Japan 4 weeks itinerary help!

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Jun 13th, 2018, 11:47 AM
  #1
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Japan 4 weeks itinerary help!

Hi guys,

I am going to japan for 4 weeks in november.

Here is a rough itinerary, please let me know what you think,

-Would you do these places in this order?
-What way of transportation is best?
-How long should I stay in each place?
-Any other place I should look up? I would love to see the beach, but is too cold for that in november?
-Any affordable onsen place reccomendation?


///

1. TOKYO (6 days)

2. NARA + Koyasan (2 days?)

3. KYOTO (7 days?) + Higashiyama-ku + Arashiyama

Nagoya (koranke)

Kizo valley

Magome

4. JAPAN ALPS (5 days?) + kanazawa + takayama

Thanks for your help!!
justine28 is offline  
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Jun 13th, 2018, 05:11 PM
  #2
kja
 
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I like that you are giving both Tokyo and Kyoto a reasonable chunk of time. And I think 5 days (so 6 nights) is quite reasonable for the combination of Kanazawa and Takayama.

Consider pairing Nara with Kyoto. And note that Higashiyama and Arashiyama are parts of Kyoto (which may seem like nitpicking, but it can matter, depending on what sources you are using for information).

Koyasan really requires an overnight, IMO, and it seems that one’s experience there depends greatly on one’s choice of lodging. I was very pleased with Shojoshin-in, which many other Fodorites have also enjoyed.

Sorry, but I can’t comment on Nagoya, the Kizo Valley, or Magome – I haven’t visited them yet.

If you haven’t already done so, do consult japan-guide.com – it isn’t perfect, but it’s quite good.

Enjoy!
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Jun 13th, 2018, 06:16 PM
  #3
tt7
 
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Good advice from KJA.

At the moment, you have about 20 days allocated from a four week trip, so presumably you have additional days to play with? Appropriately, you have Tokyo and Kyoto as the main focus - how many days you spend in each is obviously a matter of personal preference; some of us would spend less time in Tokyo and more in Kyoto, depending on your interests.

As for transportation, go by train. Although not cheap, Japanese trains are frequent, usually fast and amazingly efficient (this is a country where they publicly apologised because a train left 40 seconds early...). If you are flying in and out of Tokyo but 'end up' in Kyoto, you can easily make it back to Tokyo on the day you fly out (unless your flight is early/mid morning). Get a JR (Japan Rail) Pass, good for 7, 14 or 21 days. If you're there for four weeks, you may have to fiddle a bit with the itinerary to get the 'best fit' for a JR Pass.

You can use Kyoto as a base to do day trips to other places by train, the obvious candidates being Nara, Osaka and Himeji. If you want to go to Hiroshima, you can do that as a day trip but (as discussed in another thread) it would be better to stay overnight and combine it with a trip to Miyajima.

I think KJA is right that KoyaSan would be best done as an overnight trip. It's awkward to get to (2.5 hours and three changes of train from Kyoto?) so an overnight stay would make the effort much more worthwhile.

As for Kanazawa, the Alps, the Kiso Valley etc., you may want to think about doing a loop from Kyoto. We're doing that later this year -- in our case, Osaka (where we fly in) to Kanazawa, to Takayama, to Toyama, the Alpine Route to get us across to Matsumoto, through the Kiso Valley to Nagoya and back to Kyoto. As for the Kiso Valley walk from Magome to Tsumago (or vice versa), we're currently undecided whether to do that on the way from Matsumoto to Nagoya, or come back from Nagoya (about 50 minutes on the train) and do it as a separate day trip.

One location you don't have on your list is the area around Mt. Fuji. Many people visit Hakone on their way from Tokyo to Kyoto - stay a night or two and do the Hakone Loop and stay in a ryokan.
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Jun 14th, 2018, 06:39 AM
  #4
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Thanks very much for the tips Kja!

Do you think it's better to start with tokyo then kyoto or the opposite? I want to be able to see the autumn leaves and colors in kyoto!
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Jun 14th, 2018, 10:47 AM
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The leaves turn later in Kyoto.
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Jun 14th, 2018, 03:51 PM
  #6
kja
 
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No guarantees when it comes to koyo, but here's a map with "typical" information:
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2014_when.html
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Jun 17th, 2018, 05:57 PM
  #7
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Hey guys,

Thanks very much for the answers!

It really helped me to put things together and I have a better idea what to do when.

So heres how I paired my trip now:

1. TOKYO (6 or 7 days)

+ 2. HAKONE (hakone loop) (1 or 2 days)

3. KYOTO (Higashiyama-ku, Arashiyama, Nara) (at least 7 days)

4. Koyasan (1 or 2 days)

5. "Alps" (kanazawa, takayama, magome to tsumago (kizo valley walk) , Nagoya (koranke)) (probably 5 or 6 days?)

I will do more research to figure transportation and more precise duration at each place, but
if you have any recos for other places to visit that are calm, scenic and close to nature please let me know!
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Jun 17th, 2018, 06:05 PM
  #8
kja
 
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Originally Posted by justine28 View Post
"Alps" (kanazawa, takayama, magome to tsumago (kizo valley walk) , Nagoya (koranke)) (probably 5 or 6 days?)
FWIW, I think the combination of Kanazawa and Takayama readily lends itself to a total stay of about 5 or 6 nights -- but of course, that really depends on what, exactly, you want to see and do.
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Jun 19th, 2018, 04:57 PM
  #9
 
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Looks good. For November you might want to move the Alps part earlier. I think you want to time things around Kyoto fall colors after mid-Nov.

You could think about splitting your Kyoto stay, having Koya in the middle. So after a few days in Kyoto, check out and leave your stuff at your lodging, just take what you need for an overnight on Koyasan, then return to Kyoto. Or, keep one continuous stay in Kyoto then go to Koya and then stay in Nara instead of just day tripping there from Kyoto.

You could also consider Kamikochi and/or Shirakawago.
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Jun 23rd, 2018, 06:31 PM
  #10
 
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If you go to Japanese Alps don't forget to visit Matsumoto city ! Beautiful catle and Yayoi Kusama museum ! I love that city
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Jun 23rd, 2018, 06:46 PM
  #11
 
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If you consider Kamikochi, is has to be on or before Nov. 15. For Kyoto autumn colors, generally the second half of November is ideal, although for higher elevations the peak comes sooner.
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