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Itinerary advice 2019/10/28 16:46
Hi all,

I was hoping to get some help with the following itinerary. I had initially planned to go from Tokyo - Matsumoto (2-3 hrs at castle) - 2 nights Takayama - 2 nights Kanazawa - Osaka, however I would really like to stay at Mozumo Ryokan in Takayama and the only available date for the room I want is the 14th. As such, I believe I will need to do the following itinerary instead:

Nov 5th to 11th - Tokyo
11th - 13th - Kanazawa (stop over at Shirakawago on route to Takayama)
13th - 15th - Takayama (1 night at Mozumo)
15th - 17th (weekend) - Osaka (Nara day trip)
17th - 22nd - Kyoto (Himeji day trip)
22nd - 25th - Tokyo

Would the Hokuriku Arch Pass be worth it? What are my options getting from Takayama to Osaka?

I've tried to plan my itinerary so I spend the weekends in Toyko/Osaka for night life, and the week's sightseeing.

Cheers.
by lukemca  

Re: Itinerary advice 2019/10/28 19:31
Nov 5th to 11th - Tokyo
11th - 13th - Kanazawa (stop over at Shirakawago on route to Takayama)
13th - 15th - Takayama (1 night at Mozumo)


If I understand you correctly you only have 1 night at the ryokan you want to stay in Takayama. The 14th night. In order not to change hotels within Takayama and as you mentioned you wanted to go to Matsumoto I would do:

11/Nov: Tokyo - Matsumoto - Kanazawa (it's a lot of time in the train), but you can use the day in Matsumoto and then take a train in the evening to Kanazawa. E.g. if you leave Matsumoto around 18:00 you are around 21:00 in Kanazawa

12 & 13 Nov: full days in Kanazawa

14/Nov: start your day early, go to Shirakawa-go on the way to Takayama and arrive early at your hotel to enjoy it. I guess it's a ryokan so it is all about the dinner and the enjoyment of the Ryokan. Maybe you can still do some light sight seeing in Takayama if time allows

15/Nov check out and then sightsee whatever else you want to see in Takayama and then proceed to Osaka. The logical path to Osaka is Takayama- Nagoya - ShinOsaka-Osaka. This is not covered by the Hokuriku Arch pass though (as far as I know).

15th - 17th (weekend) - Osaka (Nara day trip)
17th - 22nd - Kyoto (Himeji day trip)
22nd - 25th - Tokyo


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

Re: Itinerary advice 2019/10/28 19:45
Thanks for the tip!

I didn't think about doing Matsumoto -> Kanazawa, I suppose that could work!

Would it be worth taking the Hida wide-view from Takayama -> Osaka?
by lukemca rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary advice 2019/10/28 20:00
soooory, just realized that the ryokan you want to stay at isnt at Takayama at all. It is in Oku Hida. Which is about 1 h by bus from Takayama. So I don't think my plan is the best. So actually your plan sounds good, with the only clarification of:

Nov 5th to 11th - Tokyo
11th - 13th - Kanazawa (stop over at Shirakawago on route to Takayama)
13th - 15th - Takayama (1 night at Mozumo)

13th Takayama
14th Mozumo
15th - 17th (weekend) - Osaka (Nara day trip)
17th - 22nd - Kyoto (Himeji day trip)
22nd - 25th - Tokyo


Obviously going through Matsumoto to Kanazawa is still possible in this plan as well, but it will cut short your time in Kanazawa. And Tokyo - Matsumoto - Kanazawa is a much longer trip than only TOkyo - Kanazawa. So you'll need to weight REAL castle vs. NEWLY build castle plus other attractions. Depending on how interested in Kanazawa you are, you could obviously also stay a few days longer in Tokyo at the beginning and then do:

13/Nov Tokyo - Matsumoto, night Matsumoto
14/Nov Matsumoto - Oku Hida, night Oku Hida (Mozumo)
15/Nov sightseeing in Takayama and get with late train/bus to Kanazawa, night Kanazawa
16/Nov sightseeing in Kanazawa, night Kanazawa
17/Nov Kanazawa - Kyoto, night Kyoto
Stay in Kyoto (no need to move to Osaka you can see Nara from Kyoto and 1 day in Osaka is easily doable from Kyoto). Regarding night life, unless you plan to meet with people on the weekend, Osaka & Tokyo are lively enough even on a normal week day.
Return to Tokyo a bit later than in your original plan.

In this plan you would travel from Kanazawa to Kyoto, which then would not be with the Hida Wide View. In this itinary the Hokuriko Arch pass might work. (sorry I am no expert on those passes). You can look up the specifics of the pass on the Japan guide web page. But essentially the purpose of that pass is to make people travel Tokyo - Kanazawa - Kyoto on the Japan sea side instead of Pacific sea side. If you have enough time in the day you come from Kanazawa to Kyoto, consider stopping in Hikone on Lake Biwa to see the castle there. Might be a bit too much castles, as you'll see 3 originals (Matsumoto, Hikone, Himeji) and one reconstructed one (Kanazawa). (Osaka castle should be skipped at least from the inside it is not very nice).

Regarding your new question: Would it be worth taking the Hida wide-view from Takayama -> Osaka?

Yes, apparently so. I have not personally been able to take it, as I was in Takayama/Oku Hida area during a typhoon and when I wanted to leave for Nagoya the train service was cancelled so I took the bus o Nagoya. Which was a nice ride as well. But yes, the trip from Takayama to Nagoya by Hida Wide View is famous. And I'd think you might still be able to catch some koyo, maybe in the lower areas.

BTW, you will arrive in Osaka right the day when I leave from Osaka back to Tokyo :-)
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary advice 2019/10/28 21:14
Thanks LikeBike.

I've decided on this itinerary:

Nov 5th - 13th - Tokyo (day trips to Mt. Mitake/Fuji-san)
13th - 14th - O/N @ Matsumoto
14th - 15th - O/N @ Okuhida (Mozumo)
15th - Takayama (day), continue on to Osaka
15th - 17th - Osaka (Nara)
17th - 22nd - Kyoto (Himeji)
22nd - 25th - Tokyo

Whilst Kanazawa does seem nice, I wasn't dying to see it, and would prefer to save the $$$ on transport & also take the Hida wide-view to Osaka. I did want to spend just the weekend in Osaka so that I don't have to travel back to Kyoto late at night, so I think I'll keep my weekend there. I think this itinerary finally looks good, and it looks like I've saved a bit of money on transport (I'm expecting about $400-$500 on transport).
by lukemca rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary advice 2019/10/28 22:08
I like your new itinary. The only caveat is that if you want to enjoy he scenery from the Hida Wide View you would need to take the Hida Wide VIew at 14:40, arriving in Nagoya at 17:04. Sun will set in Takayama at 16:44 that day, so any later Hida Wide View will just have you riding through the darkness.

I would try to reserve the seat as early as possible (i.e. when you arrive in Tokyo), so you can get a window seat.

I am personally not a big fan of Takayama, also because for me it seemed that it was overrun by tourists... but I had come from quite remote places, such as Wakkanai, Sado, Yonezawa, that even many Japanese have never visited. On my itinary Takayama was the first place (and nearly only place) with really a lot of tourists... but I obviously made a big loop around Kyoto, Nara city, Osaka, Tokyo, Kamakura, Hiroshima, Miyajima... and did go for the more remote areas on my trip.

http://bicycletraveljapan.blogspot.com/search?q=takayama
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

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