Advice on itinerary Japan 12 nights

Old Sep 28th, 2016, 07:32 PM
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Advice on itinerary Japan 12 nights

Hi I will be heading to Japan next month and have my itinerary pretty much figured out. Just wondering if I can get some advice on wether or not my itinerary looks good or if there are any suggestions.

Day 1 - Tokyo
Day 2 - Tokyo
Day 3 - Tokyo - Kyoto
Day 4 - Kytoto
Day 5 - Kyoto (day trip himeji)
Day 6 - Kyoto
Day 7 - Kyoto (day trip Nara)
Day 8 - Kyoto - Hiroshima/miyajima (overnight in miyajima)
Day 9 - Hiroshima - Hakone (overnight Hakone )
Day 10- Hakone - Tokyo
Day 11 - Tokyo
Day 12 - Tokyo (day trip Nikko )
Day 13 - Depart from Narita flight 1:30 p.m

Thank you!
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Old Sep 28th, 2016, 08:13 PM
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If you are flying into and out of Narita and if the timing works, consider going straight from Narita to Kyoto. Depending on your point of origin, you might be tired, but if so, you'll be tired under any circumstance.

Days 8 through 10 sound rushed to me, though I could be wrong. That seems to me to be a LOT of train travel in just a few days. You might want to play around with options to give yourself a bit more time in Hiroshima, Miyajima, and Hakone.

Many people visit Nikko as a day trip from Tokyo. I was glad to spend a night there so I could also see Kegon-no-Taki and a bit of Lake Chuzenji. Your call.

Sounds to me like a bit more time for Tokyo and a bit less time for Kyoto / Nara than might be ideal, but of course, that depends on your priorities, and I'm not sure how your listed days actually translate to days-on-the-ground; for example, is Day 1 a full day, or the day when you arrive?

If you haven't already done so, please spend a LOT of time with japan-guide.com

Hope that helps!
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Old Sep 29th, 2016, 05:48 AM
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Hi thanks for your reply. Day 1 is a full day as I will be arriving at 10 a.m in narita.

I would have liked to add a day to hiroshima/miyajima or hakone but the reason I don't want to take away a day from Kyoto is that I received an offer book 4 nights get 5th free. So if I only stay 4 nights will lose a free night.

I plan to arrive in hiroshima early in the morning so that I can check out peace dome etc..then rest of the day and evening in miyajima plus the next morning before I head to hakone.
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Old Sep 29th, 2016, 09:12 AM
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Yes, stay your full 5 nights in Kyoto (you will want that much time there even if you don't take day trips. But kja's suggestion to go immediately to Kyoto upon arrival is still a good one. And with two day trips from Kyoto, you don't really have enough time there. I'd suggest you cut one of the day trips.

Putting Kyoto first and consolidating all of your Tokyo time at the end will be more time-efficient, since you want to be back in Tokyo for at least one night before you fly out.

It's lovely to think that your first day is a full day because you arrive at 10 am, but it isn't. Even if you go directly to Tokyo first, you'll arrive at your hotel sometime after noon. And if you go to Kyoto first, you'll be in your hotel by mid afternoon. I always figure anything I manage to do/see on arrival or departure days is a bonus. It's never a full day.
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Old Sep 29th, 2016, 05:07 PM
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I agree with Kathie about your arrival day. Since your arrival is early, though, you might consider pushing on all the way to Hiroshima / Miyajima, if the timing works out (I haven't checked). That would give you a way to split your time there from your time in Hakone by putting your stay in Kyoto in the middle. Just an option to explore....

And Kathie's point about day-trips is also a good one. You can probably wait to decide until you are there, but I think you are wise to consider your options in advance. FWIW, Himeji-jo, even with the lovely adjacent gardens (Koko-en) will probably only take a half-day. You might consider timing it so your trip back to Kyoto is after Himeji-jo and Koko-en close, so you cut down on the time your transportation cuts into sightseeing. I was glad I gave Nara two full days, but appreciate the logic of visiting it as a day trip from Kyoto (as many people do) given your hotel opportunity. I would definitely plan on making time for Nara, though -- it is, IMO, quite special. And you can visit Uji en route (in either direction, of course), and Fushimi Inari is also between Kyoto and Nara AND is open 24/7, so you can see it after everything is closed in Nara.

Hope that helps!
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Old Sep 30th, 2016, 10:25 AM
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Looks good. Get a 7-day JR Pass for Days 3 to 9.

The wisdom of your Day 9 depends on what time you plan to arrive at your Hakone lodging. Sounds like you might be arriving too late for a proper stay at a traditional ryokan. Arrive to late and pay a taxi fare instead of a bus fare to get to your hotel.

I would want to stop in Nara overnight between Hiroshima and Hakone instead of doing the Nara day trip from Kyoto. The problem with that is that you would have to do one of two things: 1) give up that 5th night in Kyoto, or 2) take a day from Tokyo - the negative part of which would be making your ex-Tokyo trip 8 days long instead of 7, so too long for a JR Pass to cover all of it.

BUT, you could get a discount shinkansen ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto on Day 2.

Then a 7-day JR Pass for:
Day 7 - Kyoto (day trip Himeji)
Day 8 - Kyoto - Hiroshima/miyajima (overnight in miyajima)
Day 9 - Hiroshima - Nara
Day 10- Nara - Hakone (overnight Hakone )
Day 11- Hakone - Tokyo
Day 12 - Tokyo (day trip Nikko )
Day 13 - Depart from Narita flight 1:30 p.m

Or something like that.

You are staying at the Westin Miyako, aren't you? Be aware that the hotel runs a shuttle from/to JR Kyoto station.
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Old Sep 30th, 2016, 10:37 AM
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Oh, you could still leave Tokyo on Day 3 (not Day 2 as I just suggested) and still have 5 nights in Kyoto.

One problem with the itin I just gave is that you would be on a train every day of your last 7 days in Japan (assuming you would take the Narita Express on departure day).
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Old Sep 30th, 2016, 10:39 AM
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OTOH, your itin already had you traveling on 6 of the last 7 days.
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