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JavianJeff Mar 8th, 2014 02:57 AM

3 weeks in Japan- Finalized... I think
Back Again! I took in some considerations from what people said and fine tuned my itinerary for three weeks in May. Let me know what you think.

May 7th Fly TOKYO to OSAKA (7pm arrival)
May 8th OSAKA
May 9th OSAKA to NARA
May 10th NARA
May 11th NARA to KOYASAN
May 12th Mt. Koya to HIROSHIMA
May 14th HIROSHIMA - Miyajami
May 16th KYOTO
May 17th KYOTO - Day trip to Iga Ueno
May 18th KYOTO
May 19th KYOTO - Arashiyama
May 20th KYOTO
May 21st KYOTO - Day trip to Uji
May 22nd KYOTO
May 23rd KYOTO to TOKYO
May 24th TOKYO
May 25th TOKYO - Kamakura or Nikko Day trip
May 26th TOKYO
May 27th TOKYO
May 28th FLY HOME

I didn't bother typing up the specifics for each day as most is just based off going to particular neighbourhoods on certain days and seeing the sights in that area (i.e. Shibuya and Shinjuku one day in Tokyo or Southern Kyoto and it's temples and trails in one KYOTO day). Most days are actually quite specific but one thing I learned traveling across Europe is that sometimes the best laid plans are worth changing for the right reasons :).

I find Kyoto is a great place to do day trips from so I have more days there for that reason (a change from before due some great suggestions).
Only small variations will occur when I can book flights when I get home from work in a week or so. This means I can make some minor changes before then.

A lot of the suggestions were really helpful from before so I appreciate the time you guys take!

JavianJeff Mar 8th, 2014 02:57 AM

Tagging Japan didn't work...

kja Mar 8th, 2014 03:56 PM

Click the yellow triangle at the upper right of you original post, the one marked "Report Abuse," not to report abuse, but because that's a way to contact the editors. Ask them to tag your trip "Japan."

If you have any interest, check schedules for takagi noh. As I recall, you'll be in Nara around the time when it's an option there. And in Kyoto, see if you can get a ticket for the Kamogawa Odori.

Depending on your interest, you may be able to drop the night from Hiroshima by going straight from the Peace Park/Museum to Miyajima. I stayed on Miyajima and was VERY glad I did. I spent the night at Momiji-so, which was (at least when I was there) one of the more affordable of Japan's ryokan. Delightful!

Although I usually find myself urging people to expand their time in Kyoto/Nara, you may actually be able to cut a day or so. Arashiyama is actually part of Kyoto, so as I count it, you are now planning on 5 days in Kyoto, a day trip to Iga Uena, a day trip to Uji (which will likely take only 1/2 day; consider seeing Fushimi Inari on your way back into Kyoto), 2 full days in Nara, plus some time in Kyoto on travel days. I can't imagine that you would run out of things to do in the area, but you might want to make time for an overnight to Nikko, which you could do by cutting your time in this area.

BTW, while in Nara, do try to make time to go to Ikaruga. Horyuji is magnificent, and the Miroku Bosatsu at Chuguji is truly lovely. Oh, and also try to make time for the Kufuguji Treasure House in Nara - its small, but has some of the most beautiful statues I saw anywhere in Japan.

I thought Nikko well worth an overnight, particularly because spending the night there will give you time to see Kegan-no-taki and a bit of Lake Chuzenji, too.

You are going to have a wonderful trip!

Kavey Mar 9th, 2014 01:54 AM

I can totally see where Kja is coming from.

That said, instead of cutting a day from Kyoto (as there is indeed so so much to see within the city and easily accessible nearby), I would cut one of the two nights on Hiroshima and add that to your nights in Tokyo. It would give you more time to either explore more of Tokyo or head to Nikko, as Kja recommends.

Many of us have found that, while there is certainly more one can see, half to two/thirds of a day is enough to appreciate Hiroshima's peace park, A dome and the museum exhibits and combines easily with the overnight in Miyajima. Expanding that to a night in Hiroshima and a night on Miyajima should give you plenty of time here, even with the longer travel from Koya-san. I don't think you need two nights in Hiroshima plus a night in Miyajima.

I can't remember if I already mentioned in your other thread, if you're a whisky lover, a half day trip to Yamazaki Distillery is a nice excursion from Kyoto, a very short train trip and the tour is free, as long as you sign up in advance.

mrwunrfl Mar 9th, 2014 08:45 PM

Looks good to me. Your Vancouver flight arrives at NRT? That would be May 7 arrival, right? And you connect same day to Osaka. What airports are you using to get from Tokyo to Osaka and how much time do you have to connect? To me, Horyuji was very nice but less than magnificent.

kja Mar 9th, 2014 09:53 PM

Hmm, mrwunrfl, when you say, "To me, Horyuji was very nice but less than magnificent," I am reminded of your incredibly eloquent description of Todaiji: "It is not just its beauty, impressive size, or the spirtual aspects of it that I like. It is because it is the real thing, at least parts, and been reconstructed but that was a long time ago. It is because the object that I am admiring is the one created centuries ago, and not as a tourist draw. To me ... it is a connection to the past, to the people who created it as a place of worship, and to the people who have admired it and worshipped there over time. It has that "old school" feel, spiritual to me quite apart from it being a place of worship, if that makes sense." -- It made sense to me, and helps describe my attraction to Horyuji, which most of my sources indicate is even older. AND Horyuji has the advantage of often being largely free of other tourists! :-) Thank goodness we all travel with somewhat different interests and preferences. And really, one can't go wrong by visiting either Todaiji OR Horyuji (or maybe both).

mrwunrfl Mar 13th, 2014 07:45 PM

I agree, kja. And on another day Horyuji might have given me the <i>jolt</i> that Todaiji did.

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