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Struggling with Where to Go for 3 Days in Japan

Struggling with Where to Go for 3 Days in Japan

Jun 10th, 2019, 09:45 AM
  #1  
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Struggling with Where to Go for 3 Days in Japan

We will be in Japan for the first time in Sept/October. I've pretty much gotten an itin put together but am trying to figure out where to go for a couple of days mid-trip. Some of the logistics are determined by a festival in Takayama that we want to go to. I'm looking for someplace to go for 2 or 3 nights mid-trip. We need to be in Toyama to begin the Alpine Route so somewhere in the proximity of Toyama would be perfect. We are thinking within a 2-4 hours driving radius. We could do 2 nights someplace and then sleep in Toyama the night before the Alpine Route trip. Light hiking would be work, but knee issues prevent more difficult hiking for this trip. We'd be happy in some scenic place where we could kick back and take our time exploring the area. We could also do 2 nights in Toyama and start the Alpine Route a day earlier and then spend 2 nights in Matsumoto. Your suggestions for these 2/3 days would be appreciated.
7 nights Tokyo
​​​​​​​3 nights Nikko
4 nights Kanazawa pick up car when leaving (could pick up earlier)
3 nights Noto Peninsula
3 nights in area in proximity to Toyama so we can take the Alpine Route from there (return car either before the Alpine rte of when we get to Toyama area)
1 night Matsumoto (end from Alpine rte)
3 nights Takayama for a festival -- this determined our itin and timing
3 nights in Kurashiki
8 nights in Kyoto

Last edited by yestravel; Jun 10th, 2019 at 09:47 AM.
yestravel is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 03:12 PM
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Toyama for me has always been one of the more dry prefectures with less to see. Every place has something though. One area you did not mention yet has some very good places is Fukui. The Tojinbo Cliffs are one of the more scenic rocky and rugged places in Japan. Plus a fantastic dinosaur museum - very impressive. There is also Katsuyama with the Echizen Great Buddha - a real marvel and amazingly still completely undiscovered by the masses and tour guides. You also didn't mention Gokayama, or its more famous counterpart, Shirakawago, for a taste of old rustic Japan.Gero Onsen is another place to consider for its hot springs. Or Gujo-Hachiman.
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Jun 10th, 2019, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Adastra2200 View Post
Toyama for me has always been one of the more dry prefectures with less to see. Every place has something though. One area you did not mention yet has some very good places is Fukui. The Tojinbo Cliffs are one of the more scenic rocky and rugged places in Japan. Plus a fantastic dinosaur museum - very impressive. There is also Katsuyama with the Echizen Great Buddha - a real marvel and amazingly still completely undiscovered by the masses and tour guides. You also didn't mention Gokayama, or its more famous counterpart, Shirakawago, for a taste of old rustic Japan.Gero Onsen is another place to consider for its hot springs. Or Gujo-Hachiman.
Thank you so much for the great suggestions. The Tojinbo Cliffs appeal to me as does Katsuyama. Is it a good idea to stay somewhere central where we could visit both? Is there someplace you recommend to stay?

I did want to see Gokayama or Shirakawago and had thought we could just stop by for an afternoon during the 3 days and not staying.
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Jun 10th, 2019, 04:17 PM
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Make sure you do visit Shirakswago
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Jun 10th, 2019, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
Make sure you do visit Shirakswago
How much time did you spend there? Thanks!
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Jun 10th, 2019, 06:04 PM
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tt7
 
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
Make sure you do visit Shirakswago
Why? I have never been but itís always struck me as the ultimate Ďtourist trapí, overrun with tourists and not much to do. A picture is worth a thousand words and, for me, the picture is enough. Perhaps an overnight stay in winter is worthwhile but other than that... Obviously, YMMV.
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Jun 10th, 2019, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by yestravel View Post
....and start the Alpine Route a day earlier and then spend 2 nights in Matsumoto.
I would spend an extra night in Matsumoto. If youíre going there after the Alpine Route, itíll be late afternoon by the time you get there so, depending on what time you leave next day, you wonít have much time. The Matsumoto Museum of Art is worth a visit, particularly if you like Yayoi Kusama (itís her home town). If you like Japanese woodblock prints, the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum is worth a visit. It has the worldís largest collection (100,000+) though as it was designed as a storage facility for the (privately owned) collection, the display space is very small (usually 50+) but whatever they have on display will be first rate. Itís not the easiest place to get to (get the loop line bus or the train + a pleasant 15 minute walk) but we found the effort worthwhile; if you need specific directions let me know.
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Jun 11th, 2019, 11:02 AM
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tt7 = thank you! I think I will add another night to Matsumoto. Didn't know Kusama was from there.

Now we have 2 nights between the Noto Peninsula and taking the train in Toyama for the Alpine Rte. Here's what I am thinking:
Drive from Noto Peninsula to the cliffs (3 hours per Google Maps). Explore the cliffs and spend the night somewhere in the area -- suggestions as to where (Night 1)?
Next day drive to Toyama with a stop in Shirakswago.
Return rental car & sleep in Toyama (Night 2).
Next day do the Alpine Route ending in Matsumoto
Stay 2 nights in Matsumoto.

Any thoughts on this plan?

What does everyone think?
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Jun 11th, 2019, 12:38 PM
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Some great ideas here. Bookmarking for reference
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