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Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/13 07:48
We area couple in our 60's and looking at a few places that you can reach by the Shinkansen and possibly even take day trips from. I was wondering if any of the following cities/towns are interesting in and of themselves? We are just beginning our research and know little about these towns/cities.

Some of our Interests include seeing historical areas, castles, shrines, temples, scenic gardens, Japanese culture, onsens and natural beauty with limited walking/no hiking. We will be there in early April and the first 5 days will in Tokyo. Here are the cities we are wondering about:

Nagoya
Toyama
Niigata
Nagano
Yamagata city
Takasaki

by Flying Tiger  

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/13 09:09
Hi!

I personally love Nagano. I really enjoyed Zenkoji and have been several times. There are many interesting historical sights you can reach by local bus, bike, or walking that are not listed on this forum. I've been multiple times.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/13 09:11
by Kamahen (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/14 02:25
Well Toyoma doesnt offer much it appears while Nagano is too large as we will already have been in Tokyo and will be headed to Kyoto and/or Osaka. I am hoping to find some smaller cities that we could get to if we spent a night in one of these cities using the Shinkansen to get there and a local bus or train to get to a place to see. Surely there are some good day trips from some of these cities.
by Flying Tiger rate this post as useful

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/14 03:10
You mean daytrips from Kyoto or Tokyo to smaller towns?

If so from Tokyo:
Nikko, Chichibu, Kamakura, Enoshima, Sawara, Kawagoe (which I personally donft like)

From Kyoto/Osaka:
Nara, Lake Biwa region (eg Hikone, Nagahama, Omi Hachiman) , Asuka, Imaicho, Himeiji, Kurashiki

Those just popped to my head. I travelled quite extensively through more rural parts of Japan. If you want to check out my places you can filter through provinces here:

http://bicycletraveljapan.blogspot.com/

You can also check the posts of this other forum member who has traveled extensively through more remote areas:

https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/

Or did I misunderstand your question?

by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/14 03:40
Nagano is not a large city. It is certainly not a small town, but it really isnft very large at all and to me it sort of has a ghome townh feel. Quite different from Tokyo or Osaka. Possible day trips include Togakushi (absolutely splendid), the Jigokudani monkey park, Obuse (Hokusai museum there and some interesting shops), Matsumoto (excellent castle and also an art museum featuring works of Yayoi Kusama), and for that matter Kanazawa. Also, there are some good recreational train ride opportunities from there. (The Koumi line, which runs between Sakudaira and Kobuchizawa, is very scenic and makes for a nice, albeit long, loop via Matsumoto.) You could possibly do Magome-Tsumago from there as well. And there are various onsens in the area for possible day tripping, such as Nozawa. In the evenings you could go to a local izakaya and enjoy regional food specialties and locally brewed libations. Lots of things to do there, actually. Ifd say itfs good for two or three nights if you do your homework. And if you have rainy weather, you can get to Kanazawa or Tokyo pretty fast to do indoor-type things.
by Kim (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/14 03:52
Whoops, I failed to notice the "limited walking" part before. That would pretty much rule out Togakushi and the monkey park, I guess. But there are still various things to do that don't involve much walking. (Visit some tourism sites for Nagano City and Prefecture--my suggestions are just a starting point.) I'm not particularly plugging Nagano, but if you're thinking it is "too large," then I'd say all of the places on your list (especially Nagoya) are going to fall in the same category.
by Kim (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/14 05:46
Hi!

I just wanted to say I'm not completely sure what you define as smaller city on a shinkansen route. In general, most shinkansen stops are cities of a certain size cause laying track and building a station has to be worthwhile. Really tiny towns tend to not be accessible by train at all. Smaller towns have a once an hour or less frequent local train. I'd argue that some of the stops on the Tohoku lines are for smaller cities (Hanamaki, Kitakami, and Ichinoseki come to mind) But they also tend to be somewhat spread out as are the day trips from them. They are also nowhere near Kyoto or Osaka and in the opposite direction and they still might be "too large" for what you are looking for.

You could try Karuizawa. It will cost considerably more to stay there than Nagano, but it is smaller.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/14 06:40
I am trying to think of what would count as a good place with limited walking, as pretty much everywhere I've been involves plenty of walking and a lot of the prettier towns are built on slopes. But if I was to make some suggestions, they would be:
1. Karuizawa - about an hour from Tokyo along the Kanazawa/Nagano bound line. Taxi up to the Gion street and potter around;
2. Atami - about an hour from Tokyo on the Kyoto bound line. Not a particularly attractive city IMO but it is compact and does have the ocean going for it. Personally I would rather hop on the local train from there and go to Ito which is prettier;
3. Takayama - well shinkansen to Nagoya then a 2 1/2 hour trip by train to Takayama which is to my mind the prettiest train trip I know. Takayama is pretty flat, compact and easier to navigate, but really the train trip is what makes it worthwhile.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/14 10:29
not doubling up on previous posts:

Niigata - interesting city of 800,000 (they don't build shinkansen lines to the middle of nowhere), and a good location for a day-trip to Sado Shima. There are things/places of interest there that can be done with limited walking.

For include seeing historical areas, castles, shrines, temples, scenic gardens, Japanese culture, onsens and natural beauty with limited walking you could get all of that in Kanazawa.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/15 02:33
Thank you for the ideas. Let me try to be a little more clear. We are trying to stay places that we can use our hotel points (Hilton, IHG, Choice, Marriott) Tokyo is already booked. We also hope to not spend a whole day traveling somewhere by train or bus, preferably train.

Our trip starts in Tokyo (5 days) with a day trip to Nikko. Then we thought about going to Mt. Fuji and from there then to one of these other destinations that I have asked about IF we can see sights in that city and take scenic day trips from it. Nagano, Osaka, and Tokyo and even Kyoto look like bigger cities (Over 500,000 and up) to us and we really want to see other kinds of places in Japan so it is not just all bigger cities. We also want to experience a unique onsen.

After do that then will head to Kyoto or Osaka. We thought about making day trips to Kyoto from Osaka since we have a hotel on points in Osaka while in Kyoto we would have to pay cash in Kyoto. Is it reasonable to do day trips from Osaka to Kyoto to see it? Does that help?
by Flying Tiger rate this post as useful

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/15 04:16
Hi!

I think you have Nagoya confused with Nagano. Nagoya is a city of 2 million located between Tokyo and Kyoto. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2155.html Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Kyoto are some of the largest cities in Japan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Largest_cities_in_Japan_by_population_by...

Nagano has not been in the top 10 going back to 1873. Maybe in the 1500s or 1600s it was in the top 10 but that was a long time ago.

Nagano, the place I and @Kim talked about how it might fit your interests is a city of 370,000 and is in the mountains on the Hokuriku shinkansen.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6000.html

I've been to both, Nagoya and Nagano and they're completely different places. Nagano has a small city feel to it and I really like it. Nagoya just seems like a big city. I am sure it is lovely to actually live in, but as a tourist I would only go there to see people I know or for theme parks.

If you're using points, I am sure there is some place in Karuizawa that would take them since it is full of large fancy hotels.

Nagano and Karuizawa since they are in the mountains of Nagano prefecture have onsen nearby them as would Matsumoto. From Nagano or Karuizawa you can easily get to Bessho onsen and Yudanaka/Shibu onsen. From Matsumoto you can get to Asama onsen within 15 minutes or you can even go to Shirahone onsen. Getting from Matsumoto to Nagano or Karuizawa is not very hard.

You can easily day trip from Osaka to Kyoto. It's more a matter of where you want to be for where you stay.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Are any of these interesting? 2020/1/15 07:03
Excellent and a Big Thank You. Great information. There is So much to look at in Japan and we want to get a lot of different things in like Big Cities, Small Towns, Onsens, Temples, Shrines, Culture, Food, Natural Beauty, and Reasonable priced Shopping (where is the best by the way as we are not into Ginza).

Good to know I could stay in Osaka and take a trip for about 3 days to see Kyoto as that would be a big cost savings for us with regards to hotels. We will do a local Ryokan in Mt. Fuji.
by Flying Tiger rate this post as useful

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