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Need ideas: Himeji? Osaka? Fukuchiyama area? Kinosaki


Aug 17th, 2017, 05:06 PM
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Need ideas: Himeji? Osaka? Fukuchiyama area? Kinosaki

I rather impulsively booked a four day trip to Japan using the new Air Asia flights from Hawaii to Osaka.
We arrive at Kansai (KIX) at 8:30 pm on 9/23. I have nothing booked for the 23rd or 24th, but have reservations in Kinosaki for the 25th and 26th, then we'll take a train back on the 28th and fly out of KIX at doubt 11:30 that night.

We've been to Japan many times, but for some reason, I just can't get focused on the planning for this trip. I've always wanted to see Kinosaki, but I probably should have done it on another trip, as it involves 3 hours of travel, when I really wanted just a short, relaxing four days!

I did get a super price on what seems to be a great Ryokan, so don't want to cancel that portion.

So, what to do for the first two nights and 1.5 days? Trains routes to Kinosaki seem equally good from Osaka, Himeji, and Kyoto. Have been to Kyoto many times, and visited Himeji Castle decades ago,

My first thought was to sleep in Osaka the first night, then possibly stay in Himeji the next night and go to Kinosaki mid-day on the 25th.

Another idea was is to travel further on arrival night or the next morning. Instead of Himeji, going closer to Kinosaki spending 2 half days in that town, breaking up the trip to Kinosaki on the 25th.

So does anyone have any ideas of great little towns in that area of Hyogo/Kyoto prefectures? or anything you loved from Osaka to Himeji or even Near Kyoto? We like museums (especially odd ones), riding bikes (if it isn't raining) , eating, gardens, taking cable cars up mountains, or just wandering interesting neighborhoods.

We'll probably have several hours the last day (a Wednesday) after we arrive in Osaka before heading to the airport. We'd go to Spa world again, but since sexes are segregated, not as much fun with my husband!
Never warmed up to the city in the past, but so would love to get your fave Osaka neighborhood or restaurant tips!

Thanks, Lucy
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Aug 17th, 2017, 05:19 PM
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PS. I should have mentioned that this trip is next month!
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Aug 17th, 2017, 05:54 PM
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When I went to Kinosaki from Kyoto I stopped at Amanohashidate first....one of the three best views in Japan...have you been there? Good for a few hours - there's a cable car up to the famous park where you look at the view between your legs...lol...and then you can walk across the sand bar...

The only issue is the very few trains between Amanohashidate and Kinosaki....
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Aug 17th, 2017, 06:24 PM
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I was going to suggest Amanohashidate as well. You could pair it with going to see Miyama about 30km north of Kyoto City.

Himeji Castle is the best in Japan and well worth seeing. The Kokoen Garden next door is good as well, and if you want to make a full day of it, you could also go up to Mt Shosha to see the Engyoji Temple.

Another idea is since you mentioned gardens and cycling, you could go to Okayama and see the splendid Korakuen Garden (one of Japan's traditional Top 3).
The Handayama Garden nearby is excellent also.
For cycling, there is the Kibi Plain.
You might be able to fit in Kurashiki as well.

For Osaka, I suggest you try Namba and Dotonbori. The night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg as well as the Abeno Harukas Bldg are both very good.

The Kansai Wide Pass can also serve you very well.
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Aug 17th, 2017, 07:10 PM
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You could stay around Miyazu and visit Amanohashidate and Ine fishing village or stop by Sasayama en route to Kinosaki.
Izushi Castle Town is a day trip from Kinosaki.
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Aug 17th, 2017, 08:08 PM
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- You’ve probably been to Nara, but if not, I would strongly encourage you to give it some thought.
- What about Koya-san?
- I wasn’t enamored of Korakuen, but maybe it depends on the season. I did enjoy nearby Kurashiki a lot.
- I second Koko-en, the garden by stunning Himeji-jo.

Hope that helps!
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Aug 19th, 2017, 05:00 AM
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You could go to Kobe the first night. There is a boat: http://www.kobe-access.jp/eng/

Kobe has a couple of ropeways. You can go over the mountain to Arima Onsen. I know there is an "onsen bus" between Osaka station and Arima Onsen. One of the ropeways is at Shin-Kobe station, IIRC. More info here: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3558.html

Arima Onsen was my first plan in April but I decided to go to Kinosaki instead. I was too early for the cherry blossoms along the canal. I think you have considered that the timing of your visit to K.O. is less than ideal. Of course, it could be pouring rain during sakura season, too.

Your ryokan is in a good location and it is good that you will spend two nights there, considering the travel involved and the shortness of the trip. Somehow the one-night visit I made to K.O. made sense on a longer trip.

I enjoyed visiting Okayama. Go to the garden first and then the castle.
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