Japan itinerary in November

Old Sep 20th, 2019, 10:40 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Japan itinerary in November

We are going on a hiking/walking tour out of Osaka in November. We are adding days to see some of Japan before the walking tour. I appreciate the forum's wide range of expertise. This is what I've planned so far
Tokyo - 2 days of touring
Kyoto - 3 days
Hiroshima - day trip between Kyoto and Osaka
Nara - day trip from Osaka
Osaka - 1 day
Then the walking tour on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage for 8 days
I figured Japan Rail passes for my husband and I would be worth it for 7 of the days, including the trip in from Narita. I have a question about luggage on the day trip to Hiroshima between Kyoto and Osaka. Will there be a storage place in the train station in Hiroshima for 2 carry ons and a backpack for our time in Hiroshima? I appreciate any suggestions or comments. Thanks.

klandres is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2019, 07:09 PM
  #2  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,018
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
November includes part of the koyo season, which means lots of tourists and higher prices and some stunningly glorious colors. The timing is never exact, but here's some info to help you plan:
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2014_when.html

3 days isn't much for a first visit to Kyoto, but it depends on what you want to see and experience, so it might suit you. It isn't perfect, but japan-guide.com is an excellent resource, as is the JNTO website.

There are luggage storage lockers at the train station in Hiroshima, and just about every other train station in the country. Full details here:
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2274.html#storage
You might also want to consider Japan's luggage forwarding service, called takuhaibin:
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2274.html#delivery

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2019, 09:57 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the reply. We are actually going for the Kumano Kodo and have attached extra days for seeing more. I assume we will go back another time. Since it will have lots of tourists, will train travel between cities be a problem?
klandres is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2019, 10:03 PM
  #4  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,018
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would think the effects on train travel would depend on where you are relative to koyo viewing destinations, and will have to hope that others can provide a better answer.
kja is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2019, 11:26 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,701
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Whilst I am certainly no expert on Japan, I am currently in the midst of planning our second trip to Japan which is for 10 days in January. In addition to the websites mentioned above. I found the following websites to be the most useful I have found so far:

https://www.insidekyoto.com/
https://trulytokyo.com/

They are provided by the author of the Lonely Planet Guide for Kyoto and what I particularly like is they provide a variety of different itinerary suggestions, info on how best to utilise a JR passa and some pretty good info on mid range hotels. Great resources for Kyoto and Tokyo where I will be utilising, at least in part, the suggested itineraries. Some other destinations are covered but not sure about Hiroshima.

I think the JR Pass will work well not only to reduce cost but also in terms of saving time getting tickets etc. Once in Japan I will be reserving all our seats in advance as soon as I pick up the pass. I imagine that Kyoto will be heaving at that time but as far as train travel is concerned, reserve seat as soon as you get there and I wouldn’t think you would have too many problems.

As we too are on a relatively short trip I am spending a lot of time on Hyperdia to work out timings between locations, costs etc. so as to maximise our time in each location, particularly as Japanese hotels can be strict on check in times.

Last edited by crellston; Sep 20th, 2019 at 11:36 PM.
crellston is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2019, 08:18 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,479
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by klandres View Post
Thanks for the reply. We are actually going for the Kumano Kodo and have attached extra days for seeing more. I assume we will go back another time. Since it will have lots of tourists, will train travel between cities be a problem?
The answer to this question is no. You will not have a problem.

The answer to the question in the OP is maybe. You don't want to do this. You should use the takkyubin service.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2019, 08:25 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the links! Very helpful.
klandres is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2019, 08:38 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,479
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>> This is what I've planned so far
Tokyo - 2 days of touring
Kyoto - 3 days

How many nights will you spend in Tokyo and how many in Kyoto? Depending on how I read it could be 2 + 3 nights or 3 + 3 nights or 3+4. If it is the latter, then your Hiroshima day trip would be on the day after your 7th night in Japan - that is day 8 and your 7-day pass would not be valid if you started it on arrival day to get from the airport.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2019, 10:14 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,479
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
JR Hiroshima Station has two sides: the shinkansen side and the city side. There is a pedestrian bridge/walkway between the two sides. It crosses over the tracks for the local trains.

The shinkansen side has coin lockers next to the escalator that you use to come down from the shinkansen platform. There is also this:
https://www.jnto.org.au/new-luggage-...shima-station/

The city side might have lockers. On that side is where you would get the street car to Genbaku Dome Mae stop to visit the Peace Park & Museum. There is a different street car line that will take you back to the station after you visit the museum. IIRC, you turn left after exiting the museum, another left around the corner of the museum, and the cross the street.

But, the luggage delivery service in Japan is something rare in the world. I don't know how tight your budget is but it is worth stretching so that you can travel luggage-free from Kyoto to Hiroshima to Osaka.

Depending on when you arrive at Narita it is possible to have same-day delivery to your Tokyo hotel. You could ship one bag from Narita to Kyoto and carry or ship the other one and the backpack to your Tokyo lodging. Ship the other bag from Tokyo to Osaka and travel with just the backpack to Kyoto where the first bag is waiting for you. Then send the backpack and first bag from Kyoto to Osaka on the day of your Hiroshima day trip. They might be delivered on the same day or the next, but when you get to Osaka you will at least have the bag that you shipped from Narita Airport.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 09:13 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My husband and I arrive 10/31 at 4:30 pm at Narita. We spend that night, 11/1 and 11/2 in Tokyo - so 3 nights.
11/3 travel Tokyo to Kyoto.
11/4 & 11/5 Kyoto
11/6 take the train to Hiroshima, and then from there (either 17:22 or 17:47) on to Osaka
11/7 day trip to Nara
11/8 Osaka
11/9 - 16 Kumano Kodo
11/16 Back to Narita to spend the night
11/17 Flight home
We were thinking only a 7 day rail pass that we might start the pass later, but still trying to figure that out because we can use it around Tokyo. We have thought about the luggage transport, but I get worried about lost luggage and it not getting to us once we leave Osaka. I looked at their website and there was information about what to do if the luggage doesn't arrive. That put me in a paranoid place. Question about Hiroshima: should we hire a day guide? Is it something we can do on our own? We travel a lot, but this is the first time in Japan. Thanks for the details about the luggage storage.
klandres is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 10:39 AM
  #11  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,018
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Depending on your interests, you might want to drop Osaka in favor of more time in Kyoto.

Takuhaibin is very reliable, but if using it will make you anxious, I can understand that you might not want to use it.

I did not think a guide necessary for Hiroshima, but then, I don't particularly like working with guides and I do like reading -- a LOT -- about the places I see. Your call.
kja is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 12:05 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I didn't find a lot in Osaka, but thought a day trip to Nara would be good. We meet our "walking tour" for the Kumano Kodo in Osaka and thought we'd get there a day or two before.
klandres is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 12:29 PM
  #13  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,018
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nara is extraordinary! You can easily visit it from Kyoto:
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4107.html
kja is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2019, 10:17 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,479
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is your tour group providing transport between Osaka and the start/end of your Kumano Kodo walk? In particular, how are you getting from the meeting point to the start of the KK walk on the 9th? Is it on JR? Is the cost of that travel included in your tour price?

You can use a 7-day pass. It is the day trip to Hiroshima that makes it worthwhile. If you dropped that from your plan then you would not need the pass. JR train fares in/around Tokyo/Osaka are cheap and you would likely be using the subway or non-JR trains anyway. Fares between Kyoto/Osaka/Nara are inexpensive.

Use it from the 31st to the 6th to include the Narita Express from the airport to Tokyo. Or maybe from the 3rd to the 9th to cover the transport from Osaka to the KK. Other options depend on whether you can use it for the KK on the 9th.

You don't really need to spend 3 nights in Osaka. You could just return from Hiroshima to Kyoto - where your luggage is - and then go to Osaka for two nights.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2019, 01:41 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 374
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The devil is in the details of course, but while you could make a 14 day pass pay off with your plans, you would do better with a 7 day pass used Days 1-7 and just buy regular tickets for Kansai back to Tokyo. You could use the pass also in Tokyo, but it depends on where you are going - of course you can use it on the Yamanote Line, Chuo Line etc, but overall savings in the cities are not much. If you are going to Hiroshima as a day trip, you will need an early morning start. And then there is the question of if you are just talking about the city, or including Miyajima. Some people also see Himeji along the way, with the beautiful castle and Kokoen Garden, but Hiroshima alone is already adding in a lot. Another possibility is swapping a day from Kyoto into the 7 day pass, and seeing Himeji and Osaka together. If you are already seeing Tokyo, there is less need to see Osaka in the daytime. And as already noted, just two days in Kyoto is not much - you could spend half a day more there and then half a day to see Nara Park. Most of the best is there anyway, and you can see it in a half day. Or if too jammed for you, use the JR Pass from Days 2-8 or 3-9, and as for getting from Narita, if you are going to Tokyo Station or Ginza, you could use the 1000 yen bus, or if going near Nippori & Ueno there is the Keisei Skyliner. If you activate your pass at Narita you'll probably be waiting in a 30 minute line with a lot of other like-minded people.

You really don't need any guide for Hiroshima or any other city. I do hope though that as far as Hiroshima City goes, you don't shortchange yourself like so many others do by just seeing the Peace Park and then leaving the city. The Shukkeien Garden is very beautiful and the Mitakidera Temple is the secret jewel that almost nobody knows about.
Adastra2200 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2019, 04:24 PM
  #16  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,018
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Adastra2200 View Post
...half a day to see Nara Park. Most of the best is there anyway, and you can see it in a half day.
Gosh, I couldn't disagree more!
But I think the point is that Nara is worth seeing, and with Nara -- as with Kyoto and Tokyo and every other place you visit, you won't have time to see more than a very few highlights, so it would be to your advantage to think your priorities through in advance.
kja is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2019, 06:14 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 374
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That is the point. More time is always nicer, but a luxury that very few people have.
Adastra2200 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2019, 06:31 PM
  #18  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,018
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
True enough, but if I had only a half day for extraordinary Nara, I'm not sure I'd head to Nara Park. But it's not my trip, nor (of course) is it yours.
kja is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2019, 07:42 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 374
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, I would, and I did - you can see the most (Todaiji, the deer, Kasuga Taisha, Kofukuji, Isuien, Yoshikien, Mt Wakakusayama, and more) with the least time getting from one place to another. It's by far the most time efficient. But if that's not your thing, that's all up to you - go where you're most interested in, naturally.
Adastra2200 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2019, 07:43 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for your suggestions. Food for thought/planning...I will consider all your comments. We do have transport from Osaka with the tour company to the Kumano Kodo. I hadn't considered a couple of the sights you've both suggested. My philosophy of travel is not to try to see it all on the first time anywhere. But I will look at those places to see which appeals to me more. I'm mostly happy to get to see what I do. What other sights in Hiroshima do you suggest? We do plan on arriving early and making a full day of it.
klandres is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -