Replies: 23 - Last Post: Nov 22, 2011 2:11 AM Last Post By: Tokyo_girl
Nov 20, 2011 2:13 PM
15Matsushima will be happy to see you!
They escaped with minimal damage in the tsunami but the tourists are very thin on the ground. If you are in Matsushima, on the other side of Sendai, on the Senzan sen towards Yamagata is Yamadera. If you get off at the station before Yamadera you can hike to Yamadera. (I have only been there when it was snowing & had no interest in hiking in that weather).
I haven't been to Sado ga Shima but if you are on the Japan Sea side Sakata is a lovely town, flat with free hire bicycles. The Uetsu line north from Niigata is a pleasant trip. Gassan will still have snow - it has June /July skiing, so research before considering Dewa Sanzan.
Japan guide now has much better information on places in Tohoku. I love Goshogakke and it has quite easy hiking. For hiking info also take a look at Hiking Japan website.
The situation on the Pacific Coast is vastly improved. I am not sure about access, but the Iwate coast line is very pretty and they would love to see tourists back.
Nov 20, 2011 4:14 PM
16When exactly "in spring" did you plan to be in Sapporo? Weather is not the best until around late May. Getting to Sapporo from Tokyo is possible via 2 routes: plane, train, and ferry (with or without a rental car).
Sapporo itself is a city of almost 2 million people, not exactly what I would call a hiking area. Hokkaido is pretty big, so you will have to choose your areas carefully to avoid wasting travel time. Yes, you definitely need to be a planner for this venture!
I'd love to do some hiking in some of the national parks, or mountaintrails in the region.
What region would that be? You've talked about everything from Sado Island to Hokkaido to Tohoku to Osaka.
Nov 20, 2011 8:20 PM
17Glenski, Machiruda has lived and travelled in Japan before and speaks excellent Japanese.
She made it pretty clear she is flying out of Sapporo at the end of her trip and is undecided about where exactly to go, so has come to the board for suggestions....
Not having plans set in concrete and the trip is less than 8 months away.... goodness how radical..
I suspect she is after information to give her ideas, rather than checking in for voluntary flagellation...
Nov 21, 2011 2:56 AM
18Hi Glenski, I guess I'm not very clear in my messages but t_g (thanks!) is right, I do know Japan well (apart from Tohoku/Hokkaido, obviously) which is a reason why I may not be so specific here right now and I am mostly looking for suggestions and ideas.
What i'm looking at right now is:
fly into Osaka around 20/22 May - spend a few days there to eat & drink with friends, basically. I know my way around Kansai quite well.
head to Tokyo for that weekend for the wedding and more eating & drinking with friends. see above.
The part then is what I'm slowly trying to figure out a bit - whether it would make sense to travel to Sapporo in two weeks from Tokyo (Sapporo would be maybe a one day stay, but really not planning to do anything more in Hokkaido). Or if I should just fly out from Tokyo and do a circle across Tohoku starting and coming back to Tokyo covering two weeks.
when I say 'region' - I do mean that quite broadly, across Tohoku - it depends on what would be accessible easily and be worth the trip.
t_g, will definitely have a look at those websites for the hiking part! I have an old Hiking in Japan LP at home, but that may be a bit outdated. I also find that the Japan LP doesn't have a huge amount of info on Tohoku, but may have to update to a more recent guidebook anyway.
Nov 21, 2011 6:22 AM
19Machiruda, I am sure you know Hiraizumi not far from Sendai. It's a Europeans kind of place that has just been made world heritage.
If it were me with 2 weeks to meander about in Tohoku - declared interests nature, and history places I would seriously consider going back to
- Matsushima - but it needs to be nice weather to be nice.
- Hiraizumi - though I have a friend that had a lukewarm accommodation experience there. It's a place that would attract Europeans rather than Americans I suspect.
- The Sanriku coast - I would find a way to get there - it's history that's happening and it's incredible to watch. I wouldn't go to Miyagi though - the cities there were much bigger and there is much more dislocation. I really recommend it.
- I haven't been to Osorezan but want to very much.
- I would love to have more time to look around Goshogakke - I am always in Tohoku with a car.
- Kaminogoe who posts sometimes has been to Sado.
- Tobujima or Tobajima? off Sakata is somewhere that's high on my list to go to when I am back in the area.
- Kosaka is a lovely little town in Akita but it's far removed from the beaten track.
The Hanawa sen from Morioka to Odate is quite lovely, as is the Gono line, the Uetsu line and the Kitakami line. The Nairiku line and the Ou line less so - generally lines near shinkansen lines are not scenic.
Nov 21, 2011 7:24 AM
20wow, t_g, that list is great! thanks so much :-D
and yes, I'm very excited (I don't think I've ever started planning a trip 7 months in advance!). By then it will have been 7 years since I was in Japan last. way way way too long. And looking forward to see a new part of the country. And it'll be my first 3week holiday in I can't even remember how long. Wheeee!!
Nov 21, 2011 11:46 PM
21Kakunodate would be on most people's list - I was a bit jaded by the experience as I was there in Hanami.
If you are up for seriously not foreign tourist areas - one potential route would be
Sendai - Yamadera - Sendai - Matsushima - Sendai - Hiraizumi - Sanriku (perhaps through Hanamaki but this part will need clarification about transport ) - Morioka - Kakunodate - Tamagawa (hike) to Goshogake - Hachimantai- Kazuno (nothing there to recommend it but the transport junction, there is an old mine turned museum somewhere near there - Mylando - but I am not sure where exactly) Towada ko - Aomori (or perhaps Hirosaki though it's not on this map) Hakodate Sapporo. Hakkodate merits a some time - it's lovely.
One difficulty with Tohoku transport is that the shinkansen lines dont meet up on the Japan Sea side - Niigata, Yamagata, Akita, Aomori are all linked on the JSS but on irregular slow local lines.
Nov 21, 2011 11:58 PM
Thanks for explaining machiruda's level of Japanese, but I don't think I ever questioned that, did I? (I have not looked at all my posts.)
I did look back to see that she will be here in May (as far as I can figure). Ok, so Hokkaido in May. As I wrote before, there isn't much to see and do for hiking/outdoor stuff then unless one is very willing to brave the crappy weather. May in Hokkaido is when the last traces of snow leave the lowlands, but deeper in the forests and higher on the mountains it will be there. IMO, that makes for poor trekking, but I don't know what you are interested in or used to.
Now that you've mentioned that it's Tohoku, not the Sapporo area where you want to trek, I guess I just wasted my time posting this. :) If there's something you want to know about Hokkaido, though, just ask (or do a search for my name, since I've posted extensively about it).
Nov 22, 2011 2:11 AM
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