A few days to kill in Kansai
Replies: 2 - Last Post: Mar 30, 2010 7:03 AM Last Post By: Kaminoge
Mar 29, 2010 3:09 AM
A few days to kill in KansaiHi there
My partner and I are travelling two weeks in Japan. Starting in Tokyo and finishing in Osaka.
We're not wanting to stress ourselves out so we'll be staying a min three nights at most places.
We were hoping to travel from Koya-san to the onsen around Hongu, but it looks as though public transport between those two areas is lacking. Understand now why this area is so beautiful. Less people around no doubt.
In any case, we are rethinking the tail end of our trip. It's now reading:
Kyoto (with side trip to Nara)
Happy to use Osaka as an exit point only (not really keen on staying in another big city overnight).
What would you recommend as a replacement for the onsen at Hongu?
Many thanks in advance!
Edited by: soothers
Mar 29, 2010 9:27 AM
I just got back from Japan and visited Tokyo, Takayama, Kyoto and Nara (as well as Hiroshima).
If you really don't want to stress yourself I would recommend not doing more than you have already planned for the 2 weeks... Tokyo is definitely worth staying in a little longer - its a gigantic city, the biggest in the world- and you can't possibly think of seeing it in 3 days, 5 should be a minimum (I personally stayed 8 or 9 days and wasn't bored for a minute). Transit there is extremely easy and it is a stimulating place, but not dirty and noisy as the average SEA city is.
You could also split Kyoto and Nara and stay overnight in Nara as it will be a pretty busy day. There are nice ryokans (traditional Japanese accommodation with tatami mats) in Nara to stay at. And even if you want to see a limited amount of temples in Kyoto, there are lots of other other activities available (Craft center to shop for souvenirs, geisha makeover, sake breweries and tasting, tea ceremonies and cultural shows at Gion Corner for example, etc.). Takayama is a quaint little town, make sure you verify opening hours for the places you want to go to as they often close earlier than guidebooks mention.
Otherwise, have a great trip and feel free to write back for any further questions.
BTW, I have coins in yen currency (that changers wouldn't change back) and a pasmo card (subway and train pass for Tokyo) for sale if you are interested.
Mar 30, 2010 6:58 AM
2I couldn't find any buses connecting Koya-san with the Hongu area. However, there are buses that go from Gojo Station to Hongu, Yunomine Onsen and Kawayu Onsen, and onward to Shingu, according to this timetable dating from April of last year.
Gojo Station is about 90 minutes from Gokurakubashi Station (from where you take the cable-car to and from Koya-san), with a change of trains (from the Nankai Line to the JR Wakayama Line) at Hashimoto. Hyperdia can give you the details - just be sure to enter the Gojo in Nara, and not the one in Kyoto.
It is a beautiful area. I recommend staying in Shingu, as it's the transportation hub for the region. There are plenty of buses that go to Hongu and the onsens, and it's a short train and bus ride to Nachi Taisha .
(0 star Hotel)
From US$80.44 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$289.93 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$193.08 per night