My sister and I will be travelling to Japan for the first time in April 2014 and we are SO excited!
We will be visiting Kyoto before travelling on to Takayama for the spring festival and then visiting Lake Kawaguchi, before travelling on to Tokyo. We will be in Takayama for the 14th and 15th of April and want to get to Lake Kawaguchi by the evening of the 17th of April. So, we have 2 days to make the journey.
I have been looking at the various options and have looked at the Kurobe Alpine route via Kamikochi, but considering the dates when we are travelling it may not be open yet and if it is I wonder whether there will just be snow everywhere and we won't see anything - what do you think?...Also I have heard it is expensive... If we did this route we would either stay the night in Kamikochi itself, or in Matsumoto so we could see the castle, which of these would be the more interesting place to stay the night?
I have also looked at the Kiso valley route, which looks very beautiful. If we were to take this route we would probably stay in Tsumago. But it looks to me as though this route needs to be done by train and might take a long time... Is there a bus service or something that I haven't found?
Is there another route between Takayama and Lake Kawaguchi that I haven't considered?
My sister and I are not great hikers, we are not incredibly unfit or anything, but neither are we likely to want to go on an 8 hour hike (maybe an hour or 2 though)!! We are also on quite a tight budget, but not too fussy about comfort etc. Would much rather see something beautiful but be a bit uncomfortable (if that makes sense)! We want to experience as much of Japanese culture as we can while we are there, this is really a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us!
Any opinions on this route would be wonderful.
Thank you for your help,