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Tohoku: Rental car and suggestions 2018/3/8 22:10
Hi all,

I will be travelling with a partner to Tohoku during mid-June, and we will staying for 10 days 9 nights. We plan to visit Akita, Aomori, Iwate, Matsushima and Yamagata.

Are there any suggestions of where we could go at these prefectures?

Also, we are deciding whether or not to rent a car or buy a JR Tohoku east rail pass.

The rental car is 52,000JPY for a Toyota Vitz for 7 days with everything included whereas the JR Tohoku east rail pass is a 5 day flexible pass for 19,000JPY.
by Kyle Lee (guest)  

Re: Tohoku: Rental car and suggestions 2018/3/9 15:30
Have you checked a guidebook or this webpage for destinations you want to visit? What are you interests?

Your destinations and interests will also help you decide if traveling by car or train is more convenient for you.

Enjoy planning your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tohoku: Rental car and suggestions 2018/3/9 15:43
Hi,

We have a few places in mind like Chusonji Temple, Lake Towada, Hirosaki Castle, Hirosaki, Sanriku Coast and especially Mount Zao. Would these places be easier to visit via train vs car?

We are still looking for more places to visit so any further suggestions is apprieciated!

Thanks!
by Kyle Lee (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tohoku: Rental car and suggestions 2018/3/9 16:52
check out this thread:
https://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+158274
inside you will find a google map, which contains a route and sights that has been optimized by more than 40 people (including many natives) and has secrets from each reagion.
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Tohoku: Rental car and suggestions 2018/3/10 02:43
Public transportation is feasible but driving offers more freedom and flexibility rather than relying on infrequent train + bus connection especially the Sanriku Coast.

Tohoku has a lot to offer. See below for some more discussion on an older thread.
https://www.japan-guide.com/forum/quereadisplay.html?0+123290

And do some research with the list of websites listed below in another forum.
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g294232-i525-k9927262-Kawaguchiko...

We love Tohoku and had done a few trips in the region. If you are interested let me know and I would be happy to pass along some of our trip photos for you to have a look.

by William5 rate this post as useful

Re: Tohoku: Rental car and suggestions 2018/3/10 11:23
Thanks William5 for the advice, would you mind sharing with us your Tohoku itinerary?

We are planning to skip Akita and Iwate now because from our research, there isn't anything much to see at Akita and Iwate especially during the time that we are travelling there. Would this be the correct move to do?

Our current plan is to head directly to Aomori first and spend 2 nights there, then down to Miyagi where we will spend 2 nights there as well, then rent a car and drive to Yamagata via Mount Zao and spend 2 more nights in Yamagata, then take the train back down to Tokyo for 2 nights and Narita for 1 night. We are planning to buy the JR East Tohoku rail pass as well to cover for the Shinkansen rides, and since its 5 days flexibility, we will not use it when renting the car. Would this be a good option?

Our second option is to include the south of Hokkaido in our trip and spend only 1 night in either Aomori or Miyagi, and only spend 1 night in Tokyo, to spend a night or two in Hakodate. Would this be ok as well or too rush as this is our first time in Tohoku but second time in Hokkaido if we do end up going.

By the way, would any of the members here recommend renting from ToCoo or RentalCars.com? And would a 660cc Daihatsu Move have enough power to log us around Tohoku?

Thanks!
by Kyle Lee (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tohoku: Rental car and suggestions 2018/3/10 17:02
Driving a 660cc car is like traveling on a motor bike (not HarleyDavidson) - good for short distances within the city or suburbs.
If you plan your route well, the 5 day flexible pass is good value. Youfll be visiting well trodden routes so therefs heaps of information online plus the ones given above
by AT (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tohoku: Rental car and suggestions 2018/3/11 02:41
I havenft written any blog or trip report, just sharing some trip photos on the net. Below are 3 of our 4 Tohoku trip photos, 2 of which include follow-up discussion on another forum. The sequence of the photos follows the planned route each time.

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g298237-i8066-k8994400-Photo_shari...
http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g298237-i8066-k6524218-Photo_shari...
https://get.google.com/albumarchive/117006987794372147390/album/AF1Qip...

With so much to see and do in Tohoku itfs better to stick to the region rather than going up further to Hokkaido. Using train for long distance travel and renting a car for local exploration is a good idea. ToCoo used to be good as their rental rate was cheaper, but nowadays as the rate difference is not that great we stick with Toyota. I have doubt about a 660cc car especially if there is mt road to negotiate and there is quite a bit in the region of Tohoku.

by William5 rate this post as useful

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