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Lampshade

Kouhai
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Hey!
I’m planning a trip to Japan and I don’t know if I’m trying to fit too much in, but I’d like it if you could tell me what you think? I’ll be coming from Hiroshima after spending a few days in the area (Miyajima, Iwakuni, Kure included) and heading to Osaka to catch my plane back home.
Day 1) Mitaki-dera in Hiroshima in the morning. Spend the rest of the day in Onomichi.
Day 2) Onomichi temple walk + museums and other sightseeing along the route
Day 3) Tomonoura day trip
Day 4) Kurashiki (Kurashiki Museum of Folkcraft. Japan Rural Toy Museum. Momotaro Museum. Ohashi House. Kurashiki City Art Museum. Kanryuji. Achi Shrine. Archaeological Museum. Kake Museum). Sleep in Okayama
Day 5) Okayama Castle + Korakuen before heading off to Himeji. See Hyogo Prefecture Museum of History, Otokoyama Hachimangu, Okayama Senhime Shrine, Senhime no Komichi and Nagoyama Stupa if time.
Day 6) Himeji Castle as soon as it opens. Kokoen. Mt.Shosha hike, not ropeway.
Day 7) Kobe. Here at 9:15, opening time, stop at Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge Exhibition Center and Maiko Marine Promenade before heading into Kobe. Stopover at Tetsujin Statue along the way. Leave suitcase at hostel, leave check-in for later. Shin-Kobe Ropeway up Mt.Rokko, Nunobiki Herb Park and Nunobiki Falls on the walk down. Takenaka Carpentry Tools Museum as I’m heading to Kitanocho. Ikea Shrine and if time Doll Museum as I walk back to my hostel. Night walk around Port-Liner Elevated Railway close to Sannomiya Station. My hostel is in Sannomiya, so I will explore that area by default.
Day 8) Kobe. Walk from hostel through Flower clock and Higashiyuenchi Park to Meriken Park (be here by 9am). Kobe Maritime Museum, Kobe Tower, Port of Kobe Earthquake Memorial Park, etc.
Walk to Minatogawa Shrine next to Kobe Station. Train to Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art and The Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake memorial museum. If time head up to Venus Bridge passing through Sorakuen and Suwayama Inari Jinja along the way. Kobe Port Area stroll area after dark.

I will not be taking any shinkansen since I’ve got a tight budget, but standard non-express trains instead. So of course the time travelling between cities would take longer.
Do you think it’s better to go up Kobe Tower during the day or during the night? I will be in the area at both times, so I can kind of choose which I’d prefer. And I’ve seen photos of boats circling around the moat at Himeji Castle… what’s the price? Do they have a website I can check?
Also, I will probably be in Kobe or Himeji for Tanabata. Any recommendations on where or how I can best appreciate this?
Thank you! Any comments you may have will be very helpful :)
 

thomas

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You are on a very tight schedule on days 6-8, especially if you rely on public transportation. I recall Kobe Tower as most unimpressive, spend some time in Nankinmachi (Chinatown) instead, although it's much smaller than Chukagai in Yokohama.

I'm certain that @Davey may have more advice on Kobe.
 

Lampshade

Kouhai
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If I buy the combination ticket for Himeji Castle + Kokoen, would I be able to go into Kokoen one day and Himeji Castle the next? If so I might try and fit in Kokoen to day 5, leave out the Museum of History if I don’t have time since it’s not really an absolute must-see.
I myself was thinking I might’ve tried to squeeze too much into the Kobe days :/
I won’t be going into any of the buildings in Kitano-cho (maybe only the Rhine house since it’s free), it’s really just to see the area as I’m passing through (I might stop by Kitano Park and see if they’re up to something, but that’s about it).
I’m actually really excited to see Kobe Tower because I love steel structures such as towers and bridges and would like to see the construction up close, be able to touch it and look at the details. And thanks for the suggestion, but Nankinmachi doesn’t really fit with my interests much since I’m not really into shopping or dining. It doesn’t really stand out much to me and I would prefer to see the Tower! But thank you all the same! :)
 

Lampshade

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PS: autocorrect wrote ‘Ikea’ Shrine, but I meant Ikuta Shrine.
 

thomas

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I think you can visit both Himeji Castle and the Koko-en on the same day. We saw the castle during its renovation, and even then it attracted indescribable amounts of tourists. They have only multiplied since the castle was reopened last year, so queue up as early in the morning as you can.

While Kobe Tower is an outstanding construction, we felt it hadn't been worth ascending the visitor platform. I recommend to visit the Maritime Museum right next to the tower though. Also, devote some time to Kitano, a most spectacular area. :)
 

mdchachi

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I love steel structures such as towers and bridges and would like to see the construction up close, be able to touch it and look at the details.
If so, you would probably be interested in the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. One time on a business trip to Nagoya, I was with a partner and I took him there in our free time at his request. He had been a civil engineer and really wanted to see it. It was interesting and it's a neat place your average tourist doesn't go. They have an exhibition center there and some good views.
 

mdchachi

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Oops nevermind. I see you already have the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge on your itinerary.
 

Lampshade

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I do, mdchachi, but thank you all the same! I now know it’s worth the visit and am looking even more forward to going :)
I’ve decided to take out Tomonoura and spend that extra day in Himeji and Kobe. I guess I’ll be back in the area some day when I do the Shimanami Kaido and Tobishima Kaido Island hopping, so I can see Tomonoura another time.
Since I’m going to Himeji and Kobe on this trip, it will probably be a while before I start repeating places on my travels so it’s best to get a good look while I can!
 

cocoichi

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If you really are on that tight schedule, I would reconsider your Kobe part, and spend some time in Osaka instead. That is if you have never been there.
Kobe is quite a nice city, but Osaka has more to offer in my opinion for first time visitors. Like @thomas said, the marine area looks nice, but it couldn't entertain me for more than 30 minutes. Chinatown is a fun place to visit indeed, but it are essentially a couple of streets with Chinese stuff and restaurants. Spending part of your Kobe time in Osaka would also give you the opportunity to experience the bustling city life (namba, umeda en shinsaibashi area).
 

Lampshade

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@Hiroyuki Nagashima , I will be going partly up Mt.Rokko, to see the Nunobiki Herb Park and Waterfalls, but I don’t think I have the time to go further up or to the other side of the mountain on this trip.
Maybe I can go another time to Mt.Rokko, when I go to Nishinomiya, do the Takedao Tunnel Hike or to Zuihōji Park.

@cocoichi Kobe is a place that I’ve been wanting to go to for years, I might just say that Hiroshima and Kobe are the highlights of the trip. I’ve researched a bit of sightseeing in Osaka since I have a day stopover there before catching the night bus to Hiroshima, but I think for my preferences and character, Kobe sounds more interesting and would like to spend my time there.
I guess it does depends on the mentality of people when travelling; most people go to Japan considering it a once in a lifetime opportunity and want to visit many places since they’ll probably never be back, or at least won’t be for a long time, but I will definitely be back to Japan many times in the future. And because of this, I will be landing and exciting from Osaka Airport many times, therefore I thought I’d see the city bit by bit on every trip instead of giving it a proper few days.
But thank you for the suggestion! :)
 

cocoichi

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@Hiroyuki Nagashima , I will be going partly up Mt.Rokko, to see the Nunobiki Herb Park and Waterfalls, but I don’t think I have the time to go further up or to the other side of the mountain on this trip.
Maybe I can go another time to Mt.Rokko, when I go to Nishinomiya, do the Takedao Tunnel Hike or to Zuihōji Park.

@cocoichi Kobe is a place that I’ve been wanting to go to for years, I might just say that Hiroshima and Kobe are the highlights of the trip. I’ve researched a bit of sightseeing in Osaka since I have a day stopover there before catching the night bus to Hiroshima, but I think for my preferences and character, Kobe sounds more interesting and would like to spend my time there.
I guess it does depends on the mentality of people when travelling; most people go to Japan considering it a once in a lifetime opportunity and want to visit many places since they’ll probably never be back, or at least won’t be for a long time, but I will definitely be back to Japan many times in the future. And because of this, I will be landing and exciting from Osaka Airport many times, therefore I thought I’d see the city bit by bit on every trip instead of giving it a proper few days.
But thank you for the suggestion! :)
By all means! To each their own, and you know, in case you change your mind, Osaka is just a 30 minute train ride away from Kobe. You are absolutely right: Japan should never be treated as a once in a lifetime destination. Since 2008 I have been to Japan every single year, and it never gets old. Too much to see!
 
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