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    Autumn in Japan, Two Weeks Self-Drive Travel Itinerary (Nagano, Hakone, Izu, Tokyo) – Day 1

    Day one is spent driving from the airport to the hotel, and that’s it. The real adventure starts on day 2.

    Our flight is slated to arrive at 1430 hours. The plan is to grab a quick bite, pick up the car and head to Matsumoto.

    It’s about a 4-hour drive from the airport to the hotel. We considered booking transport for this part of the journey and only picking up the vehicle when in Matsumoto. (I should have done that)

    It didn’t help that it started pouring heavily en route to the hotel, which slowed our progress considerably.

    As usual, my rental car company of choice is Toyota. We split into two groups, so each group has two cars—my wife, my mother-in-law and myself to one and the other two friends in another vehicle.

    With three large pieces of luggage, I opted for the Prius. Because of the tapered design, the boot can hardly fit two. I think the older Prius model has a roomier boot space. The third piece of luggage has to go to the back seat. I shall try Alphard next time.

    Yes, and not forgetting, during the Autumn period, the sky is dark after 5pm. This is what I had to deal with:

     

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    A post shared by Kevin Yeo (@kevinyeo82)

    I did a pit stop, and this station offers complimentary hot green tea. What a treat in a cold and wet night!

     

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    A post shared by Kevin Yeo (@kevinyeo82)

    So, after many unexpected traffic delays, we finally arrived at our first hotel—Natural Hot Spring Azumi no Yu Onyado Nono Matsumoto.

    If you frequent Japan, you will be familiar with the Dormy Inn hotel chain. This is their more upscale chain of hotels.

    The entire hotel is laden with tatami flooring; guests must leave their shoes in the lockers at the entrance.

    We will then walk around the entire hotel barefoot or with socks. It’s very comfortable, and I like it.

    We arrived just in time for their free ramen, which happens every night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. If you prefer to enjoy it in the comfort of your room, they will give you a bowl of instant ramen noodles instead.

    But you should eat it freshly prepared. There are also free-flowing drinks. I saw people buying toppings like onsen eggs from 7 to 11 and adding them to the noodles.

    The ramen is average, but small perks like these make me happy.

    I did the onsen and went to bed.

    Click below for day 2!

    Autumn in Japan, Two Weeks Self-Drive Travel Itinerary (Nagano, Hakone, Izu, Tokyo) – Day 2

    Click below to read about the rest of my trip!

    Autumn in Japan, Two Weeks Self-Drive Travel Itinerary (Nagano, Hakone, Izu, Tokyo)

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    If you want a copy of my itinerary, comment below with your email, and we will send it to your inbox!

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    Kevin Yeo
    Kevin Yeo
    IG: @kevinyeo82

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