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Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa itinerary help

Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa itinerary help

Old Sep 25th, 2006, 04:42 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa itinerary help

Having checked up on the timetables I need help to plan the little time I have in each place.
1st we will take the 7.36am train from Tokyo which arrives in Takayama at 13.18pm we should manage to arrive at the hotel & leave our luggage & be off by 2pm. We would like to visit at least the Merchants houses & the Hida folk village. Is this possible in the little time we have & could we fit something else in?

After checking the bus timetable for Shirakawago there's a bus at 8.45 which arrives at 10.40am & a bus at 11.05am which arrives at 12.52. If we take the later bus we would have a couple of hours to visit something in Takayama before we leave. Should we do this or just take the earlier one & spend more time in Shirakawago? Other than the gasshozukuri houses is there other places to visit? We leave for Kanazawa at 17.05
We will spend the whole next day in Kanazawa what would be an ideal itinerary for 1 day.
Clark55 is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2006, 05:06 AM
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If you are going to Shirakawa-go, then .skip the Hida village as it will be redundant. I like the museum village S-go better anyway. So instead of the folk village in Takayama you'd have more time to walk around the merchant house area if you liked. The Festival Museum is pretty neat...the Takayama Festival is a huge event and the floats are decorations are pretty amazing.

I'd then take the first bus to S-go. Takayama is a city with an old area. S-go is a town, so it's a bit more friendly, much prettier imo, and easier to get around. We've spent an entire day there 3 - 4 times.

The folk museum there is really quite well done imo. If you reserve in advance, you can make soba...maybe have the tourist info in Takayama help you do this if you are interested. There are some small restaurants that serve good lunch. In the afternoon for a snack try the gohei mochi and Hida beef on a stick avaialbe at a few places around town.

Kanazawa...that's where I live. In one day, start out by walking through the samurai district and visit the samurai house there. Continue on to Oyama Shrine...it's a nice shrine with nice grounds. Go on to Omicho market. Have sushi at one of the few round and round sushi restaurants....plates of sushi go around the counter on a conveyer belt, you take what you want, price is according to the color or design of the plate...you are also free to order what you like, just shout it out to the sushi makers who are in the middle of the conveyer belt counter set up.

From there, take a taxi (under ¥1000) to the Higashi chaya and visit the old geisha district, go inside a tradition chaya (tea house, or geisha house) and go to the gold leaf shop. From here, walk or taxi or bus to Kenrokuen where you can enjoy a walk around. Cross the street to see Kanazawa Castle.

That's a seriously full day, but if you take taxis it'll save a bit of time.

KimJapan is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2006, 11:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Did you decide on where to stay? The Green Hotel would not be particularly convenient for your quick visit.

KimJapan is right about skipping the Hida folk village in Takayama because you are going to Shirakawago.

If your hotel is convenient to the JR station (where the bus station also is, btw) then you could stop there on your way to sightseeing. You could, instead, drop your bags in a locker at the station and get going. You don't gain much time by doing that, but you don't have much time. If you go out at 2PM you will have about 3 hours before things close down.

I recommend visiting the Takayama Jinya and then going across the river to San-machi Suji. The Takayama Jinya closes at 5PM in October. Then go over to the Yatai Kaikan where they exhibit some of the floats from the festivals. I think it is easy to get around most of Takayama because it is flat and fairly compact. You could take a taxi to the Jinya.

In Shirakawago you would visit the open air museum, then walk over the foot bridge and visit several of the gassho zukuri houses. You'll also want to visit the "observatory" spot where you get the picture postcard views of Ogimachi. There is a free shuttle between the open air museum and the observatory.

You could, of course, just go straight thru Takayama to Shirakawago and stay overnight in a gassho zukuri minshuku. You'll be able to visit the village in the morning before the tour buses arrive. Maybe leave early enough to visit a site in Kanazawa that afternoon, or linger in Ogimachi.

From what I remember from reading the schedules, I think that the connection from the limited express train in Takayama to the Shirakawago bus is pretty efficient, well timed.

In Kanazawa, I would suggest going to the Kenrokuen first if you are interested in visiting that landscape garden. And then the geisha district.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2006, 12:12 AM
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Thanks for all your great info,I've taken note of all your suggestions & will follow your advice.
mrwunrfl, in the end I booked at the Washington Plaza because the Green only had availability for a single room & I figured I had better book something quickly as time was running out Anyway, I'll let you know what it was like when I come back.

Where exactly do we get the tickets & bus for Shirakawago? & should we book seats when we arrive the day before?
Clark55 is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2006, 01:28 AM
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When you step out of JR Takayama station turn left and walk about 30 seconds and you will be at the bus station. Better yet, stop at the visitors info booth right in front of the JR station first. It wouldn't hurt to buy the bus ticket in advance, but probably not necessary especially because you will be there during the week.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2006, 01:40 AM
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Is the fall Takayama festival on Oct 9-10 this year? And you are arriving on the 11th? If that is when the festival is held then I would guess that everybody would clear out on the 11th, so you should not have any trouble at all with the bus.
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Old Sep 26th, 2006, 01:54 AM
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Thanks again mrwunrfl, we had originally planned to be in Takayama for the festival but had to change our plans because of the impossibility to find accommodation so we added on the days to Tokyo to do Kamakura, Hakone & Nikko side trips. We will be arriving in Takayama on Fri the 13th so I think it will be better to buy the tickets when we arrive there as maybe the bus on Saturday will be busy.
Clark55 is offline  
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