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Advise on where to go 2019/4/30 12:44
Hello, My 9 year old daughter and I have a few days to travel to Japan and would like some ideas on where to go.
I will be booking a flight flying into Japan on Friday 24TH May late evening and out on the Tuesday 28TH morning so that gives me Saturday until Monday 3 full days.
I have been to Japan once so I do not want to do the same thing. I went to Tokyo, Kyoto and stayed in a Ryokan with an Onsen is the building and Mount Koya I stayed in a Monastery.
I want to stay in a Ryokan again if possible and experience Onsen again. Can my 9 year old also do Onsen?
Any ideas on places to stay will be great keeping in mind we only have 3 full days.
Thank you
by Bell (guest)  

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/4/30 16:46
Japan is not an airport! Joking aside, the points of entry and egress are important to determine the best course for your trip.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/4/30 17:22
Assuming that you are going in via Tokyo or Kansai, I would consider going to Takayama and staying at Hotel Associa for a night or two. Hotel Associa is an onsen resort, so your kid should be fine. Takayama has quite a lot to do , there is the Hida Folk Village (never been even though I've stayed a few weeks in Takayama), the squirrel forest, decent-ish shopping, beef, good park for trails, shirakawa-go is close and Kanazawa is within a couple of hours.

There are ryokans there too, I have stayed a few times at Tanabe Ryokan which was great though it is hard to go past the Hotel Associa IMO.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/4/30 17:29
yes, kids can do an onsen, aslong as they can hold their bladder.
they even love it actually. i very often see even smaller kids than yours in sentos and onsen (it seems to start at age of about 4).
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/4/30 18:42
Check the local regulation of the area you stay in.
For example, in Kyoto, it's illegal to take a 9-year-old boy into a public bath for female (Under 6 years old is ok).
by .. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/4/30 20:07
With only 3 days in Japan I would stay in the region of the airport.

Eg if you fly in to Osaka, you could spend the 3 days in Kyoto, have some onsen in Kurama or Arashiyama.
Or you could stay the 3 days in Nara (free walking deers...)

If we are talking Tokyo you could do Enoshima or Kamakura. There is a person here in the forum who has a suggestion for a very nice hotel there. (I think itfs a Ryokan).

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

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/4/30 21:59
I am traveling alone with my 8.5 year old child to Japan in June. This is her 4th trip. Of the comments posted she enjoyed the Takayama Associa Hotel, though she is a picky eater and hated the breakfast and loved the Hida no Sato Folk Village. They have a lot of games kids can actually try. We went on Thursday when some of the participatory activities were closed and we still had a great time. Takayama is ideal if you can fly into Chubu! I've thought about Nagashima Spa Land for the onsen and the amusement park but all the best roller coasters want kids to be 10+ and my daughter is not even close to passing for 10.

My daughter loves Kyoto, I was thinking of cutting it this trip and just focusing on Tohoku but my daughter nixed that. She enjoyed dressing in a kimono, she likes shopping, the monkeys in Arashiyama, and she's really enjoyed some of the gardens. She also loved the cloud coffee cafe. Uji and Nara were also enjoyed. I hope to try Tenzan no Yu with her this upcoming trip. http://www.ndg.jp/tenzan/en/ Several hotels in Kyoto proper have dug down really deep to find water for an onsen. You're not likely to get nature or outdoor views but they can still be pleasant.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/4/30 22:17
wow that's Great, Thank you for your answers.

Yes it doesn't matter what airport yet as I'm picking the destination first than booking the flights around where I decide to stay.
by Bell (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/5/1 00:19
@rkold
I went to Tenzan no yu a few months ago and it is a quite nicely decorated super sento:
http://bicycletraveljapan.blogspot.com/search/label/Onsen+Practicaliti...

Being so close to Arashiyama I can imagine that it can be very crowded, but it was ok when I went.

@ OP, check out my personal list of onsen. Note that it contains sentos, super sentos and gproper g onsen.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/5/1 00:47
@LikeBike thanks! We'll probably go during the day on a week day. We now have 4 days in Kyoto not including arrival and departure days. Departure day we're going to an ajisai festival and I'm trying to decide for the other 4. I try to limit how many temples and shrines we do so my kid doesn't get overwhelmed. I'm thinking of either Kurama or Ohara our first day, unless we do Tenzan then along with a craft and maybe Arashiyama again. I plan Fushimi Inari on Thurs because the restaurant I want to go to is closed on Wed.

To OP, I think Takayama is ideal if you're coming into Nagoya. My daughter gets a bit bored on longer train trips, so from Tokyo or KIX it's a little far.

This trip we're going to try Hanamaki onsen. I've not been before but it seems to have a plethora of options. It's an easy trip to Hiraizumi, which I enjoyed a lot, though I am trying to leave things a little open depending on the weather.

I'm not a big Hakone fan, but it is super easy to reach from Tokyo. I've thought about the Izu Peninsula but we've not done it yet. I have a friend who liked Kinosaki onsen. I don't know if the monkeys are out but there is Shibu onsen which isn't too hard to get to from Tokyo and if you backtrack to Nagano there is ninja stuff in Togakushi. I guess if you fly into KIX or Nagoya you could also try Akame Falls. There are onsen ryokan there. I've not personally stayed at them though. We're going tot ry the ninja training and just walking around the falls.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/5/1 01:41
If you did not go to Nara last time, definitely go there. It's close to Osaka and Kyoto.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2165.html
by O92 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/5/1 02:03
OH! And since you haven't specifically picked an airport, if you live somewhere where flying into Fukuoka is possible, Kyushu has a lot of amazing looking onsen. I've only been to Fukuoka and my daughter hasn't been at all, but it is on my short list of future destinations. I tend to be in Japan right now in rainy season and Summer, so I am concerned Kyushu would be too hot, but you're going earlier than me.

You could check out Takeo or Ureshino onsen and make day trips to Nagasaki or Huis ten Bosch or that animal park either @Lazy Pious or @Winter Visitor loved. (I can't remember which of you recommended it.)

Other options are Beppu or Yufuin or even Kurokawa onsen, but I wouldn't do Kyushu unless flying into Fukuoka is a possibility otherwise I think you're spending too much time in transit for just 3 days. However, since you are looking at Japan for just a long week end I am assuming you are somewhere where the flights are not insanely long like where I live.

And @Lazy Pious I believe is the person who loves Bessho onsen (not far from Nagano and Togakushi with its ninja attractions) and I believe a ryokan on Enoshima near Tokyo. I just remember that ryokan requires kids to be 6+ to use the onsen, which is not a problem for OP (or me currently) but was why I skipped it my first trip to Japan, as my daughter was only 5. at that time. I believe @Lazy Pious is headed to Japan soon so they might be busy getting things together.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/5/1 03:57
Cheers, yes leaving next Wednesday and I have a month's worth of work to do before then!

The ryokan at Enoshoma is Iwamotoro Honkan. The baths are a cave (cool) and a roman style (very cool). Enoshima is awesome, dragon themed with the temples and caves, some squirrels, and heaps of hawks. It was known as a cat island though there arent so many as you'd notice. The water isnt smelly, I think that is a plus for the younger ones. Gora at Hakone for example is very, very smelly. Bessho Onsen not so much.

For Kyushu, we stayed a few days at Kurokawa Onsen which is very traditional but quiet. Personally for the 9 year olds and me who has the attention span of a 9 year old, I'd go to Yufuin which has heaps more to do including an amazing owl park - who doesnt love owls? Nagasaki Bio-Park is amazing as well, google it. You can get there from Nagasaki (not really my cup of tea though I am scared of heights and it is essentially just one big hill) or via Huis Ten Bosch which is accessed from Fukuoka. Huis Ten Bosch might have attractions for a 9 year old. Whatever those attractions are eluded me, though it is not unnattractive.

by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/5/1 06:20
@Lazy Pious good luck getting your work done. I only finally bought the airfare for mine, though I've had the hotels booked for a while. I now just need to finish working out our plans. My daughter keeps changing what she wants to do. >>;

I'm not sure if it was to me or OP, but I've been to Nara many many many times and my daughter went in 2017. We do plan to go back this trip though, but I think we will do that Saturday as I plan to get a 5 day Kintetsu Pass. I'm just working out plans for Wed, Thurs and Fri. If it's to OP I would think about Nara depending on where I fly into. If you're flying into Tokyo or Fukuoka, then I would skip it, the same if you plan to go to Takayama. If you're doing say Akame Falls or somewhere not far from Nara for your 3 days then it is definitely worth a trip.

I've not been to Huis Ten Bosch, I personally thought it looked dull, but then if I'm going to theme parks I want rides, the wilder the better. So if they didn't have that pesky 10+ rule I would be looking at Spain Mura for my vaguely European theme park experience, because their coaster looks amazing. It's also why I've skipped Nagashima Spa Land despite wanting to go on their 92+ meter coaster. The onsen and flower gardens at Nagashima look lovely and if you think your child could pass for 10 and likes rides it might be the way to go.

I'm always looking for activities kids will also find appealing, since it seems silly to do something one of us is really not going to enjoy.

Good luck!

by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Advise on where to go 2019/5/1 06:41
Thanks for that, happy planning for you too. Personally I could stay a week in Nara and not get bored, but I have been a bit devastated as our favorite place there is Nara Hotel (old section) and our last stay there was dreadful, it was like diving into a full ash tray and wriggling around for a few days, and spending 20 minutes in the bar was akin to smoking 3 packets.

But there are plenty of other great places there in Nara so your recommendation is great, including some cheap ones around Mt Wakasaywhatever which is my favorite part of Nara.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

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