Last Minute 3 week Japan Trip *HELP!*

Old Sep 29th, 2015, 07:05 PM
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Last Minute 3 week Japan Trip *HELP!*

This is a very rough schedule and conditional on accomodation booking. I know its fast paced but is it doable in your guys' opinion?
What I want to experience:
- A little hiking
- Amazing food (Ramen especially)
- Yakushima
- Onsen
- Ryokan (which place in my itinerary would you recommend?) and Temple visit (Koya-san) - everything else will be hostel/cheap accomodations

Any comments appreciated! Thanks!

Nov 6:
Arrive Narita (night in NRT)

Nov 7:
Narita to Kagoshima, Kagoshima to Yakushima (flights)
Yakushima rest of day

Nov 8 - 9:
Yakushima

Nov 10:
Yaku - Osaka (flight)
Osaka rest of day

Nov 11: (PASS START)
Osaka (day - leave at 1 pm) - Koya-san
Koya-san rest of day

Nov 12:
Koya-san (day)
Nara (day)
Osaka (night)

Nov 13:
Osaka (AM) - Kinosaki
Kinosaki (day and night)

Nov 14:
Kinosaki (day) - Kyoto (2:30 hrs)
Kyoto rest of day

Nov 15-17:
Kyoto

Nov 18:
Kyoto - Hiroshima (1.5 hrs)
Hiroshima - Miyajima (50 mins)
Night in MIyajima

Nov 19:
Miyajima day (Mt. Misen) 2 pm
MIyajima - Osaka
Osaka to Kanazawa

Nov 20:
Kanazawa day

Nov 21:
Kanazawa to Shirawaka-go (night)
OR Night in Takayama

Nov 22:
Takyama to S-go
OR
Takayama day (leave at ~4pm)
Takayama - Tokyo

Nov 23-26:
Tokyo, leave Nov 26
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Old Sep 29th, 2015, 09:11 PM
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kja
 
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Definitely a fast pace! I don't mind moving around a lot, but I do try to keep the proportion of my time that is spent in travel low relative to the time I actually have to visit places. I don't think this plan would make my cut -- but only you can decide if it works for you!

Some initial thoughts:

"Ryokan (which place in my itinerary would you recommend?)"

Since it seems that you are on a budget, look at Momiji-so on Miyajima. It's less costly than many ryokan. I thought it delightful, and it still gets some great reviews:
https://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/...yokan=Momijiso

"Temple visit (Koya-san)"

My understanding is that one's selection of a temple for Koya-san makes a big difference to one's experience. I was very well satisfied with Shojoshin-in; you might find it worth the splurge:
https://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/...n=Shojoshin-in
BTW, while in Koyasan, do consider making time for a visit to Ukono-in, preferably at dusk and beyond:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4901.html

"Nara (day)"

FWIW, I thought Nara easily worth 2 full days. I'm not sure what you would give up to make more time for it....

"Nov 15-17: Kyoto"

Do think about whether you can add some time to Kyoto. I spent 4 full days there (not counting my time in Nara) and did not see everything I would have like to see. It has a wealth of options!

"Nov 20: Kanazawa day
Nov 21: Kanazawa to Shirawaka-go (night) OR Night in Takayama
Nov 22: Takyama to S-go OR Takayama day (leave at ~4pm):

Ouch! I gave Kanazawa 2 days, and wish I'd given it more. I gave Takayama 1.5 days and wish I'd given it more. I skipped S-go, even though I probably would have enjoyed it. So this segment seems REALLY rushed to me. Once again, though, it really depends on what YOU want to see and experience.

Hope that helps!
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 06:01 AM
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I don't have specific recommendations for you so much as a general recommendation: If you re interested in these places, do some cutting in your itinerary so that you have the time to see/do/experience what you are going to Japan for. Right now, as kja notes, you are spending too much time in transit, not enough time in places. Only you can decide what is most important to you. I'd want to cut two or three places from this itinerary.
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 09:22 AM
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If I am understanding correctly, I see 4 one-nighters in a row after Yakushima. For me, this would be too exhausting, too much wasted travel time and not enough time to see anything.

Unless you have a burning desire to sleep in Osaka I would go directly to Nara from KIX (under 90 minutes) spend the night and see Nara. Then I would go to Koyasan the next night and then on to Kyoto, skipping the two nights in Osaka entirely. I would then add these two nights to Kanazawa and Takayama, as one night in each is not nearly enough, once you account for traveling, eating and sleeping.

Kinosaki Onsen is really the outlier in this itineary, so I would eliminate it in favor of an onsen visit on the way to or near by one of my other destinations.

Of course, you know your travel style better than we do, but please check travel times on hyperdia.com, if you haven't already, to be sure you are not spending most of your time on trains. Have fun!
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Old Sep 30th, 2015, 11:53 AM
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THANK YOU guys (especially Russ) for the advice. I'm going to definitely cut stuff out of my itinerary!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2015, 08:41 AM
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if yo can splurge for Onsen Ryokan, consider Yamanaka Onsen in the south of Kanazawa. Fabulous autumn foliage scenes/ambience of the Kakusenkei gorge running through the town in mid-November. Someone's pictures http://www.panoramio.com/user/654293...9?photo_page=3 (not mine) There are nice walking trails along the stream http://torasaito.mitelog.jp/blog/2014/11/18/ ( very atomospheric cafes near the stream as is seen in the latter half of her pic blog). Combine Yamanaka Onsen with a visit to beautiful Natadera www.natadera.com/meguru_teien/autumn.html , an ancient religious site for Haku-san (Mt. Haku) worship as well as for buddhist practices. .... someone's panoramio pictures of Natadera http://www.panoramio.com/user/654293...A?photo_page=1 (not mine) anyway, this old shrine/temple/garden complex is a real stunner in mid-November.
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