Help with Japan Honeymoon Itinerary

Feb 2nd, 2005, 06:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 16
Help with Japan Honeymoon Itinerary


Looking for a little feedback on a very rough itinerary for the Japan leg of my honeymoon (Hawaii for a week on the tail end). It's my fiancee's dream to tour Japan and her wish is my command. We'll be in Japan for 14-16 days this coming August. And, I've read all about the August weather already, but that's the only time we can go. We're interested in seeing every side of Japan - the modern, the traditional, cultural/spiritual sites, hopefully some festivals, quaint small towns, and the natural environment. So here it is. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Note, dates indicate nights spent at each location.
8/3 - depart San Francisco
8/4-8/7 - Tokyo (Hilton) - tour the city, possible day trip to Nikko.
8/8-8/11 - Takayama (Sumiyoshi Ryokan) - tour the area, hiking, trip to Kamikochi for hiking?
8/12-8/16 - Kyoto (accommodations suggestions no more than $200/night total?) - tour the shrines and cultural sites, day trip to Nara or to Ohara?
8/17 - Hiroshima/Miyajima - Is this trip worth it? Should we devote more time to see both places?
8/18-8/19 - Back to Tokyo for a baseball game and some final shopping
8/20 - Depart for Hawaii...

Thanks in advance for the always helpful feedback.

jdean is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2005, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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That looks good. The 3 or 4 nights in Takayama is a bit much. Are you in the Tokyo Hilton in Nishi-Shinjuku and NOT the Hilton Tokyo Bay? Probably, and good. There is a limited express train from Shinjuku station to Matsumoto. You could visit Matsumoto castle and take the bus up to Kamikochi. Yes, do some hiking there and maybe stay overnight. You can continue from Kamikochi by bus to Takayama. You could consider a side trip (or day trip) from Takayama to Shirakawago. Then to Kyoto as you planned. Hiroshima and Miyajima deserve an overnight stay, so you might save it for your next trip to Japan, then that would free up a day to visit Shirakawago.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Feb 2nd, 2005, 07:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,199

You might consider flying from Osaka to Honolulu. Then you wouldn't have to return to Tokyo. Add another day up front in Tokyo, if you like. Would make it easier to visit Hirohsima and Miyajima if you only had to travel to Osaka.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Feb 2nd, 2005, 07:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,313
Just a few comments. If you leave on 3rd I believe you will probably reach Tokyo on the fourth since Tokyo is 17 hours ahaead of the west coast. This gives you just 3 days for Tokyo. Would therefore probably skip Nikko. It may just be me but I would rather not hike anywhere in Japan in August even in Takayama unless you were up high in the surrounding mountains there. Also agree that 3 days seems alot in Takayama. A day trip to Nara would be a good idea from Kyoto, If you decide against Hiroshima you might consider a half day trip to Himeji castle from Kyoto. Flying from Osaka to Hawaii is also a good idea if costs do not go up too much for the flights. You could than add a day or two to Tokyo and decrease your traveling and changing hotels.
mjs is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 11:01 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 16
Message: Thanks to all for the input thus far. I just talked with United and learned two things, (1) I have to fly in/out of the same city in Japan and (2) All award tickets out of Tokyo are booked. So, we have to go in/out of Osaka.
I don't have much of an appreciation for distances and ease of travel, so can you please suggest a new itinerary where we'll still be able to hit up all of the places I originally listed:
Tokyo 4 nights
Takayama-Shirakawa-Onsen 3-4 nights
Kyoto 5 nights
Hiroshima-Miyajima 1-2 nights
I suspect we'll need 1-2 nights in Osaka on travel days as well.
Our dates would remain the same, arrive on 8/4 and leave 8/20. I guess the only other thing I'd like feedback on is any festivals or events that we should try to see. The 8/16 Daimanji Festival in Kyoto is the only thing I know of.
Thanks in advance for your continued help.

jdean is offline  
Feb 4th, 2005, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,199

So, you are using a United award and since you are making a free stopover in Hawaii on your return you can't have an open jaw in Japan.

You'll need 14-day JR passes.

Would make sense your last four nights 16-19 in Kyoto since you want to be in Kyoto on the 16th for the festival. Given that, I think that it would be simplest to go straight to Hiroshima. You could get a Limited Express from Kansai airport to Shin Osaka and connect to a Hiroshima bound shinkansen on the Sanyo line.
mrwunrfl is online now  

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