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Need Great Japan Rail Stop Along Tokaido Line to Kyoto

Need Great Japan Rail Stop Along Tokaido Line to Kyoto

Jun 5th, 2019, 08:20 PM
  #1  
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Need Great Japan Rail Stop Along Tokaido Line to Kyoto

Our trip so far:
3 nights Onsen in Minakami (N of Tokyo)
5 nights Tokyo w day trips here & there
3 nights Onsen Near Mt Fuji

From there, we leave from Kawaguchiko Station to Kyoto, which is about 5 hours on the J R Tokaido Line

We are looking for a 1 night stopover... an interesting/scenic town where we could easily transfer from train to hotel/b&b

Any Recommendations?


** after this, we will be 5 nights in Kyoto and are thinking of going to Unazuki Onsen (about 2.5 hours from Kyoto by J R Train) to ride the scenic Kurobe Gorge Railway.... any thoughts on that appreciated as well!!

First timers in Japan.... any and all ideas welcome.
kawh is offline  
Jun 6th, 2019, 02:31 PM
  #2  
 
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Two obvious choices would be Kamakura/Enoshima, and Izu.
Adastra2200 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2019, 08:40 PM
  #3  
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Thanks. Preference? What do you love about your favorite?
kawh is offline  
Jun 8th, 2019, 04:56 PM
  #4  
 
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Well, I can't decide for you - it is all up to your interests. I can share some things that each place has though.
Kamakura & Enoshima have a lot more history and culture - Kamakura was the seat of power in Japan during the Kamakura Perriod (1185–1333) and there are some excellent temples/shrines there. It also has some superb places to enjoy the hydrangea there if you are going from late May to early July. There is also some good hiking through the hills between temples if you like. If going in summer, there are some good beaches there as well. Enoshima has a number of small places to see - a small botanical garden, some rocky coastal areas to walk through, caves, hot spring, aquarium, and what appeals to me most is that it is the most accessible of the dozen or so cat islands of Japan, with felines lounging around happy for a head rub or some cat snacks.

Izu has a lot of places over a bigger area and has a lot of high rocky cliff hikes, a low extinct volcano you can ride up by a ski lift, hot springs, old gold mine to walk through, a waterfall hike in the middle of the peninsula, marine park, etc. For history there is the spot of where the US landed to force Japan open after about 250 years of isolation, plus Asian art museum, etc.
It's up to you...you could enjoy yourself at both.
Adastra2200 is offline  
Jun 8th, 2019, 11:28 PM
  #5  
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  • Thanks much Adrasta2200. Super helpful. I had never heard of the cat island and am intrigued. Husband would never go (he's a birdwatcher and so does not love wild cats) but I might just have to sneak off for an afternoon.
I love a rocky cliffside... Am thinking maybe Atami (looked at a map and seems v easy to get to and maybe good base for area) for 1 night and Enoshima 1 night... one more than planned but could work well.

Thanks again. Always good to hear other travellers' specific likes and thoughts.
kawh
kawh is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 12:53 AM
  #6  
 
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Quick vocabulary tip: An "onsen" is a natural hot spring or a bath using natural hot spring water. "Onsen" can also refer to a resort with natural springs in the area. The onsen may or may not have sleeping facilities attached, but there will likely be hotels and ryokan nearby.
A "furo" is a bath, filled with natural hot spring water or heated tap water.
A "ryokan" is a traditional Japanese inn. It may - or may not- have an onsen on site, but will almost certainly have some sort of soaking baths.

When you say you're going to stay in an onsen, do you mean just some hotel in an onsen town, or in a ryokan in an onsen town?

The reason I ask is that, to me, 3 nights is really too long at any one ryokan, even though my DH and I are ryokan and onsen fanatics. You are paying a premium for the meals. They will be fantastic- but you will be stuffed at each breakfast and dinner. After the second day they may start repeating dishes, and by then we are usually ready for a place with different food, or no food so that we can sample other local meals.
lcuy is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 09:41 PM
  #7  
 
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I was going to suggest Atami/Atami Onsen as it is on the shinkansen line. Now that have read this I suggest you re-read what lcuy wrote about the first 3 nights on your itin.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Jun 12th, 2019, 03:23 PM
  #8  
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Thanks, Lcuy. I was being very loose with the word onsen... our first hotel is called "takarangawa Onsen Ousenkaku... so i just called it "onsen"... I did not know the term "furo" at all, so thanks.

We will think through your advice. Our thinking was that we are going directly from our flight to the hotel... and won't get there until 4pm or so. We know from previous trips that we will sleep away the afternoon/evening at least... so really will just have 2 full days before leaving... but will certainly ponder your thoughts. The second hotel at Mt Fuji has lots of hiking etc, so we are ok with that one. However, we have our choice about taking meals with the room and I think we will opt out based on your comments

Thanks again for any and all feedback.
kawh
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