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Japan December Ideas Help

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Japan December Ideas Help

After spending 5 days in Kyoto, I have no idea where to go for the next 4 days.So many choices! Can any one help with some good ideas please. I finish in Kyoto on am 27 December and fly out from Kansai late on January 1. I have many interests that might help -architecture - beautiful gardens - love mountain scenery, hiking and cold weather - I thought I might be able to find a horse trek into the mountains ? I have been to Tokyo briefly before and dont really want to go there this trip. I would appreciate all your thoughts. Many Thanks. Gem

Narooma, Australia
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977 posts
51 reviews
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1. Re: Japan December Ideas Help

Takayama and Kanazawa!!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
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6,151 posts
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2. Re: Japan December Ideas Help

Takayama - Shirakawa-go - Kanazawa is a very good suggestion. From Kanazawa you can go to Awara Onsen, scenic coastal Tojinbo and serene Eihei-ji. Then work your way back down to Hikone and Lake Biwa before arriving back to Kyoto.

South of Kyoto is less explored Kii Peninsula. Koya-san can provide mt. scenery and the pilgrimage route of Kumano-kodo Route could be ideal for serious hiking. Shirahama, Kushimoto and Katsuura have beautiful coastal scenic spots. From either Katsuura or Shingu you can go to beautiful Nachi Waterfalls.

West of Kyoto is the more popular route to Hiroshima/Miyajima or a little further west to Iwakuni. En-route are Kobe, Arima Onsen, Himeji, Okayama and Kurashiki. Less travelled on the coast of Sea of Japan are Tottori, Matsue, Izumo, Tsuwano and Hagi.

Nashville, TN
Destination Expert
for Himeji, Kobe, Osaka
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1,902 posts
32 reviews
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3. Re: Japan December Ideas Help

I'd go to Kinosaki from Kyoto; arrive in the early/mid afternoon and walk around the town. Stay in a ryokan there that has at least dinner (breakfast is nice). If you have time, hike up the hill (there's also a cable car); the views can be nice. Do the onsens in the early evening and some the next morning. Then head to Himeji; while there, visit the castle, Kokoen (gardens) and Mt. Shosha (home to Engyoji, a temple/shrine complex). From Himeji go to Hiroshima/Miyajima for 2 nights. If you want a slower pace, you might spend a night in Himeji and go to Kurashiki on your way to Hiroshima.

Good luck!

John W.

4. Re: Japan December Ideas Help

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