It's been a dream of mine since I was little to visit Japan - especially during the cherry blossom festival. My boyfriend and I have started to discuss this trip, and since I'm such a planner, I like to work out exactly where we'll be staying, for how long, and an idea of the attractions we'll visit.
Our hopeful dates for the trip are March 27, 2014 to April 30, 2014.
We intend on each purchasing a 21-day JR pass and a 14-day JR pass, since we want to see a lot of the country.
To save money, we were looking into staying at hostels for the majority of our trip. I found a hostel chain that seem pretty nice - does anyone have anything good or bad to say about K's House? I know we also get a discount for staying at more than three of their locations. The only city that doesn't have a K's House hostel that we want to visit is Fukuoka - does anyone have any recommendations for inexpensive hotels to stay there?
I would also like some advice on our itinerary:
Depart 3/27, arrive in NRT on 3/28. Stay the night at Tokyo hostel.
Day 1: Train to Fukuoka
Day 2: Fukuoka, side trip to Dazaifu
Day 3: Fukuoka
Day 4: Train to Hiroshima
Day 5: Hiroshima, side trip to Miyajima
Day 6: Hiroshima
Day 7: Train to Kyoto
Day 8-11: Kyoto (there's just so much to see in Kyoto alone!)
Day 12: Day trip to Yoshinoyama cherry blossom viewing spot, back to Kyoto
Day 13: Day trip to Amanohashidate, back to Kyoto
Day 14: Day trip to Osaka, back to Kyoto
Day 15: Day trip to Nara, back to Kyoto (or would it be better to do two day trips to Nara, instead of Osaka? I've heard Osaka is pretty boring in comparison)
Day 16: Day trip to Himeji, back to Kyoto
Day 17: Train to Fujisan
Day 18-20: Fujisan
Day 21: Train to Takayama
Day 22: Takayama
Day 23: Train to Ito in Izu Peninsula (I know this is closer to Fujisan than Takayama is, but the rooms at this hostel are more expensive than in Takayama, and I get a higher discount for staying in Takayama first)
Day 24: Day trip to Shimoda
Day 25: Either going to the 7 waterfalls trail or staying Ito enjoying the onsen at the hostel
Day 26: Train to Tokyo
Day 27-34: Tokyo
Day 35: Fly home
Does this seem like a reasonable itinerary, or does it seem too rushed to work well?
One last thing, since this was a little long: I'm quite a picky eater - I have a no-seafood diet, and I know seafood makes up the majority of Japanese cuisine. From those who have been to Japan, is there enough Western-style food (burgers, chicken, etc.) to get by? I know it's part of travel to sample the local cuisine (and I plan to sample a little bit), I just prefer to learn about culture in other ways beside food.
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