Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Japan high level itinerary - does this look ok?

This will be my first trip to Japan. I am a single traveller in his early 30s. Since I am alone I would like to do a ';home base'; type itinerary where my trip is split into two major ';home base'; cities from which I can take day trips. This is so I don%26#39;t have to lug bags around and such. Please give me some critiques on my high level itinerary:

Day 1 - May 13

Depart Toronto

Arrive Tokyo Afternoon

Train to Kyoto Evening

Day 2


Day 3


Day 4

Kyoto / Nara

Day 5

Kyoto / Himeji

Day 6

Kyoto / Mt. Koya

Day 7


Day 8


Day 9


Day 10


Day 11 - May 24

Depart Tokyo

Arrive Toronto

I%26#39;ll fill out the daily details in a bit, but for now I just want to make sure I%26#39;m not missing anything too awesome from this part of Japan. Obviously I%26#39;m missing Hiroshima/Miyajima but I feel it would be a stretch as it%26#39;s 2hrs from Kyoto each way for only a 1 or 2 day slice of the trip. Also I put Nikko before Tokyo to include it in the last day of my 7-day train pass. Any tips or suggestions welcome (and wanted)!

Japan high level itinerary - does this look ok?

Your Nikko trip will be quite rushed though. Assuming you leave Kyoto by 7:30am, you won%26#39;t get to Nikko until almost 12:30pm. If you are ok with this plan, there isn%26#39;t much wrong with your schedule at all.

Japan high level itinerary - does this look ok?

Thanks, I think I%26#39;ll pay the extra $40 for the Nikko train outside of the railpass. So now days 7 - 11 would be:

7 - Arrive Tokyo

8 - Tokyo

9 - Nikko

10 - Tokyo

11 - Depart Tokyo, Arrive Home

I know I gave a reason why I was skipping it, but I%26#39;m surprised no one is saying I can%26#39;t miss seeing Hiroshima/Miyajima. Can someone weigh in on whether this itinerary looks good as is or if I should cut 1-2 days from Kyoto and add Hiroshima/Miyajima? I don%26#39;t want to feel rushed or pack up and move hotels too often. However, I don%26#39;t want to miss any ';must see'; destinations either. Is it worth it or can I skip Hiroshima/Miyajima?

Sorry for the double post. One more question: with this itinerary, is it more cost effective to buy a 7 day JR pass and then just a Tokyo-area transit pass for the last few days, or should I get a 14-day JR pass (because of going to Nikko and back to the airport from Tokyo in the last days of the trip)?


There%26#39;s a nifty site you can use to calculate the train/shinkansen fares called Hyperdia (just google it). You just type in your starting point %26amp; destinationa dn you will be able to figure out if getting that 14-day railpass will be worth it or not.

Oh, and you%26#39;ll be in Japan for a total of 11 days, so a small bagpack (or wheeled bag) will suffice. We usually still have a few cool nights in May so a fleece jacket may be needed. Travel light!

The very useful Hyperdia website is actually:


In your case, it%26#39;s better to stick with a 7 day pass and buy the additional Tobu Nikko pass (All Nikko or World Heritage) than invest in a 14 day pass. The 14 day pass costs almost 17,000 Yen more and you won%26#39;t save that much by going to Nikko, riding NEX to the airport, and traveling within Tokyo.

Generally speaking, traveling within Tokyo doesn%26#39;t cost enough to warrant any passes, including the daily passes offered by JR or Tokyo Metro.

I would not cut any days from Kyoto. You really only have two days as your other days are just base days to visit other cities. Kyoto takes a minimum of two days, with three being the ideal.

Excellent advice, thank you both. I think, unfortunately, I%26#39;ll have to miss Hiroshima this time around. That what second trips are for I guess : ) I don%26#39;t want to feel rushed around at all (I think I%26#39;ll get enough of that just being in Tokyo).

When using - www.hyperdia.com/cgi-english/hyperWeb.cgi - to calculate if the pass is worthwhile, make sure you check the box ';except Nozomi'; since you can%26#39;t use Nozomi trains with a JR pass.

No comments:

Post a Comment