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Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Third trip to Japan 2016/10/28 22:15

We plan to have a third trip to Japan, 13.04-20.04.2017
My flight should arrive to KIX 13.04 9:00 and depart 20.04 10:45 so i have 6 and half days for mainly Kansai region.

My previous trips were 2008 spring, 7 nights in Nagoya visited Nara, Osaka, Kyoto, Kashikojima-Toba and Yoshino and 2013 spring, 6 nights in Tokyo, visited Nikko, Kawaguchiko, Shiramahama in Izu and sights in Tokyo.
This time i am with wife, she has not been in Japan at all.

So my questions are:

1. Are those onsens and baths which allow daytime visitors in Arima Onsen and Kinosaki lightyears better compared to baths in some hotels in Osaka, for example the APA chain?

2. If yes, which baths are better - Kinosaki Onsen or Arima Onsen? Can the onsen gurus distinguish the water quality in different onsens when they are blindfolded ;-) ?

3. We plan to use the Kansai Wide Area pass. What are the chances that we have to stand all the way to from Osaka to Kinosaki Onsen, when using non-reserved part of the limited express train?

4. Is it allowed to go to the sea waist-deep in Shirahama in April to just feel the Pacific Ocean? No plans to do swimming records :-). If the sea temperature is above 15C, then it is already OK for my body.

5. Which cities during that time are best avoided on Saturday and Sunday? My rough plan is:

Thursday - Kyoto or Nara
Friday - Kyoto or Nara
Saturday - Himeji and Arima Onsen
Sunday - Shirahama
Monday- Amanohashidate and Kinosaki Onsen
Tuesday - Osaka
Wednesday - Osaka

Due the price i think we do not plan to stay in Ryokans.

Best regards,
by Lauriandres (guest)  

Re: Third trip to Japan 2016/11/2 23:31
1. It may depend on the hotels, but Kinosaki is an onsen town, so the atmosphere of the town combined with onsen-hopping is what makes it special. Some of the onsen are better than others, but the pass gives you access to each of the onsen in the town for the period of your stay at the hotel.

Arima Onsen was a bit more typical to me, but it still has an onsen town.

2. I believe the type of water is the same in Kinosaki and Arima (alkaline).

3. I doubt you'd have to stand on a typical day. It's a long trip. If you're concerned, arrive earlier to wait for the train.

5.It's sort of up to you. The places you choose for the weekdays should be less crowded and more enjoyable. Most people would say Kyoto is better on weekdays but even then there are sometimes surprising crowds. For me, Osaka might be better on a weekend simply because there isn't much gained from less crowds. It's not known for its atmosphere, while other places on the list are and that atmosphere can be undermined a little if it's crowded.
by Rabbityama rate this post as useful

Re: Third trip to Japan 2016/11/3 12:14
Shirahama should be fine on the weekend considering the time of year you are visiting. Tourist numbers should be low.

The other locations will be busier with possible blossoms and weekenders.

I like having my city/shopping days on weekends. So Mon-Fri can be left for day trips. That way those daytrip locations will be quieter.
by hakata14 rate this post as useful

Re: Third trip to Japan 2017/4/21 16:35
OK, another nice trip done, i hope a fourth will come sooner or later.

I stayed 7 nights in Smile Hotel Namba, pretty good value for the money. We stayed in semi-double room; the bed was 120 cm wide, but pretty comfortable. Bathroom was tiny so if you are a Kevin Durant or Baruto look-alike, don't choose that hotel :-).

We visited Kyoto on Friday, Nara on Saturday, Himeji and Arima Onsen on Sunday, Amanohashidate and Kinosaki on Monday and Shirahama on Tuesday.

Kyoto was quite crowded; however starting about 9:45 from Osaka Station we managed to visit Fushimi Inari and surroundings around Gion and Kyomizudera, departed from Kyoto Station around 19:00. If you can run a marathon under 3 hours, then you can squeeze even more sights.

Nara was as nice as it was in 2008. Would visit it every year, if possible.

Himeji was of course crowded, waiting time in the main keep was about 5 minutes. Similar to the Lenin's tomb in Moscow :-), only that a dead body was missing :-). In Arima Onsen we visited Taikonoyu; although the price was above average, the atmosphere was well worth it. Prices were lower compared to spas in Estonia.

If you start early, then Amanohashidate and Kinosaki Onsen are doable as a long daytrip. Currently the biggest problem is that the latest limited express train departs from Kinosaki Onsen at 18:20. That means that you should leave the onsen no late than 18:00 (we chose Goshonoyu). That means, that you should arrive to Kinosaki Onson around 16:30, so you should depart from Amanohashidate around 15:00.
We were lazy - took the limited express train from Shin Osaka around 9:00; i would recommend to take an earlier train if possible.
Water temperature in Amanohashidate was warm enough to open the swimming season - that was my first time to swim in Sea of Japan.
Limited express trains were quite empty so no problems to use non-reserved seats

While doing the trip to Shirahama resort - then the train was almost full. We took a 9:21 train from Tennoji and were mildly shocked. First stop was at Wakayama and only some of the passengers departed.
Shirahama beach itself was as beautiful as it is in the photos. Water temperature was around 18-20 degrees so of course we enjoyed the waves again.

If somebody has some questions, please feel free to ask.

by Lauriandres (guest) rate this post as useful

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