日本: Five Day Middle of Nowhere Japan Itinerary

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Matsumoto, Japan

I figured my previously blogged snow monkey trip could use an itinerary post. Five days to get pruny in outdoor onsen (rotenburo) is a good five days. Trust me. Even if one of those rotenburo required quite a bit of guts to enter (it was mixed gender, but I was the only person there AND if you strayed too far from the bamboo screen, tourists entering the park could see you). But I did it anyways.

Here's a speedy itinerary-review of what one can do in the middle of nowhere Japan with a few holidays.

DayActivity
SaturdayBook three night stay at Shimaya in Yudanaka Onsen, then spend 6 hours navigating train->shinkansen->train->train as you make your way through Nagoya and Nagano and into the mountains.
SundayVisit Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. Bathe in the Kokuro rotenburo. Have the hotel owners drive you halfway up a mountain so you can watch the sunset over the village from yet another rotenburo.
MondayVisit Obuse. Eat chestnut pastries. Look at Hokusai's angry wave woodblock prints. Have an amazing lunch at The Club. Hike out to Jokoji Temple because it really is worth it. Return and enjoy the hotel's onsen. Be happy.
TuesdayRelocate to Matsumoto, 2 hours away, and check into the Dormy Inn Matsumoto which, coincidentally, has a rooftop rotenburo. Check out the Matsumoto Castle & moat, and peruse the shopping on traditional Nakamachi Street. Watch Japanese television you cannot understand and throw back a few chuhai because you're on vacation.
WednesdayThe last day is all about the Daio Wasabi Farm because when's the next time you'll ever be within 30 minutes of a wasabi farm? Never. It's beautiful and relaxing and wasabi ice cream is surprisingly delightful. Fresh made soba with fresh grated wasabi garnish isn't half bad either.

Shibu Onsen Town
Monkey Cleaning Time Snow Monkey Rotenburo
Jokoji Templein Obuse, Japan
Obuse Train Station
Matsumoto Castle
Wasabi through the trees
Daio Wasabi Farm
Bicycling Back through Hotaka

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