Top 6: It was hard to decide. Do I vote for whole days single events. The compromise I made is ok.
- Ainokura und Shirakawa incl. the stay over night
- Neujahr am Kane-ji
- Kisodani (Magome, Nakasendo, Tsumago)
- Tokyo Jissha Tour
- Dezome Shiki 2013
Again there is one rule that saved the day: Matsuri. If you are travelling to Japan, also plan to visit at least 2 festivals. They are always give you memories you can tell your grand children.
Worst 5: It was also hard to declare the worst 5 days of this journey. All days were somewhere in the middle. No really outstanding highlight or disappointments.
- The Stop in Inuyama. This day sucks. Everything went wrong. There was a lot of bus and train involved but the last 10 miles killed the mood: missed train connections, rain, half of the attractions were closed, the other half was not that impressive. It all ending with the unwanted stop in Kisofukushima.
- 30. Dezember. Travelling back from Kusatsu to Tokyo is a nightmare if you miss the one and only good connection between bus, train and Shinkansen. It was worse that the change from Ainokura to Kisodani.
- 31. Dezember until 23 Uhr. This day I lost to bad planning too. The Metropolitain Garden was closed, the sky tree had an unexpected queue. In the end I was running around without aimless.
- Amanohashidate. I expected more. But in the end end it was not worth the long trip. This day falls into the category: I was there, now the next entry of the to do list.
- Asuka and Eihei-ji. Again a stupid plan that ruined the day. Never try to change to visit two places in one day. In Asakusa the shrine was far away from the train station. I lost a lot of time. And in Eihei-ji I already lost a lot of time before arriving. Again the temple was far away from the train station and only one bus. But the other half of both days was fine.
All “worst 5” are the result of bad planning. Before the trip a planned every single day for weeks. On the plus side there are Shirakawa-go and Ainokura and the travel to from there to Kisodani.
Looks like I covered all intersting spots in Japan. It is getting difficult to find interesting places. This time Shirakawago and Kisodani were these places. If I look into my travel guide (Lonely Planet) there are more historic places, castles and temple. But there always like something you already know. I am afraid that there is nothing left with “I must ahave seen”.
Left overs … One my to do list remains the last of the 3 famous gardens, three metropolitain gardens and the summit of the Fuji. Maybe a visit of the sky tree at daylight and the Yamanoto day. And there a some meseum, some Kabuki and Noh.
Another result of this 5th journey: I changed hotels a lot. That cased a lot of stress. You are always on the run. Rule: At least stay three days at one place.