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Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/2 13:27
During our 6 week trip to Japan next spring, we are thinking of 3 days in each... Kanazawa, Takayama & possibly Matsumoto (but not sure if that is the right choice yet).
During our 3 days in Kanazawa, one of the days we will rent a car and drive the Noto Peninsula.
We also want to spend 3 days in Takayama but not totally certain about the other 3 days whether or not it should be Matsumoto and also not certain about the order, except that we will start with Kanazawa.
During our time in this area, we would like to go to one of the onsens in the Okuhida region (assuming from Takayama?), Kamakochi and either Shirakawa-go or Omimachi village.
Any suggestions where we should spend our other 3 days? Matsumoto? If we should do these daytrips all from Takayama and if we do, maybe we need longer than 3 days in Takayama as we also want to spend time discovering Takayama. And should we keep the rental car?
We will be traveling to Kanazawa from Onomichi and after our 9 days, we will be returning to Tokyo.
Appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.
by CatNap9  

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/2 19:00
This could be done with the Three Star Route pass: https://option-ticket.mitsuboshi-kaidou.com/

Take the bus between Kanazawa and Takayama, stopping off in Shirakawago. Then stop off in Hirayu Onsen between Takayama and Matsumoto.
by / (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/2 20:02
Personally, I would stay a night on the Noto Peninsula (it's big and has reasonably slow roads) and spend less time in Matsumoto. Some people love Matsumoto - some people see it as a place to visit a castle and move on. Most would agree that 3 nights is too long in Matsumoto
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/3 01:17
We have printed off the Three-Star Route info and I think will most definitely use that. Works for what we would like to see (except Kamikochi) which means we don't need the rental car other than the Noto Peninsula.
We also looked at staying on the Noto Peninsula, but there was either not much available or it was very expensive.
Yes, that is what I have read about Matsumoto as well, see the castle and that's it. But if we did a day trip to Kamakochi from Matsumoto, then 3 nights might be better? Is it better to see Kamakochi from Takayama or Matsumoto?
Thank you!
by CatNap9 rate this post as useful

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/3 02:03
Hi!

What you do for Kamikochi when using the option ticket is stop off in Hirayu onsen in the Okuhida region and then pay out of pocket to go from there to Kamikochi. If you can afford it, stay overnight in Kamikochi and then back track to Hirayu to continue on to Matsumoto on your ticket. Kamikochi is on the way between Takayama and Matsumoto. From Takayama you always have to change buses at Hirayu, regardless and the trip from Matsumoto is longer and less often than from Hirayu to Kamikochi.

Since you wouldn't start up your pass until you are leaving Kanazawa and it is valid for 7 days, you can split those 7 days between Kanazawa and Matsumoto however you like. I actually liked Matsumoto, I thought the city art museum was quite nice. But I'm not sure I would want to spend 3 days there and I know I definitely would not want to in Takayama. I do think you could easily spend 3 nights in Kanazawa as well as an additional night on the Noto Peninsula, and that is probably what I would do.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/3 02:55
Thanks - great into.

We already have our 3 nights booked for Kanazawa. I think we have found a suitable accommodation on Noto Peninsula in Wajima. We don't know if we can get back to Wajima to Kanazawa, return the car, catch the 3 Star Bus, and actually have time to visit Shirakawa-go and get to Takayama all in that same day. Seems a lot without maybe spending another night in Kanazawa.
Will look into accommodation in Kamikochi (like that idea too as it is very high on our list).
Do you know if the 3 star bus lets you off at the Hirayu Ski area? The other thing we also just noticed is that the tickets that are on sale right now only do travel up to March 31, 2020 and our travel period in this area will be (unfortunately due to crowds) during Golden Week (April 28 - May 7, 2020). I'm assuming 3 Star Bus will eventually sell tickets for that period too, but not sure how to find out. Regardless, still a logical route.
Is it worth staying a night in Hirayu to experience the onsens?
by CatNap9 rate this post as useful

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/3 04:56
Hi!

There was a similar ticket available for years that was a similar price, so I doubt this one is going anywhere fast. I think a lot of Japanese offers just list a limited time frame even if it's not actually limited.
(https://www.alpico.co.jp/en/three-star/ is the version of the ticket valid for everyone, not just foreign tourists, the big difference is it's only 4 days and doesn't have all the stop offs on the newer foreign tourist only one.) So I wouldn't worry too much about the pass.

Assuming you are not on a tight budget you could:
Start Pass go to Shirakawa Go (stay night, day 1 of pass)
Go to Takayama (stay 2 nights, day 2+3 of pass)
Go to Hirayu and Okuhida (stay night 1, day 4 of pass)
Go to Kamikochi (stay night 1, day 5 of pass)
Go to Matsumoto (stay night, day 6 of pass)

I've only day tripped Hirayu from Takayama, but I liked the onsen there? They were beautiful and there were lots of rotemboros. The bus stop is near Hirayu no Mori. I believe there is a bus stop near the ski area but it isn't part of the pass. you could pay out of pocket to go there by bus or taxi even since it's not so far away. I don't know if I would walk it, the roads don't seem safe for pedestrians.

Good luck!


by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/3 07:12
Thank you - sounds like an awesome plan. Now to work on the accommodations.
by CatNap9 rate this post as useful

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/3 10:02
Hi!

I have not stayed there, but I believe @Lazy Pious often recommends the Kamikochi Onsen Hotel.

I've stayed in the Associa in Takayama. I would not stay there unless you plan to partake of the onsen there since it's a ways out of town (great views and free shuttle) because the two floors of onsen are its best feature.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/6 15:25
Thanks for all the help, we've finalized it (if it's ever really final?) with all accommodations booked now.

Kanazawa - 3 nights, Air BnB
Wajima, Noto Peninsula - 1 night, Guesthouse Umenoya
Takayama - 2 nights, SOY Takayama
Hirayu Onsen - 1 night, Hirayuno Mori
Kamikochi - 1 night, Nakanoyu Onsen Ryokan
Matsumoto - 1 night, Matsumoto Marunouchi Hotel
And then back to Tokyo.
by CatNap9 rate this post as useful

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/6 22:04
It looks fine to me. Others may have more to say about traveling times than I do.

I've included some old posts of my drive from Kanazawa to the Noto Peninsula to give you some ideas.....

https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/report-2236
https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/report-2237
https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/report-2238
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/7 00:04
Hi!

I've not stayed overnight at Hirayu no Mori, but I believe @LikeBike has. I only day tripped there and thought the onsen were spectacular. It's also right at the bus stop so pretty convenient.

I have stayed at Nakanoyu. I enjoyed my stay, the staff were willing to work with my restricted diet and the outdoor onsen had a nice view of the forests and the hills. However, Nakanoyu is not actually inside Kamikochi, it's just outside the tunnel before the park entrance. It's up on a steep mountainside, You will not want to walk to or from it and you can't walk to or from Kamikochi from it's location. If you are on a tighter budget and want to stay in the actual park, we spent one night in a rental cabin. We paid additional for a cabin with toilet. We stayed in a type A http://www.nihonalpskankou.com/common/pdf/EnglishGuide2018.pdf

It did not include food though there are cooking facilities. There is a little shop that sells some food stuffs. I brought boxed Mac-n-cheese.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Kanazawa - Takayama - Matsumoto? Itinerary 2019/11/7 02:05
If you do visit Matsumoto, you might also want to visit the Matsumoto City Museum of Art. You can easily spend a half-day and the castle and a half-day at the museum, and walk between them. The city is the birthplace of Kusama Yayoi and the museum houses some of her work (her exhibitions tend to sell out months in advance in cities all around the world).

http://matsumoto-artmuse.jp/en/
by Sue (guest) rate this post as useful

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