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Where to go on 2nd trip to Japan?

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948 posts
104 reviews
Where to go on 2nd trip to Japan?

This summer we spent 3 weeks in Japan and loved it so much we want to go back next year. :) We went to Tokyo, Kanazawa, Takayama, Kyoto (day trips to Nara and Osaka) and Enoshima/Kamakura. We loved it all! Our favorites may have been the Ghibli museum, deer at Nara, monkeys at Arashiyama, Osaka, Enoshima, food, food and food. :)

What would you recommend for our next summer 3 week trip? We love animals, beautiful scenery, cities, high tech stuff, interesting experiences, islands, ocean, quaint small towns, etc. We generally aren't as fond of places that are packed with tourists.

Stuff I have pondered...

We didn't go to any castles last time, so maybe a castle.

Mt Fuji views

interesting and different shrines and temples (we saw a lot last time)

Hokkaido or Kyushu? Or just stay central again?

Hiroshima isn't on our list.

More animal experiences?


4 replies to this topic
San Leandro...
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219 posts
23 reviews
1. Re: Where to go on 2nd trip to Japan?

We have been twice now. The first trip was to all the big tourist cities: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, etc. So a year later, for our second trip we went to Hokkaido, which we also thoroughly enjoyed. It was a wonderful contrast between the two. If you are looking for places to escape the tourist crowds, you'll be sure to find plenty in Hokkaido. However, if we were to return to Hokkaido again we would definitely rent a car as it would make getting around much easier.

Level Contributor
207 posts
2. Re: Where to go on 2nd trip to Japan?

Maybe look into visiting some of the national parks or Okinawa or sapporo. Another thought is just because you have been to places like tokyo doesnt mean they aren't worth going back to. I go to tokyo every year but instead of tourist sights i like to do activities like sumo wrestling tournaments or a japanese baseball etc to really experience the culture which i enjoyed quite a bit. There is soo much to explore in japan the deeper you get into it.

Is there a reason Hiroshima is not on your list? You could hit himeji on the way there and miyajima. Touristy yes but most places with stuff to see are touristy in japan.

Edited: 19 September 2018, 05:14
Level Contributor
948 posts
104 reviews
3. Re: Where to go on 2nd trip to Japan?

We'd definitely like to spend more time in Tokyo and Osaka, maybe Enoshima again. Are there any other little islands like Enoshima that are easy to get to and have stuff to see and do?

I've pondered Nikko and Matsumoto, mostly because they were on my radar for our first trip but didn't make the cut.

Hiroshima isn't on our list because it's too depressing. I'm haunted by Auschwitz, even though I went many years ago. I know the history, and think that we would all get pretty bummed out if we went there.

1 post
4. Re: Where to go on 2nd trip to Japan?

You absolutely have to go to Koya-san and do the temple lodging as well as visiting the cemetery (yes, it's not a typo). It's really cool to experience the life of a Buddhist monk for one day and the ropeway up (it's almost perpendicular) is very cool too. I also enjoyed going to Ise. The grand shrine and the ground is beautiful and the Edo-era town around Ise grand shrine is fun as well. Ise is also famus for its seafood. Also I'd highly recommend going to an onsen town (I've been to both Kutsatsu and Hakone and would recommend both). They're usually in the mountain so the view is beautiful and you can combine with hiking in some of them as well.

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