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Japan Outside the Cities - Kamikochi/Kiso Valley?

Japan Outside the Cities - Kamikochi/Kiso Valley?

Mar 4th, 2019, 11:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 74
Japan Outside the Cities - Kamikochi/Kiso Valley?


I got some really good advice here on my time in Tokyo for my planned trip to Japan in Oct/Nov. I will have spent two weeks in Tokyo and surrounds and will have 13 days left. There is great information on japan-guide but I can't seem to work out if this itinerary works best. Between Kyoto and Tokyo, I will have spent a lot of time in cities so would like to see the countryside and smaller towns/villages. In particular, is Day 1 - Day 4 below the best way to get a taste of the countryside - or are we unnecessarily going out of our way?

I see a lot of people seem to visit Takayama and Kanazawa which we have not included. My friend is not keen on visiting them from what she has read (vs. Kiso/Kamikochi) but is open to correction! We are most interested in understanding Japanese culture - both in cities and rural. We enjoy walks/hikes, nice scenery, visiting small villages and towns but don't want to unnecessarily go way out of our way if we can experience something similar in a place that is easier to reach. (It will be early November).

Day 1: Tokyo - Matsumoto
Day 2: Matsumoto - Kamikochi
Day 3: Kamikochi - Nari (Kiso Valley) (spend day in Kamikochi so arrive to Nari late)
Day 4: Nari (hike Tori pass)
Day 5: Nari - Hiroshima/Miyajima
Day 6: Hiroshima/Miyajima
Day 7 - Day 10: Kyoto (day trip to Nara)
Day 11 - Day 12: Hakone
Day 13: Return to Tokyo/Narita for flight home.

Basically, does this itinerary make sense or are there any revisions or suggestions you would make? I would really appreciate any advice that you could give - previous Fodors advice has shaped some amazing trips in the past! Thank you!!
ems101 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2019, 05:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,150
If you don't already have your flights, consider flying into Tokyo and out of Osaka or vice versa to avoid backtracking.

If Japanese culture is a priority, you might want more time in Kyoto and Nara. IME, many people want a minimum of 6 days for a first visit to that area.
kja is offline  
Mar 4th, 2019, 10:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,573
I think this looks like a good itinerary. I was going to suggest more time in Tokyo, then saw that this will follow two weeks in Tokyo. Hopefully, you are planning some day trips during that time!
But looks like a nice trip, especially in the fall.
lcuy is offline  
Mar 5th, 2019, 07:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,663
I think you mean Narai, not Nari.

Have you worked out a plan for Kamikochi? That stop could be for a few hours or for a few nights. Same kind of question for Matsumoto. An option would be to go to Kamikochi on day 1 and stay 2 nights. On day 3, stop in Matsumoto to visit the castle on the way to Narai.
The bus from Kamikochi has reserved seats. Get them in advance.
mrwunrfl is offline  
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