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Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

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New York City
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Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

I have a reservation in Kyoto for five nights

(Nov. 4-8) and I also have a reservation in Takayama for two nights (Nov.11 & 12) Question: I was thinking of taking the train to Kanazawa for the nights of Nov. 9 & 10 but now Nara sounds more appealing. Can I travel by train (I plan on buying the JR pass) from Kyoto ...to Nara....and then take either train or bus to Takayama. I really can't change the Kyoto portion and don't want to change the Takayama part either. ALL HELP APPRECIATED.

Also, I'd love to stay in Ryokan KANSAKO - but it sounds very challenging as I have no experience and no Japanese language. ALL HELP AND SUGGESTIONS MUCH APPRECIATED!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

You don't have to sacrifice Kanazawa for Nara; Nara can be done as a day-trip from Kyoto without staying overnight. Kanazawa is definitely worth visiting.

From Kanazawa to Takayama, I would suggest to take the bus, making an en-route stop in Shirakawa-go. Even better if you can arrange to spend a night there in one of the gassho-zukuri farmhouses.

New York City
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2. Re: Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

Thanks for that suggestion. I am, however, wary of the warnings of dreary seacoast weather in November at Kanazawa. Also, I try to avoid "one night stays" as it is a hassle - right now I have five nights in Kyoto and two nights in Takayama (if I ever hear back from JapanGuestHouses) and two nights in Hakone.

So I have two free nights ...to spend somewhere that makes sense transportation wise...I actually was planning to take a bus to Takayama from Kanazawa...stopping where you suggested ..and then continuing after a few hours to Takayama. My guide book says NARA warrants more time than most people stay and suggested two nights. That's why I am conflicted!!

Kanazawa, Japan
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3. Re: Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

We live in Kanazawa, and this year spent two nights in Nara twice, one trip during Golden Week and one trip during Obon.

Two nights in either Kanazawa or Nara would be really nice imo. They are both nice, but different. Nara temples, shrines, deer, Naramachi and a great Vietnamese restaurant that we love! Kanazawa is Kenrokuen, Higashichayagai, Nishichayagai, Omichoichiba, samurai district, gold leaf, and a great Spanish restaurant that we love.

I do not know any Ryokan Kansako...maybe you mean Kankaso? Ryokan stays are not all that challenging, as the staff will show you exactly what to do and will explain what you don't understand. In Nara, many people speak very good English, and in Kanazawa there are English speakers as well. A couple of weeks ago we stayed at Aobajaya in Nara deer park...great location, run by a really nice family, and the wife speaks very good English. It is an old ryokan (opened in 1929 I think), but very clean and comfortable with great food and service. Not a luxury place, but very nice. No website, no internet reservations, you need to call (and they do speak English well). 0742-22-2917 (from o utside of Japan +81 742-22-2917.

It is easier to get to Takayama from Kanazawa, but from Nara is possible too, just takes a bit longer. For train schedules and fares etc, www.hyperdia.com

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4. Re: Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

I tried the hyperdia link that you sent in your message to see how I would get from Kanazawa to Takayama. I typed in START: Kanazawa and DESTINATION: Takayama but I do not understand how the link works. It said "Answers" - 5 and then said something about train, express, etc. but I was hoping to find an actual schedule for the dates in November. Is that possible?

Kanazawa, Japan
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5. Re: Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

With hyperdia, you need to enter the dates and times and make other selections if you like, and it will return 5 trips per search that are closest to the time you selected. It sounds like you did not complete the search process.

On the next page, you get 5 possible routings near the time yo uselected, and you can see the schedules and stops of varioius trains if you click on the buttons in the search results, but what I always do is just select the time I want to depart or arrive and go with the best result. If you don't like the results, change the time to be outside of the last result and search again.

Kanazawa, Japan
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6. Re: Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

It also might be easier to take the bus from Kanazawa to Takayama via Shirakawa-go. Best train route takes 2 h 41 m and one change of train. By bus, you could stop in Shirakawa-go on the way.

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7. Re: Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

Hi fish2, it sounds like I will just do as planned - after my five nights in Kyoto, take a train to Kanazawa and then after 2 nights in Kanazawa, take a bus to Takayama - stopping at Shirakawa-go. How long does the bus take? I am trying to book 2 nights in both Kanazawa and Takayama for a RYokan...am using Japaneseguesthouses.com but so far I have been a little frustrated by the amount of time it takes to get a response. I also was confused by the reservation forms and probably managed to confuse them as well!!! Can you advise on the type of JR pass which makes the most sense? I am arriving on Nov. 1 (Narita) and leaving on Nov. 15th. I have 3 nights in Tokyo, five nights in Kyoto, probably 2 nights in Kanazawa, probably 2 nights in Takayama and 2 nights in Hakone and then return to Tokyo for a flight home the evening of the 15th. NOTHING has confused me more than figuring out train passes/etc.

Everyone is sending me links but so far I have failed all the tests! You'd think I never travelled before and yet I have been all over. Appreciate your advice.

Tokyo
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8. Re: Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

I have listed bus schedule link from Kanazawa to Shirakawago, then onto Takayama, and made train connection charts from Takayama to either Tokyo or Kyoto and Osaka.

…blogspot.com/2008/07/access-to-takayama.html

Hope this helps.

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9. Re: Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

The bus information from Kanazawa to Takayama (with stop in historic village) is GREAT!! Can I use the JR pass? Do you have easy suggestion to go from Takayama to Hakone (where we are staying at the Fujiya Hotel. THANKS so much. The bus schedule was actually perfect and helped my confusion. If I can just do the rest of the connections I need, I would calm down a bit!! I would like to try to use the JR pass as much as possible since it is expensive. I know I can use it from Tokyo to Kyoto. Do you have a suggestion for train from Kyoto to Kanazawa?

YOU ARE THE BEST!

Kanazawa, Japan
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10. Re: Two nights in Kanazawa or Two nights in Nara?

Lots of trains daily from Kyoto to Kanazawa. Plug in the time you want in www.hyperdia.com and you'll get options. The nicest option is the Thunderbird.

The JR Pass is valid on JR operated trains and buses with a few exceptions (the one that will have the most meaning to your itinerary is that you can not ride Nozomi shinkansens). Details here. http://www.japanrailpass.net/ In hyperdia, you can select to exclude Nozomi, and you should if you are using a pass.

To see if a JR Pass will pay off, plug your trips into hyperdia and get the cost. What you would have to pay were you to purchase tickets is the fare plus the charge. The fare is the basic cost of the trip from point A to point B. The charge is what you have to pay for nicer and faster trains, and a bit for a seat reservation of you select that (on average only ¥500 or so so not anything to worry about). Add up all your trips, and compare against the cost of a JR pass for a week or 2 weeks.

The bus from Kanazawa to Takayama is operated by Nouhi, so JR Pass is not valid for that trip. nouhibus.co.jp/a0_bus/…sirakawago_08_0706.htm should answer your schedule and time questions, and also shows the fare. Reservations are required, and can be made at Kanazawa Station when you arrive or earlier by phone if you can find a Japanese speaker to do it for you, as the only occasionally have someone who speaks English.