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Trip List by Tracy H

Japan Countryside in 12 days

13 Apr 2013  Couple second time in Japan
3.5 of 5 stars based on 1 vote

Osaka, Koyasan, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji, Kinosaki, Kyoto, Takayama, then back to Osaka

  • 1. Osaka
    Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

    Flew into Osaka at 6pm, train from airport into city, stayed at the Cross Hotel, great location, excellent room.

  • 2. Koyasan

    From Osaka took the train to Koyasan to stay in a 700 year old buddist temple called the Eko in, really lovely, you must do the night time cemetary tour before going through the cemetary in the daytime. Really lovely town and worth the visit.

  • 3. Hiroshima
    Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture

    This is a must see, go to the Peace Museum, and park, see the A bomb dome, it puts things in perspective and you realise that this should never, ever happen again. I hope we learn.

  • 4. Miyajima

    Great place to see, easy to do as a daytrip from Hiroshima, we caught the tram which was interesting as well. Then the ferry across to Miyajima, really nice place, love the deer, we also took the ropeway up to the temples on the mountain, that was great

  • 5. Himeji Castle (Himeji-jo)
    Himeji Castle, Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture

    The castle is under renovation but is still worth the visit, we met a guide at the gate who showed us around the castle, she was full of information and was free, she like to practice her english and this is how she does, mind you her english was excellent. We have decided that we should come back and see the castle again when the renovation is finished in 2015. Himeji is a nice town as well.

  • 6. Kinosaki-Onsen
    Kinosaki Onsen, Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture

    We stayed 2 nights in Kinosaki and were the only westerners there. It was fabulous, they have 7 public onsens (public spa baths). Bathing is almost an artform in Japan, but there are rules as to what to do. Firstly this town is where you don your Yukata (dressing gown) and your wooden sandals and walk through the town from onsen to onsen. Make sure that you tie the Yukata left over right, if you do it the other way, that is how they dress corpses and our less than perfect hotel, let us go out in the town with it done wrong, so we walked around the first day dressed as corpses. When you arrive at the onsen, men go one way, women the other, men are the blue doorway and women the red. Go intot he change room and undress (yep everything off) and put your stuff in the locker, take your little modesty towel with you into the bath area, and firstly you must rinse yourself with the showers, sit down on the stool and make sure you rinse all off yourslef, then go and soak in the spa, it is divine, you can then get out and wash yourself, the onsens provide everything to do this, then you can go back into the bath if you like. Take your time, its really good and even if you are modest like me, you get used to it and no one takes any notice of you.

  • 7. Kyoto
    Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Kyoto is a must. Make sure that you walk the street called Pontocho, great restaurants. Actually just make sure you go to Kyoto, it is absolutely gorgeous. We stayed at the Royal on the Park and it was first class for a great price and it was in a great location.

  • 8. Takayama
    Takayama, Gifu Prefecture

    A really quaint old wooden merchant town, had a great time here. The trip to get there was really picturesque as well. The train travels along a gorge and there are some really good photo opportunities. We stayed at the Ryokan Asunaro and it was awesome, the owner was fabulous and very helpful and the way they have done this place up is fabulous. It is worth staying here, I would highly recommend it.

  • 9. Osaka
    Osaka, Osaka Prefecture

    Back to Osaka with plenty of time to look around then flew out that night. A fabulous trip and although we moved around a fair bit, it was easy travelling. Highly recommend a trip to Japan