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Trip Refining: Matsue or Iga Ueno 2018/5/13 22:23
Hi All,

At present I'm looking at fine tuning my current 3 week trip to Japan in June/July. Note that I have travelled around Japan extensively so know the basics. I've also visited most of the major locations on Honshu already. My journey is:

Matsumae - Morioka - Nyuto Onsen - Tamagawa Onsen - Kakunodate - Akita - Sakata - Sado (2 nights) - Kanazawa - Fukui - Iga Ueno - Hagi - Iwakuni

I've got a 3 week JR pass and will be also be hiring a car in many of these locations. My predicament is the following....

I like gardens and people have spoken highly of Yushien Garden in Matsue.

My two options are the following:

Current Plan: Kyoto Station - Iga Ueno (1 night) - Kyoto Station - Shin Yamaguchi Station (1 night) - Hagi (2 nights) via Tsuwano - Iwakuni (1 Night)

New Plan: Shin Yamaguchi Station (1 night) then hire a car for 4 days). Hagi (via Tsuwano) 1 Night - Iwami Ginzen (1 Night) - Matsue (1 night) - Iwakuni (1 night)

I've already visited Matsue, Izumo Taisha, Adachi but not the garden of Iwami Ginzan. What do you think of Iga Ueno? Is it worth a visit or is it just average??
by mfedley  

Re: Trip Refining: Matsue or Iga Ueno 2018/5/14 14:26
i personally have not been at Iga Ueno, but a kind of trustworthy friend of mine was there and he said it is pretty average unless you are a big fan of Matsuo Basho.

2cp: your main route looks quite a little jumpy to me. you realize that it will take you almost a full day (440 minutes) from Matsue to Morioka (or 350min from Iwakuni)? so i hope you have some stops planned between it. - i personally would decide to do EITHER Tohoku OR matsue / kansai area. (maybe extend your kansai trip with a little kyushuu).in tohoku there is also pretty more to do (see for example my route there, which lasts exactly 3 weeks:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1bDqWMhiCT5YeQyTL34X8YyqTdkU&ll...
)
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Trip Refining: Matsue or Iga Ueno 2018/5/14 16:22
Forget my above comment about jumpy Matsue... I have read "Matsue" but you wrote Matsumae, which totally makes sense and is somewhere completely else :-)
Sorry...
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Trip Refining: Matsue or Iga Ueno 2018/5/14 17:42
I've been to Iga twice. Once years ago from Kyoto as a daytrip (quite a long trip - local trains and a couple of changes, but nice rural countryside along the way), and once about a month ago, when we stayed the night, as a stopover between the Kii Peninsula and Matsumoto.

There's a quite nice castle, and there's stuff about the poet Bassho (which we didn't visit), because for us it was all about the ninjas. It was one of the places our 8 yr old had chosen to visit - entirely because of the ninja connection.

It's a small place, somewhat inconvenient to get to (although they do have a highway bus service to Nagoya, which was useful), but it does have some small town charm. They do the ninja thing really well - the ninja house, museum, and show is very well done. You see people of all ages dressed in ninja costume and walking around the castle park (we even saw some dogs in ninja costume!). Some of the trains have ninja decoration on the outside, etc etc,.

There was a program on NHK World about Iga some time ago (possibly available on the net?) which had some good ideas and might be of interest. I think it was either Journeys in Japan or J Trip Plan - but I may be wrong on that.

Hope some of that is helpful.
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Trip Refining: Matsue or Iga Ueno 2018/5/14 21:43
Thanks for the info all.

I know what you mean about Iga Ueno being difficult to get to. I've had to hire a car to get there from Kyoto as the train takes ages....

I also know what you mean by town names making locations sound very far. My first day of travel is Tokyo to Matsumae which is a really long way.

For people who are interested in where I have visited, here is a Google Map....

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1u1PazW_bO2lfuLiTzkEO2nRvAvA8LwkD&usp...
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Trip Refining: Matsue or Iga Ueno 2018/5/14 22:09
extremely impressive map. (quite jealous!, hehe)

i found one spot, that might be of interest to you during your current trip and which would be on the way down to Kanazawa and is not marked yet in your visited places:
have you checked out Kurobe Gorge? (e.g. Kanetsuri Hot Spring)

by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Trip Refining: Matsue or Iga Ueno 2018/5/14 22:14
(sorry, more impressive is maybe Kuronagi Onsen there)
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Trip Refining: Matsue or Iga Ueno 2018/5/14 22:29
I've been to Kurobe Dam (plus onsen mentioned near the dam) but not the other one

https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/report-2233

Unfortunately my travel time is quite tight through this area so I won't be able to visit it. This is my last planned trip to Honshu.

I'm currently swaying towards Option 2 at the moment as I have already covered quite a bit of old town stuff up in Tohoku....
by mfedley rate this post as useful

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