Help with Japan Itinerary

Oct 20th, 2013, 04:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1
Help with Japan Itinerary

I have created the following itinerary, just wondering if you could give me some feedback on it as to whether this is feasible any tips etc.

16 April 2014 – Fly Sydney to Tokyo @ 9.30pm (Arrive 17/4 @ 6.15am)

17 April 2014 – Tokyo: Akihabara, Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya, Tokyo Tower

Overnight - Tokyo

18 April 2014 – Tokyo: Mt Fuji & Hakone Daytrip

Overnight - Tokyo

19 April 2014 – Tokyo: Sumo Training Tour & Baseball Game

Overnight - Tokyo

20 April 2014 – Tokyo to Nagano – 1.5hrs Train

Nagano Station to Kanbayashi Onsen – 40 mins Bus

Nagano/Yudanaka: Snow Monkeys

Overnight - Nagano

21 April 2014 – Nagano to Matsumoto – 1hr Train

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto to Takayama – 2.5hrs Bus

Sake Brewery Tour

Overnight - Takayama

22 April 2014 - Takayama Morning Market & Day Trip to Shirakawa-go village

Overnight - Takayama

23 April 2014 – Takayama to Kyoto – 3hrs Train

Kyoto: Golden Pavillion, Endless Shrine Gates @ Fushimi-Inai Shrine

Overnight - Kyoto

24 April 2014 – Kyoto: Ochaya Tomikiku Geisha Tea House

Overnight - Kyoto

25 April 2014 - Kyoto: Bamboo Forests

Overnight - Kyoto

26 April 2014 – Kyoto to Hiroshima – 2hrs Train

Hiroshima Peace Museum & Miyajima Torii Gates

Overnight - Hiroshima

27 April 2014 – Hiroshima to Tokyo – 5hrs Train

Tokyo: Tokyo Disneyland

Overnight – Hotel near Disney

28 April 2014 - Tokyo: Tokyo Disneyland

Fly Tokyo to Sydney @ 8.30pm (Arrive 29/4 @ 7.05am)

The days in Tokyo I have split up what we want to do roughly over those dates, however if there are any other sights we shouldn't miss I would be happy for suggestions.

With Kyoto, we probably need to see another shrine or temple as we only have the Golden Pavillion down. What is the best options?

We also want to have a Ryokan experience in which city would you suggest this?
SHIPPY88 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 08:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,587
In Nagano, you could visit Zenkoji:

Between Matsumoto and Takayama, get off at Kamikochi for a couple of hours. Get your bus ticket from Kamikochi to Takayama before you leave Matsumoto or get it on arrival at Kamikochi.

27 April is ambitious, going to Disney after 5 hrs on the shinkansen.

You'd buy tickets to get to Nagano and then a 7-day JR Pass activated on the 21st to get you back to Tokyo on the 27th. Then pay to go to the airport. There is a JR Pass exchange office in Nagano.

Or pay ¥2,770 for Nagano-Matsumoto and then use the Narita Express to get to the airport. You wouldn't use it until the 23rd, but activate it for the 22nd when you are at Nagano or before that in Tokyo.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 09:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,365
I'm sure you'll have a wonderful trip!

Some thoughts:

Must you fly into/out of Tokyo? If you can fly open-jaw it might save some time/money.

I trust others will chime in, but does a day trip really make sense for Hakone?

I wouldn't try to day-trip to Shirakawa-go from Takayama -- visit the wonderful Hida no Sato (outdoor museum) in Takayama instead. If you do that, you should have time to visit some of Takayama's other gems, too.

You are only giving yourself 2+ days in Kyoto? I would urge you to find more time there. Seriously!

For you day at Hiroshima and Miyajima, consider staying on Myajima rather than Hiroshima if your timing permits. (And do check the timing!) I thought Momiji-so lovely:

I think you are being overly ambitious. With this overall plan, I think you might consider skipping Takayama -- it doesn't really fit in and will take you a chunk of time. Just my opinion.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Nov 18th, 2013, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 5
The bamboo forest in Kyoto that I walked through took about 10 minutes. The Monkey Park in right near there, I would go up there too.
gregg001 is offline  
Nov 18th, 2013, 11:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
You have a lot scheduled for your first day in Tokyo. Tokyo is vast and the various areas are not that close together. It depends on how much you like to rush about and how much stamina you have, and of course, how much you actually want to see in each area, but it seems an ambitious day to me.

As has been said, you have very little time in Kyoto. Again, I'm not sure you're taking travelling time into count within the city. To go and visit the bamboo groves certainly isn't difficult, but it's maybe half an hour out of central Kyoto, and if you're going that far, do stop and visit Tenryuji temple, the gardens there are very pretty too.

I agree with Kja that you're giving yourself very little time to enjoy the attractions of Takayama.

And also with the suggestion to overnight on Miyajima after spending some time in Hiroshima.

The train trip back from Hiroshima to Tokyo is relaxing, because the shinkansen are just so darn fabulous and comfortable, but is it worth paying entrance to Disney for just the last few hours of a day?

And lastly, I too wanted to see the snow monkeys - much of the travel we do is specifically to see wildlife so we really get the appeal of that - but if I were planning your itinerary for a friend, that'd be what I'd drop to give you more time elsewhere.

My feeling is that wherever you do visit, do it properly, and next time you return, go and see different places. No point not seeing any place properly and then feeling you want to go back to every single one because there's so much you missed out?
Kavey is offline  
Nov 18th, 2013, 11:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
PS I did love Takayama but there's a fantastic food market in Kyoto (Nishiki) and in Osaka (Kuromon) and there's a sake district in Kyoto and in Kobe.
Kavey is offline  
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