Suggestions for the following itinerary
I have the following itinerary planned for my hubby and I. Would like to seek any expert comments or recommendation.
Day 1: Tokyo to Nagano via Hokuriku Shinkansen in the morning. Drop bags at onsen resort before proceeding to Wild Monkey Park. Proceed back to onsen. (Is there anything else I can fit into this day other than wild monkey park?)
Day 2: Travel from Nagano to Toyama. Take the Alphine Route from Tateyama towards Ogizawa. Stay over at onsen resort.
Day 3: Travel from Ogizawa towards Matsumoto. Leave baggage at the station while making a short visit to Matsumoto Castle. Travel towards Kamikochi. Stay over at Kamikochi (Are there more stuff to do at Matsumoto City?)
Day 4: Kamikochi tracking and back to Matsumoto and back to Tokyo (Are there anything else to cover in Nagano area?)
Day 5 - Day 8: Tokyo City Tour
Based on the itinerary above, is it worth buying the JR Pass?
1.) Traveling to Jigokudani (the snow monkey park) will take most of your day. I don't think that there will be much time to do something else. The route will bring you past Yudanaka, this is a nice onsen resort and you could walk around there a little.
2.) There are a couple of other nice visits in Matsumoto, think of the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum (pricey but recommended if you are interested in these kinds of things) and the Kaichi Gakko Primary School is a nice visit too.
3.) Nagano city and Zenkōji are not to be missed either.
4.) Looking at travel fares vs the price of a 7 day JR Pass, it would be slightly cheaper to buy normal tickets for this route.
Hope this helps,
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