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Gap in my itinerary, looking for something rural preferably

over 5 years ago
3 responses

Hi, a friend advised this forum to me for Japan travel questions.
If not the right place, please regard this question as not asked!

I'm going to Japan again in November for the fifth time. But this time, my travelcompanion is a Japan first-timer.
Therefore I will be seeing some places I have already seen before (no big drama), but would like to add some new things for me as well.

Below is my summarised Itinerary:
- arrive in Fukuoka, transfer to Nagasaki - Nagasaki - Hiroshima - Mijajima - Kyoto - Nagoya - Tokyo - flight from Narita

I have 2-3 days to spend somewhere else, I am looking for something a bit rural, with the possibility to stay in a Ryokan.

I have thought of adding the Kiso valley, but we will be there at the end of November / beginning December, I think this is too late to do the hike and see the villages ideally.

I have been already to Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Ise, Yokohama, Kanazawa, Takayama, Kumamoto, Nikko, Hakone.
I'm planning to see Osaka and Nara, possibly Kobe as a day trip from Kyoto, and Kamakura from Tokyo.

So if any of you has a good idea to add to my itinerary, please let me know!

My travelling companion is a voluntary firefighter. If you might have some tips related to things to see/do related with firefighting, then Im all ears!
I know of a nice firefighting museum in Shinjuku, we have it already on the list!

Thanks in advance!

16538 posts
over 5 years ago

Hi Rebecca!

Welcome to the forums, I am a little curious now who recommend you to this forum. You seem like a well traveled person, so I hope that I can give you some ideas.

What I would like to know is when you have 3 days available? Or can you just plan them in anywhere at this time?

In any case there are lots of options. Since you say rural either Kyushu or Shikoku comes to mind. For instance there are many small and beautiful islands around Nagasaki which you could visit, also known as the Goto Islands. This is a nice place to visit - especially if you wish to be away from everything for a while. It's also rarely visited by western visitors which adds to the feeling. An other place which I would certainly recommend visiting is Kagoshima, all the way south, Kagoshima is a laid back city with a beautiful view of Sakura Jima. It's my own favorite place in Japan.

An other place I would recommend visiting is Kinosaki Onsen this is a great place to enjoy some of Japans best onsen and it's also a very nice place to experience a stay at a Ryokan. Kinosaki is especially easy to reach from Kyoto, so you could plan it in between Kyoto and Nagoya.

As for something that may be interesting for a fire-fighter, consider visiting the Kobe earth quake memorial Museum. The museum show what happened during the Earthquake and also the recovery process, it is not directly related to firefighters but you can see how the helped people after the earthquake and how they helped the recovery.

Hope this helps and let me know what you think,

3 posts
over 5 years ago

Hi Daniel, thanks for your reply!
It was a friend on a Dutch Japan travel forum who recommended this forum to me.

Those 2/3 days are indeed flexible at this moment. I only want to be in Tokyo on December 3rd for the Chichibu Yomatsuri. Thats already towards the end of my trip, I will be flying out from Narita as well.

Shikoku is on my to do-list, but I want to spend more time there. I have in interest in Sakamoto Ryoma, therefore I want to go to Koichi. I think it's a but stressed out to do in this trip (It's a holiday after all ;) ), I'm afraid I have to come back again for a longer Shikoku tour!
But are the 'upper' parts of Shikoku easy to reach from Kyushu or Hiroshima? Hyperdia gives me options with relatively long travel times.

I shall look into Kinosaki and the Goto-Islands, nice tips!
Kagoshima is nice indeed. I' ve been there as a daytrip. I remember the dust everywhere from the volcano.

The Kobe earthquake museum will already make it to my list now, thanks!
Last year I've seen the Illuminary in Kobe, that was really impressive.

Thanks again for the tips, Daniel, you have given me good things to think about!

16538 posts
over 5 years ago

Hi Rebecca,

Yes it's very easy to reach Shikoku from mainland Japan. Especially Matsuyama or Takamatsu are great places to visit. Especially Takamatsu is nice as you can use ferries from there to explore smaller islands around the area. Kochi is indeed a little futher away but nevertheless nice to visit. The train trip trough Shikoku to Kochi is also very beautiful and worth making in itself.

An other option that came to mind would to to visit Matsue and Shimanen region. This area is often overlooked by foreign visitors but well worth visiting. The Izumo Taisha Shrine is one of the most impressive in Japan.

Did you make a decision yet?

All the best,

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