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Ainokura worth the detour 2019/5/12 01:52
Hey there,

A friend and I will be in Japan soon and amongst others, we are going to the Japanese alps for a few days. Our current itinerary is as follows:

Monday (05/20/2019): Going by train from Tokyo to Matsumoto, visit the castle, getting our rental car and driving to Hirayu onsen

Tuesday (05/21/2019): Daytrip to Kamikochi

Wednesday (05/22/2019): Daytrip to Norikura and hike to Kengamine

Thursday (05/23/2019): Drive back to Matsumoto, return the car, and head to Nagano

I was thinking to maybe skip the daytrip to Norikura because it seems that there is still a lot of snow - so a hike to Kengamine might not be feasible. Instead, I was thinking of driving to Ainokura.

Do you think it's worth it since it takes approximately 2 hours to Ainokura?

Another option might be to drive to Ainokura on Monday (05/20/2019) and stay there for the night and go to Hirayu onsen for just two night.

Or would you rather advise to stay in Hirayu onsen for 3 nights and postpone Ainokura for another trip? I plan to visit Japan anyway in future...

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and opinions!
by white wombat  

Re: Ainokura worth the detour 2019/5/12 08:51
I canft decide for you but out of the two Gassho villages I visited (Gokayama and Ainokura) I preferred the later. It still isnft too touristic because it takes a detour to get there. Apparently most tourists just go to Shirakawa (which I have not visited). If you have the possibility to stay in one of the Gassho houses there I would take that opportunity. But thatfs me.

I also enjoyed my stay at hirayu onsen. I didnft go on any hiking, just soaking in the multiple routenburos. If it was me I would spend at least one full day just going from onsen to onsen. But then I donft like hiking.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
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