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What to do between Otaru and Tokyo in 48 hours?

Brisbane
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14 posts
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What to do between Otaru and Tokyo in 48 hours?

Hi there. My partner and I will be in Otaru on December 9th, flying out of Japan from Tokyo on the evening of the 12th. We will stay the night of the 11th in Tokyo, but we are not sure what to do with ourselves between leaving Otaru and ending up in Tokyo.

I was hoping some other travelers could suggest how we might spend 48 hours in between Otaru and Tokyo. We'd like to get a little bit closer to Tokyo after leaving Otaru, so perhaps something midway around Sendai?

We're not planning on doing any skiing or big touristy resorts, prefer traditional Ryokans and nice scenery. Interested in food, theatre, music, good scenery, local culture etc.

Of course we are open to suggestions... if there is something particularly interesting we don't mind lingering in the north a little longer, or heading to Tokyo straight away if need be.

Thanks for your help!!

Renae

Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: What to do between Otaru and Tokyo in 48 hours?

>>prefer traditional Ryokans and nice scenery<<

Hokkaido is practically Japanese frontier colony established against Russian expansion in 1869, although in the southernmost area Japanese have already created plantation and forts in the Edo Period. You will find difficulty in finding "traditional" ryokans in Hokkaido. Nice scenery you'll find plenty but you'd have to go way out of cities that are touristy. And nice scenery areas are almost always visited by tourists. I suggest not being too picky, but to enjoy what's in offer.

If you can allow money, I would suggest taking a train ride from Otaru-Sapporo; Sapporo-Onuma Koen. See the lake and the volcano for an hour or so. Onuma Koen-Hakodate; Hakodate-Shin-Aomori-Furukawa; Furukawa-Naruko Onsen. Onsen Ryokan stay at Naruko Onsen town.

http://en.naruko.gr.jp/

[It should be better if you could spend some time in Hakodate, but probably you won't have enough time].

Next day, Naruko Onsen-Shinjo; Shinjo-Yamadera. See Yamadera Temple. Yamadera-Yamagata. See the town and perhaps the museum of a sake winery which I think was in the town. Finally, take the Yamagata Shinkansen to Tokyo (or go to Sendai by the mountain route, visit Nikka Whiskey distillery in Sakunami, Miyagikyo).

http://www.nikka.com/eng/distilleries/

You can do the time calculation at Google Map "Get Route" function entering above places and using hyperdia.

Sendai is a bit too large as a city probably to come close to your needs.

You'd also need to consider the travel between Tokyo and Narita Airport, which is quite time consuming.

Are you coming on a cruise ship?

The best suggestion could be changing the flight ticket back home to another date 3-4 days later.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
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6,691 posts
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2. Re: What to do between Otaru and Tokyo in 48 hours?

With so many worthwhile sites in the region of Tohoku it is hard to single out a couple for a brief visit.

One of the many winter scenic spots in Tohoku that impress us deeply is Towada-ko with Oirase Stream.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3778.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3775.html

http://www.towadako.or.jp/

For a relaxing onsen experience consider beautiful Ginzen Onsen.

http://www.ginzanonsen.jp/

An unique thing to see during winter time is the Zao “snow monsters” and though they are best during Feb they can be seen as early as Dec.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7927.html

http://www.zaoropeway.co.jp/w_season01.html

Brisbane
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14 posts
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3. Re: What to do between Otaru and Tokyo in 48 hours?

Thankyou both for your helpful responses :)

I will have a look at all your suggestions. I should have given a little more info - we have already planned out the rest of our trip prior to these dates, traveling from Tokyo, up to Nagano and Yudanaka, then heading north with a 2 days each in Hakodate and Otaru. We just need some help with ideas for the last 48 hours before we fly out. We don't plan to change flights or anything, just whatever conveniently fits in.

Thankyou again,

Renae

4. Re: What to do between Otaru and Tokyo in 48 hours?

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