Need help/suggestions on where to go on a day trip on my last day of use for my JR-Pass. I don’t mind paying extra to get to final destination if there is no JR Line but just want the main/long destination train ride to be JR. That said, I don’t want to do too many transferring along the way. This will be a Sunday mid-October. I’ll be based near OCAT-Namba. Will be traveling solo on this day (family will be leaving Saturday night while I fly out Monday night).
This will be my 4th trip in 2 years to Japan. My first trip I was based by Kyoto Station and did day trips to Nara, USJ and Hiroshima/Miyajima. The second trip I was based near Osaka/Umeda Station and did day trips to Tottori, Kobe, and Kyoto and did a stopover at Okayama and Himeji on my way to Osaka from Hakata. My third trip I was based at the same hotel on the previous trip and did a stopover at Uji/Nara from Tokyo on my way to Osaka and day trips to Kyoto and to Hikone/Otsu. I also stayed 3 nights total in Takayama and Kanazawa on my first trip. For this 4th trip, we will stopover in Nara from Tokyo before ending in Osaka, a day at USJ and a day in Kyoto (Arashiyama & Higashiyama area).
I’m looking through japan guide and other people’s itineraries for ideas.
On previous trips I bypassed Koyasan because on one trip I didn’t have time and on the last trip, I didn’t feel well in the morning so I stayed put in Osaka and walked around later. But I can’t use my JR-Pass at all going to Koya so I’ll pass on going this time and consider it for a future trip(s).
I also considered Naoshima on the second trip but changed that to Tottori last minute because at that time I was in no mood for contemporary art. I really enjoyed Tottori Sand Dunes because it was totally different from other places.
Kurashiki looks interesting with the canals and stone bridges. But most likely this won’t take a day. Is there somewhere along the way here or back to Osaka I can stopover that I haven’t been to that is along JR Line and as quaint as Kurashiki.
Kinosaki also looks interesting. When is Kinosaki Autumn Danjiri Festival? According to FB, 2017 it was held on Oct 14/15. If it will be around the same time frame then it should be Oct 13/14. If so, will it be difficult to get there and are other places in the city open like the onsens? I read that there’s private family bath that can be rented but what about solo use or is it the same?
Nagoya is also a possibility. But this is at bottom of list.
Other possibilities would be repeat visits to places I’ve been to. There’s always somewhere in those cities/towns that I haven’t visited. And I don’t mind repeating. I don’t mind walking around town as long as most of the walking is horizontal/flat. I actually enjoy walking around a lot but will take bus/train if the distance is far.
Any other place I should consider and why?
Again, this is for a day trip. I need to return to Osaka in the evening since I'll be doing last minute shopping and packing the following day for my flight at night.