Return to the Japan Alps May 2024

rbjhan

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Sep 16, 2016
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I may or may not have mentioned before, but the Japan Alps 日本アルプス is one of my favourite regions in the country, especially the Northern Alps.
Okay Kyoto will always be the No.1 in my heart but damn the crowds can get to you...and ofc there's something about Tokyo that is nothing like the others...but I do keep going back to the Alps, in fact this will be my 4th time.

Itinerary is quite simple:
MEL-TPE-NRT
Chiba - Matsumoto -Hirayu onsen - Kamikochi - Yudanaka onsen - Nagano - Karuizawa - Kusatsu onsen- Tokyo
HND-SIN-MEL

Outbound flights are CI, QFF redemption. Inbound flights are SQ revenue ticket, I find they offer good one way prices going from Japan to AU, not the other way around though! (Yeah often you will find the one way back is cheaper than half of return tickets from AU)

Screenshot 2024-04-30 001118.jpg
 
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Hmm slight problem!
Two weeks ago I got a phone call from hospital, remember you are on the wait list for some elective surgery? Yeah time is NOW. Bah, I've been on that wait list since Jan 2023, and before that waited 4 years for the specialist clinic appointment...🤢 It is truly not urgent, but still....

So I asked, two weeks' recovery time enough for me to fly to Japan? Sure she said..let's hope so!
 
Hmm slight problem!
Two weeks ago I got a phone call from hospital, remember you are on the wait list for some elective surgery? Yeah time is NOW. Bah, I've been on that wait list since Jan 2023, and before that waited 4 years for the specialist clinic appointment...🤢 It is truly not urgent, but still....

So I asked, two weeks' recovery time enough for me to fly to Japan? Sure she said..let's hope so!
Fingers crossed - I'm ready to read another of your TR
 
Fingers crossed - I'm ready to read another of your TR

Thanks!
It is done now, all things considered not too bad...they said I should need 3-4 days recovery.

But damn my throat hurts, alot! Apparently mine is too small for the tube! Surely they have different sizes?! 😭
Surviving on soup and smoothie and silken tofu now...
 
Ah the latest QF shenanigans is doing me head in...
Android user so I'm still me but hopefully no one else is also me?!

Okay so I went onto China Airlines website to check my booking....hmm they are not doing it for partner redemption now it seems....I know it is considered booked by an agent but it really does not help here! 😢
Went to Czech Airlines website and thank god it can be seen there... sounds exotic isn't it? Only people here would understand! 😉
 
Okay so I went onto China Airlines website to check my booking....hmm they are not doing it for partner redemption now it seems....I know it is considered booked by an agent but it really does not help here! 😢
Went to Czech Airlines website and thank god it can be seen there... sounds exotic isn't it? Only people here would understand! 😉
Is Czech Airlines the Skyteam equivalent of Royal Jordanian to OneWorld?

Excited to see another trip report from you in Japan! Hope it all works out.
 
Anyone been to Kamikochi?
It's on my to do list from maybe 7 years ago 🤣 but boy oh boy every time I went to that area was during the off season, talk about timing!
Finally making it this year! Yeah part of the reason I chose May is because of Kamikochi 🤩
 
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Anyone been to Kamikochi?
It's on my to do list from maybe 7 years ago 🤣 but boy oh boy every time I went to that area was during the off season, talk about timing!
Finally making it this year! Yeah part of the reason I chose May it because of Kamikochi 🤩
We have not been yet but we are going in September this year. Can't wait.
 
We have not been yet but we are going in September this year. Can't wait.

Day trip or overnight?
Hotels get booked out very quickly, plus there aren't that many of them... I'd start now if you haven't already done so...

Edit, I booked two nights inside Kamikochi in Myojin-kan & Park Lodge respectively. Plus the night before in Hirayu onsen.
 
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Day trip or overnight?
Hotels get booked out very quickly, plus there aren't that many of them... I'd start now if you haven't already done so...

Edit, I booked two nights inside Kamikochi in Myojin-kan & Park Lodge respectively. Plus the night before in Hirayu onsen.
Day trip to Kamikochi. We are basing ourselves in Takayama (hotel already booked; 3 nights) then get the area pass from Nohi bus to get around the region. We also want to ride the Shin-Hotaka ropeway, and walk to the Nishiho mountain hut. From there we could walk down to Kamikochi but I think we'll just do the return walk as we are travelling with ShelleyB son (who is 11) and will likely enjoy a return trip on the ropeway. We'll spend another full day hiking in Kamikochi.

We're also looking to find an onsen in the region (perhaps an outdoor one) where swimmers are allowed. ShelleyB son is not super-comfortable with the naked in front of strangers idea. Any recommendations?
 
Day trip to Kamikochi. We are basing ourselves in Takayama (hotel already booked; 3 nights) then get the area pass from Nohi bus to get around the region. We also want to ride the Shin-Hotaka ropeway, and walk to the Nishiho mountain hut. From there we could walk down to Kamikochi but I think we'll just do the return walk as we are travelling with ShelleyB son (who is 11) and will likely enjoy a return trip on the ropeway. We'll spend another full day hiking in Kamikochi.

We're also looking to find an onsen in the region (perhaps an outdoor one) where swimmers are allowed. ShelleyB son is not super-comfortable with the naked in front of strangers idea. Any recommendations?
I'd suggest car rental over public transport in the area. Whilst it works, it can become extremely restrictive.

Driving isn't too bad in the area and offers a lot of freedom. Just don't get anything less than 1.8L engine (mountains and highways).
 
I'd suggest car rental over public transport in the area. Whilst it works, it can become extremely restrictive.

Driving isn't too bad in the area and offers a lot of freedom. Just don't get anything less than 1.8L engine (mountains and highways).
Thanks but we really prefer public transport. The Nohi bus pass goes exactly where we want, and you can't park at Kamikochi anyway (no cars allowed).
 
Day trip to Kamikochi. We are basing ourselves in Takayama (hotel already booked; 3 nights) then get the area pass from Nohi bus to get around the region. We also want to ride the Shin-Hotaka ropeway, and walk to the Nishiho mountain hut. From there we could walk down to Kamikochi but I think we'll just do the return walk as we are travelling with ShelleyB son (who is 11) and will likely enjoy a return trip on the ropeway. We'll spend another full day hiking in Kamikochi.

We're also looking to find an onsen in the region (perhaps an outdoor one) where swimmers are allowed. ShelleyB son is not super-comfortable with the naked in front of strangers idea. Any recommendations?

I'm afraid that's not a thing...
Maybe find one with private onsen?
Doesn't even have to be in the room, can get one where you rent by the hour (sometimes even free!), it's called Kashikiri onsen.
 
We also want to ride the Shin-Hotaka ropeway, and walk to the Nishiho mountain hut. From there we could walk down to Kamikochi but I think we'll just do the return walk as we are travelling with ShelleyB son (who is 11) and will likely enjoy a return trip on the ropeway. We'll spend another full day hiking in Kamikochi.

My understanding is that this hike is not easy, and you'd need proper gear. Not the same thing as hiking in Kamikochi at all.
Not sure if ShelleyB son is experienced in it...I know some kids are!
 
My understanding is that this hike is not easy, and you'd need proper gear. Not the same thing as hiking in Kamikochi at all.
Not sure if ShelleyB son is experienced in it...I know some kids are!
We're not doing the entire hike to Nishi-Hotakadake or beyond. It's 60-90 minutes to the mountain hut, which is not really a hut but actually a hotel. The section from the top station of the ropeway to Nishiho is a moderate walk (prob around grade 2 or 3). And yes we do hike a bit.
 

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