and Takayama with your plan? IMO, visiting Kanazawa, Shirakawago, and Takayama is best if with a at least 5 nights. YMMV.

For information on luggage storage, see:
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2274.html
(scroll down to "luggage storage").
Also consider luggage forwarding (scroll down to "luggage delivery").

Hope that helps!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 09:26 AM
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Thank you KJA!

I was worried about an overnight stay at the temples at Koyasan because I don't know whether they have only Japanese style toilets, which require squatting. Sleeping on tatami mats on the floor might be a challenge for my knees as well. Do you know whether they have rooms with western style beds and toilets?

Have you been to Okayama and Kurashiki? Should I forgo them in favour of Kanazawa, Shirakawago and Takayama?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 07:39 PM
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I got a bunraku ticket at the theater on the day. There is a short program which is what you want unless you are a bunraku fan.

1. Yes, it is too ambitious, even for me. There are lots of ways to fix your itin, like just changing March 7 to be Kanazawa. And after you do that you could skip Kanazawa too.

Your itinerary is in what I call the "pins in a map" stage. I can't really help narrow it down without knowing your interests and "culture, food, and art" doesn't do it. We know what probably interests you in some places but not which are more or less important to you.

2. You need to fix your itinerary before this question can be answered.

3. Probably.

4. Shirakawago - you can be pretty much certain that there will be snow and/or slush. You will need snow boots. They measure snow by the foot there. The part of the town across the river, the open-air museum, will probably be closed. And you would need to have somebody drive you up to the lookout above the town.

Actually, as I write this, I am thinking about January conditions, not early March. I think there is maybe something useful in this post, so I will post it. No time to fix it.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 07:51 PM
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Temples on Koyasan differ in their amenities; some are quite luxurious. Do some research with japaneseguesthouses.com

I have been to Okayama and Kurashiki and enjoyed them very much. They are quite different from Kanazawa and Takayama. Only you can decide which to visit. FWIW, 2 nights would probably work for Okayama and Kurashiki; as already noted, I thought Kanazawa / Takayama best with at least 5 nights.

I think you would do well to spend some substantial time with japan-guide.com.

Good luck!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CahayaMalaysia
Mar 2: Daytrip to Naoshima

Will we be able to get the bus to Miyanoura Port and ferry back to Uno Port in time to take the to train to Hiroshima, if we stay for the James Turrell’s “ Open Sky” night program which ends at 1850 hours?
There are no buses (directly) from the Chichu Art Museum to Miyanoura Port. There is a town bus that goes east from Miyanoura across the island to Honmura and then south from there to Tsutsuji-so where it 'connects' with the Benesse House shuttle, the last stop for which is Chichu. You could theoretically then take it in the reverse direction to get back to Miyanoura. However, I think you'll find the buses have stopped running by that time ... in which case the only way to get back to Miyanoura may be a 30+ minute walk. This link provides information on getting around on Naoshima. The best you may be able to do is the 18.10 Benesse shuttle from Chichu to Tsutsuji-so (arriving 18.17) and then the 18.39 town bus to Miyanoura, arriving at 18.51. The ferry is at 19.02.
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Old Jan 30th, 2019, 08:07 AM
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Thank you very much for your help, everyone
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