Please help with Itinerary in Japan

Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 12:07 AM
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Please help with Itinerary in Japan


I am travelling to Japan for the first time. I will be there for 8 days and 7 nights and I was planning to spend my time as follows:

Tokyo: 2 nights / 3 days
Kyoto / Nara / Koya: 3 nights / 3 days
Hiroshima: 2 nights / 1.5 days

I am flying to and from tokyo and I was thinking of doing this:
- Arrive in Tokyo (early morning), spend a couple of hours and off to Hiroshima (and then follow the above plan in the same order)

This was on the basis that it took 3.5 hours from Tokyo to Hiroshima by train but someone just told me it actually takes atleast 6 hours (I have the JR pass)

I am now thinking of doing kyoto / nara / koya, then hiroshima and then tokyo at the end.

Would be very helpful to know how to best plan this using the train network. I am also trying to check with mt koya if I can spend a night at the temple. If I am successful in doing that, do I still need to experience a ryokan?

Thanks in anticipation for your responses
spasari is offline  
Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 01:39 AM
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I think you have too much on your agenda for seven nights. To start, I'd recommend you look closely at the places you have indicated - Kyoto, Nara, koyasan, and Hiroshima - and choose the one place that holds the most interred for you and go to Tokyo plus that one other place. If you try to include all 4 places you will travel a lot and see very little.

Koyasan is a trek, so unless you have a great interest in it you could easily skip it on a first trip.

Train information -

When your trip is may also influence where you go.
KimJapan is offline  
Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 02:07 AM
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Thanks Kim for a quick response. I am going tomorrow.

I was attracted to Koyasan only because I wanted to stay in a temple and I read Mt. Koya provides you the best experience.

Not much of a trekker.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 02:40 AM
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AT least you can't be accused of overplanning.

Kim is absolutely right. Cut the number of places by half and you'll be on the right track.

Japan is a country for experiencing places, not checking them off a list.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Koyasan is lovely, but I agree with KimJapn - it takes FAR too much time to get there given the very limited amount of time you have for this trip. And I also agree that it really makes no sense to try to see Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, and Hiroshima in the time you envision. For perspective, I travel much faster/harder than many people, and I spent 8 very busy days in those 4 places; I could have easily enjoyed a few more days! Pick at most 2 from your target set: Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Hiroshima. For what it's worth, I think most people would pick Tokyo and Kyoto.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2011, 11:10 PM
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A link to our blog of our time in Japan during which we visited many of the places you mentioned.

Entries 25 - 30 cover Japan

I would agree with the above posts that you are trying to visit way too many places in the time available.

I really loved teh 2 days we spent in Koyasan but it does take a very long time to get there (I think we had about 4 changes of train).
I would probaly go for a couple of nights in Tokyo and the rest in Kyoto where there is an unbelievable amout to see (I think there are around 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites!). From Kyoto you could maybe do a side trip to Himeji or Nara.
crellston is offline  
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