Shirakawa-go in early April?

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Mar 7th, 2005, 01:45 PM
  #1
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Shirakawa-go in early April?

Hello,
I will be in Takayama in early April with a Japan Rail Pass. Does anybody know if the rail pass includes bus fare from Takayama to Shirakawa-go to Kanazawa. Also, I can't seem to find a bus schedule online for this route. Any ideas? I'm only in Japan for 8 days and 5 of those will be in the Kyoto area. Do you think it's worth the trip to Shirakawa-go and onward to kanazawa, or should I just head back to Nagoya from Takayama? Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Mar 7th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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Personally, I would not miss Shirakawa-go...it's unique and special I think. The bus is by private company, so the rail pass does not include the fare.

The schedule is available on www.doconavi.com but only Japanese.

Translated, looks like this.
Toyama to Shirakawa-go (about 2 hours)
8:45
11:05
14:40
15:20

Shirakawa-go to Kanazawa (about 1 hr 15 minutes)
10:35
17:10

From Kanazawa to Nagoya station by train is an easy trip under 3 hours, another hour to the new airport, though there is a rapid train that takes 28 minutes, it doesn't run often enough so count on an hour.
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Mar 7th, 2005, 03:16 PM
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Forgot to include the price of the bus...
From Takayama to Kanazawa is 3300 yen one way. I'm pretty sure you can get off the morning bus in Shirakawa-go and then get on the bus and continue to Kanazawa in the afternoon. Reservations are highly recommended for the buses. Tourist info or your hotel should be able to help you book the bus.

And, Kanazawa is lovely at the beginning of April. Cherry blossoms should be peak about the 7th they say. It will be a rather festive feeling in Kanazawa as the new school year opens (it's a big deal here), and with the arrival of cherry blossoms and warmer, sunnier weather.
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Mar 7th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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If you search this forum for the following:
Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa bus schedule

you will find some bus schedule info that I posted last July. It may be out of date, so use the times that Kim just posted, if different.

There is also a bus from Shirakawago to Nagoya. It is mentioned on the JNTO guide for that region. You can get it online. Go to the following wepage:
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/RTG/PTG/index.html

Click on the link "Takayama & Shirakawago" to download the pdf guide. The guide mentions that part of the trip from Takayama to Shirakawago can be done on a JR bus, but doing that doesn't save much.
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Mar 7th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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Kim, do you know when the season starts this year for the bus between Kanazawa and Shirakawago? I posted some photos at http://www.billk.org
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Mar 7th, 2005, 03:51 PM
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The schedule says the Kanazawa buses are suspended until 3/19 and resume on 3/20. Nice photos!
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Mar 7th, 2005, 05:01 PM
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BTW- mrwunrfl's posting on that bus schedule has the word "Elainee" in the title...bus schedule for Elainee.

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Mar 7th, 2005, 07:48 PM
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Thanks everyone!

I think I'll go to shirakawa-go based on your advice. Will it still be snowy around April 8? Also, should I stay in Shirakawa-go or visit during the day and continue on to Kanazawa for the evening? Do you have any budget (around 10000 yen or even less for 2) accommodation suggestions at either location? Thanks again.
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Mar 7th, 2005, 09:49 PM
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Up to you whether you stay in Shirakawa-go or Kanazawa. S-go has minshuku, where you can get a great experience of sleeping on tatami in futon, eating traditional mountain foods for dinner and breakfast, a hinoki bathtab and open hearth....you should specifically request hinoki bath and irori (open hearth). Minshuku in S-go belong to an association and all charge the same price, around 8000 yen per person including dinner and breakfast.

In Kanazawa, you can get a western style business hotel for about 10,000 yen per night, not including dinner or breakfast. The experience will not compare with S-go, but will be a bed rather than a futon, and you can choose from the many great restaurants in Kanazawa. The Tokyu Excel hotel and the APA Chuo hotel are both reasonable and have great location. I would not recommend staying near the station if you plan to do sightseeing as the station is located a bit far from tourist attractions.

When is your trip, exactly?
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Mar 8th, 2005, 04:38 AM
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KimJapan - You've convinced me to switch out Takayama to replace with Shirakawa-go? (You'd still recommend S-go over Takayama during festival, right?) I would love to stay in a minshuku as you've suggested, and I saw in another post there's a tourist organization number to call for japanese speakers. Do you have any advice on how an English only speaker such as myself could make a reservation in advance? Also, is there a specific minshuku that you would recommend? Maybe if I go to the JNTO in NYC, they could help me with this sort of thing?

I would expect to be there on 4/12, 4/13 or 4/14, depending on how the rest of my itinerary works out.

Thank you so much. Your posts provide a lot of insight!
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Mar 8th, 2005, 05:37 AM
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Well, Takayama during the spring festival (April 14-15) would be the place to go. Good luck finding a place to stay there or in Shirakawago at that time.

I stayed at Koemon minshuku. Here is info about it at frommers:
http://www.frommers.com/destinations...hi/H49500.html
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Mar 8th, 2005, 06:39 AM
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Hmmm, so maybe I should take out Nikko due to the distance, try to find a place in Takayama and S-go? Thanks for your thoughts.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 01:58 PM
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During the spring or autumn festival is one of the times I definitely would go to Takayama. Lodging will be difficult. Perhaps the JNTO could help...worth asking. There's another thread about Takayama where I found a couple of nice ryokan with availabiity in April...try searching Takayama for it.
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