I am a Canadian gal in my late 20's on my third solo trip but first-ever trip to Japan!
I've been pouring over Fodors and Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor and checking things with hyperdia but I've left planning much later than I usually do for this trip and hostels are booking up so I want to nail down where I'm going and when!
I'll be arriving April 18th at NGO at 7:00PM (LAX connecting through Narita).
General advise has been that Nagoya isn't worth the time, so I'm determined to make it onward to Kyoto from there. (Why didn't I just fly into KIX? Well, non refundable tickets have already been purchased and I figured semi open jaw was better than just return. Into NGO and home from Tokyo was the most affordable. No going back now!)
From my itinerary a 2wk JR pass, activated on the 19th, seems to make the most sense vs 3wk. Alas I'll be running into Golden Week part way through but will mostly be hunkering down in Tokyo for the last week (except for a day trip to Nikko at the end/post GW?)
April 18 - April 24: Kyoto (6 nights/5 days) - Day trips to Nara/Uji, if blossoms still (v unlikely) then Yoshino, would like to trek out to Takeda Ruins (not sure if this is pratical from Kyoto)
April 24 - April 27: Hiroshima (3 nights) - Day trips to Miyajima and Okunoshima
April 27 - April 28: Koyasan (1 night)
April 28 - April 30: Kanazawa (2 nights) - Depart early 2nd day to stop over at Shirakawa-go
April 30 - May 2: Takayama (2 nights) - early departure 2nd day to Kiso Valley to hike post towns Magome - before making way back to Tokyo evening of 2nd
May 2 - May 8: Tokyo (6 nights) - Day trip/poss overnight to Nikko
I don't know if it's practical to fit in the Kiso Valley here and by that time we're into Golden Week and I expect many locals will be making the trek.
I could take one night away from Takayama and either put it before Kanazawa by going from Koyasan to Nagoya, doing the Kiso Magome to Tsumago hike, and then overnighing in Nagoya and onto Kanazawa - Takayama - Tokyo.
Or, I could put it after one night in Takayama, overnight in Nagoya and do the Kiso Valley before heading onto Tokyo.
Or, I could leave it as is and try and mash it in leaving Takayama early, doing Tsumago to Magome and then onto Tokyo,
I've only booked Kyoto, Koyasan and Tokyo re hostels so far.
I really appreciate any input and advice!
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Japan - 3wks solo - Kiso Valley logistics and which nights where!