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Chubu feedback 2018/11/7 08:46

Back from Chubu visit. Not a trip report, just some thoughts.

Thank you Uji, Glimpigumpi Sal1980 William5 hakata14 and everyone for input, advice, encouragement.

Driving was non-issue. Toyota-Shin-Takaoka was very easy pick-up point. My concern of driving out of big city was unwarranted. I guess I was thinking "Hanoi type traffic, ha ha". I was very surprised at the fuel efficiency of the car. I drive a Prius and get about 45 MPG, the rental, non-hybrid got 61MPG. And to whoever suggested returning to another station within the prefecture--Thanks! worked out very well

Big disappointment was Ogimachi. Uji suggested overnight stay, and of course he was right. I stupidly did not take his advice and regret it. I visited 20 years ago and remember walking between houses, fields, hearing the water run through the channels, finding only 3 tiny restaurants. Now, ugh, it has totally lost its charm. I warned my partner that it would be like "disneyland", but it was worse. If asked, I would advise to stay away. Even the Shirayama viewpoint... Japanguide only gives information for shuttle bus or walk, but you can easily drive to the viewpoint and avoid the mess. We hated it, total waste of time.

Ainokura and Suganuma were wonderful, loved both.

Kurobe Gorge!! I thought this would be the highlight, because of remote Meikan onsen and it was, but it was so much more! First, the Sarutobikyo Gorge, wow, stunning scenery. Then Babadani hotsprings!! Boiling, steamy water, bubbling up in the middle of a wild river was an incredible sight. Discovering it is the SOURCE of onsen water for Meikan onsen and Keykeidaira was mind-blowing. We have never been to the source of water for an onsen visit. Not only is the hotspring the source of hot water, but Meikan also gets all water from a mountain spring! This might be common in Japan, but it was our first realization that we were washing and bathing in fresh, pure spring water! As you hike past Meikan, pipes snake along the path to the sources. Photos of Meikan depict an average, ordinary ryokan, albeit in a beautiful location, isolated and 30 minutes from other signs of "civilization". Inside, it is a dream. Tasteful and charming decorations and furnishings adorn the inn. Obvious renovations were made, but in a thoughtful manner. No foreign visitors except us. Meals were incredible and reflected the autumn season. Meikan is truly a gem and my favorite ever.

Nakasendo trail. We stayed in Narai and Tsumago one night each. Both after 5PM were deserted and lovely. The Nagiso to Tsumago walk was delightful, especially the start. Very interesting landscaping for a rural area. I had my doubts about the Tsumago to Magome walk, added it in at the last moment. I thought, too crowded, too touristy. Yes, it is, but it is special and a very easy way to view rural Japan life. We hiked Tsumago to Magome, opposite of most suggestions, and only to the "falls". We started after 9AM and encountered 4 groups walking the opposite direction, no one in our direction. We caught a bus and as we neared Magome I saw the crowds of visitors. I think the trail would be a total different experience if surrounded by others.

Japan spoils you. Where else can you miss your bus stop, the driver tells you to sit near him, he directs you to the proper stop, and gives you a ticket for a free fare! Where else can you visit and the inn cleans your dirty shoes, without telling you? Where else can you turn in a car an hour early and be refunded $5? Same thing happened during the Kurobe bus change.

Thanks again, see you next year, PH
by papayahead  

Re: Chubu feedback 2018/11/7 19:50
I want to know only non-hybrid car model name.

Writing fuel efficiency of Prius in Japanese style is "19km/L", but it could have run more as car ability.
by Yoshinaga (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Chubu feedback 2018/11/7 21:00
No worries, Papayahead! Glad to hear you enjoyed it.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

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