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

Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/4 06:57
So this is my I am not sure what number trip and my daughter's 4th. It's just the two of us usually, she's now 8 and I try to mix her interests, my interests and going back to favorite places. We can't do an open-jaw or arrive anywhere outside Narita/Haneda. I do prefer to start in Kansai though because my daughter tends to have bad jetlag our first few days and I just don't think Tokyo has as much to do at 8:00 am. I also have at least one friend in Kansai and one friend in Tokyo I would like to see so I need to find some week end time in both because work.

So the daughter really wants to do something ninja related and originally I was thinking:
Thursday June 20th leave for Japan from USA
Friday arrive (night Tokyo, because I now know DD can't handle night travel like that)
Saturday Early train to Kyoto, unsure where we will visit will partially depend on the weather (night Kyoto) Pass day 1
Sunday Fushimi Inari in the am taking advantage of jetlag unsure other sightseeing, hopefully dinner in Osaka with friend (night Kyoto) Pass 2
Monday sightseeing Kyoto (My DD wants to do Yoshime-dera again, we might also look at Kurama-dera (night Kyoto) Pass 3
Tuesday Train to Kiso Valley (night in the Kiso Valley) Pass 4
Wednesday Explore what is left to see in Kiso Valley (night in Kiso Valley) Pass 5
Thursday Nagano or Karuizawa. Pass 6
Friday We're going back to Licca Castle. I am hoping to convince DD we should rent a car so we are not reliant on the Banetsu line. The nearest shinkansen stop is Koriyama about 1 hour away from the Castle. Night Tokyo (Pass 7)
Saturday Tokyo (shopping or seeing friends or regular sightseeing)
Sunday Tokyo (shopping or seeing friends or regular sightseeing)
Monday Use Tobu Pass to visit Nikko (night Nikko)
Tuesday Visit Edomura in Nikko (night Tokyo)
Wednesday Tokyo sightseeing (night Tokyo)
Thursday or Friday leave for next destination with possible round the world ticket.

The other idea is something like this:

Thursday June 20th leave for Japan
Friday June 21st arrive (night Tokyo)
Saturday June 22 early flight kansai (night Kyoto)
Sunday June 23 Kansai (night Kyoto)
Monday June 24 Kansai (night Kyoto)
Tuesday June 25 Visit Iga Ueno (night Nagoya ?)
Wednesday 26 Kiso (night Kiso) Pass 1
Thursday 27 Kiso (night Kiso) 2
Friday if time go to Togakushi (and ninja village night Nagano) 3
sat night Tokyo 4
Sun night Tokyo 5
Mon night Tokyo 6
Tuesday Licca Castle (Tokyo) 7
Wednesday July 3 (night Tokyo)
Thursday July 4 or 5th leave

So I guess my question is has anyone been to Togakushi to the Kid's Ninja village vs. Edomura vs. Iga-Ueno? My daughter is probably thinking experiencing a ninja show and getting to try out being a ninja. I guess the other option is skipping Iga Ueno entirely and doing the movie park in Kyoto. Is Iga Ueno actually interesting for kids? Mine was not feeling Myoryuji Temple in Kanazawa, though I found it fascinating.

The other option is a 2 week pass instead of flying and just making sure to take day trips, since Sat through Friday or Friday through Thurs depending on when we go back would cover our whole trip. For the most part I prefer spending at least 2 nights per location

Thank you in advance!

by rkold  

Re: Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/4 13:40
You don't know the rainy season?
by SHNi (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/4 23:06
Uhh Yes, I know it is the rainy season. We've gone this exact same period 3 times now (2016, 2017 and 2018.)

I have a child. They are in school. We have only very limited vacation times outside of Summer. Summer vacation doesn't start until late June and only goes until August.

So I would appreciate if you have any advice outside of the fact it is rainy season.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/5 03:44
Ifve only been to Iga Ueno (twice - once this Easter with an 8 yr old daughter who is keen on ninjas).
She loved it. The ninja house is great (enthusiastic staff in costume demonstrating the trapdoors and such), the attached small museum is also quite good (20-30 minutes), and if you time your visit so you can see the ninja show that is also fun, and (deliberately) funny.
You will see people (and dogs!) walking around in hired ninja costume, and you can arrive on a ninja-painted train.
The castle is also quite nice (but youfve probably done several castles already).
Therefs an NHK World travel programme on Iga that might give some ideas if itfs still available online.
The chief problem is the itfs a fair trip from most places to get to Iga. Train from Kyoto takes a while and has some changes. We arrived by car from Koyasan and left by highway bus to Nagoya (quite good, maybe around 2 hours, drops off at the JR station).
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/5 04:42
Hi @Winter Visitor,

I am contemplating finally renting a car for some of the trip as I despise the transport between Koriyama and Ononiimachi, but I'm ehhh on going back to Koya-san. Since it's the opposite side of the road for me, I'd rather start somewhere simpler where the roads are flatter and less windy.

My thought was to forward the bags to Kiso if possible, and then take Kintetsu to Iga and then the bus to Nagoya, since that would keep the travel times to about 4 hours total and we'd be mostly in Kyoto/Osaka before. I still might train it to Kyoto. I forgot with my daughter's 1/2 price ticket it's still probably cheaper unless I do a 2 week pass which is probably not worth it.

Have you taken yours to Ise yet?

Do they let the kids try the trap doors? I want to make sure she can participate and not just watch, I think that is why she found Nijadera dull. She really wants to do cheezy ninja activities and I would probably pay for her to dress up.

She's been to Matsumoto Castle, I've been to more: Himeji, Hikone, Nijo, Matsumoto, Wakayama, Ueda remains, Hirosaki, and Osaka, possibly some others I am forgetting.

We're looking into a Round the World ticket as we expect to do USA to Japan to UK to USA again. I'd do another stop over, but we're hopefully meeting my husband in the UK.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/5 19:43
Hi rkold,
I donft know your and your daughterfs traveling style but I would think that a round the world trip for USA-Japan-UK-USA might be too exhausting for an 8 year old.

I think if youfre going to meet your husband in the UK then maybe focus this holiday on the UK especially that your daughter has done Japan three times already. Scotland in the summer is beautiful, and London has so many attractions and things to do.

If you would like another country in between USA and UK, consider Iceland. Iceland Air has great deals from USA to Europe allowing for up to 7 days stay in Iceland without any extra flight and tax charges.

You can do Japan again the following year. I know it But if youfre still insistent on going to Japan next year, then by all means do so.

by all means
by Lana (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/5 21:59
You definitely can't try out the trap doors at Iga - they're just for the staff.

I have seen somewhere (maybe near Iga - but I can't remember for sure) on an NHK World travel programme, where the presenter was doing some hands-on ninja activities. It was in an outdoor setting. I remember him crossing a river using ropes and also then using the foot-float things (like snowshoes for water, if you see what I mean)

Maybe look here:

by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/5 23:08

The truth is given a choice both my daughter and I would rather go to Japan. We're going to the UK to spend a week visiting family. Our family lives in a very pretty but very rural part of Wales (Anglesey.) We will probably be spending the whole time there outside our arrival and departure days. If we were to do a longer than ~1 week trip to the UK, we would be expected to spend longer in Wales..visiting family.. without my husband. It's much harder to sometimes see an area when you have family there and are expected to visit. Last year, we combined a trip to Japan with a trip to Utah to see family for 1 week before returning home. It's not quite round the world, but has some of the same elements. (14 hour flight to Japan, 8 or 9 hour flight to LAX, change for a domestic flight with another 1 hour to Vegas, then a 2 hour drive to UT, 1 week with family and then that 2 hour drive back to Vegas and a 5 hour flight home.) Neither my child or I are perfect, we had jetlag issues. But every trip I learn a bit on what makes more sense for us.
(like just spending the 1st night in Tokyo.) Heck, just going to and from Japan is pretty much going 1/2 way around the world for us as we're on the East Coast. I've heard Iceland is lovely, my sister went. I'm just not sure how I feel about Iceland alone with an 8 year old, vs. Japan where I feel very comfortable as I've been many many times. But I appreciate your concern about our travel arrangements. :)

@Winter Visitor, yeah Ninjadera has similar sort of traps demonstrated by the staff in Kanazawa. If you've not been I would highly recommend it. I think Koka is the place near Iga Ueno that offers an actual ninja course and experience. I also saw another place near Ise that even has a fake Azuchi Castle. I've thought about Koka and Hikone, we could take regular trains and head slowly to Nagoya that way. I've only been to Hikone once and I went very off season so the garden was not at its best. I might also try to go to Togakushi since I would then get the shrines and she would get the Kid's ninja village. I confess, I miss the old JR East Pass (as it included Nagano-Niigata and Tohoku.) I guess I could look into renting the car from Nasu-Shiobara to get to Ononiimachi. Decisions! My goal is I just want to do something new for me every trip.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/6 00:08
Check out the place in Mie, here - about halfway down the page:
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/6 00:09
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/6 01:25
@Winter Visitor, thank you! :D I will check it out later today. Those might be just what we want. I confess, I am seriously considering just skipping out a little early on school to have a day or two longer in Japan. lol She'll miss the end of the year party, but not any actual work.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Late June 2019, daughter's 4th trip 2018/12/6 07:59
@Winter Visitor, wow, thank you so so so much for the links. Akame 48 Falls looks amazing. I've never been there and between the Falls and the cute ninja program it looks perfect for us. I also saw a gorgeous looking onsen nearby. I'm thinking now maybe of doing a trip to Sakurai and visiting the area around it, as I've never been there. There is a gorgeous garden near there and some fun looking temples.

One of the places recommended in the other link is the place in Nagano I was considering and the place I found near Ise. I guess I need to figure out which places make the most sense for us, but I suspect we are now dropping Nikko.

I'm wondering if renting a car from Sakurai in Nara-ken and then returning it in Mie-ken would have awful drop-off fees.
by rkold rate this post as useful

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