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Kanazawa and Takayama?

Brisbane, Australia
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825 posts
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Kanazawa and Takayama?

We have 2 nights to spend between Kyoto and Tokyo. I'm trying to decide whether to just go to Takayama, or Kanazawa as well. At the moment we have a hotel in Takayama booked for 2 nights after leaving Kyoto, and were going to miss Kanazawa. I know it has the famous garden, but we're more interested in Shirakawago. I figure if we only have 2 nights to spare in the area I'd rather stay 2 nights in Takayama and do a bus trip to Shirakawago on the full day that we're there. I also hate staying only 1 night at places as it makes everything seem so hectic. Is Kanazawa unmissable, or optional, as there are gardens in Kyoto that we'll see?

Kanazawa, Japan
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1. Re: Kanazawa and Takayama?

Even though I live in Kanazawa, given your schedule I would say skip it.

Ottawa, Ontario
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2. Re: Kanazawa and Takayama?

Yeah, just go to Takayama. Kanazawa is a bit too far out of the way.

Hawaii
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3. Re: Kanazawa and Takayama?

I'm going to Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa all for just one night each. Should I skip Kanazawa too?

Kanazawa, Japan
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4. Re: Kanazawa and Takayama?

1 night in each is OK. 2 nights for the 3 is not enough time as a good deal of time over the 2 nights would be spent in transit. As it is, a day trip from Takayama to Shirakawa-go with first bus to S-go and last bus back you get only 6 hours there and 4 hours on a bus (2 hours each way).

If you time yourself well over your 3 nights, you can plan to arrive in Takayama in the morning, sightsee and stay the night. Take the first bus to S-go, sightsee and stay the night. Take the morning bus to Kanazawa, arrive in Kanazawa for lunch, sightsee, stay the night, sightsee the next morning, and depart by train for your next destination.

Nara, Japan
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for Nara, Kamikochi
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5. Re: Kanazawa and Takayama?

<<Is Kanazawa unmissable, or optional, as there are gardens in Kyoto that we'll see?>>

This may not be much of a help to you, I guess, but I did a whirlwind driving tour to Kanazawa enroute to Shirakawago / Takayama / Kamikochi on the first of this month; so I think the memories still stay fresh of Kanazawa Kenrokuen Garden. For me, it was really worth rolling to hit it before dawn. My take is, Kenrokuen is different from any one of the zen-related temple gardens I have thus far come to know in Kyoto, where you'd locate stones large or small arranged in a metaphysical sway, which is fine per se, though.

No, not that I saw drooping sakuras around the gorgeous pond in there; I am as huge a sakura fan as any other Japanese, but it is because I found the venue called Yamazaki Hill in the garden compounds that I can comment that way. Sure there's a small stone pagoda called Omuro on that hill, which was so made that it resembled the 5storied pagoda in Kyoto's Ninnaji Temple, it is said, but I believe the feeling to that area is quite different than you'd get of Ninnaji. You should look at the way stately green cedar trees stand there as the backgdrop of it: some people might like to compare to those in Nara Kasuga Shrine, or rather, those in Okunoin Temple on Mt Koya. There's Rouchimon Gate facing the beautiful white castle across from the road, and down the promenade from here you'd locate souvenir shops selling Kutani Ware, which is a bit pricey, though. Little owl-seramics sitting on cushions will catch your eye! If you could rent a car, which I am not really inclined to suggest you do because of language barriers involved, you would be privileged to travel all along at a leisurely pace from Takayama to Kanazawa via Shirakawago...

6. Re: Kanazawa and Takayama?

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