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Japan in April Itinerary suggestion 2023/1/30 22:40
Hey all,

My partner and I have bought our tickets to Japan flying in/ out of Tokyo Haneda from 1st to 16th April 2023.

Wefve been to Japan a couple of times before with duration spanning between 2.5 - 3.5 weeks each time so have covered quite a few grounds. Our experiences and travels thus far:
* Tokyo (pretty much done all the touristy things)
* Hakone (stayed 1 night went to hot springs, temple, scenic drive and art gallery)
* Takayama day trip
* Shirakawa-go (stayed 1 night in a minshuku / ryokan)
* Kanazawa (stayed 2 nights did the kenrokuen garden etc)
* Osaka (stayed a few nights)
* Kyoto (stayed a few nights)
* Nara day trip (deer park)
* Koya-san (stayed 1 night in temple)
* Hiroshima day trip
* Miyajima day trip
* Hokkaido 5 nights (Sapporo, noboribetsu, stayed one night at Toyako, Hakodate)

This time wefre looking to experience something different and make the most of the Sakura season. Some of the things we would like to do include:
* Matsuris or festivals
* Stay in a beautiful onsen town
* Stay in ryokan at Kiso Valley / Ainokura
* Farm / home stay (1-2 nights) doing some farm work and learning about agriculture, home life, cooking, Mochi making, etc
* Theme parks
* Hiking / Shimanami Kaido cycling route
* Mushroom foraging (not sure if itfs possible this time of the year)
* Sake tasting at brewery
* Soba / udon making
* Pottery making

We like the countryside as much as the city, so ideally bit of both.

Based on the above, I think the following would bode well:
* Fuji five lakes (not sure how many nights to stay)
* Matsuris (Kamanara Matsuri in Tokyo and Inuyama Matusuri in Aichi both are on same day which is the day after we arrive, Takayama matsuri 14/15th April)
* Stay at Kiso Valley / Ainokura
* Mount Yoshino
* Universal Studios Osaka
* A few days in Osaka / Kyoto to enjoy the city in Sakura season (philosophers path, maruyama park, arashiyama districts)
* Shimanami Kaido cycling route near Hiroshima
* Iwami Ginzan near Hiroshima
* Tokyo (3/ 4 nights minimum)

Those are what wefre thinking of doing, but not sure if itfs best to do all of them in Spring.

We are also not sure where to go for farm / home stay or which onsen town to go to as well around the areas we look to visit.

We are also looking to get JR rail pass though not sure if we need it for 1 or 2 weeks and combine this with driving.

Any help and suggestion is greatly appreciated!

Thank you very much!

P/S: I can speak conversational Japanese though bit rusty (not able to read Kanji anymore)
by Inagreen  

Re: Japan in April Itinerary suggestion 2023/1/31 10:08
An overnight or two at the Fuji 5 Lakes sounds like a good idea - there really is more to see than in just a day. If you can rent a car, so much the better. You mobility will vastly increase and you can see a lot of places that many others miss, like Lake Motosu and Shiraito Falls. For theme parks, there is also Fuji-Q HIghland.
For cherry blossoms, Yoshino is really the crown jewel. You can spend a whole day there and if you have the stamina to climb to the top, it will be very memorable.
https://goo.gl/diXzUF
Another good place is in Osaka, at the Mint Bureau. But you will likely need advance reservations for it.
For sake, you can try the Fushimi sake district in Kyoto, and Kobe also has its own too. Kyoto has its own theme park, the Toei Eigamura. Plus to avoid any temple burnout, you can also go on the Sagano Railway and return on the Hozugawa river cruise.
For Tokyo, if you have the chance, go see TeamLab Planets. This is the last year it is open,

One caveat - Iwami Ginzan is not really close to Hiroshima. If you go by car, you can get there in 2 hours easily enough, but if go by train, you'd take nearly five hours and that still doesn't get you all the way there.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japan in April Itinerary suggestion 2023/1/31 10:12
Regarding farm / home stay, I know Uchiko in Ehime prefecture.
There are other places in Ehime Prefecture where you can have a farm / home stay.
https://en.ehime-gtnavi.jp/overseas
If you can speak Japanese, I feel that these inns are good.
https://ehime-gtnavi.jp/archives/2100
https://ehime-gtnavi.jp/archives/696
https://ehime-gtnavi.jp/archives/7303
https://ehime-gtnavi.jp/archives/8599
https://ehime-gtnavi.jp/archives/9086
If you want to experience farming in earnest, WWOOF may be better.
https://www.wwoofjapan.com/home/index.php?lang=en
by haro1210 rate this post as useful

Re: Japan in April Itinerary suggestion 2023/1/31 10:25
As for sake breweries, I have been to Fushimi in Kyoto, but Nada in Hyogo and Saijo in Hiroshima are also famous.
http://www.fushimi.or.jp/sake_guide/
https://www.travelhyogo.org.e.aas.hp.transer.com/discover/featured/fe-...
https://www.hh-kanko.ne.jp/ginjyo/guide.html
Pottery making should be done in your favorite pottery production area.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2329.html
Although not listed in this article, I have been to Kasama ware in Ibaraki prefecture and Tobe ware pottery in Ehime prefecture. I also purchased Hagi ware in Hagi, Yamaguchi prefecture.
I think Aichi, Gifu and Saga prefectures are the best pottery production areas.
by haro1210 rate this post as useful

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