Travel plans/Winter 2011-2012
- 1 Things to definitely do
- 2 Potential things to do
- 3 Resources
Things to definitely do
January 4 (Wednesday)
Rail pass day 1.
Arrive in Kanazawa in the evening.
Stay at Tokyu Inn (economy double room for 5909 yen for 2 people. Reserved.)
Other backup options for staying include:
- Guest house from AirBnB
- kikunoya ryokan (きくのや旅館)
- Ryokan Shibaya (~ 4100 yen for two people w/ onsen bath in basement)
January 5 (Thursday)
Rail pass day 2.
Spend day in Kanazawa.
Travel to Jigokudani in the evening, Kanazawa to Yudanaka (~265 minutes).
Other options include:
January 6 (Friday)
Rail pass day 3.
In the evening, travel from Jigokudani to Sado Island. Ferries come from Joetsu, Niigata and Teradomari (express/jet ferry). Ferries from Niigata come roughly once every hour (schedule) and seem like the best bet. Last ferry is to Ryotsu at 22:40.
January 7 (Saturday)
Rail pass day 4.
Spend day looking at Sado.
Travel from Sado to Tokomachi, Niigata.
The train will involve getting a JR series from Yudanaka to Maikamachi (~200 minutes) and then taking the Hokuhoku line for 290yen (14 minutes) to Tokomachi station.
Stay at Sansei House. The price includes a room, 2 meals, onsen, transportation from/to the station, and a Kanjiki tour (total should be ~8000 yen)
Another option would be to stay in House of Light by James Turrell.
January 8 (Sunday)
Rail pass day 5.
Visit Tokomachi during the day. Then go snowshoeing at 15:00.
Look around Sado, take the boat back to the mainland and head to Kakunodate.
Train from Niigata to Kakunodate are two reserved shinkansen (~275 minutes).
In terms of where to stay:
- Ohmagari Hostel
- There is one couchsurfer listed in Daisen.
January 9 (Monday)
Rail pass day 6.
Spend day in Kakunodate (the site of some samurai training houses) in Akita looking at the samurai houses.
Stay at Youth Hostel? (Not reserved)
January 10 (Tuesday)
Rail pass day 7.
Day in Hirosaki which is has a big float museum.
Take train from Hirosaki to Sapporo (perhaps with a short stop in Aomori?) (~363 minutes).
Options for places to stay:
- Guest House Nonaka (￥3000)
- Sapporo Kokusai youth hostel (￥3200)
- Sapporo House hostel/Japanese style (￥3150)
January 11 (Wednesday)
January 12 (Thursday)
- 10:25 -> 12:15: Flight from Sapporo to Tokyo (Haneda)
- Afternoon: Sumo Tournament - The cheapest tickets should be around ¥3600 but it is often possible to move up. We should buy tickets at the gate to avoid a ¥1000 extra fee for booking online.
January 13 (Friday)
Return to Boston!
Potential things to do
- Takayama, Hida
- Sado Island
- In Tokomachi, Niigata there are two cool art hotels. House of Light by James Turrel and Yume no Ie by Maria Abramovic (an art hotel where you get uniforms and sleep in boxes). Both seem reasonably priced. (Snowshowing is also available for a good price. We'd leave sometime in the early evening on the second day.) 
- Nyuto Onsen (a secret onsen village); Housing: Magoroku Onsen Hotel
- Kakunodate (the site of some samurai training houses) in Akita; housing: ohmagari hostel or a couchsurfer in Daisen.
- Yurihonjo which is comprehensively covered on wikitravel and is an hour south of Akita (city)
- Odate; perhaps for a quite stop to eat some kiritampo on the way to somewhere else
- Noboribetsu has a nice onsen and is 1 hour from sapporo and is on the way to the city (a possible stop off)
- Toya is another onsen stop along the way
- Mizunuma Station (a train station with a hot spring) 11AM-8PM: http://www.mizunuma-sb.com/facilities.shtml
- Japan Youth Hostel webiste