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2 / 3 day trip out of Tokyo

Broadbeach...
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2 / 3 day trip out of Tokyo

Hi,

We will be staying with friends in Tokyo in late Nov.. am wondering if any suggestions for a 2 night trip out of town?

We are mid 30's and more interested in nice scenery, good food and drink, unusual experiences, sport etc.. not really interested in major city tourist stuff as have done that before ... (ie Osaka etc)

Happy to stay in cheaper, "funky" accom if available?

Any suggestions?

Aoyama Dori and San...
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1. Re: 2 / 3 day trip out of Tokyo

Try looking here: http://wikitravel.org/en/Japan

Nashville, TN
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2. Re: 2 / 3 day trip out of Tokyo

What are your other plans for Japan? Are you just going for 2-3 days in Tokyo?

If you are just going to Tokyo, then if you haven't been already use those days in Kyoto and that region. You can easily occupy your time in Kyoto alone, though I personally think Himeji is worth at least a half day if you can.

If you really just want to stay in the Tokyo area, then look into Nikko for a day. Tons to see and do in Nikko.

Another possibility is to go to Hakone and stay overnight there, doing the onsen and other scenery.

A bit further afield is Matsumoto; it's a nice town and the castle is incredible. Almost as good as Himeji (though for different reasons).

If you are an experienced Japan traveler and want to get a little off the beaten path then go to Atami and explore the Izu Penninsula. I personally really like the Jogasaki area; it's famous for rock climbing (massive dark gray/black cliffs) and the scenery can be spectacular. Atami is a quirky town; it's known for its nightlife and geisha (more than in Kyoto, or at least that used to be the case). That region of Japan is in many ways the birth of the modern nation; that's where the Tokugawa rose to power, and you're not too far from the anscestral home of the Oda clan who started the unification process centuries ago. When Edo (tokyo) became the capital most of the highways passed through that region and you can still walk the same roads.

Good luck!

John W.

Broadbeach...
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3. Re: 2 / 3 day trip out of Tokyo

Hey John,

Thanks for the excellent info!

Those places sound great.. was planning a trip to Hakone anyway..having had a little bit of a look... what do you think about a trip Hakone, Atami, Matsumoto, then back to Tokyo ... with a night in each place? Comfortably doable by public transport?

Will be in Japan for 2 weeks but staying with friends who have work commitments, so extended trekking will be difficult.

Rob

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4. Re: 2 / 3 day trip out of Tokyo

Matsumoto is very nice but it's best combined with a visit to Nagano. I think you can do two separate trips, one going to Hakone, Mt. Fuji, then down Jogasaki Coast of Atami. The other trip would then be Nagano and Matsumoto. In between stay at Tokyo to break up the 4 hour train ride.

Nashville, TN
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5. Re: 2 / 3 day trip out of Tokyo

>>Those places sound great.. was planning a trip to Hakone anyway..having had a little bit of a look... what do you think about a trip Hakone, Atami, Matsumoto, then back to Tokyo ... with a night in each place? Comfortably doable by public transport?<<

I agree with Sammy; the destinations are probably easier done in two segments. If I had preference I'd probably do Matsumoto/Nagano. Leave at the crack of dawn for Nagano and spend the morning there. Then do Matsumoto in the afternoon. If you want to skip Nagano, go straight to Matsumoto and take the local rapid express to Nagoya. Kill some time there and then head back to Tokyo. If you want to do something that's pretty off the wall, take the Shinkansen from Nagano back to Tokyo and pick a station to stop at; Takasaki comes to mind. In my mind, that sort of travel makes for some of the most memorable experiences.

>>Will be in Japan for 2 weeks but staying with friends who have work commitments, so extended trekking will be difficult.<<

Bear in mind that Kyoto is only a couple of hours away; it's as close as Nikko or Matsumoto. If you want to get a full day in Kyoto, you could take a night train or bus to the city and then head back that evening. The earliest shinkansen is at 6 am and arrives just after 8; it's a Nozomi, which is the fastest but can't be used if you're using a rail pass.

Good luck!

John W.

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6. Re: 2 / 3 day trip out of Tokyo

If you're going to Nagano and Matsumoto, here are a few thoughts:

En-route from Tokyo to Nagano, consider a visit to Karuizawa.

In Nagano, beside Zenko-ji, consider visiting the various 1998 Winter Olympics sites.

In Matsumoto, consider a scenic side-trip to Daio Wasabi Farm, the largest wasabi farm in Japan.

Broadbeach...
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7. Re: 2 / 3 day trip out of Tokyo

Once again.. great advice..

I think might do the Nagano / Matsumotu as a 2 day / 1 night trip .. (Wasabi farm sounds v interesting!!) .. maybe even a bit of snow by then (1st week dec) ..

And then another 2 or 3 day trip to Hakone / Atami ...

Appreciate your help guys...thanks heaps

Rob

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8. Re: 2 / 3 day trip out of Tokyo

There are so many choices to choose from. it really depends on what you want to see. I am brainstorming (in NO particular order):

1. Kyoto--if you have not been there

2. Japanese Alps area--Matsumoto and surrounding (add an onsen ryokan stay for sure)

3. Takayama and surrounding (Furukawa or Shiragawako) plus onsen ryokan stay in Gero Onsen, of course

4. More Japanese Alps area--Takaragawa Onsen (biggest open-air onsen in Japan, stunningly scenic with plenty of great TA reviews). Combine Takaragawa with another destination

5. Yet, more in the Alps area--visit Kusatsu Onsen or Bessho Onsen, or Shima Onsen, all along Japan's Romantic Road

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7450.html

http://www.kusatsu-onsen.org/

JR East rail passes are great bargains if you confine your destinations in the covered regions (e.g., Takayama and Kyoto aren't covered). Note that the flexible 3-day pass is an unbelievable deal.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_02.html

Alternatively, should you travel along the Romantic Road and have company, then driving is a superior option. Just pick up the rental car at a location close to the expressway and outside downtown Tokyo, if possible.

Since you have 3 days and 2 nights to spare, I suggest: 1st night at Takaragawa Onsen or Kusatsu Onsen, 2nd day half-day tour of Karuizawa, 2nd night at Ueda/Bessho Onsen (Ueda is the gateway city to Bessho Onsen, which is known as the "Kamakura" of the Alps region with plenty of national treasures), 3rd day at Matsumoto

Note that there is only one ryokan at Takaragawa (as expected, it isn't cheap). However,you can use the onsen at Takaragawa during the day without an overnight stay.

Once you have finalized the itinerary, then we can help with finding affordable accommodation. Many people consider Japan expensive, but this is false. In fact, outside Tokyo and Kyoto, there are plenty of excellent lodging options at great prices.

9. Re: 2 / 3 day trip out of Tokyo

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