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Question for Spendthrift 2007/9/19 08:13
Gifu
In July I posted a question re Oku Hida area and you said you were going in August. Just wondering your thoughts on the area and where would be a good spot to stay. Looking for a scenic/rural area outside Takayama (we would do Takayama as a day trip)- what are your thoughts on Fukuchi onsen or Hirayu or did you make any other discoveries? Thanks
by Sue  

Oku-hida 2007/9/20 07:47
We stayed one night in Shin-hotaka onsen and I thought the place was lovely. We were lucky in some respects & unlucky in others - the air was clear and the mountains were beautiful, but it was also mid-August and the temperature was in the 90's, even in the mountains.
We stayed in Shin-hotaka because that was where I could find a vacancy; we were making a fairly long road trip and picked Oku Hida to break it up. Hirayu is the first village you reach and it's more built up, with larger ryokans and more souvenir shops. As you drive up the road towards Shin-hotaka, you pass through other villages which are essentially clusters of pensions and ryokans along the road. It's very pretty though; not totally overbuilt. We stayed in a ryokan on the road towards the Shin-hotaka ropeway; the ryokan was very nice, with pretty ofuro and three 'private' baths, which had no charge associated with them (which is nice)...the name was Oku Hida no yado Imadakan. If you do a google search for Imadakan you can find some reviews at Trip Advisor and others. I thought it was a tad expensive for what it was but it was very nice. We were very close to a public outdoor bath, which from pictures on the internet looked very nice, but in the heat we were not tempted...we also went via a very scenic stretch of road to the ropeway (and had a discount ticket from the ryokan guy) but arriving there, found the line too daunting and did not go up. Mid-August is not the best time for popular places, and we knew that when we planned the trip. Had we been staying another night there we would have done it anyway but we had to get going to the next place & had to be there early because of a festival.
It is just a beautiful place. There are a lot of different accomodations to choose from. If you want to experiment, go to:
okuhida.or.jp and there is a wonderful website with lodging and restaurants and attractions and everything about oku hida... in japanese. Still, on the left-hand side of the main index page (after the intro), pick the box with the shortest kanji phrase, and that's lodging. You'll get an interactive map - each of the villages has a little house icon, click the house and you'll get a whole list of places to stay. If you browse through those and find one that looks nice, you can either try an English e-mail or see if www.japaneseguesthouses.com will contact them for you. If you have any other questions feel free to ask. Since we were driving I don't have any feel for how well transportation to/from Takayama or surrounding areas works...
by Spendthrift rate this post as useful

......... 2007/9/20 12:53
Many thanks, that is very helpful. We will be driving too. I will check out that website (always a bit of fun navigating Japanese sites!)
by Sue rate this post as useful

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