Travel Plans/Winter 2009-2010
<googlemap version="0.9" lat="35.622428" lon="139.69202" type="map" zoom="17" width="500" height="200" selector="no" controls="small"> 35.622222, 139.691913 Mika's Family's Apartment Building </googlemap>
We'll stay in Meguro-ku with Mika's family. Meguro is close to Shibuya, one of the largest transit centers in Tokyo. There are some free wifi spots around the city. The internet cafes in Tokyo cost about 2100 yen for 9 hours. We could buy livedoor wifi access for 1575 yen per month, which allows us to access their wifi anywhere in Japan.
Things to do in Tokyo:
- Kabuki-za (get tickets?)
- Jimbocho (book town)
- Roppongi Hills (view)
- Shibuya (easy) + Harajuku
- Meiji jingu or maybe a temple to ring the bell
- Tsukiji (Market)
- Day 1: Travel to Hiroshima; spend day there; travel the rest of the way to Fukuoka at night
- Day 2: Stay in Fukuoka for the day; travel to Beppu do onsen in the afternoon;
- Day 3: See Beppu and its Hells; travel to and stay in Okayama;
- Day 4: Take boat to Naoshima and see the art island; Take boat to Takamatsu; Have udon. Go to Kansai;
- Day 5: Stay in Osaka; See Kyoto
- Day 6: See more Kansai. Go to Hida at night
- Day 7: See Hida. return at night to tokyo
Useful pages to the city's we will be going through (in order):
- Hiroshima: Wikitravel | Wikipedia (Day 1)
- Yame City, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Wikipedia (Day 1-2)
- Fukuoka Wikitravel | Wikipedia (Day 2?)
- Beppu Wikitravel | Wikipedia (Day 2-3)
- Okayama Wikitravel | Wikipedia
- Naoshima Wikitravel | Wikipedia (Day 3-4)
- Takamatsu Wikitravel | Wikipedia (Day 4)
- Osaka Wikitravel | Wikipedia (Day 4-6)
- Kyoto Wikitravel | Wikipedia (Day 5-6)
- Takyama, Hida Wikitravel | Wikipedia | City Information (日本語) (Day 6-7)
The JR East bullet train stops.
Railpass Day 1 (1/4)
- Travel to Fukuoka while stopping for the day in Hiroshima.
<googlemap version="0.9" lat="34.398978" lon="132.467394" type="map" zoom="14" width="700" height="250" selector="no" controls="small"> </googlemap>
- Train from Tokyo early on first train possible (6AM or 7AM?) to Hiroshima (~5-6h) [UNRESERVED SHINKANSEN]
- Train from Hiroshima to Yame City, Fukuoka on one of the later evening shinkansens (~2.5h + 1.5h) (last train leaves Hiroshima around 22pm) [UNRESERVED SHINKANSEN]
Where we'll stay:
- Extra rooms in Takara's mother apartment building in Yame City, Fukuoka
Alternative places to stay in Fukuoka:
- We have an offer to couchsurf with Tim Penn
- Wikitravel lists some hostel options that look like they could work as well
Things to do in Hiroshima:
- Eat okonomiyaki
- Explore the Peace Park and atomic bomb memorial
- Transportation to Hiroshima Park
- We could possibly walk and pass by Hiroshima Castle. Will be about 5km.
- Go to Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社) directly by a ferry or via Hiroshima station/Miyashimakou and then by ferry.Miyashima(Details on ferries to the Shrine)
Railpass Day 2 (1/5)
- See Fukuoka and travel to Beppu
<googlemap version="0.9" lat="33.591457" lon="130.409603" type="map" zoom="13" width="700" height="250" selector="no" controls="small"> </googlemap>
- Train from Yame City, Fukuoka to Beppu on a mid-day shinkansen (~4-4.5h) [UNRESERVED SHINKANSEN]
Things to do:
- Walk around Fukuoka(?),
- Breakfast with Takara? (Fukuoka)
- Nightime walk to the castle (organized by Happy Neko) with a visit to (Beppu)
Where we'll stay in Beppu:
- Happy Neko: We have a private tatami room reserved. When we get a reserved train ticket in, we should follow up with the owners to let them know when we'll be arriving.
Places to eat in Beppu:
- WT recommends: "Hitparade: A uniquely Japanese experience, Hit Parade is an all you can eat buffet and all you can drink (alcoholic or not) American 1950's Dance Hall. A live band preforms songs from 1950's America while locals preform coordinated dance moves in front of the stage. It's more of a show than a modern dance club, think of a theater with food and drinks, but well worth the scene. Men ¥3600 Women ¥3000."
Railpass Day 3 (1/6)
- Spend some time in Beppu and then travel to Okayama on last train
<googlemap version="0.9" lat="33.279239" lon="131.501112" type="map" zoom="14" width="700" height="250" selector="no" controls="small"> </googlemap>
- Train from Beppu to Uno Port, Tamano in Okayama Prefecture in the afternoon or evening (~5+h) [UNRESERVED SHINKANSEN]
- Ferry from Uno to Naoshima (WT) for ¥600)
- The last ferry leaves Uno Port at 20:30, arriving at Miyaura Port at Naoshima around twenty minutes later.
We should take the ferry from Ryokakusen (the smaller pier than the ferry one). The ferry doesn't run on holidays and Fri/Sat/Sun.
Things to do:
- See some jigoku (Hells) in Beppu (Hells open at 8:00)
- More information and tickets are available at the Beppu Hell Association
- WT says: "Combination tickets can be purchased for ¥2000, or ¥1800 with a coupon from the Foreign Tourist Office; admission to each individual hell is ¥400."
- Eat some Hell pudding 
- Go on a walk to some hot springs in the mountains with the Happy Neko people
Place to stay in Naoshima:
- Stay in Naoshima dormitory which is 50 meters from the port. Tatami room is available for ¥2800p/p
- We have to call the dormitory if we're arriving after 21:00.
- Mika made the reservation for 3 under Matsuzaki on 12/31. Call the before if we need to cancel it.
Alternate places to stay in Okayama if we can't make it to Naoshima:
- Hotel Riverside has capsules for <¥2000 but only for men. They have rooms for closer to <¥4000 for women;
- There are two people on couch surfing who have offers
- WT says: "Two Internet cafes Megalo and Popeye, are open 24 hours and allow customers to stay overnight for around ¥2000."
Railpass Day 4 (1/7)
- See Naoshima and Takamatsu and then arrive in Osaka
<googlemap version="0.9" lat="34.427302" lon="134.067535" type="map" zoom="10" width="700" height="250" selector="no" controls="small"> 34.46207, 133.986511 Naoshima 34.337766, 134.045563 Takematsu </googlemap>
- Ferry from Naoshima to Takamatsu for ¥300)
- Train from Takamatsu to Osaka (WT) (Transit time: ~3-4 hours) [UNRESERVED SHINKANSEN]
Things to do in Naoshima:
- Naoshima website
- Visit the pumpkins by the shore.
- Visit the underground museum.
- You can get ¥500 off at this dormitory if you win rock paper scissors when you check in.
- Reserve the room at least one day in advance. If we're arriving there past 21PM, we need to let them know in advance.
- Eat Nanakusa gayu (1/7 porridge)
Things to do in Takamatsu:
- Rent bikes at cycle rental station (¥100)
- Visit Ritsurin Park (栗林公園 ritsurin kouen), 20-16 1-chome Ritsurin-cho, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa (about 3 minutes walk from JR Ritsurin Koen Kitaguchi Station, 5 from the Kotoden Ritsurin Koen station.
- Eat Sanuki udon (as often and as much as possible)
- WT recommends eating at the tsurumaru (鶴丸), it's not far from kawaramachi station. Since it's quite famous, you can ask around and people will guide you. (It's open after 8pm).
Things to do in Kansai:
- Food in Osaka (we'll get in late)
- Meet up with Kizu-san?
Place to stay in Kansai:
- Makoto N on CS in Kyoto?
- Ben Barnes on CS in Osaka?
Railpass Day 5 (1/8)
- See Kyoto or elsewhere in Kansai
<googlemap version="0.9" lat="34.885931" lon="135.543823" type="map" zoom="9" width="700" height="250" selector="no" controls="small"> 34.768691, 135.480652 Osaka 35.017626, 135.770416 Kyoto </googlemap>
- Train from Osaka to Kyoto (~1h) [UNRESERVED SHINKANSEN]
- Train from Kyoto to Osaka (~1h) [UNRESERVED SHINKANSEN]
Things to do in Kyoto:
- See Shrines and Temples!
Things to do in Osaka:
Place to stay
- See above
Railpass Day 6 (1/9)
- See Osaka proper and then leave for Hida
<googlemap version="0.9" lat="36.20162" lon="137.221298" type="map" zoom="11" width="700" height="250" selector="no" controls="small"> 36.145083, 137.252884 Takayama (where we plan on staying) </googlemap>
Explore Kansai (probably Osaka) to Hida
- Train from Osaka to Takayama in Hida with the idea of arriving around ~5-6pm via Nagoya (~4-5h) [UNRESERVED SHINKANSEN]
- Details on infrequent direct trains from Osaka to Hida which we might be able to take
- Bus from Takayama to Hida no Sato.
Place to stay in Hida:
This town will will be pretty cold. Very snowy. We should dress warm!
Railpass Day 7 (1/10)
- See Hida and return to Tokyo
- Train from Takayama in Hida to Tokyo on last train ~5-6pm via Nagoyo (~6h) [UNRESERVED SHINKANSEN]
- We could also get off at Yokohama and look around the city before heading home.
Place to stay in Tokyo:
- Back with Mika's Family in Meguro-ku
Ask TP on couchsurfing for a place to stay in Fukuoka the night of the January 4th (Mako) Try to reserve a tatami room in Beppu for the night of January 5th Ask people in Okayama about staying the night of January 6th Email Kizu-san (Mako) Email Takara about dinner on January 4th in Fukuoka (Mika)
- Call Naoshima dormitory to make reservation (Mika)
Ask on CS for a place in Kansai on the 7th and 8th (Makoto + and Ben. B) (Mako)
- Call dorm in Takayama in Hida to make reservation (Mika)