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12 day itinerary advice please 2019/10/7 22:32
I will be travelling with my husband from 31/10 -11/11 - 12 days total.
Day 1 - arrive Tokyo 530pm
Day 2 - half day tour Tokyo – hop on off bus?
Day 3 – day trip Nikko/Hakone? Suggestions? Which is a better choice, would prefer Nikko but will be a Saturday.
Day 4 – Tokyo –Nagano- Nakatsugawa – Magome (overnight)
Day 5 – Magome –Tsunamgo Nakasendo hike - Takayama (overnight)
Use JR pass travel from Nakatsugawa to Takayama although multiple transfers or bus available?
Day 6- Takayama – explore city
Day 7 – Takayama – Shirakawago (half day trip) bus
Day 8 – Takayama – Hirayu Onsen (stay overnight/day trip to Kamikochi) or skip this day and travel to Kyoto?
Day 9 – Takayama – Kyoto
Day 10 – Kyoto
Day 11- Kyoto- Hiroshima (day trip)
Day 12- Kyoto – Tokyo (spend most of the day in Kyoto plane depart Tokyo 10.30pm)

I initially tried to change my accommodation in Magome so we could travel from Tokyo -Matsumoto- Kamokichi- Takayama but unable to so so.
We have purchased a 14 day JR pass, is this the best option/
Any advice or suggestions on proposed itinerary would greatly be appreciated!
Thank you!

by Conchi (guest)  

Re: 12 day itinerary advice please 2019/10/8 11:02
That looks pretty good.

Nikko may be very cold that time of year, Kamikochi too. Kamikochi will also be pretty bare as the autumn leave would have gone. It is nice to see the monkeys there if you stay overnight (and the onsen hotel has a great rotenburo) but if it is a day trip I wouldnt bother.

Out of Nikko and Hakone I would choose Hakone personally. Nice train ride, the open air museum, the cablecar, the lake. But for a day trip I'd go to Kamakura and Enoshima instead.

Takayama should be spectacular and in full colour at that time. It is one of my favorite places. Try going to the top of the Park (where the castle ruins are) and you will go through a lot of colour. The squirrel (risu) forest just out of town also has some really nice colour.

For that day before Kyoto you were thinking about, consider Hikone (not Hakone) which is a nice castle town close to Kyoto, on lake Biwa. You get off the shinkansen at Maibara (hand around on the platform to see some bullet trains thundering through) and then it is about 5 minutes to Hikone by taxi or local train.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 12 day itinerary advice please 2019/10/8 11:29

Getting from Magome/Tsumago to Takayama is going to run you 4 hours usually, possibly more. Just be aware of that and leave yourself with enough time.

You can do the whole trip via JR but you need to make sure to time well for it. I actually saw a route that was under 4 hours from Nakatsugawa, but it's one of those routes that is only available a couple of times a day as otherwise the transfers don't all line up.

If you take the bus between Matsumoto and Takayama you could go to Hirayu or Kamikochi then. I think Kamikochi would be awful cold, but it could be quiet. If you skip Kamikochi, it would be the perfect time to overnight in Hirayu before heading to Takayama the next day.

I went to Hirayu as a day trip in February. It was snowy but I thought it was pretty and the onsen felt great in the snow.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: 12 day itinerary advice please 2019/10/8 13:36
There are also many highlights in Saitama to which you can make a day trip from Tokyo!

by deep japan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 12 day itinerary advice please 2019/10/8 21:43
Thank you for all your replies, very much appreciated!
I have altered our itinerary slightly since I was able to change my dates for accommodation at Magome.
Day 4 Tokyo - Matsumoto (by rail) view Matsumoto Castle . Bus from Matsumoto to Hirayu Onsen and overnight at a ryokan.
A couple of questions: Can I book bus from Matsumoto to Hirayu Onsen in advance? I had a look at Nohi bus website and mentioned reservations were not necessary?
Any recommendations as to where to book accomodation at Hirayu Onsen which is accessible by bus and has private onsen? Will there be autumn foliage at this time of year?
We thought about visiting Shinhotaka ropeway the following day (if clear) then making our way to Takayama that afternoon. Any other suggestions to do whilst in Hirayu Onsen area?
How many days would you suggest to stay in Takayama including a side trip to Shirakawago?
Day 7? - Takayama to Magome
Day 8 - Magome to Kyoto
Day 9-12 Kyoto and possible side trips to Hiroshima/Nara
Sorry about all these questions!! I've organised this trip at the last minute, so still doing my research.
Thank you in advance for any further suggestions/advice. Your previous recommendations have really helped!
Thank you
by Conchi rate this post as useful

Re: 12 day itinerary advice please 2019/10/9 01:08
Personally, I think you are doing some unnecessary criss crossing that isn't really going to save you any time.

I would probably do if possible:
Tokyo to the Kiso Valley, the Kiso Valley to Matsumoto, Matsumoto to Hirayu, Hirayu to Takayama, Takayama to Kyoto. I think that route makes more sense and has less circling around.

I went to Hirayu in February and didn't stay over night. I day tripped to Hirayu no mori. I didn't look into private baths. I have also been to Nakanoyu just outside Kamikochi on a steep hill. I think they had a private bath, but no one else was using the public bath when we were there so it was like a private bath lol

I've only done Kamikochi to Matsumoto and had no problem getting a seat on the bus I wanted that morning. I would think you shouldn't have a problem going to Hirayu.

I would think Matsumoto would have fall foliage. I have been to Nagano and Ueda at the end of October and both had some lovely leaves though neither was at peak I think. I honestly mostly remember conifers around Hirayu, but I was there in February.

How long to spend in Takayama depends on your interests and travel pace.

Hope this helps!

by rkold rate this post as useful

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