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Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/18 07:28
Hello, My family and I are visiting Japan for 15 nights in early July just before the 2020 Olympics. We have 2 kids, aged 6 and 8. We take a fair amount of luggage with us, so we prefer to check in to hotels for a while and then take day trips, instead of constantly moving with our stuff. We would like to spend a few days in the mountains hiking and enjoying the outdoors, Tokyo->Mountains->Kyoto. We're trying to stay in Mimaru hotels given they allow 4 people in a room. In the mountains, we'll try to stay in a Ryokan for the experience.

I have a few specific concerns:

Where should we go in the mountains? It seems Matsumoto is an option, but Takayama comes up most often in searches. I am really lost about how best to handle this portion of the trip, especially with transportation. It takes 4.5 hours to get to Takayama. I'm ok with that, but if there is somewhere better that is quicker to get to, I'm all ears.

How should we get to ITM airport on our way out? Should we just take a Taxi from Kyoto early in the morning (6am? to make an 8:30am flight), or visit Osaka on our last full day and stay overnight at the Itami airport hotel? I have no idea how hard it is to get a taxi early morning in Kyoto.

There are a lot of Mimarus. I'm pretty sure we'll stay at the Ginza one in Tokyo, but there are 4 in Kyoto and it's not clear if any locations are better than the others. If there are other "family" accommodations in Kyoto that are notable I'd love to hear it.

Any other notable sights we could/should fit in the itinerary?

Tokyo - 7 Nights - Stay at Mimaru Ginza East
Day 1 - Arrive at Haneda, Get over jet lag
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4 - DisneyLand
Day 5 - DisneySea
Day 6
Day 7 - Day Trip to Hakone (Activate 7-Day JR Pass)

Takayama or Somewhere in mountains - Stay in a Ryokan - 3 nights
Day 1 - Train ride from Tokyo, sight-see the mountain town
Day 2 - Kamikochi hiking
Day 3 - Shirakawa-go (onsen?)

Kyoto - Stay at a Mimaru - 5 nights
Day 1 - Train from mountains to Kyoto
Day 2
Day 3 - Hiroshima Day Trip (Last Day of JR Pass)
Day 4
Day 5 - Day trip to Osaka? Or stay in Osaka overnight?
Day 6 - Fly out from Itami @ 8:30am

Thanks for your suggestions!
by Pete (guest)  

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/18 10:26
Gooday. Matsumoto gets very hot in my experience so I wouldnt stay there any longer than overnight. Takayama gets pretty hot as well (not quite as hot, but hot enough). I love Takayama and have stayed quite a few times (recommend Hotel Associa) but I dont think it will be much cooler than anywhere else.

Karuizawa is a nice town that tends to be a bit cooler in summer (and winter). There is some hiking, good fun shopping, and a bit of other stuff to do, it is quite trendy for Japan. I'd suggest check it out for a night or two. Tsuruya Ryokan is excellent, so is Le Grand Kyu.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/18 10:29
Japanese style accommodation easily fits 4 people. Your children will love sleeping on futon and frankly, it's Japan so why not stay in tatami rooms instead of tiny western ones?
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/18 11:28
We were planning on staying in a ryokan in the mountains, but I suppose you are right. Our kids would love it, and we could stay in one in Kyoto also. Thank you.

@Lazy Pious, thanks for your thoughts on Matsumoto and Takayama!
by Pete (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/18 11:29
@Lazy Pious, I thought you suggested Kanazawa, which I had already ruled out. I just did a double take and realized it was an entirely different village. Thanks! I'll check it out.
by Pete (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/18 12:24
I've been to Takayama and Matsumoto in late June and they are both hot. I thought Takayama was hotter than Matsumoto, but there were certainly places worse than both. Karuizawa is really expensive in July. I am not sure it is really any cooler, (I was in Nagano as well in June/July) just more upscale. Kamikochi was considerably cooler. Have you thought about renting a self-catering cabin there? The negatives are, you will need to cook for yourself and the food at the little store is limited and a bit expensive. The plus is, a cabin is VERY reasonably priced and you get the adventure of staying in a cabin. I think it might only be like 12,000 yen a night. In Takayama, my child loved Hida no Sato near Takayama. I think that was the trip she was nearly 7. It is very interactive. I thought Hida no Sato was much more interesting than Shirakawa Go and a lot less crowded as well. We stayed in the Associa too, the rooms are huge.

Another idea is you can divide up your suitcases and send some ahead. So if you have 4 big suitcases, send some ahead and travel with smaller bags for some of your trip. As long as you are staying in hotels, takyuubin is a delight and I think well worth the ~2000 yen price per bag.

Kyoto will be particularly hot and humid, but I find Kyoto has the most accommodations that might work for a family with children. There are a lot of family oriented options depending on your price range. I know there is also the Yutaka and the Hotel Gentle Fox along with some fancier apartotels, some in a more traditional setting. i've not personally stayed in the Mimaru because for us those larger options are overkill. It's just me and my child.

We did crafts at the Kyoto Craft Center last trip and they were a huge hit and nice respite from the heat.

Tokyo Disney can be crazy crowded. Make sure to check the crowd calendar and go early. Depending on your jet lag, use it to your advantage to get places earlier. We're probably going to go to TDR in early July too.

I think Shirakawa Go is overrated and not particularly child friendly. It seemed like most of the gassho zukuri there were shops or restaurants and it felt very cookie cutter. I've only been once and I won't go back. It's also not known for onsen. You are better off going to Hirayu or Okuhida coming back from Kamikochi.

I've only flown into Itami, but I took a direct bus from there to Kyoto and it was a pleasure. It's a very small airport and quite low key. Here is the bus schedule:
https://www.okkbus.co.jp/en/timetable/K/

A taxi would be quite expensive. I might take a taxi to Kyoto Station to catch the bus, but not from Kyoto to Itami.

And remember, you can takyuubin to and from the airports as well.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/18 13:04
Thank you @rkold!

People keep bringing up how hot and humid Japanese summers are. Is it really that notable? We live in New York City, and as far as I can tell, Japan is basically the same climate. I can imagine many people find NY/Japanese humid summers intolerable, but well, we're used to it.

Thank you for the takyuubin suggestion. I think that's a great idea and I'll look into it. My wife has decided that we'll stay in the Itami airport hotel the night before we leave, so that problem is taken care of.

I appreciate the suggestions with regards to Takayama. I'll check out the onsens you suggested and make sure to visit Hida no Sato. Did you visit the squirrel zoo? That seems like something my kids would like. I expect the Kyoto Craft Center will be a bit hit also. Thanks!
by Pete (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/18 14:10
Hi Pete,

I'm originally from NYC and use to live in Northern Fairfield County. (I very recently moved to the West Coast) Because CT (and I believe NY) schools end so late, since 2016 we've been going to Japan late June until around the 4th of July. IMHO, it really depends on if there is rain or not? Tokyo is generally pretty similar to NY in terms of Summer temperatures, just public spaces don't tend to be as well air conditioned and I don't honestly know how active you are in the Summer in terms of walking around and sightseeing., vs doing more indoor activities In 2016-2018 Kyoto wasn't as bad, but this particular year Kyoto/Osaka was BAD. The sun just felt like it was beating down on us in a SoCal/FL way and my kid got super cranky. She just wanted to sit in the air conditioned hotel room. I think she also got templed out. It can be hard for kids to see a lot of temples too many days in a row. I think this year we were in Kansai for more than a week and it was too much. We also got a bad sunburn down in Sakurai.

After visiting Bryce on my honeymoon and seeing warnings about bubonic plague squirrels I just can't bring myself to go to the squirrel park. I'm also use to thinking of them as vectors of rabies and lyme. I know @Lazy Pious loves it though.

I have been to the Arashiyama monkey park (my daughter loved it) and she loved the deer in Nara and Miyajima. When we went in 2017, you couldn't feed the deer anymore in Miyajima but you could still feed the deer in Nara. They are aggressive in both locations and my daughter was terribly amused when one bit me on the rear when I was not feeding it a deer cracker. We're going to Japan in February and will finally visit the snow monkey park near Yudanaka. We are more than likely going back at the end of June to early July, but will probably do a bit Tohoku trip with a rental car. We want to visit our favorite doll factory.

But yeah, if you have the money for it, takyuubin is great. I collect various Japanese things and so use it to get my suitcases around. It makes it easier as an adult alone with a child.

This is the campground information from 2019: http://www.nihonalpskankou.com/common/pdf/EnglishGuide2019.pdf

it POURED when we were there. We were freezing. It did make Kamikochi super empty though and when we arrived in Matsumoto we had no issues with the heat because we were still cold from Kamikochi. (We did Kanazawa to Matsumoto to Kamikochi to Matsumoto to Nagano) in 2018.

I don't know the interests of your children but things I have learned from my child:

I gave her a camera in 2017 when she was 6. Letting her take her own pictures of things she found interesting helped to make temple and shrine visits more interesting for her.

She also has her own goshuin stamp book. It does get expensive but it's a unique memory.

Feeding koi is always popular for her.

Long days of travel are not. I try to limit to no more than 2.5 hours a day and if we do more (like a round trip to Miyajima) I make sure the days surrounding it are quieter.

It takes her 1 week to adjust to Japanese time. Our first week she wakes around 6:00 am every morning. Normally, she is a night owl.

I try to mix things she wants to do with things I want to do

We didn't enjoy the Ghibli Museum despite loving the movies.

She loved the enamel craft at the Kyoto Handricraft Center and making a fan. There are a lot of crafts on offer, just make sure there is always something for your younger child too. Mine was 8 on our last trip.

If you have the money, it might be worth it to stay at Tokyo Disney, and if you're not arriving on a Fri-Sun, I might go there first and take advantage of the jet lag since it will help you get up early. The weather has to be really bad for the crowds to be low. I have gone to WDW and DL and TDR overall has worse crowds, in particular Sea gets bad because it has fewer attractions. The rooms at the Disney hotels are huge and the same goes for the Western chains near the parks. (I think there is a Hilton and a Sheraton) I've stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and the Ambassador. You could do: Haneda to TDR 2 nights TDR. Takyuubin your bags from Haneda to the Mimaru and use a smaller bag for the two nights in TDR. The trip, even from Tokyo Station, to TDR is going to run you more like 30-40 minutes when you include the transfer at Maihama and getting to the lines to get into the park. It's better to have it as a transfer going back to Tokyo than when you are trying to get to the parks int he morning.

Depending on your route, I'm not 100% sure a rail pass is going to pay off. It will depend on how you get to Kamikochi or Takayama.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/19 00:48
@rkold, Thanks for the tip about the Ghibli museum. My kids love the movies but it looked underwhelming in photos. I'll be happy to skip it now. I'm going to look into the stamp book, I think my kids would enjoy that.

We've already booked our (non-refundable) stay at Mimaru Ginza East, so here's hoping the trip to Disney works out. Apparently we can catch the train from Hatchibori and avoid Tokyo Station, which is then 20 minutes to Maihama. We've also been to WDW and DL before, and the idea Tokyo Disney is more crowded is a little scary!

My wife was bitten by a monkey when she was a child (and therefore hates monkys), so the monkey park isn't our first pick. I'm going to look into this squirrel zoo a bit closer because I had never thought of it as a risk. I like the deer suggestion, I hadn't heard of those before.

Thanks for all your time responding to my questions! I'll be sure to consider a lot of your suggestions as I'm planning over the next few months.
by Pete (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/19 01:55
Hi!

I am sure the squirrels are fine in Japan. I believe they don't actually have rabies or lyme, I'm just put off by being touched by squirrels and it's not appealing to me at all. I don't mind watching them out the window but I don't want them close to me.

Last trip we also went to two cat cafes in Kyoto. One of them, I felt like the cats were treated quite well and their welfare was put first, the other one seemed super touristy and I am more concerned for the cats. They also have all sorts of other animal cafes. I want to say I saw an Otter Cafe last trip, but I think your youngest would not be able to go, because I think 7 or 8 was the youngest allowed.

I hope you got a great hotel rate... I don't tend to ever book non-refundable if I can help it because I also sometimes change plans. I still have 1 more night to book for my February trip and in December I plan to start plotting my itinerary for the Summer trip. Some hotels don't even offer booking dates until 5-6 months out and rates can vastly change. I saw a $100+ price drop in places to stay in Tohoku, and it was not a currency fluctuation.

There are craft activities on offer in Tokyo as well. I like to have a mix of options.

Yeah, you can catch the train at Hatchobori, but it's still going to be about 30-40 minutes until you actually reach the parks and get to the lines for entrance. At Maihama you have to either transfer for the monorail or walk to the parks. I personally thought the walk to Disneyland from Maihama was quite easy, but Sea you really will need to take the monorail to visit and the monorail only runs in one direction.

This is the best crowd calendar for TDR:
http://www15.plala.or.jp/gcap/disney/

(there is also one for USJ, which we've also been to. It has its pluses and minuses vs. TDR. We have been to WDW and DL but oddly enough none of the Universal parks in the USA.)

I don't know your dates but if they happen to hit one of the green days in July it will help a lot. We've been to Sea on blue, yellow and orange dates. (We've only gone to Tokyo Disneyland proper once, in 2017. In 2018 and 2019 we just did Sea. You can't park hop on 1 or 2 day tickets.) On our Yellow Day in 2019, the park opened at 9, we had the 15 minute early entry, and we got in line around 7:30 and the line was crazy long. I would definitely plan to do TDR early in the trip unless the crowd calendar says not to because you do want to try to get there around 7 or 7:30 because people do line up and the first hour or two in the parks are always the most productive. We did much better at Sea in 2019, though we still missed attractions. TDR is pretty awful regarding dietary restrictions vs. the US parks.

It is REALLY hard from the US to get ticket for Ghibli and it's just so crowded! I went once in 2002, when it was far easier to get tickets and then again in 2018 with my kid. It's a very small museum and it's very cramped. There are lots of stores selling Ghibli merchandise that are not part of the museum. I usually go to the one in Sunshine 60. I want to try the cream puffs from the bakery in February. I've also been to the Pokemon Cafe and several branches of the Pokemon store At least when we were there, on week ends the Kyoto branch offered some Pokemon themed traditional crafts for a nominal fee.

You can buy a Goshuin here or buy one in Japan. They sell them at many temples and shrines, though the covers do vary depending on where you buy them. If you do a google search you can see some of the cover variety. My current Goshuin is from Kushida jinja. Now, we're mostly looking for some unique stamps.

I can't recommend cheap point and shoot cameras for your kids enough.

Good luck!








by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/19 07:48
Where are you flying to from Itami? Presumably back to Tokyo (Haneda)? I would just take the train - far easier. What time is your flight out of Haneda?

>>"Another idea is you can divide up your suitcases and send some ahead. So if you have 4 big suitcases, "<<

An even better idea is to leave the "big suitcases" at home. Learn to pack light. It's a mystery to me why people take so much luggage and then either can't handle it or have to figure out what to do with it.
by tt7 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/19 08:54
Actually I agree with that. Big suitcases are a disaster when you are getting on trains and buses especially if you get on the wrong end of the carriage as I tend to. We manage with carry on sized luggage only these days which really makes the trip a breeze.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/19 09:14
We have an 8:30am flight from Itami, that lands in Haneda at 9:40am. We then have exactly 60 minutes to transfer terminals for our 10:40am flight direct to JFK. It's tight, but the flights are booked together, so JAL allows it and thinks that's enough time. Plus it's Japan so things run smoothly :)

There aren't a lot of direct JAL flights to JFK, just one per day from Haneda, so we took what we could get. The train from Kyoto takes over 2 hours, so I don't see how that would be a better situation. Staying in the Itami airterminal hotel should give us a full day to see Osaka to end the trip and allow us to sleep in as late as possible.
by Pete (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/19 09:15
I agree with you guys on the big suitcases, but the wife can't kick the habit. I'll try to convince her regardless. Personally, I could spend 2 weeks out of a backpack.
by Pete (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/19 09:29
>>"I thought Hida no Sato was much more interesting than Shirakawa Go and a lot less crowded as well.h<<

>>"I think Shirakawa Go is overratedc.h<<

+1 to that c. although in the interests of full and fair disclosure, wefve never been to Shirakawa-go and have absolutely no interest in going. Itfs currently the most over-hyped destination in Japan. Everybody wants to go there - usually from Takayama, where itfs far, far easier to go to Hide no Sato where youfll see much the same gassho farmhouses (they were moved there from the Shirakawa-go area) and it wonft be nearly so overrun with fellow tourists. We spent a delightful afternoon at Hida no Sato with relatively few other people around. Easy to reach from Takayama (you can get a combined bus and admission ticket) or, if you want to, just walk to get there.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5901.html
by tt7 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: your itinerary (1) 2019/11/19 10:02
Concerning how you control your luggage,
I agree with the above comments by tt7 and Pious.

rkold:
takyuubin is a delight and I think well worth the ~2000 yen price per bag.

That is "takkyubin" (not double "u" but double "k"),
a service by Yamato Transport, who officially spells it "TA-Q-BIN";
while there is a general term "takuhaibin"
for personal luggage delivery services,
some people may use the former "takkyubin"
for similar services by other providers.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html

Pete:
@Lazy Pious, I thought you suggested Kanazawa

Pious mentions Karuizawa.
Maybe it's a typo caused by your spelling checker,
but Kanazawa sounds to be another good place for you to explore.
by omotenashi rate this post as useful

Re: your itinerary (2) 2019/11/19 10:21
I wonder
why some posters persistently object
good reputations for Shirakawa-go
and why they instead recommend
not Gokayama which is in the same UNESCO World Heritage zone
but Takayama which is actually outside the zone....
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5950.html

Pete:
Where should we go in the mountains?

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
(Ogizawa -- Tateyama) may attract you and maybe your kids.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7550.html

- JR-East and JR-West: Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket
http://www.jrtateyama.com/e/
: Check this webpage again in spring
to see whether this discount ticket is available in 2020.

[Example of possible itinerary]

After your TDR and Hakone trips....

From Shinjuku to Matsumoto by expressway bus
(3800 yen per adult | 1900 yen per child);
From Matsumoto to Kamikochi then back by railway and bus
(5420 yen per adult | 2720 yen per child);
From Matsumoto Sta. to Nagano Sta. by JR: Rapid service
(1170 yen per adult | 580 yen per child);
From Nagano Sta. to Ogizawa Sta.
then through the Alpine Route to Tateyama Sta.
then to Dentetsu-toyama Sta.
(with Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket);

From Toyama Sta.
via Inotani to Takayama Sta. then back by JR: Local
and from Toyama Sta.
via Shin-Takaoka and Kanazawa to Tsuruga Sta.
by JR: Shinkansen and Limited Express,
with JR-West Hokuriku Area Pass
(5600 yen per adult | 2800 yen per child)
plus JR regular tickets for Inotani -- Takayama
(1980 yen per adult | 980 yen per child);
From Shin-Takaoka Sta.
to Gokayama (Suganuma) and Shirakawa-go then back by bus
(3940 yen per adult | 1970 yen per child);

From Tsuruga Sta. to Kyoto Sta.
by JR: Limited Express
and from Kyoto Sta. to Shin-Osaka Sta.
by JR: Special Rapid
and from Shin-Osaka Sta. to Hiroshima Sta. then back
by JR: Shinkansen
and from Shin-Osaka Sta. to Kansai-airport Sta.
by JR: Limited Express,
with JR-West Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass
(14700 yen per adult | 7350 yen per child).

JR-West Hokuriku Area Pass is good for 4 calendar days.
JR-West Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass is good for 5 calendar days.
Using the two passes together on one same day,
you have at most 8 calendar days
from the day for heading to Takayama
until the day for getting to Kansai Airport [KIX].

The latter Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass
is not handed at Toyama, Shin-Takaoka or Kanazawa Station;
to obtain this pass before entering Kansai Region,
you get of your train at Tsuruga Station then visit the JR Ticket Office.

This pass can cover JR train and ferry rides
between Hiroshima Station and Miyajima Pier.
The renovation work on Grand Torii Gate of Itsukushima Shrine
may be still continuing.
(Personally I feel rather lucky
to witness such large-scale renovation of historical structures.)
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3450.html
by omotenashi rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/19 10:22
I tend to bring a lot of bags, I like to shop and suitcases are free on international flights and takyuubin costs less than international shipping. We've also started bringing my child's violin because she really ought to practice a couple times while we are away.

I also think it is a lot easier to do carry ons only when you're only going for a week or going without kids. Japanese clothes dryers are terrible. I do sometimes do laundry on trips and it will take an hour+ to dry each load of laundry. So doing laundry generally takes around 2+ hours per load. It can be really hard to make the time in your trip to do laundry. I could do carry on only if I was traveling alone, but once you add a kid in the mix it is much harder, because most kids can't carry around all the clothes they need so you need to do so.

Takyuubin is an amazing service if you don't or can't travel light. It's not terribly expensive and very efficient. I've definitely seen people bringing way too much luggage with them and those people need to use takyuubin and not take or try to take their luggage on most local transit. Heck, I don't even like taking carry-ons on some local transit in Japan *cough* local buses in Kyoto *cough*. In particular, it is possible if you are traveling close to the Olympics there will be no lockers for day tripping. I was in Japan for the G20 this year and lockers throughout the country were unavailable during it, not just those in the Kansai area. (i.e. I was in Koriyama and all lockers were closed as well as garbage and Koriyama is in Fukushima-ken and nowhere near Osaka. )

If it were me I might bring 2 check in suitcases and 2 carry ons to cover everyone and maybe let your children bring 2 small bags each with their toys/necessities but make sure they are bags you can also handle if the kids get tired. I would also bring a canvas carry bag like for groceries when I was out and about. I would just take everything on the NEX since it has room for it, and walk everything to your hotel, since the streets in Ginza tend to be wide and flat. I would takyuubin my bags to Kyoto, and take smaller bags with me for my 3 days in the mountains. I might do 1 day in Matsumoto 1 day in Kamikochi and 1 in Takayama or 2 in Kamikochi and 1 in Takayama, depending on your interests. I would take a day off Kyoto possibly for the Alps, since you can't take a day off Tokyo.

I find Osaka terrible for finding luggage storage. I would just take the direct Airport Limo bus, which can hold any bags from Kyoto Station to Itami and from Itami use what transfer you need to your hotel and go to Osaka a different day vs. your last day. That way you can leave your bags at your hotel after you check out. Most will hold bags.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/19 10:53
Thank you for the spelling correction @omotenshi. I could have sworn my JET friends when they introduced me to the service back in '05 used the takyuubinn transliteration for the service but it was a long time ago and your Japanese knowledge is far far superior to mine.

I would however respectfully disagree with @Omotenshi's itinerary advice. I think they are one of the most knowledgeable forum members when it comes to scheduling and connections but I can say in all honesty you would need to pay me a lot of money to take my kid on the Alpine Route, rather than expecting me to pay ~15,000 yen for the two of us to do it. Perhaps I am just a terrible mother or my kid is just a completely uncultured kid, but I know spending hours on different forms of transport staring at scenery would lead to much whining on my child's part. Maybe your kids love taking transport and seeing scenery, I know mine does not and I think you need to be honest with yourselves about what your kids might enjoy. I know for many people it is exciting because of the possibility of seeing some snow in Summer, but I can do that without traveling to Japan.

I found Shirakawa Go boring. It was mostly shops, restaurants and accommodations. I don't begrudge the people who live there a livelihood. There are many people who enjoy visiting cutsie shops, restaurants and staying there, I don't begrudge them their interests. None of this makes me want to ever go again and I have a hard time imaging many kids enjoying it. I like Hida no Sato because there are a lot of good English explanations as well as it's a very interactive and a short trip from Takayama. I thought it also had some nice shade in the Summer, which made it quite pleasant.

I think before you go with @Omotenshi's itinerary you need to look at travel times. I know my child would riot from the long times of just sitting on buses, I'm seeing 3 days of 5+ hours in transport in a row which is just not something I would want in a trip. We bring books, but again books get heavy and take up space. I can't get my child to switch to a Kindle. You should also ignore the bit about going to KIX since you said you were flying from Itami and Itami and KIX are different airports much like Haneda and Narita. (We tend to fly into Narita because we get better fare options but Haneda is much closer to Tokyo, so lucky you!)
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Looking for itineray suggestions 2019/11/19 11:15
@Omotenashi - I loved Ainokura, found Shirakawago to be overflowing with busloads of tourists, and whilst I've enjoyed Takayama, it's not comparable to the UNESCO areas. For me, Ainokura is stunning because it's so authentic, traditional, historic and truly special. I hope it doesn't become overrun like Shirakawago.
by Sal1980 rate this post as useful

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