I would very much appreciate some advice on travelling to Japan at the end
of October this year after my youngest son finishes the HSC. Normally I pick
the holidays and have very definite goal in mind, but this time my "men"
have chosen but their goals are vague [weird vending machines, cool castles,
weird people, snow monkeys, Mt Fuji, Hiroshima, Kyoto]
This will be a family holiday, so the only birding will be incidental or to
a place that everyone will enjoy! Of course I do hope to sneak some [lots?]
in and would also like to see some of the native mammals!! My sons are 23,
21 [has autism] & 18 and are pretty tolerant of birding stops.
So far the rough itinerary is as follows: Tokyo [2 or 3 nights], Nikko [1
night], Nagano (to see the snow monkeys*) [1 night], Hakone [1 night], Kyoto
[3 nights or maybe 2 & 1 night at Nara], Hiroshima [2 nights], Osaka [1
night] & fly home from there. There is still scope to add in a few more
stops or extend the ones I have selected.
I have found it all a bit overwhelming actually, especially thinking about
travelling by train and bus rather than a car [used to just stashing
suitcases in the hire car, not having them with us!] and I have no idea how
to choose hotels, so any recommendations would be extremely welcome. I
gather there are not going to be rooms that sleep 5, so I assume we will
need 2 rooms? One for my husband and myself & my son with autism & another
for my other 2 sons. I hope there are rooms that fit 3 people?
Has anyone been out to see the Snow Monkeys at Jigokudani Yaen-koen? We are
really keen to see some Japanese Macaques and it sounds like the scenery is
pretty & I hoped to see some birds too, but there is another monkey park in
easy reach of Kyoto, so wondered if the Jigokudani Yaen-koen park is worth
the extra effort. Lonely Planet gives it a terrible review but visitors
posting on Trip Advisor seems to be very happy on the whole.
Any advice of where in the various Tokyo parks would have the best chance of
birds would be good too. I have looked on Eremaea to get the names of likely
spots, but since I will be dragging non birders about it would be great to
have some specific instructions! For instance, the moat around the Imperial
Palace looks pretty big so it would be great to know if there is a section
that is more likely to have ducks.
Thank you for taking the time to read my email.
From Jenny Stiles, Sydney
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