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Ryokan in Yufuin vs. Mt. Fuji

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Mar 24th, 2016, 12:39 PM
  #1
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Ryokan in Yufuin vs. Mt. Fuji

Husband and I have about 8 full days in Japan. Since it's our first time in Japan, we will spending the bulk of our time in Tokyo. However, we REALLY want to spend 2 nights in an "authentic" ryokan. It seems like Yufuin is a good choice and we currently booked Yufuin Onsen Hinoharu Ryokan (a reservation that can be cancelled) for $700 for 2 nights. Then I saw that we could get a Ryokan and onsen experience in Mt. Fuji which is significantly closer to Tokyo. We're looking at Kozantei Ubuya for $1100 for 2 nights. Has anyone experienced Yufuin vs. Mt. Fuji and would recommend one over the other? Is it worth it to take the trek out to Yufuin just for a ryokan experience? Also, I would say quality of food then quality of onsen/resort is priority. Thanks in advance!
BellaSaysMeow is offline  
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Mar 24th, 2016, 04:30 PM
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"Since it's our first time in Japan, we will spending the bulk of our time in Tokyo." That doesn't necessarily follow. For many of us, Kyoto is the heart of Japan.
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Mar 24th, 2016, 05:39 PM
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There are between 7 and 8 bazillion ryokans in Japan, so you certainly don't have to waste two full days out of 8 traveling to Yufuin and back. Here are a couple links showing ryokans with views of Mt. Fuji. You can get the full ryokan experience at any of these, with a lot less travel time.

http://selected-ryokan.com/ryokan/view/mt-fuji-view

http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/r.../?area=Mt+Fuji

As Kathie mentioned, most of us spend a larger portion of our time in Kyoto than Tokyo, so you could easily do a Tokyo-Fuji-Kyoto trip in 8 days if you like.
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Mar 24th, 2016, 07:20 PM
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>>Is it worth it to take the trek out to Yufuin just for a ryokan experience?

No, but how did you come up with that place in Yufuin?

When is your trip?
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Mar 25th, 2016, 04:04 AM
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Completely agree, absolutely no need to trek all the way to Yufuin for a ryokan experience if the rest of your time is to be in Tokyo.

We stayed in Yufuin during an 8 day self-drive around Northern Kyushu and it was a decent-enough base for 2 nights but not the most charming place we visited in Japan by a long shot. There's a teeny tiny area that's traditional and old, and then a regular high street. Not much else. We liked it because it's a gorgeous spot to drive into and a good base for some sightseeing in Beppu and elsewhere. But I'd never pick Yufuin as a special place to head to for that one ryokan experience.

I've not yet been to Hakone, but am going to be there in a few days time. For me, Hakone represents one of the traditional ryokan hot spots of Japan, with a lot of high end properties offering beautiful accommodation, excellent food and gorgeous views.

Another option is to split your time between Tokyo and Kyoto - Kyoto is a true jewel of Japan and there are many ryokan there to choose from. On our first visit we stayed in Shiraume, a 7th generation family-run high-end ryokan in a superb location in the heart of Gion, where Geisha's walk in the evenings and shrines and temples abound. http://www.kaveyeats.com/2013/03/her...n-me-into.html

With 8 full days (is that 9 nights), and assuming your flights are into and out of Tokyo, I'd suggest 2 nights in Tokyo on arrival, then 5 nights in Kyoto including a couple at a traditional ryokan and the other 3 in a regular hotel, and another 2 back in Tokyo at the end.

Depends on what you are after from the trip, though!
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Mar 25th, 2016, 10:30 AM
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>>No, but how did you come up with that place in Yufuin?

Oh, I was reading "Yufuin" but thinking "Fukui". I've read about a luxury ryokan in Yufuin, so maybe that is the one and you got it from a list of top ryokans in Japan. You're best way to Yufuin would involve flying to Oita, but it would still be 6 hours each way.

Hakone or Kawaguchiko definitely fit your current plan.

All ryokan in Japan are authentic, no matter the style.
http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/ryokan-styles/

The place you found in Kawaguchiko looks great.
http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/r...Kozantei+Ubuya

I would very much prefer that beautiful setting over staying at a Kyoto ryokan. The Fujikyu train that you would take part-way to get there is a scenic ride (I have read) on a cute little train.

Your ryokan in Kawaguchiko is in the Fuji Five Lake region:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6900.html

I think that your two nights there would be the right amount of time. You can get there in the morning the first day, have a full day, and leave late afternoon the next day.

That would leave you 5 full days in Tokyo. That's more than enough for me. You could still go to Kyoto (getting to Kyoto from Hakone would be easier than from Kawaguchiko).

Or you could go to Nikko for a day trip or stay for a night or two.

3d/2nt Kawaguchiko + 2d/1nt Nikko leaves 3 full days for Tokyo. There is a rail pass that can be used for this but it is only valid for 3 days. I might still be worth it: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_06.html

And you could spend a day to visit Kamkura.

So that is an 8-full-day trip that does not involve Kyoto.

Going to Kyoto is a good idea, don't get me wrong, but you can save it for your second trip to Japan when you have more time to spend there.
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Mar 25th, 2016, 10:39 AM
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>>When is your trip?

I asked that question because I was thinking about your interest in the food at a ryokan and if it is January or February then your meal would not include the fresh local produce that would typically be used. No biggie, tho.
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Mar 26th, 2016, 10:07 AM
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What Kathie and Russ said...allocate more of your time for Kyoto. You will have no trobule finding ryokans anywhere you stay but Kyoto is infinitely more "traditional Japan" than Tokyo. And Mt. Fuji is not to be missed, especially if you will be there at a time when the snowcap is in place (Nov-April/May). Maybe 2 nights Tokyo, 1 night Fuji, 4 nights Kyoto and one last night back in Tokyo before your flight the next day.
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