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

Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/2/12 11:13
Hello all,

The intention of my upcoming April trip, is for 2 main attractions that Ifve always wanted to see; Naruto Whirlpools and Tottori Sand Dunes. So I planned this as a short and budgeted trip. As Ifll be travelling on my own, safety would be my utmost concern and I'll be using public transport or walking (not cycling).

Day 1 Flight in to Kansai Airport; bus to Okayama (overnight in Okayama)
Day 2 Okayama Castle & Korakuen; Washuzan Highland, Washuzan Hill (overnight in Okayama)
Day 3 Okayama -> Tsuyama -> Tottori <-> Wakasa --- *Tsuyama Castle for cherry blossoms viewing*; Fudoin Iwayado Hall (overnight in Tottori)
Day 4 Tottori <-> Iwami --- Uradome Coast; sand dunes & museum (overnight in Tottori)
Day 5 Tottori <-> Yonago, Matsue --- Eshima Ohashi Bridge, Hanakairo, Adachi Museum, Matsue Castle (overnight in Tottori)
Day 6 Tottori -> Okayama <-> RSK rose garden, Wake Fuji Park, Kurashiki (overnight in Okayama)
Day 7 Okayama <-> Oboke Koboke Area (overnight in Okayama)
Day 8 Okayama -> Tokushima <-> Awa Sand Pillars (overnight in Tokushima)
Day 9 Tokushima <-> Naruto Whirlpools (overnight in Tokushima)
Day 10 Tokushima --- Hana Haru Festa (overnight in Tokushima)
Day 11 Bus from Tokushima; flight from Kansai Airport

*Tsuyama Castle* - depends on conditions of sakura by then
Days 3 – 6, Ifll be using the JR Sanin Okayama Pass

Please help to see if my plan is doable or if Ifm too ambitious.
1. Which and how is the best way to see the Eshima Ohashi Bridge? I intend to do this as first event of that day. Ifve read about taking a bus and travel on the bridge, but I have no idea where the bus would bring me to.
2. RSK Rose Garden – is this open in April? I get confused with the information on its website. http://www.rsk-baraen.co.jp/info.html
3. If the peak viewing of flowers is in the following month, does it mean therefs no point in visiting? Ifm talking about the RSK Rose Garden and Wake Fuji Park.
4. Would you advise that I go to Oboke Koboke area from Okayama or Tokushima? The connections and costs are equally long and expensive to me. Ifm interested in seeing the vine bridge, Iya valley, and if possible, to do water rafting. Is it possible to cover these in a day and not miss the transport connections?
5. Awa Sand Pillars – is it easy to get a taxi from its nearest station to the site and vice versa?

Thank you so much for your advice!
by chloebb (guest)  

Re: Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/2/12 14:34
Day 3 looks rushed to me. Dont under estimate the time on trains and the time you'll need at Tsuyama.

The bridge really needs a car to get to. Otherwise you will deal with a infrequent bus system. The bridge isnt viewed as a tourist attraction. So there is not good public transport infrastructure in place.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/2/12 15:54
Day 7: I think it makes more sense to stay in Shikoku (like city of Takamatsu) after a day in Oboke Koboke area, since you will be going to Tokushima on Day 8.

Regarding Naruto vortex viewing, it is highly dependent on weather and tidal condition. I think you have two chances per day for peak tidal flows, so study the tide table for that day and keep lots of margin in your schedule. Although not as impactful as viewed from a boat, you may be able to view it from the O-Naruto Bridge (between Tokushima and Awaji Island).
by O92 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/2/12 16:07
Yeah, I don't quite see why you'd want to just go to the bridge - renting a car and driving over it is one thing, but you certainly wouldn't rent a car just for that.
For Okayama, if you have time, you can go to Handayama - it's within walking distance of Korakuen. I skipped the castle in favor of it and glad I did - Handayama was marvelous.
https://youtu.be/JGQ8o7k9GbA

For Matsue, you also might consider Yuushien.
http://www.yuushien.com/yuushien/language/english.html
If you are there in the peony season, it is the most beautiful. And if interested, you could take the sunset Hakuchou lake cruise.
http://hakuchougo.jp/english/
I also didn't run the numbers, but the tourist pass might save you some money
https://www.sanin-tourism.com/en/tourist_pass
You may be too early for the Rose Garden - typically mid-May to mid-June would be the best time in spring.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/2/13 12:27
Thank you all, for the invaluable advice!
Based on some suggestions, I've adjusted the itinerary.

Day 1 bus from KIX to Tokushima (overnight in Tokushima)
Day 2 Tokushima <-> Naruto Whirlpools (overnight in Tokushima)
Day 3 Tokushima -> Awa Sand Pillars -> Kotohira/Utazu/Marugame (overnight in Kotohira/Utazu/Marugame)
Day 4 Kotohira/Utazu/Marugame <-> Oboke Koboke (overnight in Kotohira/Utazu/Marugame)
Day 5 Kotohira/Utazu/Marugame -> Tsuyama -> Tottori (overnight in Tottori)
Day 6 Tottori <-> Iwami --- Uradome Coast; sand dunes & museum (overnight in Tottori)
Day 7 Tottori <-> Yonago, Matsue --- Matsue Castle, Hanakairo (overnight in Tottori)
Day 8 Tottori -> Wakasa -> Okayama (overnight in Okayama)
Days 9 & 10 Okayama
Day 11 bus from Okayama to KIX

With a new sequence, do you think it's better than the previous?
I feel the cons would be, just one day assigned for the chance at Naruto Whirlpools; and missing the Hana Haru Festa in Tokushima. Wonder if it's a shame to miss this.. Also, because it won't be weekend when I'm in Tottori, I won't be able to enjoy the free rides on Kirin Jishi Loop Bus. It shouldn't be too expensive to pay for the rides though.
Among Kotohira/Utazu/Marugame, which is a more recommended place to stay?

Thanks again!

by chloebb (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/2/13 13:36
I found a site with tide prediction. It can be viewed in English (the translation is not always good, but the times are not mistranslated). I hope you picked a good day.
http://www.naruto-kankou.jp/uzu/calendar/?date_ymd=2019-04-01#UZU

This is Uzu-no-michi, where you can view the vortex from bridge.
https://www.uzunomichi.jp/

by O92 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/2/13 14:07
Hello O92,

Thank you for the information!
I intend to spend a full day around Naruto to see the whirlpools in action; by boat and on the bridge.
I'm not sceptical about the time table, but it's nature, and I wonder if it's usually accurate for a 2month prediction. Of course, I'll keep checking the time table.

Taking an example of 17 April, the high tides are predicted at 10:50 and 17:00. I sort of remember reading that it's more spectacular to watch the tides about an hour from the high tides. Does it mean I should be either on the boat or bridge by 11:50 and 18:00?

I'm so excited about seeing this!!
by chloebb (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/2/13 16:09
Times highlighted in red are "large tide" event, in which they say vortex may be visible from 2 hr before to 2 hr after. So, if low tide is at 10:50 the vortex may be visible anywhere from 08:50 to 12:50. Sky gets dark early in Japan, so I don't know how visible the high tide event will be at 17:00. Also, check the boat schedule (it might not operate that late).
by O92 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/2/14 17:30
i got maybe a suggestion for day 5
why dont you stay the night over in Matsue instead of Tottori? You would save yourself this going forth and back. Also this would give you more time for Matsue and you could see Yushien garden, which is one of the best of Japan. Also very nearby are beautiful onsen towns like Tamatsukuri Onsen.
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/2/14 17:31
PS. since your updated your plan, i now talk about day 7
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/2/15 15:18
Hello O92,

Looking at the time table again, I'm confused now. At first I thought items marked in red mean high tides. However, on a closer look at 17/4 for example, the high tide is only for 17:00; but 10:50 is low tide, though marked in red. This confusion also applies to some other days as well. So if it's ideally to watch the vortex about 2 hours before or after high tides, it means from 15:00 to 19:00, right?

Hi Glimpigumpi, thank you for the suggestion. I only have a concern with moving my bags here and there and the time needed for check in etc. But I'll give it a consideration. Thank you.
by chloebb (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Shikoku/Chugoku 2019/3/21 13:35
Hello all,

I'm finalising my itinerary. Please help to see if you could clear the doubts I'm facing.

Day 1 Flight in to Kansai Airport; bus to Okayama (overnight in Okayama)
Day 2 Handayama, Washuzan Hill (overnight in Okayama)
Day 3 Okayama < -> Tottori sand dunes & museum (overnight in Tottori)
Day 4 Tottori <-> *sand dunes*; Iwami --- Uradome Coast (overnight in Tottori)
Day 5 Tottori -> Yonago, Matsue --- *Hanakairo, Adachi Museum, Yuushien Garden*, Lake Shinji sunset cruise (overnight in Matsue)
Day 6 Matsue -> Okayama --- Matsue Castle; Okayama Castle & Korakuen (overnight in Okayama)
Day 7 Okayama <-> *Kibiji Bike Trail*, Kurashiki (overnight in Okayama)
Day 8 Okayama -> Tokushima -> Tokushima sightseeing (overnight in Tokushima)
Day 9 Tokushima <-> Naruto Whirlpools (overnight in Tokushima)
Day 10 Tokushima --- Hana Haru Festa (overnight in Tokushima)
Day 11 Bus from Tokushima; flight from Kansai Airport
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Day 4 - if I had visited the sand dunes on day 3 from noon to evening, is there much difference in views if in the next morning before going Uradome Coast?
Day 5 - I think I can only squeeze time for 2 sites. How do I choose between Hanakairo, Adachi Museum and Yuushien? as for sunset in Matsue, would it be any difference to view on land or cruise?
Day 7 - As I'm not a regular cyclist, do you think it'll be easy to do the Kibiji Bike trail all by myself by noon, without getting lost or getting injured? :)


by chloebb (guest) rate this post as useful

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