Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page > Six stops in Japan in 14 days (including Naoshima)- too much?
Notices

Six stops in Japan in 14 days (including Naoshima)- too much?

Reply

Feb 14th, 2015, 11:25 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 41
Six stops in Japan in 14 days (including Naoshima)- too much?

I'm planning our first trip to Japan for May 2015. I have airline tickets. We arrive in Tokyo in the evening of May 11 and leave Tokyo in the evening of May 24.
May 11-14 Tokyo
May 14-17 Kyoto
May 17-19 Hiroshima
May 19-20 Benesse House Naoshima
May 20-22 Okayama
May 22-24 Hakone
We are active 60 year olds. Does this sound too aggressive?
We really want to see Naoshima, but is it too difficult to get to for an overnight?
Any suggestions appreciated!
mklovesny is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2015, 11:51 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,778
You haven't figured in your travel time. You don't have May 14, for instance, in both Tokyo and Kyoto. You lose most of a day each time you change locations (think of checking out of one place and into the next). You need three nights in a place just to have two full days to see/do/experience. For me, this itinerary would have too large a proportion of travel time to experiencing time. Also, for me, not nearly enough time for Kyoto.

So taking out travel time, you have
2 days in Tokyo
2 days in Kyoto
1 day in Hiroshima
an overnight (no days) at Naoshima
1 day in Okyama
1 day in Hakone

Think about the things you most want to do/see/experience in Japan, and plan your trip around those. Cut out any less important stops.
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2015, 02:45 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 41
Thanks Kathie.
Does this make more sense?
May 11-14 Tokyo (would rather spend more time in cities that reflect old Japan)
May 14-18 Kyoto
May 18-19 Naoshima (can't afford more than one day)
May 19-21 Okayama
May 21-24 Hakone
Thank you.
mklovesny is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2015, 03:15 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,778
That does make more sense to me. You gave yourselves 3 nights in Hakone. It's the one place where I think two nights is sufficient, so you have an "extra" day to allocate somewhere.
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2015, 03:44 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 41
Katie, I just noticed that my revised schedule has us going to Naoshima on a Monday when everything is closed. Should I add one more day to Kyoto (5) and take one away from Hakone, so that I can be in Naoshima on a Tuesday & Wednesday?
mklovesny is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2015, 04:33 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,778
That makes good sense to me! My experience is that you won't run out of things to do in Kyoto. We had 6 days and would have enjoyed even more.
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2015, 04:58 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 41
We're glad you loved Kyoto. We wanted to spend most of our time there, but then got blindsided by all the other lovely places. Have you been to any other places that I have on my itinerary? Are any of these must sees or are any of these ones you did not love? Can I ask, which, other than these, were your favorites?
Thanks for all the feedback. You have been very helpful!
mklovesny is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2015, 05:19 PM
  #8
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,134
I also think you might want to find more time for Kyoto. I had 6 full days in Kyoto and Nara and would have loved to have more time there.I haven't been to Naoshima or Hakone, but I visited Okayama, and unless you have a VERY specific reason for visiting it, you might consider skipping it. JMO. And BTW, I personally would include Hiroshima/Miyajima rather than Okayama, but again, YMMV.
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2015, 06:03 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,421
Consider the time it takes to get to Naoshima. We're going there in December and everyone I know who has been there has said you need at least a full day to tour and experience all the different art installation and houses on the island--in and of itself, a time-consuming endeavor. If you arrive in the late afternoon to check-in, that may very well seriously limit and prohibit your ability to experience what you can see there.

That decision alone drove our choice to spend 2 nights there, as we cannot check-in until after 2 PM. We technically wouldn't even arrive until after 4 PM because of the ferry schedule ...so that made it an easy choice for us.

Understand that, with this tight of an itinerary, what it really will come down to for you is: Naoshima rushed or no Naoshima at all.
filmwill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2015, 06:27 PM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 41
Thank you Filmwill. If we took Naoshima out and then Okayama (since it was only there for Naoshima), where would you suggest having a one or two day stay between Hiroshima (assuming it's back in) and Hakone? It seemed too long a train ride to go from Hiroshima directly to Hakone.
Would this work better?
3 nights Tokyo
5 nights Kyoto
2 nights Hiroshima
1 night at a ryokan (between the two,but where?)
2 nights Hakone
Thanks!
mklovesny is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 16th, 2015, 01:09 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1
I agree with everyone above. Would spend more nights in Kyoto (and possibly nara)

If you want to stay a night at a ryokan then Kyoto would be your best bet. No other town has such beautiful ryokan. Most of them will have excellent food as well.
Personally speaking i would skip Hiroshima and do a daytrip to Nara. Things like Todai-ji or Kasuga-Taisha come to mind.

But well that really depends how much time you want to spend on the train etc.
Pelerinage is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 16th, 2015, 08:15 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,421
Maybe spend that extra night in Miyajima? We absolutely loved it there. It can be a bit overrun with tourists during the day but, at night, it's magical when you have the island to yourself. Hiking there is simply gorgeous as well.

It's extremely close to Hiroshima so it'd be very doable.
filmwill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 16th, 2015, 08:15 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,421
We stayed at Iwaso ryokan on Miyajima and found it, and their onsen, really nice.
filmwill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 16th, 2015, 09:45 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,131
Or, if you do decide on an overnight in Nara, we had a wonderful experience in a ryokan there -- that may be in part because we had the best room in the inn and because, as the only guests, the hostess had a lot of time for us, but it was also a magical place, we thought the food one of the better ryokan meals we've had and the location was beautiful. You can see my photos and impressions here: http://www.kaveyeats.com/2013/01/kai...o-in-nara.html
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 16th, 2015, 05:49 PM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 41
Thank you for all your input.
On everyone's advise, I'm adding an extra day in Kyoto. I had planned on spending a day touring Nara. I'm going to stay in a ryokan in Kyoto, on my last night there. I am going to Hiroshima mainly to have access to Miyajima. But my husband is also interested in seeing the memorial and castle. I also plan on spending a day touring Kamakura when I'm at Hakone.
I am much more comfortable with this itinerary because we have no one night stays. My only concern is the 5 hour train ride to Hakone from Hiroshima. I guess that's what the JR pass is for!
Thanks again!
mklovesny is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 16th, 2015, 06:07 PM
  #16
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,134
Sounds much better to me -- enjoy!
kja is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 16th, 2015, 07:49 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,421
Do consider 1 night in Hiroshima and 1 night in Miyajima. That's what we did.

Consider, in your decision making, that seeing the Peace Park and the museum and memorials is really one of the ONLY things interesting to do in Hiroshima and can easily be covered in 3-4 hours.
filmwill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2015, 07:06 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 368
As filmwill suggests we did 1 night in Hiroshima and 1 night in Miyajima (Iwaso ryokan) on our first trip to Japan Nov/Dec 2013. We took the early morning nozomi from Tokyo and had a good part of the day to explore Hiroshima...Peace Park, museum, castle (the only one on our itinerary so you can skip if you are seeing others), Shukkeien Garden where many bomb victims retreated to, and had dinner at the Okonomimura for the iconic Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. We loved Kyuchan on the 4th floor and would have returned for another meal if we had stayed longer (http://www.okonomimura.jp/foreign/english.html). Enjoy your trip!
ovenbird is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 18th, 2015, 05:18 AM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 41
Thanks so much to all.
Have any of you tried good will guides or the home visit system?
Now that I have my itinerary set, I'm ready to fill in the days!
mklovesny is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 18th, 2015, 05:36 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 546
mklovesny,

We had great luck in Tokyo with TokyoFreeGuide.com. If you want to read a detailed account of the experience, you can ready it by clicking the link below and scrolling down to day 4.

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...e-to-japan.cfm

We also loved our free guide at the Edo-Tokyo museum, which you can read about under day 1.

Hope this is useful!
russ_in_LA is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:13 AM.