Japan trip #5..where have we missed?

Old Mar 14th, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Japan trip #5..where have we missed?

We're flying Bris.-Singapore- Fukuoka end April , so I guess this dictates where we will go this 3 week visit. On other visits we've ferried, driven,trained,bussed and flew most of Japan top to almost bottom, mainly at backpacker level though we're mid 60's. So Toyoko Inns , food basements after 5pm and trains a little slower are our chosen style.....
I can see us travelling more of Kyushu and the Western Honshu this time , ending in Osaka. Uh oh, didn't factor in Golden Week and hotel bookings are looking grim now....like only 2 single rooms bookable in all Matsue area on May 3-5.
I'd like to ask about less- visited destinations in Kyushu and Western Honshu. It seems the San-in Coast is looking promising even though we've been to Matsue last time, it's fairly quiet and unspoiled. We like temples,art,spectacular scenery (but not hikes or bikes) small interesting towns,food etc. and some city time too. Can rent cars or fly where beneficial but trains and busses are fine....
Any advice and secret places appreciated....
Tom and Kathy
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Old Mar 14th, 2012, 06:33 PM
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You obviously know the standard sights, so here are some other ideas, starting from southern Kyushu (there are also the nearby islands, which I don't know much about):

The moai at Sun Messe

Satsuma and Meiji history in Kagoshima (and a Jomon site)
There are several other Jomon sites in Kyushu

On the way through Honshu to San-in coast: Iwakuni bridge and castle

Along the San-in coast:

Hagi (Meiji history, the Choshu Five, Yoshida Shoin)

Izumo Taisha.

Lots of good stuff, as you know, in Matsue, but don't overlook Gesshoji

The castle and temples in Bitchutakahashi from there on the way to Okayama

Oyamazumi shrine on the way from Okayama to Shikoku (has the majority of all the NT armor in Japan)

Then all the sights of Shikoku

Or all the good things around Nara (e.g., the eastern temples), and

Yoshinoyama (number one sakura spot)

Iga-ueno (Basho birthplace, ninja, castle)

Ise shrines and Meoto Iwa

Google and www.Japan-Guide.com know all these spots.
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Old Mar 14th, 2012, 07:20 PM
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Thanks sog some useful pointers there. Bitchu was a great discovery last time and I wouldn't mind going back....
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Old Mar 14th, 2012, 08:19 PM
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Hagi is an interesting small town. Izumo Taisha is pretty amazing. You could go down to Ibusuki and cook your bodies in the beach. Takachiho is scenic and the gorge is an easy walk.
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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 06:53 AM
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Izumo Taisha is under major renovations till next year IIRC.

Driving around Kyushu opens up the whole island. Start from Kumamoto and drive through Asosan and Kurukawa Onsen down through Beppu. Spectacular mountain scenery along the way and stops at Asosan and environs could fill a couple of days. Lots of onsen towns and ryokan to spend the night at along this route.

Stop by Usuki on your way and pay a visit to the stone Buddhas. Keep driving the coastal hwy and stop at Takachiho where the hike is an easy one on a paved path and the sights are spectacular on your way to overnight in Miyazaki. Make you way through the jungle environs of Kirishimasan on your way to Kagoshima which is worth two night in itself or three if you want to overnight at the Furusato Kanko on Sakurajima.


Then take the Sakura shinkansen north out of Kagoshima and continue your journey towards Osaka. Lucky you to be going to Japan at this time of year.

PS If you like pork try the tonkotso(black pork) in Kyushu.....amazing.

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Old Mar 15th, 2012, 08:42 AM
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