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Quick Trip to Tohoku in March 2019/2/2 11:48
My boyfriend and I are planning to travel for 7 days in March and getting quite confused with all of the options and what accessibility some of these areas will have in early Spring with lots of snow around. We are interested in onsen towns, natural scenery and hiking (if this is at all possible in that time of year). We are keen to avoid large cities as much as possible.

We will be leaving from Nozawa Onsen on the 9th of March and need to back in Tokyo the evening of the 16th of March. As far as I can see we will likely need to go back through Tokyo to get from Nozawa Onsen to any of the planned locations but any other suggestions would be greatly welcome?

Places we would really like to include:
- Nyuto Onsen (also interested in any other onsen locations to stay the night)
- Lake Towada (can you travel between these locations in March, some sites suggest not?)
- Matsushima
- Yamedera
- Genbikei/Geibikei Gorge
- Jodogahama Beach

Other places that we are interested in (I understand some are in totally different areas):
- Nikko
- Matsumoto
- Shirakawa-go
- Yunessun Spa Resort
- Koiwai farm

Would really appreciate some idea of a suggested itinerary and any particular recommendations in this area for places to stay or things to see.

Thank you so much for your time!
by KaraA  

Re: Quick Trip to Tohoku in March 2019/2/3 00:54

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I suspect you would have a hard time visiting all these places in 7 days unless you just want to sit in a car or a bus or a train for long periods of time. I really like Matsumoto, but I would probably skip that and I would definitely skip Shirakawa Go. You might need to skip Yunessun as well, but to be frank, in March it tends to get quite crowded with young Japanese people.

There are other onsen open in March in Tohoku outside of Nyuto. Hanamaki and Oyu spring to mind. I've not been to Hanamaki, but it looked quite nice in pictures. I believe they have a shuttle from Shin-Hanamaki Station if you are relying on public transport. Towadaminami is the nearest station to Oyu. We had a rental car, so I don't know much about transport from the station. We stayed in a lovely ryokan there with terrific baths. You will definitely be back tracking, because the roads that lead you from Nyuto onsen north are closed in Winter whether you are renting a car or using public transit. There are several onsen hotels near Lake Towada and they offer a shuttle to their guests from train stations. I'm not sure how much of Towada is open but there are Winter snow shoeing tours offered by some of the hotels. I don't know if they are open to non guests. I found this link: https://news.gogotohoku.jp/2018/12/21/new-adventure-in-winter-with-ora... as well as : https://hubjapan.io/articles/oirase-gorge-snow-hike-in-winter-was-the-...

Koiwai Farms has an English website:
https://www.koiwai.co.jp/makiba/en/ and this Iwate site has more information on access:

You've not said your budget or how you are getting around. Via train, it's over 3 hours just from Iiyama to Nikko or 3 hours to Sendai if you wanted to start in Matsushima. Driving between Nozawa and Nikko will also take you 3.5 hours assuming good traffic and you will have tolls.

Good luck deciding what you want to do.

by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Quick Trip to Tohoku in March 2019/2/3 00:57
BTW if you're driving from Nozawa, you don't go through Tokyo. If you're taking the shinkansen from Iiyama to somewhere else in Tohoku you change in Omiya. It's a pretty easy change.
by rkold rate this post as useful

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