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Travel Advise during Golden Week 2018/11/30 15:51
Hi all, i am travelling with my family an 5y son to japan during the GW2019. Needing some advice travel location during GW. Arriving in Japan on 25th April and leaving on 6th May. I had confirmed my hotel booking in Osaka (25th - 28th April) and Kyoto (3rd-6th May)

Hence i have a few days in between which i hope to obtain advice on travel location to avoid the GW traffic and crowd. We are ok not to travel to popular tourist location. Below are my 3 options :

Option 1:
Day5 (Mon) 29th April: Okayama (.KORAKUEN, Kurashiki Bikan, Okayama Castle)
Day6 (Tue) 30th April: Okayama/ Shikoku (Kibitsu Shrine)
Day7 (Wed) 1st May: Shikoku
Day8 (Thu) 2nd May: Takahashi (Matsuyama Castle, Raikyuji, Takahashi)

Day5 (Sun) 28th April: Osaka ¨ Mount Kōya (1.5hr) ¨Osaka
Day6 (Tue) 30th April: Nara¨Igo Ueno(1hr) ¨Matsusaka
Day7 (Wed) 1st May: Ise
Day8 (Thu) 2nd May: Toba+Shima
Day9 (Fri) 3rd May: Matsusaka ¨Sakura¨Kyoto

Option 3 (Original plan which we think could be too crowded during GW)
Day5 (Mon) 29th April: Osaka ¨ Kanazawa (2.5hr) ¨Toyama(30min)
Day6 (Tue) 30th April: Toyama ¨Tateyama Alpine Route¨Ogizawa(8Hr)
Day7 (Wed) 1st May: Nagano¨Toyama(45min)¨Takayama(1.5hr)
Day8 (Thu) 2nd May: Takayama¨Shirakawago(1.5hr) ¨Kanazawa(1hr)
Day9 (Fri) 3rd May: Kanazawa¨Kyoto(

If we are to travel to either Ise-Shima or Okayama, do we need to rent a car or travel by public transport (bus&Train) is best?

Appreciate the recommendations and thank you in advance

by ChanMK  

Re: Travel Advise during Golden Week 2018/12/1 20:04
For me (admittedly a very slow traveler) all 3 of your options are WAY to fast. You hardly have any time in any of the locations. Eg Koyasan totally merits one night. Nara at least merits a full day.

Regarding GW actually itfs not that bad as everyone makes you believe it is. Trains on the beginning and end of the week get crowded (specially Tokyo -Shin Osaka part) so youfd better take a reservation ASAP, but traveling itself wonft be too bad.

As you donft have that many days, I would either just stay in Kansai and visit eg Koyasan , Nara,Uji... or go a bit down the coast and visit Okayama, Bichu Takahashi, Kibi plain, Inujima, Teshima and/or Takamatsu.

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

Re: Travel Advise during Golden Week 2018/12/2 07:32
You wrote gmake a reservation for the train ASAPh.
Can I reserve without the JR pass being activated yet?

Thanks for your response.
by Lyset rate this post as useful

Re: Travel Advise during Golden Week 2018/12/2 08:53
With regards to the question above, no you can't make a seat reservation without a ticket or activated pass. But you can activate your pass with a future date set as your 1st day, and then you can make a reservation.
For your plans, your 3rd option looks way too ambitious and is just impractical.
Kibitsu Shrine is in Okayama City, so it is doable. But the detail's of what you plan by visiting Shikoku are unclear. And while I get what you're saying, you need to be careful - there is Matsuyama Castle in Ehime in Shikoku but I believe you are referring to the Matsuyama Castle in Bitchu-Takahashi. You could see Kagawa and visit a number of good places. The Ritsurin Park in Takamatsu is one of Japan's most beautiful gardens.
The castle, nearby islands, Shikoku Mura, and Yashima Temple are all good. Plus in Kotohira the half-day hike to Konpirasan is one of the nation's best.

I'd also agree that if you go to Koyasan, it's best as an overnight. And if you don't adequately see the Okunoin cemetery, it's not worth the trouble of going at all. For a big group like yours, it would be pricey though, but there are some cheap guesthouses there too.
Is there any reason why you are skipping the sights of Nara or Kyoto? Yes Kyoto will be crowded, but there are lesser known jewels as well. Miyama is another idea.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Travel Advise during Golden Week 2018/12/4 14:48
Hi Ken, thanks for the recommendation. I am actually visiting Osaka and Kyoto. I arrive in Kansai on 25th Apil will visit Osaka for a few days and end my trip in Kyoto for another 3 days.

I am seeking advice on the place to go between my Osaka and Kyoto travel between 29th April - 3rd May.

My latest planning reduce the time on the road, and travel at a slower pace....Whats your suggestion on my latest planning below:

Day1 (Thu) 25th April: Kansai Airport¨Osaka = HARUKA-KX¨Tennoji¨Shinsaibashi (Midosuji Line)
Day2 (Fri) 26th April: Osaka day trip - ICOCA
Day3 (Sat) 27th April: Osaka day trip - ICOCA
Day4 (Sun) 28th April: Osaka ¨ Mount Kōya Koyasan World Heritage Tickets
Day5 (Mon) 29th April: Osaka ¨ Nara (1hr) NARA day trip
Day6 (Tue) 30th April: Nara¨ Yoshino¨Kashihara
Day7 (Wed) 1st May: Sakurai (car Rental in Kashihara)
Day8 (Thu) 2nd May: Nabari+Soni (Car Rental)
Day9 (Fri) 3rd May: Iga Ueno ¨Kyoto (car Rental return in Iga)
Day10 (Sat) 4th May: Kyoto days trip - ICOCA / Bus One-day Pass (\500)
Day11 (Sun) 5th May: Kyoto days trip - ICOCA / Bus One-day Pass (\500)
Day12 (Mon) 6th May: Kyoto ¨ Kansai Airport – HARUKA (ETD-10pm)
by ChanMK rate this post as useful

Re: Travel Advise during Golden Week 2018/12/5 03:24
OK, thanks for adding more info. It's still unclear if you have a set list of places you are dying to see in each city, but I suggest you consider taking a day off of Osaka and if you haven't seen it yet, go see Himeji.
The castle is one of the nation's best and a surviving original - others like Osaka "castle" aren't even a reconstruction - just a cube museum with a castle facade. In addition, in Himeji the Kokoen Garden is simply stunning, and if you want to make a full day out of it, you could go up to Mt Shosha. Otherwise, you could take half a day and see Kobe - it has some nice places as well.
Unless you have some other rail pass, you could get some good savings on a one day Kansai Area Pass.
Don't forget you can also see Osaka after a day of sightseeing in Kyoto. In the evening is when Osaka really comes alive anyway. Dotonbori and Shinsekai are great at night, plus there are very good city views from atop the Umeda Sky Bldg, Abeno Harukas Bldg, and Cosmo Tower.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

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