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Roadtrip to Amazing Central Honshu Island, Japan! Nature at its Best!

Roadtrip to Amazing Central Honshu Island, Japan! Nature at its Best!

Old Feb 6th, 2012, 03:05 AM
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Roadtrip to Amazing Central Honshu Island, Japan! Nature at its Best!

Last week the Smith family did a classic roadtrip in the Chubu region of central Honshu. Amazing travel experience with loads of wildlife, sublime winter scenery and some truly wonderful cultural experiences. Can't wait to go back and do it again!!!

Check our our blog link here:

http://cokesmithphototravel.com/Natu...bu_Region.html

Enjoy!
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Old Feb 6th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing!
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Old Feb 6th, 2012, 08:06 AM
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Nice blog and picts!
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Old Feb 6th, 2012, 03:15 PM
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Very impressive trip and photos. Does anyone in your family speak Japanese? I loved our trip to Japan and would like to do a roadtrip also, but am intimidated by my lack of Japanese language skills and the what I perceive to be a scarcity of English speakers in rural areas.
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 12:07 AM
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Hi Steamboatsista - Yes, I do speak Japanese fluently and that was very useful for sure. Somehow I still remember it from way back in college.... But, although some of the intimate language-based cultural exchanges may not be possible, there would be other experiences that would be equally cool if you don't speak the language. Pretty much all the road signs nowadays are in English script too so you are good to go there. The "navi" or GPS in the car we rented was only in Japanese so there would need to be a bit of a learning curve/mass memorization session needed to master that, but after a small amount of time, you could do it. But without a doubt the "navi" is essential - without it, navigating the complex roads in towns would be nightmarish. With it, wow, what a breeze it was....Perhaps ahead of time you could get a Garmin in the states and get a good Japanese (English) chip to upload and use it there as well. When we lived in the states, we would do that all the time - We have a Thailand chip for example that we use in our US-purchased Garmin....

In other words, go for it! You will have a blast!
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 06:01 AM
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Fantastic pictures and story Coke as usual, thanks! Cokie is a talented budding artist,his eye for detail is amazing, as is yours. Have been to the area you were but in the spring when all that snow is melting and flowers are budding, kirei!

Steamboatsista, you can rent cars with English Navi at all Nissan rent a car outlets in Japan (except Okinawa)though I have also used the Japanese ones and I don't speak or read any Japanese. The rental agents will explain with a picture guide how to use the systems as Coke says it is invaluable and opens up the whole countryside to explore at will. We LOVE to rent cars throughout rural Japan.....

Hokkaido, Coke have you been there yet? If not you should make lots of time for it. Daisetsuzan and the Shiretoko Peninsula are two places that I cannot get out of my head, I need to return someday....thanks again for this wonderful report!

Aloha!
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 12:33 PM
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BTW

Did you know that the Japanese name of that sumo wrestler in your 1985 Tokyo photo is Konishiki? He was a Hawaiian born sumotori of the era of which they were quite a few. He reached the rank of Ozeki but never made it to Yokozuna. Some say he was robbed of it after winning IIRC 39 of 45 matches over 3 basho but the council voted him down. He never recovered from that defeat and with injuries starting to mount on his behemoth frame he retired not long after.

Aloha!
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Old Feb 7th, 2012, 01:11 PM
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Hello Hawaiiantraveler! Thanks for the posts! I will absolutely start planning next year's trip of Hokkaido with your recs in mind! YEs - that was Konishiki! I watched his matches in Tokyo on a couple of occassions and was aware of the controversy too - he was robbed. I think it revolved around him being a foreignor and that wasn't cool back then...who knows. I actually met him and another - "Jesse", who I think was also from Hawai'i...both really nice guys.

Cheers!
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Old Feb 8th, 2012, 06:38 PM
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Fabulous. Loved the pictures and your enthusiastic writing style. I visited Tsumago and Magome in April a few years ago as part of a 12-day Nakasendo Hwy journey with Walk Japan, and I agree that those villages are just wonderful. In April there were quite a few more people than there seemed to be in January! But still delightful. Thanks for sharing!
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Old Mar 17th, 2012, 05:14 PM
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Yah I think we caught it just right for crowds. They day before a major blizzard so I think folks opted to stay home....But the serinity made the experience.
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Old Mar 18th, 2012, 06:24 AM
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WOW. I feel like I just got back from the trip after seeing all of your pics. What an amazing trip you had! Thnk you so much for sharing this.

I am going to the D.C. Travel Show today, but I feel like I have already been on a trip this morning!
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Old Mar 18th, 2012, 06:26 AM
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P.S. And I love it that you are exposing your kids to all of this. I have taken both of my kids to Japan o separate trips, and those trips were sone of the best things I ever have done as a parent.
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Old Mar 20th, 2012, 04:57 PM
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Yes emd3, I could not agree more! For me the best part of all our trips is exposing my boy to the wonders of nature and the world in general. I love to watch him become worldly! Thanks for the kind words!
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 03:13 PM
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Wow, what a unique and fantastic trip, and great photos too! Thanks for sharing. Wondering if you've been to Hokkaido. I'm planning to go there in Oct.
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Old Jul 25th, 2012, 07:55 PM
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Great photos and a wonderful site!

A small correction: there are 12 original castles in Japan, not 2.
Visiting them all takes you to some interesting places (I have 5 to go).
http://www.jcastle.info/castle/brows...ition/Original
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 07:59 AM
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Hokkaido in January! Steller's Sea Eagles and Japanese Cranes are needin' some photographing! And thanks for the correction - wow! 12!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2012, 01:17 PM
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coke---i have something for you from another fodorite... we hope to meet you at a mini GTG in shanghai in oct.

can you contact me at:

[email protected]
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