We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

Singapore
Level Contributor
221 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

Hi,

I'm planning my end-nov japan trip. will be arriving at osaka, then to kyoto and departing from tokyo, all in about 14days.

We are interested to do a trip to Shirakawa-go, on the leg from kyoto to tokyo. maybe a night stay at takayama or kanazawa. (is it a good time to visit in end nov?)

any suggestion on the possibility of this trip, is it doable? which place, takayama or kanazawa is a better place for a night stay?

any suggestion on the train/ transport? will a 7 day JR pass be worth it for kyoto - takayama/kanazawa - tokyo - airport?

thank you.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
Level Contributor
6,125 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

Both Kanazawa and Takayama are worth at least 1 night stay if you haven’t been there before. From Kyoto there is a direct train to Kanazawa in a bit over 2 hrs. From Kanazawa you can work your way to Takayama by bus with an en-route stop in Shirakawa-go. From Takayama it is above 4.5 hrs by JR to Tokyo with a transfer in Nagoya.

Kanazawa, Japan
Level Contributor
825 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

Make it two nights in Kanazawa and Takayama, or two in Kanazawa, one in Shirakawa, and one in Takayama. I also recommend going onto Tsumago and staying a night there. Lovely little place. Stay two nights and hike the old path to the next post town of Magome. Late Nov. will be rather chilly in Takayama etc. (overnight frosts, etc) but Kanazawa, being on the coast, will be warmer.

Singapore
Level Contributor
221 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

thank you all for your reply. we will keep that in mind for our planning. by the way, are those areas mention easy to navigate for non-japanese tourist? we cant understand japanese, any english signs/ directions?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
Level Contributor
6,125 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

Kanazawa, Takayama and Shirakawa-go are popular destinations and have helpful tourist information centres. Kanazawa’s centre in JR station and Takayama’s centre in front of JR station’s east exit both have English maps and speak English. Shirakawa-go’s centre is at the bus terminal and also has good walking map. Knowing where you want to go in advance and equipped with a map, you shouldn’t have any problem navigating in these places. We don’t speak Japanese but we manage OK. Here are some English maps that may be of help:

www.kanazawa-tourism.com/eng/guide/guide1.php

http://www.hida.jp/english/map/map_S.pdf

shirakawa-go.gr.jp/othercontents/file/pdf/ma…

If Shirakawa-go is your only place you want to go on your way from Kyoto to Tokyo, there is another option. On a tight itinerary, you can do it as a daytrip. It will be a long day with a lot of time spent on the road but it is do-able. Take an early train from Kyoto to Nagoya. The journey on direct shinkansen is about 45 min. but you have to leave Kyoto before 8.00 in the morning. In Nagoya there is a morning bus leaving for Shirakawa-go at 9.00 arriving there at 11.45. On the returning trip the bus leaves Shirakawa-go at 15.35 arriving Nagoya at 18.28. From Nagoya there are frequent 2 hr. direct shinkansen connections with Tokyo.

Note that the daily bus to/from Shirakawa-go in Nagoya only runs between April 1 and November 30 and advanced reservation is required. You can ask your Kyoto hotel to help you book the bus ticket. Here is the bus schedule but in Japanese only, click on 時刻表 and then click 高速白川郷線

http://www.gifubus.co.jp/noriai/index.html

Edited: 06 April 2010, 22:48
Kanazawa, Japan
Level Contributor
825 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

He's got 14 days - I wouldn't try and make a day trip. Take your time, enjoy the place, rather than rushing arounf madly.

Singapore
Level Contributor
221 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

Thank you william for your suggestion. this is my initial plan to do it as a day trip. but the schedule is very hectic, might be planning a night stay somewhere along.

I have 2 concerns on doing it as a day trip. 1st, will there be a luaggage storage at Nagoya train stations, we will be carrying 2 backpacks and one small hand trolley. can it be store for more than 24 hrs?

2nd, doing it as aday trip, the timing seems to clash with the office peak hour, will it be a problem on those train? (see pictures of passengers squeezing like sardine in train).

sorry for having so many questions, we only hope to minimize as much hassle as we can while on our trip.

thanks

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
Level Contributor
6,125 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

Sorry Desmond, I’m not sure I follow what you said. Why do you need to store your bags for more than 24 hrs if you are going for the day trip!? Upon arriving in Nagoya in the morning you can leave your bags in Nagoya JR station and pick them up when you come back from Shirakawa-go on the same day. There are coin lockers of various sizes in Nagoya JR station.

If you are not returning on the same day and opt to stay overnight in Shirakawa-go, you can take your bags along. If you can’t spare extra days for either Kanazawa or Takayama and don’t want to start from Kyoto, spend the night before in Nagoya. Check out early and leave you bags in Nagoya’s hotel. Coming back from Shirakawa-go, you can pick them up before going on to Tokyo. Or if it is the latter part that worries you, start from Kyoto and go to Shirakawa-go, then come back to stay the night in Nagoya before moving on to Tokyo the next morning.

If you have a JR rail pass, you can reserve your train seats in advance. For train schedule you can use the following to map out your route. Just be sure to tick “excepts NOZOMI” which is the only shinkansen line on which the JR rail pass is not valid.

www.hyperdia.com/classic_en/hyperWeb.cgi

Melbourne
Level Contributor
159 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

It is all easily doable. Takayama, Kanazawa and Shirakawago all have good english information.

You could always stay overnight at Shirakawago in one of the gassho houses - I did and booked through Japanese Guesthouses - japaneseguesthouses.com/db/…index.htm this is a nice option as you will have the place to yourself in the morning and evening when the throngs of tourists depart (believe me it gets busy!! mostly japanese tourists). Shirakawago is stunning - you will love it!

The other options are Kanazawa and Takayama overnight, I prefer Takayama and would stay there for at LEAST two nights. One of my favourite places, however not a great deal of excellent accomodation on offer.

I wouldn't recommend a day trip. You have 14 days which is a nice amount of time and there is no reason to rush. Also there is no reason to do the trip in a day and completely skip Takayama as it is really a highlight.

Also, November will be a nice time - end of Autumn, you may miss all the vivid autumn colours though.

Not sure if you should get a 7 day JR pass as I do not know how you have structured your trip. You need to know that once you activate your pass it will run out in 7 days (you have to use all the travel consecutively, not one day here and there) As rail travel is expensive over long distances in Japan it is usually always worth it.

Kanazawa, Japan
Level Contributor
825 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

While Takayama is a lovely little place (in parts), and certainly should be visited, its main attraction is its preserved old-style streets, which are filled with shops that now mostly tend to offer the same sort of touristy souvenirs, so it can get a little "samey." Go to the Folk House Village, which is very nice, if a little sterile, although if you are going to the similar one in Shirakawa, don't bother. Also there are a couple of very nice old merchant houses open to the public.

Kanazawa has a greater variety of things to see, and once you have done that, Kyoto is just over two hours away by Thunderbird express train. So I recommend a loop.

Singapore
Level Contributor
221 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: is this do-able? Kyoto - Shirakawa-go - Tokyo

thank you all for your informative suggestion!! I will take them into consideration for my planning. once I've a rough draft of it, i will put it here again and hope u guys can help me to fine tune it!! thanks