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Any suggestions for a fragmented trip 2019/11/19 20:18
Hi everyone,

Apologies in advance for the unspecific nature of my question but I'd appreciate any help/suggestions/tips.

Basically I will be in japan for nine weeks late January to early April/2020, flying in/from Haneda. I have to visit two universities during the time: one in Tokyo and one in Fukuoka. I have one week (roughly) free to get from Tokyo to Fukuoka, and then about two weeks (plus few additional days in Tokyo) before I return to England. my flights are booked through work, and I will have two japan rail passes (one week, and two weeks) - to cover my work related travels.

I have been to Japan few times before, I have visited the usual places, as well as travelling extensively in Shikoku, in Kyushu I have been to both Fukuoka and Nagasaki.

I am now finding myself not so sure where to go and what to do, which is surprising, I am into all things Japan, particularly food, a lovely meal makes my day. I want to go to an onsen-ryokan (or two if I can afford it) and was thinking one in the Nagano area, and one in Kyushu but I can't seem to decide on any atm.

do you have any interesting suggestions? recommended Kyushu tips for a non-driver (and can't ride bike either)? tips on my Tokyo to Fukuoka week (without going through Osaka which I adore, and Kyoto of which I am not so keen).

Once again apologies for the vagueness of this request, I am really just after some suggestions of interesting locations that are not crammed full of tourists (which is one of the reason Kyoto tires me).

Thanks in advance and I'd really appreciate any tips,
M
by mishcka  

Re: Any suggestions for a fragmented trip 2019/11/20 10:52
There are a summary of sightseeing spots where you can take a day trip from Tokyo

https://www.youtube.com/user/mightywigs
by DEEP JAPAN (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Any suggestions for a fragmented trip 2019/11/20 12:22
Hi!

Perhaps it might help a bit if you told us what you love about Osaka since I felt like Osaka had a ton of tourists as well. Is it the food or?

I really love Nagano-ken and think it has a lot to offer. They're not super fancy, but I really liked oyaki. I was in Nagano in June 2018 and it wasn't full of foreign tourists. I also just spent time in June 2019 in the Sakurai area south of Osaka and that too didn't have a lot of foreign tourists.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Any suggestions for a fragmented trip 2019/11/20 12:43
I want to go to an onsen-ryokan (or two if I can afford it) and was thinking one in the Nagano area, and one in Kyushu but I can't seem to decide on any atm.
Ryokan do not have to be expensive. One I use frequently in Nagano charges around GBP100/night per person including meals. You can do it pretty cheaply - not all places are GBP500+
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Any suggestions for a fragmented trip 2019/11/20 14:54
I thought I had posted this but must have become distracted.

Have a look at Izu peninsula. Very nice and some good water and cheap onsen. we stayed at Taiseikan at Ajiro which was quite beautiful and very cheap. The food is great, too. The town has not much to offer but it is a 2 minute walk to the train station with Atami 5 minutes one way and Ito 5 minutes the other.

I also really liked the Chichibu area that has nice water and good scenery, linked up by a nice little rail line.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Any suggestions for a fragmented trip 2019/11/20 19:39
Thanks everyone for replying,

@DEEP JAPAN - thanks for the tips, I have many weekends free in Tokyo so will try to hit all the nearby places I haven't been yet.

@rkold - as for things I like about Osaka, I just happened to have fun when I was there, my partner (who is not coming on this trip) are in love with shin-sekai and the whole tennoji area. I also love the kuromon market area and around it. Also for a foodie like myself Osaka has never failed to deliver. The issue this time however is I am travelling alone (not for the first time though), so no retro-gaming fun (which is one of the things my bf and I love to do when in japan). Another thing I like about Osaka (and tokyo) and all the big cities is that I can take good photos there, I do loads of street photography while in japan (though admittedly my favourite shot ever was taken in Takamatsu, and the second in Kyoto).


@customjapantours - I know regarding ryokans, just I kind of developed an unhealthy liking to expensive ones (private room onsen, amazing food). perhaps due to the fact my bf has many tatooes so when I started bringing him to japan (and wanted him to enjoy the onsen-ryokan experience) I always booked places with private onsens.

@Lazy Pious - thanks for the suggestion I was actually looking at IZU so I will consider it further.

I am not sure in one week would be enough to head from tokyo to fukouka via shimane and yamaguchi. on the trip back from fukoka I was considering doing some of the Kumano Kodo (but I am hesitant due to rain, I can walk for ages, but I can't handle the rain well - weirdly enough and even though I live in England I don't own a rain coat/jacket).

M
by mishcka rate this post as useful

Re: Any suggestions for a fragmented trip 2019/11/21 02:21
Hi!

I can't make any promises about this list, but this is the list Japanese Travel experts made of the top 50 onsen in Japan in 2019
https://www.japanican.com/en/onsen/ranking/index.aspx

Some of the onsen on here are definitely not as well known and I don't remember much on them on this forum or elsewhere. I'm looking specifically at Takayu and Date onsen in Fukushima-ken. I'd like to figure out how to make Takayu work on a future trip, since the onsen there look lovely. Though you would need someplace that offers free shuttle.

I like Nagano itself. Maybe it gets more foreigners during the winter going to Shiga Kogen, but overall the city itself doesn't appear too often on many people's must visit list. We're planning to go to Yudanaka/Shibu onsen in February to see the monkeys. I know a friend really enjoyed where she stayed there and it did have private onsen. Karuizawa has much better rates in February than it does in June. I can't remember the name but there was an amazing looking ryokan outside Matsumoto, but they don't allow children so it was nixed as an option for us. I know @Lazy Pious has mentioned Bessho onsen as well, though I've only been to Ueda. I've done a few other searches for ryokan in Nagano-ken and there are just a lot. Takayama does get a lot of tourists, but despite the bus load of European tourists staying at the Associa with us, the onsen were empty, but the city can definitely can be busy. I think Hirayu and the Okuhida region can be pleasant.

I have two friends who were JETs in Wakayama-ken and I don't think they mentioned it being particularly rainy January-April, but it can be snowy. It was just a dusting, but when I was there in December one year there was snow and I was just going between Kainan and Tanabe and not in the mountains. I like Tanabe.

For daytrips from Tokyo you could look into Nasu-Shiobara.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Any suggestions for a fragmented trip 2019/11/21 20:38
@rkold - thanks for this. I do need to do my homework regarding Nagano and your other suggestions .
I personally didn't like Takayama much, not sure why, when I went there it was peaceful and snowy and picture perfect but somehow I felt when I left that I was done with it.

if you've not been to yudanaka I totally recommend it (albeit I last went in 2013); the monkey park was rather crowded then (mid Feb) but was totally fun, the walks/town/hikes were very peaceful and you can come across some interesting objects buried in the deep snow around. we stayed at a small family run inn (Yudanaka Seifuso) which I remember to have been really nice, the staff super lovely and the food yummy (it seems to still have high ratings on booking.com, which is a good sign).
by mishcka rate this post as useful

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