Sunday, March 28, 2010

Itinerary help! 8 days/7 nights

I will be in Japan for the first time from April 7th-14th and need help planning my itinerary! This is what I have so far:

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo 14:00, settle in

Day 2: Tour Tokyo

Day 3: Go to Hakone - spend night there

Day 4: Go to Kyoto - spend all day in Kyoto

Day 5: Tour Kyoto

Day 6: Day trip to Nara and Himeji?

Day 7: Day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima

Day 8: Head back to Tokyo to catch flight at 18:30

My questions are:

1. Is it worth getting the 7 day JR rail pass? Seems expensive! Or with the limited time that I have, would it be advisable to take the 123 bus from Tokyo-Hakone-Koyoto and back? Seems to be cheaper but would it take too long?

2. Can the day trip to Nara be combined with going to Himeji Castle? Or should I do that another day?

3. On Day 7, is it worth staying in Hiroshima or Miyajima, or better to head back to Kyoto for the night?

4. Will I be able to see the cherry blossoms anywhere during my trip?

5. Does this itinerary look feasible?

thanks very much!!!!

Itinerary help! 8 days/7 nights

For 7 days, I would suggest no more than 3 cities so that you can experience the places you visit. Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima/Miyajima would be a memorable trip. You could skip Tokyo and still get a good experience of Japan.

Consider flying back from Osaka; it will save you a day of ground travel to Tokyo.

If you are planning to stay in Kyoto, make your hotel arrangements immediately, or you may have to commute from Osaka!!! They run out of rooms in the spring!

Itinerary help! 8 days/7 nights

First of all, check and see if you can get a room in Kyoto. It is always packed in the peak sakura season.

1. You%26#39;ll save a lot by buying the JR Pass. A round trip Tokyo-Hiroshima alone costs 3,6000 yen whereas the ordinary JR Pass costs 28,300 yen. The Shinkansen is expensive but it%26#39;s fast. The bus is cheaper, of course, and I guess it%26#39;s a good way to travel if you have lots of time (which you don%26#39;t) and on a tight budget.

2. It%26#39;s not impossible, but you%26#39;ll be rushed. Himeji can be done on the way to Hiroshima.

3. Staying in a ryokan in Miyajima is nice, but it takes about 7 hours to get to Narita the following day--a long trip before a long flight....

4. I think you%26#39;ll be a little late in Tokyo and Hiroshima, but you%26#39;ll see it in Hakone and maybe in Kyoto.

You are packing a lot into only 6 full days in Japan. I%26#39;d suggest:

day 1 arrive Tokyo O/N Tokyo

day 2 Tokyo O/N Tokyo

day 3 morning Tokyo afternoon travel to Hakone, O/N Hakone

day 4 explore Hakone then O/N in Kyoto

day 5 Kyoto and O/N Kyoto

day 6 Kyoto and possibly 1/2 day trip to Nara. O/N Kyoto

day 7 early start to Hiroshima. O/N Miyajima

day 8 early start to Himeji then Narita.

7 day JR Pass will definitely be worth it.

Would it be better if:

On Day 7, I went to Hijemi on the way to Hiroshima and Miyajima, stayed overnight in Miyajima, spent my last morning leisurely in Miyajima and taking the train back to Narita to catch my 6 PM flight?

Or should I keep my itinerary as is, and spend Day 7 for a full day in Hiroshima and Miyajima, spend the night in Miyajima, and then get up early on the last day to visit Himeji in the morning and catch the train back to Narita?

I just don%26#39;t want my last day to be rushed because I have a 6PM flight to catch so maybe going to Himeji on my last morning wouldn%26#39;t be a good idea. On the other hand, I don%26#39;t know how possible it would be to do Hijemi/Hiroshima/and Miyajima in one day.

Any thoughts?

Thank you to everyone for your advice so far - I am very excited about Japan!!!! :)

can someone please advise?

Also, will be heading to Hakone in the morning, staying overnight, and then leaving the following day to go to Kyoto... is it best to leave in the morning or night, how much time does one actually need in Hakone? Worth getting the fun pass?


Hakone is an all-day affair if you want to enjoy the loop properly.

I fail to see how your last day would work by starting at Miyajima and going to Narita. The only thing you can do for that day is transport. If you leave by 9am, you get to Narita at 4pm, just in-time to check-in for your flight. There will be no leisure morning at Miyajima or Himeji.

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