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Japan Itinerary for 12 Nights and 13 Days

Japan Itinerary for 12 Nights and 13 Days

Old Sep 23rd, 2017, 09:44 AM
  #1  
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Japan Itinerary for 12 Nights and 13 Days

Hello All,

My husband and I will be travelling to Japan for the first time this October/November for 13 days and 12 Nights. We are a couple in our early 30s and this is a much needed break for the both of us.I know its a little too late but this was a last minute decision. We like to be on budget with occasional relaxation.We love culture, history and we would probably make it in time for the autumn foliage. We will be flying into NRT on Oct 27 and depart from NRT on 8th November.
I have been keenly following the previous posts on the various itineraries, yet I remain confused on how to plan one for Japan. Based on the itineraries from other posts and also with a little help from japan-guide I came up with the following itinerary.

Please guide me with the following queries:
1. Are we spending too much time in Tokyo ? If yes, how can we adjust the plan ?
2. We intend to take the 7 day JR Pass. But from the looks of the plan, I would need a 14 day plan. Which doesn't seem efficient considering we will be using the 14 day plan for 8 days only. Do you see a way we can make the most of 7 day or the 14 day with the itinerary below ?
3. We wanted to include Takayama in the plan. However, adding Takayama looks like we will be super packed. Any suggestions if I would need to re-arrange this plan ?

27-10-2017 - (Day1) - Arrive in NRT and reach Tokyo by early evening.
28-10-2017 - (Day2) - Tokyo
29-10-2017 - (Day3) - Tokyo
30-10-2017 - (Day4) - Tokyo
31-10-2017 - (Day5) - Shinjuku to Hakone - Use Hakone Free Pass - Stay the night in Hakone
01-11-2017 - (Day6) - Hakone - Kyoto
02-11-2017 - (Day7) - Kyoto
03-11-2017 - (Day8) - Kyoto
04-11-2017 - (Day9) - Kyoto
05-11-2017 - (Day10) - Kyoto - Nara (Day trip)
06-11-2017 - (Day11) - Kyoto to Hiroshima. Stay at Miyajima
07-11-2017 - (Day12) - Tokyo
08-11-2017 - (Day13) - Tokyo - Flight in the evening. Return.

I appreciate your time and your suggestions are welcome.
Thank you very much !
Bubblez29 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2017, 10:51 AM
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With that itinerary you just need a 7-day pass starting on Day 7.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2017, 10:52 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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rats, I mean starting on Day 6.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2017, 03:15 PM
  #4  
kja
 
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Whether that’s too much time in Tokyo depends on your interests – none of us can say.

I agree that trying to include Takayama doesn’t make sense for this trip.

Enjoy!
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Old Sep 24th, 2017, 02:19 AM
  #5  
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Thank you @mrwunrfl , @kja for the suggestions!
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Old Sep 24th, 2017, 05:23 AM
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I would change the things a bit.
Land in Tokyo and go straight to Kyoto with the Shinkasen (i did so when my family came visit me). stay 3/4 days in Kyoto then work your way up. 1 day in Nara should be enough, as the Daiubutsu is the main attraction. I would recommend Hiroshima, even 2 days, and definitely check the memorial museum for the atomic bomb.
Try to find some nice Ryokan in the countryside. I love Yamanashi region. Is very beautiful and is not far from the Mount fuji, so even if you don't want to hike you can have a great view from there.
Finish the trip in Tokyo. Yo have plenty things to visit there. Every area of tokyo is a town on its own. Easily a week won#'t be enough to see the main things. You ca go visit Nikko, which is really pretty, for a day. Also Yokohama is cool, with the biggest chinatown outside of China!
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Old Sep 24th, 2017, 08:18 AM
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kja
 
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"1 day in Nara should be enough, as the Daiubutsu is the main attraction."

While many people visit Nara for just a day trip, I would disagree that Todaiji's Daibutsu is the main attraction. The rest of Todaiji is also worth seeing, the Kasuga Shrine is special, the statues in Kufukuji's Treasure Hall are exquisite, the Nara National Museum holds some extraordinary pieces and is signed in a way to help people learn about the art of the region, and -- just outside of Nara, in Ikaruga -- Horyuji is well deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage Site status and Chuguji's Moratsu is beautiful.
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Old Sep 24th, 2017, 12:40 PM
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1. I don't know, what do you think? Why are going to Tokyo? What will you do with three full days?

2. Note that your Day 12 involves over 5 hours of travel, maybe 6 hrs, so not really, "Day 12 - Tokyo".

3. You could include Takayama. It would just mean unpacking time from, or eliminating, other places. Am not sure why you brought it up. I am thinking that you are in a time-allocation phase of planning and have yet to work out the details. Which is ok, as you have a good choice of destinations and time, independent of your interests.
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Old Sep 25th, 2017, 06:55 AM
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Consider this:

27-10-2017 - (Day1) - Arrive in NRT and reach Tokyo by early evening.
28-10-2017 - (Day2) - Tokyo
29-10-2017 - (Day3) - Day trip to Nikko
30-10-2017 - (Day4) - Tokyo
31-10-2017 - (Day5) - Tokyo
01-11-2017 - (Day6) - Shinjuku to Hakone - Use Hakone Free Pass - Stay the night in Hakone
02-11-2017 - (Day7) - Hakone - Hiroshima
03-11-2017 - (Day8) - Hiroshima/Miyajima (or go to Kyoto today)
04-11-2017 - (Day9) - To Kyoto
05-11-2017 - (Day10) - Kyoto - Nara (Day trip)
06-11-2017 - (Day11) - Kyoto
07-11-2017 - (Day12) - Kyoto
08-11-2017 - (Day13) - Kyoto to Tokyo - Flight in the evening. Return.

This ensures all your biggest train trips will be covered by the JR pass.

And yes, you can easily get from Kyoto to Narita in time for your flight and it's not that big of a hassle. The train schedule is more accurate than your watch and more reliable too.
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Old Sep 27th, 2017, 12:15 AM
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For me, with so few days overall, yes I think it's a touch too much time in Tokyo BUT, as others have said, it depends on your interests and whether you have identified a lot of things you'd like to do/ see in Tokyo.

On purely personal level, I'd skip Hakone and replace it with Takayama, but then again, I found Hakone underwhelming and I loved Takayama. So my recommendations are, of course, coloured by my personal experiences.

We did an overnight in Nara, directly following on from Takayama, and were happy to have that extra time, not to mention that we loved our ryokan, Kankaso, just by the gate. https://www.kaveyeats.com/2013/01/ka...o-in-nara.html

Hiroshima and Miyajima were highlights of a highlight-filled first trip but we did have 17 nights to play with, not 12.

I might do:

Tokyo 2
Takayama 2
Nara 1
Kyoto 4
Hiroshima/Miyajima 1
Tokyo 2

I would not decide my itinerary based on JR Pass, rather I'd decide on whether or not the JR Pass was worthwhile once I'd decided my ideal itinerary but I appreciate it may be a budget-based decision.
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Old Sep 27th, 2017, 06:30 AM
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>

They've already indicated they want to go to Hiroshima and Miyajima. Once you've decided to go west of Osaka in a basic Tokyo-Kansai-Tokyo itinerary, the JR Pass is worthwhile.
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Old Oct 1st, 2017, 08:08 AM
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If you are leaving your itinerary as is, you can start the pass on the day you go to Kyoto because Tokyo to Hakone is a short and cheaper trip that you can pay out of pocket.

Tokyo is very big and if it's your first time, you'll do well to explore its various districts. Not all will be to your taste, but you can't know until you try them. If you find yourself bored, take a day trip.

I would not stay at both Hakone and Miyajima. Just pick one as your ryokan splurge. My friends and I did a similar itinerary where we put Hakone after Hiroshima on our way back to Tokyo as a relaxing cap for the trip.
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Old Oct 1st, 2017, 08:58 AM
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I would start getting hotel reservations as this is prime koyo season - fall foliage - almost as popular as cherry blossoms....
https://www.japan-guide.com/blog/koyo16/
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