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

Our possible itinerary on the Kii Peninsula 2018/11/6 20:48
We are travelling to Japan again in March April 2019. We fly into Fukuoka and will spend some time in Kyushu first. Then we are heading to the Kii Peninsula and although we donft want to walk the Kumano Kodo, wefd like to get to some of the places along the way and do some gentle walks.

We are 70 and over and like to relax in beautiful places, eat tasty food and enjoy one of our favourite countries.

Our initial plan for this region is:

31st Mar stay Tanabe or Shirahama

1st April stay Tanabe or Shirahama

2nd April stay Yunomine area

3rd April stay Yunomine area

4th April come down to Shingu by boat through the gorge (if we have car shuttle back to pick it up and drive down stay in Katsuura

5th April walk to Kumano Nachi Taisha - stay in Katsuura

6th April head back towards Osaka - maybe stop in Kushimoto -

Fly Osaka Brisbane 23.45

We could possibly add in a day or two at the beginning if it there is something fabulous to include. Nothing is booked yet but we do need to do it quickly I think.

In our situation would it be a good idea to hire a car from Wakayama? (wefre used to driving in Japan) There may be some times it is unused. Is it just as easy to do this kind of itinerary by public transport. In that case would we have trouble getting luggage to places to stay.

Some ryokan and hotels are showing 'full' at the moment. Is this likely so far ahead or do they not take bookings until closer to the time?

We'd love some advice about how to enjoy this lovely region.
by yeshekathy  

Re: Our possible itinerary on the Kii Peninsula 2018/11/7 21:48
Sounds like a great trip.

A few questions/observations:
- how are you getting there from Kyushu? I'm assuming you'll travel on the mainland and therefore go via Osaka? In that case, have you thought about a stay on Mt Koya (could be done on the way in or out of the peninsula). Alternatively, have you thought about going Kyushu (ferry) to Shikoku, spending a few days on Shikoku and then (ferry to) Wakayama?

- If you like onsens, I couldn't recommend highly enough the seaside onsen in Shirahama. We visited one weekday lunchtime over Easter this year and it was empty - and amazing.

- Yunomine is lovely. Really atmospheric. It's a quiet place, but we loved it. I'd probably only stay for one night though - especially if you have a car (which is a useful thing - although buses did seem to run every hour or so when we were there). We stayed one night in the lovely old ryokan in Yunomine (can't remember the name but it's the oldest one there), which was charming and serene, and then went and had the next night in Kawayu onsen (more developed, more concrete buildings, but a good contrast to Yunomine, and the riverside baths there were excellent fun).

- Katsuura is OK, but not somewhere I'd go out of my way to visit (apart from the baths at the Hotel Urashima - which is a hugely overdeveloped place, popular with big groups, and with very average food and rooms, but two really excellent cave/semi outdoor baths). We didn't see the tuna cutting/fish market there as we had already been to Marina City (I think that's what it's called) just outside Wakayama and had seen tuna cutting and eaten far too much very good fresh fish there earlier in the trip.
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Our possible itinerary on the Kii Peninsula 2018/11/7 22:13
Thank you so much - such a helpful reply...
We hadn't planned how we'd get from Kyushu yet and your idea of the ferries and going via Shikoku is really great! My husband is thinking of meeting up with my brother and doing at least part of the bike ride over the bridges from Shikoku to Honshu or vice versa (I'm not a bikerider myself and will take buses and meet him) and that might fit well.

We have stayed in Koyosan before so although we loved it, it's not really necessary this time and we'd be too early for the sakura there.

Katsuura was a stopping point so we could go up to the shrine and waterfall (Kumano Nachi Taisha) from there. Would it be better to stay in Shingu?

We have developed a love for onsens. You mentioned the seaside onsen in Shirahama. Is that a reasonable place to stay? or is it a place to visit during the day.

thank you again!
by yeshekathy rate this post as useful

Re: Our possible itinerary on the Kii Peninsula 2018/11/7 23:36
IIRC, the ferries from Kyushu to Shikoku are a little long. I have a figure of circa 5 hrs in my head, but you need to check that because my memory is really old and we never actually did the journey. We'd looked at them on a previous trip but ended up not doing them. Possibly because of journey length, and possibly because we also weren't planning on being on the east coast of Kyushu, so it was easier to return by train. your plans may be different.

We have taken the ferry from Hiroshima to Matsuyama (some years ago, lovely journey across the Inland Sea) and spent a night in Dogo Onsen before heading to Takamatsu by train, visiting the lovely garden there, staying overnight and then going on to Naoshima by ferry.

We did the ferry from Shikoku to Wakayama in April '18 and it was great. We did a night in the Iya Valley (renting a car from Takamatsu - where we'd flown to from Tokyo), sampled the cable car onsen at the Iya Valley Hotel (completely bonkers, in the nicest possible way) and returned the car to Tokushima (also nice enough to spend a couple of hours in) before getting on the ferry to Wakayama.

I can't comment on Shirahama as a place to stay. We were driving from Wakayama to Katsuura and just stopped off in Shirahama for as long as it took to have a bath, grab a quick lunch from a combini, and drive on. My impression of Shirahama was that it was a seaside, resort-y, place with a lot of concrete hotels. It was April, so not really sunbathing weather, although warm-ish, so the beach didn't really appeal. We hadn't planned to stay there, and I didn't see anything to change my mind as we buzzed through.

Katsuura is a good place to go to Nachi Taisha from. We were on an onsen-focused trip, and we'd booked a stay in an old-fashioned place in Yunomine the next night, so we went bubble-economy crazy and stayed at the Urashima. That (and the fact that like you we were heading to the shrine the next day), was the sole reason we stopped there.

Driving from Wakayama, having stopped briefly at Shirahama, and following the fairly quiet and, sometimes very scenic, coast road, we got to Katsuura at about 3 pm IIRC, so we could have pushed on to Yunomine (for example). Katsuura bay is pretty, the seafood at the market is supposed to be good, but other than that it's a modern fishing port/resort place. A good contrast to Yunomine, and some nice coastal views before you head inland. Otherwise, nothing special.

One other possible place for a drive-by (or day trip from Wakayama) that may interest you is Yuasa, where there's a small preserved old streets district and a soy sauce brewery that does a little tour (and sells soy sauce ice cream - which is lovely). There's an NHK World travel program on it, which should be available on demand in the 'net.
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Our possible itinerary on the Kii Peninsula 2018/11/8 07:43
I'm not sure why my answer was repeated there (?) sorry about that. Your information is great. I think I'll do a bit of a rethink on the itinerary (it's complicated because we are meeting up with my brother and sister-in-law for part of the time) and then I'm sure to have some more specific questions. Love the idea of the ferry from Shikoku to Wakayama!
Thank you so much for your help!!
by yeshekathy rate this post as useful

Re: Our possible itinerary on the Kii Peninsula 2018/11/18 16:55
I did start a new post for this but it's maybe better to just put the question here...

After some great advice from people here, I have redone the itinerary for the second part of our trip... which is:

28th March arrive Wayakama stay one night

29th pick up hire car and drive to Yoshino - stay one night in monastery there (gorgeous!)

30th drive on to Shingu - stay 3 nights and drive up and down coast from there, also go to Karaatsu and walk to the waterfal and shrine.

2nd April drive to Hongu - stay two nights in little house there and visit the lovely area with some walks on the trail.

4th - we need to be heading towards Wakayama BUT I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO STAY! PLEASE HELP.

We'll have been in the hills and little onsen towns for a while and will spend our final night in Wakayama on 5th (having taken back the hire car there) before flying out to Australia on 6th so I'd like somewhere lovely and not too touristy.

I hope someone has some suggestions please.
by yeshekathy rate this post as useful

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