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Yamagata itinerary in January (for non-skiers)

Posted by opfish on 8/12/2015 at 02:57

Hello all,

I'll be traveling to Tohoku on the first week of January with my 73 year old father (fit and loves to walk) - we'll be going to Yamagata, it's our first time up north, so I don't know the area, and I'm having trouble finishing up our itinerary.

We're travelling on a 7 day rail pass, leaving from Kansai and returning to Kansai -

I've booked 3 nights so far but still have another 3 to book, and wanted to ask for suggestions from people who know the area.

Here's what we have so far:

- day 1: leave kansai, travel

night 1 ?

- day 2

night 2 ?

- day three: travel up to Shinjo station on the Yamagata shinkansen, 1 hour bus ride to hijori onsen, arrive at 5pm at the latest

- day : 4 hijori onsen - sangezane matsuri, soak, eat, walk around

night 4 hijori onsen

- day 5 hijori onsen - soak, eat, walk around

night 5 hijori onsen

- day 6 ?

night 6?

- day 7 - travel back down to Kansai, arrive late afternoon.

I was thinking of going to see the juhyo in Zao onsen, either on a day trip from somewhere or staying in the area - we won't be skiing though, so what would you recommend for non-skiers? Staying in Zao if we can find a place?

We love onsens - so I'm not sure if it's better to stay in Zao or day-trip from somwhere-

Ideally we would have loved to snowshoe somewhere but nothing's happening on the first week of January - and I'm afraid everything close to a major ski area will be packed with the Japanese school holidays…

I'd thought of going to visit Yamadera but a friend told me it was dangerous, way to slippery for my father with the snow - and maybe going to Sendai on the Senzan line but it turns out my father isn't very enthusiastic about it.

I've also thought of staying in Ginzan (seems very expensive) or another onsen town, maybe throwing in a night in Yamagata or Tokyo… We've been to all major tourist spots but never to Nikko, not sure if this would be an idea.

Suggestions of places to stay an visit without being rushed are very welcome.

I speak/read Japanese so going off the beaten track is no problem.

thanks a bunch !


#1 opfish has been a member since 8/12/2015. Posts: 1

Posted by Tennouji on 30/12/2015 at 10:11

Have you travelled in Kansai before? It7s not clear whether you live in Kansai or are flying into Kansai.

If your dad is fit, perhaps you could go to Wakayama and walk some of the Kumano Kodo trail. Or how about the easy hike between Kibune and Kurama with a soak at the end?

Izu hanto, just south of Tokyo would be about half way between Kansai and Yamagata.

#2 Tennouji has been a member since 22/9/2007. Location: Japan. Posts: 139

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