Help with Japan Itinerary

Old Jul 15th, 2006, 05:38 PM
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Help with Japan Itinerary

I would appreciate any feedback or suggestions on the following itinerary -

Tokyo - 4 nights
Takayama - 2 nights
Kyoto - 4 nights
Koya-san - 1 night
Hiroshima/Miyajima - 2 nights
Tsuwano -2 nights

Is 4 nights enough in Kyoto?!? Any other thoughts on how Ive alloted time would be great.
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Old Jul 15th, 2006, 08:37 PM
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You could take one night from Takayama and add it to Kyoto if you wanted. What's in Tsuwano?
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Old Jul 15th, 2006, 08:40 PM
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You'll get to see a lot of Kyoto in 4 days, but you won't necessarily be done with it in that time. I think it is enough, others disagree.

I don't know much about Tsuwano but suspect that one night there might be enough. You could also visit Hiroshima and Miyajima on an overnight trip. But three nights for Hiroshima, Miyajima, Tsuwano might work out well.

Are you going to take the steam engine train to Tsuwano?

I suppose you are visiting those places in that order. What are you going to do after Tsuwano?
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Old Jul 15th, 2006, 08:42 PM
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I agree with Kim about Takayama, too. If you left Tokyo early you could be in Takayama around noon. Leave the next day in late afternoon, early evening, for Kyoto.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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I had added two nights to Takayama because I was thinking of taking the second day to bus over to Kamikochi and those areas in the Alps. Is that not the best idea?

Also, with respect to Tsuwano, I had read it was very quaint and relaxing - does anyone disagree or know differently?
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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That's a fine idea. Another idea would be to visit Shirakawago from Takayama.

You could just go to Kamikochi directly from Tokyo. There is a limited express train from Shinjuku to Matsumoto where you can get a bus to Kamikochi. The trip from Tokyo to Matsumoto is about 3 hours by rail. Then another 1.5 hours or so by bus to Kamikochi.

The 7AM train from Shinjuku to Matsumoto arrives at 9:38, so you could be in Kamikochi before noon. Or a couple of hours after that if you took the time in Matsumoto to visit the excellent castle there.

There are places to stay in Kamikochi and/or at Hirayu Onsen to the west, closer to Takayama.

If you go via Kamikochi to Takayama then get your bus ticket from K to T in Matsumoto or on arrival in Kamikochi.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 11:42 AM
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I think Tsuwano would be nice. It is off the beaten path which is a v. good thing.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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How about this:

Tokyo, 4 nights
Kamikochi area, 1 night
Takayama, 1 night
Kyoto, 4 nights
Koyasan, 1 nights
Miyajima, 2 nights (day trip into Hiroshima)
Tsuwano, 2 nights for relaxing end of trip stay.

My concern is that Tsuwano will be a little too small for two nights but I want somewhere relaxing and neat at the end of the trip. Thoughts?

Any suggestions on places to stay in or near Kamikochi?
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 12:25 PM
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Also, would Hagi be a better choice than Tsuwano for any reason?
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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ok, but two nights on Miyajima is not necessary. it will be dead after 7PM, if not sooner.

Tsuwano is a bit easier to get to than Hagi. Hagi would be a better choice if you were interested in Hagi pottery.

What are you going to do after Tsuwano? Visiting Izumo Taisha and stopping in Matsue would be logical.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 12:42 AM
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Ok, another revision

Tokyo, 4 nights
Takayama/Kamikochi, 2 nights
Kyoto, 5 nights
Miyajima/Hiroshima, 2 nights
Kagoshima/Ibusuki, 3 nights.

ThOUGHTS?
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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I think that would be a fun itinerary, esp. if you were flying back from Kagoshima.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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The best way from Ibusuki to Kagoshima airport would be by bus. This would work out well as it looks like your 14-day JR Pass will run out in Ibusuki.
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 10:26 PM
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Thanks - I got rid of Koyasan but I think that is ok with the fact that I am going to Takayama etc and also staying in many nice ryokans, right?
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 11:35 PM
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Also, for Kagoshima, should I just stay at a place in Kagoshima and go down to Ibusuki or break the nights up between different hotels in each location?
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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It would be good to stay overnight in Ibusuki. It is less than two hours from Kagoshima by train, so it could be visited in a day trip.
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 04:47 PM
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My wife and I just returned from Japan and did almost exactly your itinerary.

we did 3 nights in Tokyo in the front and and two at the end (one was used for a day trip to NIKKO).
We spend two nights in Takayama which I actually thought was one day too little. i would have loved to spend an extra day exploring the countryside.
We then used Kyoto as our home base for four days. We hired Mr. Doi the taxi/guide that many have used and he took us on a full day tour of the major Kyoto sites. he was expensive but traveling with him was so efficient and he explained things so well we would have never experienced as much by ourselves.

We also went to NARA while in Kyoto.
We than went to Hiroshima for two nights and used one of those days for a 3/4 day trip to Miyajima. It is so easy to get to Miyajima and it really is only worth a few hours unless you plan to hike the island.

Then we went back to Tokyo (NIKKO)to catch the plane home.

Japan Rail makes it so easy for you to move around and change plans. Major trains run all the time so you can adjust your scheule almost at will.

have fun...KSC
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 08:53 PM
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How do I contact Mr. Doi and other details on him? Rates?
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 09:46 PM
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I did a google search and got this:
http://www3.ocn.ne.jp/~doitaxi/profile/index.html
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 09:47 PM
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The whole link isn't blue, so you can't click it. Be sure you copy the entire link or it won't work.
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