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japan itenirary help

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Jun 29th, 2016, 07:47 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1
japan itenirary help

Hi

what do you think of my itinerary? would love to hear some feedback since it is my first trip abroad. also, do you think I should get the JR pass?

13th tokyo
14 tokyo
15 tokyo
16 tokyo
17 tokyo
18 tokyo
19 tokyo
20 takayama
21 takayama
22 kanzawa
23 kanzawa
24 kyoto
25 kyoto
26 kyoto
27 kyoto
28 kyoto
29 osaka
30 osaka
1heroshima
2 heroshima
3 heroshima
4 mt koya
5 mt koya
6 tokyo
7 hokkaido
8 hokkaido
9 hokkaido
10 tokyo
omniya is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2016, 09:19 PM
  #2
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,134
It definitely depends on what YOU want to experience, but here are some thoughts:

• Am I correct in thinking that your plan marks days? It’s often easier to understand an itinerary plotted out by nights, so keep that in mind as you read my comments.
• That’s a LOT of time in Tokyo -- but perhaps that reflects your interests?
• I think you need more time for Takayama / Kanazawa – you might want to aim for at least 3 days in Kanazawa and 2 days in Takayama.
• 5 days in Kyoto is, IMO, the barest minimum for Kyoto and Nara. JMO.
• Consider including Miyajima in your time in Hiroshima. For that matter, consider staying in Miyajima rather than Hiroshima!
• For most of us, one night on Mt. Koya is sufficient – as long as you plan your arrival and departure accordingly. And FWIW, my understanding is that the specific temple at which one stays makes a HUGE difference to one’s experience of the area. I was very pleased with my time at Shojoshin-in, which still gets great reviews:
https://japaneseguesthouses.com/ryok...n=Shojoshin-in
• Why a 2nd stop in Tokyo? If you must fly out of Tokyo, consider ways to put ALL of your time in that city at the end, before you departure. If you haven’t booked your flights yet, considering flying into Narita and out of Kansai or vice versa so you don’t have to backtrack.
• Be sure to consult japan-guide.com

Hope that helps!
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Jun 29th, 2016, 11:11 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,249
What time of year will you be in Japan?
lcuy is offline  
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Jul 1st, 2016, 03:49 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 187
I can give a few observations...
As noted above, you have waaay too much time in Tokyo. About 3-4 days are enough. For the rest of your time in the area, look into taking a few good day trips. And there is no shortage of good places - Nikko, Kamakura, Izu, Karuizawa, Kusatsu, Hakone, the Fuji 5 Lakes area, Takao, etc. Look into getting a Tokyo Wide Pass to save money. For the Fuji area, there are good Odakyu passes as well.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_06.html
http://www.odakyu.jp/english/deels/
For Kyoto, you didn't mention Nara, which is definitely worth a visit. It has some of the best sights you will see in Japan.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...TIKwkioxuAKwt5
Since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip Osaka during the day. After the temples of Kyoto close down around 5PM, you can zip over to Osaka for the evening. At night the city comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg and Abeno Harukas Bldg are wonderful.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...K2bcKCzr2pJQh2
Three days in Hiroshima is really more than enough. You could spend one day to see the city, one day to see Miyajima (one of the best places in Japan)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KGUB-HPKNxP10Q
and for your third day, you could take half a day to see Iwakuni (just a bit beyond Miyajima)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0COOZXi66mM
or there are a number of other places in the area - Onomichi has its temple tour as well as the wildly decorated Kosanji Temple - some people even call it a "Buddhist Disneyland".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97Q5EjEOXI8
Kurashiki is another place to see for its quaint old canals, and Okayama is not far and has one of Japan's Top 3 traditional gardens, Korakuen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zAI3_N7NEM
As said above, Koyasan is great but one night is probably enough. Take a day and go see Himeji, which has Japan's finest castle. The Kokoen Garden next to it is also very nice, as is going up to Mt. Shosha. Also for Koyasan, get a Koyasan World Heritage Ticket.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_012.html
Regarding the rail pass, you could get your money's worth from a 21 day pass used from the 20th onwards. But going from Tokyo to Sapporo by trains murders nearly the entire day, and would make sense if you were stopping off at some sights along the way.
Flying makes more sense, and a low cost carrier like Jet Star, Peach or Vanilla Air is extremely economical.
http://www.jetstar.com/jp/en/home
http://www.flypeach.com/pc/en
http://www.vanilla-air.com/en/
I suggest you look at all the passes on
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2357.html
You might find a series of regional passes may make more sense. The Arch Pass is also cheaper than the 7 day JR Pass.
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Jul 5th, 2016, 01:18 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,131
Pretty much exactly what Kja said.

* Too many nights in Tokyo. I would suggest 2 or 3 at the start of your trip and another 2 or 3 at the end, total of 5-6 nights in Tokyo in total.

* 2 nights is fine for Takayama if you get there midday on the first day, gives you an afternoon/ evening + a full day the next day.

* Kanazawa I would suggest 3 nights, giving you 2 full days during which you can visit the park, reconstructed castle, food market and the traditional tea districts. There are other sights such as a museum of contemporary arts, and one we loved out by the port, which showcases clockwork puppets plus puzzle boxes and other such wooden puzzles and games.

* Definitely definitely definitely more time in Kyoto. There's not only a LOT to see in Kyoto itself, there are also a bunch of day trips from there that are very worthwhile.

* We visited Osaka on both our first and second trips, didn't fall for it either time. The second trip was to give it another chance, because I wondered what I was missing when other people loved it so. I found it pretty boring. If you're keen to visit, I'd do a single night so you can experience Dotonbori night lights etc if you like and just do a full day sightseeing there ahead or after the overnight. The knife district was disappointing (in our opinion). I liked the food / fish market. Walking down the covered shopping street was pleasant, though one can find similar elsewhere. The pot noodle museum was fun, I did like that, though it's a bit out of the main tourist area of Osaka, it's an easy train trip.

* For Hiroshima and Miyajima I'd suggest two nights in total. I'd travel from Kyoto early, spend the morning exploring the peace park and museum, take lunch in the area, and then take an early afternoon ferry over to Miyajima. Spend two nights there to give you a chance to really enjoy the island and then head back to the mainland and on to your next place. We went straight from Hiroshima back to Tokyo on our first trip and that worked well for us.

* You only need one night for Koyasan, but it'll use up most of the daylight hours for the day of the overnight and the day of departure - so you have enough time to enjoy the experience, explore the beautiful graveyard and for the journey itself.

* I don't think I'd do Hokkaido on this trip.
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Jul 6th, 2016, 10:34 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,727
Put Koya before Hiroshima. That way, you can fly from Hiroshima to Sapporo nonstop.

Then fly from Hokkaido to Tokyo. If you depart Hokkaido from Sapporo then you can fly to Tokyo Narita airport and spend the night in Narita before your departure from Japan the next day (i.e. if you are using NRT). Otherwise expect to fly to Tokyo Haneda.
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Aug 8th, 2016, 08:40 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,334
I don't get the need to stay in Osaka considering it's thisclose to Kyoto. It's like splitting time between Dallas and Fort Worth or between New York City and Newark, and the transit times between Osaka and Kyoto are shorter because the shinkansen make the trip between the two cities in 15 minutes (20 if you're going to Osaka station, not just Shin-Osaka).

PS - it's Hiroshima, not Heroshima.
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