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1 month Tohoku & more 2017/11/13 02:22
Hi!

Sorry for a lot of text, I need some help with my itinerary to Japan in Autumn 2018. It's my first trip and I want to focus a lot on the less explored "off the beaten track" places, mostly because I know my boyfriend also want to go to Japan one day and we'll probably do the big cities together then, but also because I'm not a fan of big cities and prefer small towns and nature. Oh, also, I'm a girl and will travel solo if that matters!

I don't have a driver's license, so I'll visit all places with train or bus, I know some places doesn't have good LP, but I'm up for the challenge and am willing to plan those days carefully. I also try to give those places more time than others. Also on Yakushima I will probably hire a guite on 2 of the days to see the island.

The place I will spend the night in is written with bold text. :)

DAY 1. (23 Oct) Arrive in Tokyo - Hirosaki
DAY 2. (24 Oct) Hirosaki
DAY 3. (25 Oct) Hirosaki - Shimokita Hanto
DAY 4. (26 Oct) Shimokita Hanto
DAY 5. (27 Oct) Shimokita Hanto (Osorezan temple stay?)
DAY 6. (28 Oct) Shimokita Hanto - Aomori
DAY 7. (29 Oct) Aomori - Day trip: Oiraise Stream & Lake Towada
DAY 8. (30 Oct) Aomori - Gono line - Akita
DAY 9. (31 Oct) Akita - Nyuto Onsen (ryokan stay)
DAY 10. (1 Nov) Nyuto Onsen - Day trip: Kakunodate - Tsuruoka
DAY 11. (2 Nov) Tsuruoka - Day trip: Haguro-san & Kamo Aquarium
DAY 12. (3 Nov) Tsuruoka - Sendai - Day trip: Naruko gorge
DAY 13. (4 Nov) Sendai - Day trip: Zao Fox Village & Okama crater
DAY 14. (5 Nov) Sendai - Yamadera OR Matsushima
DAY 15. (6 Nov) Sendai - Tokyo
DAY 16. (7 Nov) Tokyo
DAY 17. (8 Nov) Tokyo - Day trip: Fuji Five Lakes
DAY 18. (9 Nov) Tokyo - Fly to Yakushima
DAY 19. (10 Nov) Yakushima
DAY 20. (11 Nov) Yakushima
DAY 21. (12 Nov) Yakushima
DAY 22. (13 Nov) Yakushima - Kagoshima
DAY 23. (14 Nov) Kagoshima - Hiroshima
DAY 24. (15 Nov) Hiroshima - Miyajima
DAY 25. (16 Nov) Miyajima - Day trip: Okunoshima Island - Hiroshima
DAY 26. (17 Nov) Hiroshima - Kyoto
DAY 27. (18 Nov) Kyoto
DAY 28. (19 Nov) Kyoto - Day trip: Nara
DAY 29. (20 Nov) Kyoto
DAY 30. (21 Nov) Kyoto
DAY 31. (22 Nov) Fly home from Osaka

I have some questions about some parts of the trip.

- I'm trying to see the Autumn colours both in Tohoku and in Kyoto, but the timing for Tohoku is definitely more important to me. Do you think I'll catch the Autumn colours alright with this plan?

- Is it possible to visit both Zao Fox Village and Okama crater as a day trip from Sendai?

- Has anyone stayed at a temple overnight in Osorezan, was it good? Or should I do a temple stay at Haguro-san instead?

- How to book the Gono line train from Aomori to Akita?

- Do my plan look OK or too rushed?

If you came to this part, thank you for reading! I look forward to your reply. :)
by Sawat49  

Re: 1 month Tohoku & more 2017/11/13 11:50
by LeBRA (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 1 month Tohoku & more 2017/11/13 12:16
How to book the Gono line train from Aomori to Akita?

Assuming you mean the Resort Shirakami, you book it like any other train (and then enjoy one of the most boring rides in Japan).
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: 1 month Tohoku & more 2017/11/14 08:20
Assuming you mean the Resort Shirakami, you book it like any other train (and then enjoy one of the most boring rides in Japan).
Have you done the trip? I can think of many many worse/more boring trips, and it is usually listed as one of the top ten train trips in Japan.
It is a good trip around the coast and the opportunity to get off and see the stone beach (as an example) is a bonus.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: 1 month Tohoku & more 2017/11/14 12:34
hey firass how bout you keep your attitude in check and not burden everyone else with your sharp tongue negativity?

given that you don't like big cities, I wonder if you should even worry about visiting Tokyo. Maybe add another night in Tohoku, a night in Nikko, a night in the Fuji Five Lakes area. As you said, you'd be visiting Tokyo down the track.
by mopey fish (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 1 month Tohoku & more 2017/11/14 13:14
Have you done the trip?

Are you kidding? I use the Gono line (not always on the RS but that's immaterial here) roughly once every two weeks. The fact that there are many interesting places along the way is also immaterial since OP is apparently not planning any stops, and besides that says nothing about the ride itself.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: 1 month Tohoku & more 2017/11/14 17:13
I had the same thoughts mopey fish, but because I will fly to Kagoshima from Tokyo and have to go early so that I can catch the boat over to Yakushima so I wanted to stay in Tokyo for convenience. :) I've got some things I want to see in Tokyo so if I only pick a few and take everything slow, I might just survive the big city hehe.

About the train ride, I thought it could be a nice and relaxing way to travel between Aomori and Akita. I love riding on trains and enjoying the beautiful scenery outside. Originally I wanted to do Sanriku Coast and ride the Sanriku railway, but I realized I wouldn't have the time for it, so I wanted to save Iwate and Sanriku Coast for another time. I also realized that it could be fun to ride on the Sanriku kotatsu train in winter later.

And Firas, I would be way more open to your opinions about the ride being boring if you didn't sound so rude. Of course I wouldn't include it if people told me it sucked, but your way of speaking makes me feel that maybe it's just your attitude that sucks.

Yes I didn't mention exactly why I wanted to ride the train, just as most people doesn't write why they want to go to Kyoto, just the fact that it's in my plan implies that I'm in one way or another interested in it. If you wonder why I want to do a specific thing in my itinerary just ask about it! :)
by Sawat49 rate this post as useful

Re: 1 month Tohoku & more 2017/11/14 21:30
- I'm trying to see the Autumn colours both in Tohoku and in Kyoto, but the timing for Tohoku is definitely more important to me. Do you think I'll catch the Autumn colours alright with this plan?

It is obviously hard to foresee, but it does not sound too early to me. I was in Nyuto onsen this year on 7 Oct, and it was too early, just about starting to change. (https://bicycletraveljapan.blogspot.com/2017/10/day-16-nyuto-onsen.htm...) But you are going 2 weeks later. Also even if Nyuto onsen by then is not yet changed, you can go to Hachimantai where it should be farer ahead.
For Kyoto it might be slightly early for seeing koyo in the city, but if you are flexible you can go to temples more outside of town. I was in Hasedera (in Nara prefecture) (https://bicycletraveljapan.blogspot.com/2017/11/day-42-roundtrip-throu...) on November 6th and it was starting there, so at the end of November when you are in Kyoto it should be fine. There must be other temples, closer to Kyoto as well. Also you can simply follow the autumn colour report on this webpage to see where to go.

- Has anyone stayed at a temple overnight in Osorezan, was it good? Or should I do a temple stay at Haguro-san instead? I stayed at Osorezan (https://bicycletraveljapan.blogspot.com/2017/10/day-14-osorezan-to-noh...) on October 5th and absolutely loved it. Specially bathing right outside of the temple in acidic water right out of the volcano. I did not do any other temple stays, except one on Koya-san many years ago.

- Do my plan look OK or too rushed? To me it looks generally fine. As you are travelling alone, I would not reserve all the hotels up front but leave yourself a bit of freedom to extend a stay here and there and to reduce it somewhere else, also because weather may come into your way, read: rain.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: 1 month Tohoku & more 2017/11/14 22:36
You may like to look at staying in Yanaka while in Tokyo. It has a quieter, more traditional feel so it could be a bit more pleasant for you. Look for something close to the Yamanote Line if you can.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

1 month Tohoku & more 2017/11/15 00:19
Travel around Japan is a good idea,But the More important thing is to Buy a transportation pass,Either rail or Bus pass.You can also Buy 1 way ticket.However,DAY 8(30 Oct) Aomori - Gono line - Akita=For this trip I recommend you to Buy Gono line Free pass.you can hop on and off along the way.
DAY 26 to 30 (17 Nov-21 Nov) Kyoto=For this trip I recommend you to go Universal studios Japan &Buy JR Kansai Area Pass=4 consecutive day= 6300 yen ,you can hop on and off inside the kansai prefecture, such as osaka,kobe,himeji.But your Base is still Kyoto.This rail pass also coverkansai international Airport
I also recommend you to Go Tokyo Disneyland & Fuji Q Highland :Why?Because After Departing Japan, This two Theme park will give you Lifelong Memories.
by Ron (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 1 month Tohoku & more 2017/11/15 18:14
about the tohoku part: maybe you want to check my trip, that was meantime optimized with like 1000 peoples opinions (not only on japan guide) just additionally for some inspiration:
https://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+158274

it seems you seem to make same spots like me (look the google map in the topic mentioned above), but from top to down.

some comment on your trip:
* if you have not bought the flight yet, i wonder if it makes sense, not to fly to tokyo but to aomori directly? it will save you a lot of time, and during my recherché i found out it is even cheaper.
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

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