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kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

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posts: 41
kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

I have four nights in Takayama/Shirawaka-go/Kanazawa (from my 16 day itinerary - need help in that too in an earlier posting in japan forum, pls help!THanks)

My question is, from Kyoto, pass Nagoya, should I go to Kanawaza, spend 2 nights, then work my way down to Shirawaka-go, then to Takayama, or what is the best way?

Considerations are efficiency of travel. Has anyone analysed the bus timings and done this route similarly? ie. a few nights in the area? What is the best way?

Also, should I stay in Shirawaka-go (I'm thinking of Ainokura for its reviews of being a quieter, less tourist-filled place), for one night, then Takayama for another, or should I do Takayama for 2 nights and visit Ainokura as a day trip?

Kanazawa, Japan
posts: 3,923
reviews: 3
1. Re: kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

Might be best to go Kyoto to Kanazawa by train (Thunderbird is the nicest and fastest). Kanazawa to S-go by bus (only about an hour). S-go to Takayama by bus. Takayama to Nagoya by train (Hida Wide View).

Ainokura is lovely. It is a very small village that you walk through in 5 minutes. There are maybe 8 or 9 minshuku that you can stay at and 2 restaurants and souvenir shop combos. The small museum is in two gassho houses across from each other. You can hike up to a viewpoint, then up and around back down to the village past the "man and woman tree" or some name like that...takes about 45 minutes to do the loop at a very leisurely pace.

Just down the main road from Ainokura is an old paper making factory where you can buy Japanese paper, and if you go down into the actual factory area you can make a sheet of paper decorated with flowers or cut paper for ¥500. Staff is very nice there.

Suganuma is nearby and also very nice. Like the other villages in Gokayama, it is small, and you can walk around it in 5 minutes. It also has 2 restaurants, a handful of shops selling souvenirs, ice cream and great local microbrewed beer.

Public transportation around the Gokayama area is very, very limited, and it will be very difficult to get around if you depend on it. So, in spite of it being an area of smaller, more personal, less full on touristy villages, without a car, I would have to recommend you stick to Shirakawa-go and plan to spend the night there.

S-go is heavily touristed during the day, but once the last bus pulls out at around 5:00, the village quiets right down and it is nice. There is the main street, which is now a strip of souvenir shops and a few restaurants, but go off of the main street and wander the side paths and it is really nice. There is a decent museum, open air style, that you can make soba if you reserve ahead of time (1 day before I think). Irori restaurant right near the main road entrance to the gassho village serves nice food at a good price, and the family that runs it is very friendly.

www.hyperdia.com for train information.

nouhibus.co.jp/a0_bus/…sirakawago_08_0706.htm for Kanazawa - Shirakawao-go - Takayama bus schedule.

http://www.japan-guide.com/bus/gokayama.html for Gokayama bus schedules.

posts: 41
2. Re: kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

Hi fish2!

Really helpful advice you're giving me here! Thank you SO much!

After reading, all the more I'm excited about the S-go area. After what you said, think I'll settle for a night at S-go. In that case, do you think it's worthwhile to visit either Aino/Suga with the bus in the day time? Or perhaps I should just travel less and stick with S-go?

So perhaps it'll be wiser to do Kanazawa 2 nights, S-go for 1 night and then Takayama 1 night? It sounds like the travelling is less hectic from what you described.

THank you so much! This really is helpful advice.

Kanazawa, Japan
posts: 3,923
reviews: 3
3. Re: kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

Travel less and stay in S-go is the easier option. Bus connections in the area are sparse.

posts: 14
reviews: 2
4. Re: kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

Hi there

We are thinking of doing a similar trip to what you were asking about. ie

tokyo - takayama - s-go - kanazawa - nara - osaka.

How did you find this route? Any suggestions or handy tips of what to do, where to stay, which transport route to take?

I hope to hear from you soon!


posts: 14
reviews: 2
5. Re: kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

Hi there!

We are planning a trip very similar to yours!

Did you find the itinerary not too rushed? We were planning on going:

tokyo 0 takayama - s-go-Kanazawa - Nara - osaka - kyoto.

We only have 14 days, so don't want to be spending most of the time travelling. Any hints?


posts: 41
6. Re: kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

Hi smagey!

Sorry, I'm not sure I can give you any tips - i've not made the trip yet!

I'll be travelling only next Sat - I can only tell you what my current itinerary is.

2 nights Tokyo

1 night Nikko

2 nights Kyoto

1 night Kinosaki Onsen, after visiting Himeji

2 nights Kyoto, day trip to Osaka

2 nights Kanazawa

1 night S-go

1 night Takayama

3 nights Tokyo.

I'm taking a 7 day JR pass to save money, instead of the 14 day pass. I'm starting the 7 days from the third day ie. trip from Tokyo to Nikko, and the last day will be from Kyoto to Kanazawa. This makes sense to me, though I'll not be taking the train from Takayama to Tokyo, cos from Kanazawa to S-go to Takayama, they are all bus trips anyway. There's no train from Taka- S-go - Kanazawa. I'll be taking a bus from Takayama to Tokyo, which just costs 6500 per pax, vs 14500 for train, though the train journey is supposed to be very beautiful. I'm crossing my fingers that the bus is fine too.

I've come up with this itinerary based on a lot of what the posters in this website says - but it is indeed a lot of travelling, so I do intend to go very well prepared.

When are you leaving? perhaps we can exchange notes.

posts: 14
reviews: 2
7. Re: kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

HI Patfoo

Thanks for that. We'll be heading there this Saturday. Sounds like we're doing a similar route.

I notice the bus takes an hour extra (5.5 hours) - hope it's not too cramped!

Yes, it makes sense to start the JR pass on day 3 - that's what we are planning to do as well.

Have fun!

posts: 41
8. Re: kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

Thanks smagey! Yes, the bus is an hour more.

Hope you'll have a great trip too!

I suppose I'll already be in Japan by the time you get back!


posts: 103
9. Re: kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

I am going to Jpn wif almost the same route as you guys in Dec. Hope to see more field report by the time I fly to JPN.

My plan is Tokyo(3 days)- Takamaya(1day) - Shirakawa-Go(1day) - Kyoto(2days) - Osaka(2days) - Tokyo(2days) in 11 Days.

7 JR pass activate on the 3rd day

Tokyo(3 days)-

Day 1 - Dinner at Ueno Eel

Day 2 - Disney Sea, Shijinku

Day 3 - Tsukiji Market, Sanrio Puroland, Kichijoji


Day 4 - Grassho stay


Day 5 - stay in Kanazawa for seafood!!


Day 6 - Kinkakuji, Gion, Kiyomizu, Kyoto Station

Day 7 - Arashiyama, Shijo street, Kyoto Station


Day 8 - Universal Studios, Umeda/Den Den Town, Dotonbori

Day 9 - Himeji Castle, Osaka Aquarium, Kuromon Market


Day 10 - Ghibli, Odaiba

Day 11 - Ueno, Akihabara,Narita airport

10. Re: kyoto - nagoya - (takayama/ shirawaka-go/ kanazawa)

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