I am planning a second trip to Japan late sept early Oct for 14 days. One my first trip I flew into Tokyo and visited Hiroshima,Miyajima (spent night on island), Nara, kyoto %26amp;Hakone. My favourite places were Nara and Miyajima (just to give you an idea oif what I like). I am looking to visit different places this time. Whilst I enjoy looking at temples, shrines etc I do prefer nature inspired activites and small towns/countryside/people watching . I missed out on seeing Takayama last time so I would like to include it on this trip.I would appreciate any itinerary ideas keeping in mind I will be using rail pass. I will be flying into Tokyo.
Ideas second trip to Japan
Some rough ideas:
1. Takayama and the small towns at Hida area, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa and the coastline to Wajima
2. Koya-san, Wakayama, Shirahama, Matsusaka, Ise
3. Izu Peninsula, Jogosaki Coast down to Shimoda
4. Hokkaido, especially Eastern Hokkaido for nature scenes.
Ideas second trip to Japan
We%26#39;re going for a second trip to Japan in May. I also liked the smaller, quieter and prettier places on our last trip.
We went to Takayama last time and I liked it best of all the places we went. Being up in the Alps area with a view of snow-capped mountains in the middle of summer made it magical for me.
This time we%26#39;ll spend a few days in Osaka where our daughter is, and do day trips to Koyasan and Kyoto again for some of the areas we missed last time.
Then we intend to do a loop from Osaka to Kanazawa to Matsumoto and back down the Kiso Valley to Osaka. You could do a similar kind of loop from Tokyo.
We still haven%26#39;t decided how to get from Kanazawa to Matsumoto - via Toyama and the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route or via Shirakawago, Takayama and Kamikochi. Both ways look wonderful for scenery, but can%26#39;t be done by JR train.
Being from Brisbane, the Alpine scenery really appeals to me as it%26#39;s so different from here and you probably feel the same.
Oh, I should also have mentioned that the JR trip up the Hida Valley from Nagoya to Takayama has really lovely scenery.
Takayama and Kanazawa are both worthwhile.
Kurashiki is a pretty little town near Okayama.
From Okayama, you can get an early morning train to Matsue. The train is actually a continuation of an overnight run from Tokyo. Instead of a seat, you get a tatami mat. Matsue is a pleasant waterfront town with a decent art museum. The Adachi Museum (more garden than museum) is nearby. The only probalem is that this train is often booked up, so you may not be able to get a reservation for the day you want. But if you stay in Okayama for several days and go to Matsue as a day trip, it can work out. The trip to Matsue on the train goes through forested hills, very pretty.
You should include Hokkaido as Sammy suggested.
You may be able to get your air ticket to Sapporo (New Chitose). Otherwise you can buy cheap a JAL airpass from Tokyo to New Chitose. See:http://www.jal.co.jp/yokosojapan/
Here is a link for Sounkyo area:
Head North and go across to Sado Island. It%26#39;s very rural...hardly a convenience store in sight. Wonderful little one-street fishing villages along the coast. No trains, though - you have to get around by bus or by walking. We went last fall in mid-October and the weather was still warm enough for swimming on the beaches, though there was nobody else out there.
Pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/kellywarrick, look for the Sado Island Set.
Thank you everyone for the great ideas.
Thank you for the great ideas.
You sound like someone who would like Hokkaido as suggested by Sammy. To save some time, fly from Haneda to Sapporo on a one-way ticket since you can use the JR pass back to Tokyo. The towns along the way back like Sendai and Morioka are scenic. Hop off the train, walk around town, catch the next one, for the same price.