Three Week Trip to Japan

Oct 14th, 2017, 05:14 AM
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Three Week Trip to Japan

We three seniors are planning a first and probably last trip to Japan. Using a two week JR pass and making Kyoto our base, we are planning to cover and spend the first two weeks as follows:
Day 1 Narita airport to Tokyo and thereon to Kyoto
Day 2 Day Trip to Nara from Kyoto
Day 3 Day Trip to Kanzawa from Kyoto
Day 4 Leave for Hiroshima and Miyojima
Day 5 Back to Kyoto in the evening after sightseeing in Hiroshima
Day 6 Day trip to Kobe from Kyoto
Day 7 Leave for Hakone
Day 8 Return to Kyoto after sightseeing in Hakone
Day 9 Leave for Takayama
Day 10 Return to Kyoto after sightseeing in Takayama
Day 11 Day trip to Kinosaki from Kyoto
Day 12 Day Trip to Himeji from Kyoto
Day 13 Day trip to Osaka and catch a night train to Tokyo (basically to experience a night train ride)
Day 14 Return to Tokyo after sight seeing in Tokyo
Day 15 Kyoto sightseeing
Day 16 Kyoto sightseeing
Day 17 Kyoto sightseeing
Day 18 Kyoto sightseeing and take a night bus to Tokyo
Day 19 Tokyo sightseeing
Day 20 Tokyo sightseeing
Day 21 Tokyo sightseeing
Day 22 Tokyo sightseeing
Day 23 Leave Tokyo through Narita

We request for any improvements in the itenarary to include more interesting sights, if any and deletion of duplicate or less interesting sights. Thanks a million
bijoorina is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 05:15 AM
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Sorry, we are doing this in March 2018
bijoorina is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 05:25 AM
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I'm sorry, but the itinerary you have laid out makes no sense. It does make sense that you might go from Narita to Kyoto on your first day, but after that? You are trying to do day trips from Kyoto to all of the places you want to see, which is not really possible. Even if it was possible, you would be spending mist of your trip on trains.

Start by looking at and start over with your itinerary
Kathie is online now  
Oct 14th, 2017, 06:00 AM
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Sorry, but I completely agree with Kathie. It makes no sense to use Kyoto as a base for those day/one nighter trips, aside from Nara, and I chose to spend three nights in Nara rather than day tripping.

If you are worried about coping with your luggage, Japan has a luggage forwarding system that will deliver it to your next hotel. I have not used it, but those who have speak highly of it.

Have you checked your train travel times at ? It will take you a minimum of two hours to get to Kanazawa - longer if you start early enough to get any time there - and the same to come back. Plus there is more than enough to do in Kanazawa for two days/three nights. Note that you cannot take the fastest shinkasen if you are using a JR pass. In any case, you may be better off looking at area passes (JR West) rather than the all-Japan pass.

It would make more sense to go Tokyo - Matsumoto - Takayama - Kanazawa - Kyoto, perhaps with an overnight in Shirakawa-go.

You are seriously considering a night bus???
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 06:13 AM
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Thanks for the replies so far.. yes carrying our luggage from one place to another was the reason we opted for using Kyoto as a base and do day trips to most places.. not sure how effective and expensive is the luggage forwarding system we will examine it.. We did not know any negatives of the night bus when including it.. we have used them in china (sleeper buses) and they were not bad at all.. will definitely consider JR west instead of all-japan pass.. not sure if it will include hiroshima..should we drop takayama and spend more time in kanzawa? Is Kinosaki worth going to ?
bijoorina is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 06:15 AM
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Any suggestions on a better tour plan for 22 days?
bijoorina is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 06:34 AM
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I just gave you an outline for Tokyo to Kyoto, although I didn't include the number of nights.
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 08:37 AM
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Yes, look at Thursdays suggestion in her previous post: (Tokyo - Matsumoto - Takayama - Kanazawa - Kyoto, perhaps with an overnight in Shirakawa-go.) That is a great starting point. I'd suggest at least three nights (two full days) in Kanazawa. While a few of the places you mention are do-able as a day trip from Kyoto (Nara, Hiroshima, for example), you will need to decide if a day trip is enough or whether you want a night or two at your destination.

The luggage delivery service is very affordable - I think the most we paid for two suitcases was about US$13.
Kathie is online now  
Oct 14th, 2017, 08:57 AM
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If you are going to both Kanazawa and Takayama, you might want to do a loop – 3 nights in Kanazawa, bus to Takayama, 2 nights there.

You might want to add a night to Miyajima and visit Himeji on your way there or back.

Japan’s excellent (and inexpensive) luggage forwarding option is called takuhaibin; here's the info:
kja is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 08:58 AM
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Of course, another way to deal with luggage is not to take much. Last year I (age then 69) did a three and a half month trip with one 22inch two wheeler and a day pack that doubled as my carry on. All the clothes I took could be washed in the bathroom sink and drip-dried.

You should also be aware that Japanese hotel rooms can be quite small, so there is nowhere to store large cases.
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 05:51 PM
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The first two weeks of that itinerary are totally unrealistic. Spend some time with to see what travel times you are facing.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 11:40 PM
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Kinosaki is about 3 hours from Kyoto. This is a town where you want to spend the night in a Japanese inn or ryokan. Once you check into your inn, they will give you a yukata and geta to wear as your wander around town. There are about 8 public baths, and most inns will include a free pass to try them out, as well as your own hotel's baths. In addition, you will get to have a kaiseki Japanese dinner and breakfast.

A day trip would be five or six hours on a train, with a couple of hours walking down some cute streets along a river, and maybe going into one of the onsen. You might as well stay in Kyoto. In addition, there are trains from Kinosaki directly to Himeji. From there, it is a straight trip from Himeji to Kobe (20-30 mins) and then 20 -30 mins to Osaka and if you want, 3 hours from there to Tokyo. 13? Taking a 3 hour train to Tokyo, spending the morning in Tokyo without having slept, then back to Kyoto? Sounds like torture to me. There is a special night train from Osaka to Tokyo, but it's only 3~4 hours and you won't be able to get a cabin with your rail pass. You can get sleeper space but still it's not a full night's sleep. See here:

Save the night experience for your bus ride from Osaka to Tokyo. At least it is a whole night long (about 8 hours.), but you still have to spend the next day lagged out from the bus and without a shower.

You need to figure out a reasonable itinerary that does not have you going back and forth all day on trains. Either pack lighter & don't buy souvenirs till the end, or figure out how to use the luggage services,
lcuy is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 04:13 AM
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Oh, wow, I missed day 13!!!

Night trains are beyond a dying breed in Japan, they are virtually dead, because the day trains are so fast. I've ridden a lot of night trains, but not in Japan. Save your experience for somewhere else. Canada or western Europe, although they are dying out in Europe, too.
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 15th, 2017, 05:19 AM
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I'm a senior and travel quite a bit but I could not imagine doing your itinerary....on one of my trips to Japan I stayed in eight different places in twelve days...won't be doing that
Mara is online now  
Oct 15th, 2017, 05:46 AM
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Depending on where you are originating, you might be able to fly to KIX (serving both Osaka and Kyoto) and later fly home from Tokyo. Going to KIX might involve changing aircraft in a Tokyo airport but still would be easier and probably faster than the long commute from Narita into Tokyo to catch a train. Use a multi-destination search function to find your options which should be no more expensive than a round trip into Narita. A reminder that a multi-city ticket is not two single tickets, so use that specific search function.
Southam is offline  
Oct 16th, 2017, 02:03 AM
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I would divide your 22 nights as the following.

-Tokyo(1), in the case of a late arrival. If not, go to the next.
-Kanazawa(2), by Hokuriku-Shinkansen
-Takayama(2), by bus
-Kyoto(4), by bus or a train
-Kinosaki(1), Kinosaki is a place to soak in an onsen
-Himeji(1), could do on the way
-Hiroshima/Miyajima(2), Miyajima is a better place to stay
-Kobe/Osaka/Nara(3), Namba could be a base
-Hakone(2), onsen and more
-Tokyo(4), by bus

-Kanazawa-Takayama- and -Hakone- are exchangeable. Kansai could be arranged in many ways; such as -Himeji/Kobe(base)/Osaka- and -Kyoto(base)/Nara-. If you would visit Horyuji, Nara from Osaka would be better.

For a night train ride, three cruising trains are operating currently. It is not a bad idea to take some of them and go around Japan with the luggage.

# PREVIEW does not work with my Chrome...
LuisJp is offline  
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