questions & answers: general japan travel

12 days in tokyo-kyoto-nara-osaka with mt. fuji

12 days in Tokyo-Kyoto-Nara-Osaka with Mt. Fuji

Hello,

My aunt will be visiting me this spring (3rd week of March to first week of April) for 16 days. I plan for her to visit Sapporo for the last 4 days since I currently live there.

However, I really need help on planning the trip in Tokyo-Kyoto-Nara-Osaka with Mt. Fuji because I have never been there before.

I'm planning to start in Tokyo with visiting Mt. Fuji for 3 days (21 - 23) then either take Shinkansen or night bus to go to Kyoto for four days (24 to 27) then move to Nara 2 days (29 to 31) then Osaka 2 days leaving in April 1 afternoon/evening to Sapporo.

Can anyone suggest places to see or activities to do, traveling routes and hostels that are affordable?

lea_chua_tan
lea_chua_tan

Hi there!

Being able to make such a trip must gives you a lot of options of what to visit, see & do. Tokyo especially has everything you could imagine and more, while Kyoto and Nara are especially nice for culture and tradition.

I would recommend reading some websites that focus on tourism in Japan some of the best are:

JNTO the official website of the Japanese government, every local origination can post on it giving it a great overview of everything available.

Wiki Voyage is the Wikipedia for travel, not just limited to Japan, it can give you some very great ideas, as it is exclusively written by fellow travelers.

Japan Guide this is also a great resource for many things related to Japan.

Also I can give you some more specific recommendations if you tell me what kind of things you would like to see and do.

Hope to hear from you!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel,

Thank you very much for reply. Sorry for the late response.

I definitely want to see Akihabara and Harajuku because I've loved anime-related things since I was young. My aunt and her friend, however, are a whole different matter.

Ummm....could you recommend maybe places to see that would require a bit more say...participation or activity other than taking pictures and shopping?

My aunt will arrive at Narita 4:30pm March 21 then I will take them to the hotel to rest for a bit since they will be coming from Chicago. I was thinking of taking them to Ginza or Roppongi for dinner.

We have March 22 to March 25 to go around Tokyo. I've already included plans to see Fujigoko maybe only around Lake Kawaguchiko and then Yokohama for the ramen and cup noodles museum. I was also thinking of including the Institute for Nature in Southern Tokyo because that would involve a little bit of hiking. Aside from that, I have no idea where to go around Tokyo that would be more interactive. My aunt is not so much fond of amusement parks.

Any suggestion would be appreciated.

Sincerely,
Lea

lea_chua_tan
lea_chua_tan

Hi Lea,

If you wish some participation or join in with locals, consider a visit to either Koya-san and Koke Dera better known as the moss temple in Kyoto. Koya-san is great especially if you stay the night, since you can join the monks for dinner (making) and evening prayers. Koke Dera is a little more exclusive and a bit of a secret gem hidden from foreign visitors. Here you get a feeling of real zen but you also get to join the monks in prayer and participate in calligraphy. The downside is that it requires reservation beforehand and is relatively expansive compared to other temples, however the experience is truly worth it!

While in Tokyo I would also recommend a visit to the top of Tokyo Tower and visit the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

Also I have to mention this since you love anime, be sure to visit Nakano Palace which is a not to be missed experience for any Otaku!

Hope this helps!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Dear Daniel,

I'm sorry for the really late reply. Been swamped with school work. Good thing the semester has finally end.

Regarding Tokyo, I have drafted the following as the tentative plan. I'm starting on the Kansai plan this week (phew! Wow, planning a trip is hard! So many places I want to go but it's not feasible to tackle them all.)

Day 1 (arrive night time at hotel)
* Tokyo Midtown for dinner

Day 2
* Senso-ji * Ueno Park (have lunch here) * Akihabara (walk around) & find a maid cafe for break * Tokyo Tower (night view) * Roppongi Hills (dinner)

Day 3
* Yokohama using the Akai Kutsu City Tour Bus to go around - Minato Mirai (Yokohama Port Museum, Cup Noodles Museum, Ramen Museum), China Town, Osanbashi Pier, Yamashita Park * Yokohama night view using the Yokohama Cruise

Day 4
Go to Lake Kawaguchiko through bus - Kachi Kachi Ropeway, Kubota Itchiku Museum, Kawaguchiko Music Forest & Yamanashi Music Forest If there is time, go to Lake Seiko - Wind & Ice Cave *Shinjuku for dinner

Day 5
* Meiji Jingu & Harajuku * Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building * Dinner at Alice in Wonderland or Artnia * Willer Bus to Kyoto

What do you think of the itinerary? Anything better to replace them with? I planned it this way to group the nearer places with each other and try to cover as much as possible without exhausting us.....

Sincerely,

Lea

lea_chua_tan
lea_chua_tan

Dear Lea,

I am quite busy with school-work myself, nevertheless planning for Japan is important too!
So far I think that your itinerary looks fine, everything is close together so you don't have to travel around a lot.

You could add a visit to Ginza on your 2nd day if you want something to do between Akihabara and Tokyo Tower.
For the rest I think that you've already planned everything and it all looks good.

Let me know once you get to the Kansai part or if you have any other questions.

All the best!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Phew! I'm cutting this a bit too close. I have just arrived at Narita.

Re-cap: Kanto Area

Day 1:
Naritasan Shinsoji Temple.....
Narita Airport to Hotel, dinner at Tokyo Midtown

Day 2:
Sensoji....
Ueno Park, lunch here....
Edo-Tokyo Museum....
Akihabara, try Maid Cafe MaiDreamin Heaven's Gate....
Tokyo Tower....
Ginza or Roppongi Hills for dinner....

Day 3:
Yokohama using Akai Kutsu City Tour bus: Minato Mirai, Cup Noodles Museum, Ramen Museum, China town, Osanbashi Pier, Yamashita Park
Marine Shuttle for dinner and night view of Yokohama

Day 4:
Fuji Kawaguchiko by bus: kachi kachi ropeway, music forest, kubota itchiku museum
Seiko-ko (if time is possible): bat cave
Dinner at shinjuku station

Day 5:
Shinjuku Gyoen...
Artnia for lunch...
Meiji Jingu Shrine...
Harajuku....
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building...
Willer Bus overnight to Kyoto

Here's the itinerary for Kansai area. It was really hard to make! Please let me know what you think.

Day 6: we will arrive 6am so plenty of time before check-in...
Ryoanji and Ninnaji Temple...Kinkaku-ji Temple....Kitano Tenmangu Shrine...Shimogamo Shrine....Ginkakuji...Pholisopher's Path (last 2 might be skip depending on time)

Day 7:
Fushimi Inari Temple...
Kiyomizu-dera....
Sannen-zaka and Ninnen-zaka Lanes...
Nene-no-michi...
Maruyama park (night time illumination)
Gion District - Hanami-koji, Shiralwa Area

Day 8:
Arashiyama (morning till noon) - Tenryouji Temple, Arashiyama Bamboo Groove, Adanoshino Nenbutsuji, take Hozugawa River Tour back to Arashiyama station, if with time Togetsukyo Bridge and Monkey Park Iwatayama...
Honganji Temples...
Nishiki Market or Pontocho...

Day 9:
Nara (morning till late afternoon) - walk around central Nara Yoshikien Garden, Todaji Temple, Kofukuji Temple, Kasuga Taisha, Nara Park...
Nijo Caste Night Illumination...

Day 10: go to Osaka
Osaka Castle...
Osaka Namba - Dotonbori, Aamerikamura (?)

Day 11:
Osaka Bay Area - depends Universal Studios/Osaka Aquarium/Naniwa Food Theme Park

Day 12: Hokkaido (afternoon)
Explore Chitose Airport...

Day 13: Sapporo City Tour
Former Government Office...
Hokudai...
Sapporo Beer Garden(genkiskhan)...
Shiroi Koibito...
Mount Moiwa...

Day 14: by car
Noboritbetsu trail and outside onsen experience
Soup curry

Day 15: by car
Shakotan capes...
Otaru(music box and glass jewelry)....

Day 16: they leave Japan

Gah! Took me a long time to decide on those places. Actually prepared 16 page itinerary... T.T

So, any suggestions or improvements are appreciated and welcome!

Sincerely,
Lea

lea_chua_tan
lea_chua_tan

Hi Lea,

That's indeed a lot! Well after reading up I must say that's quit a lot and maybe a little too much at some places I feel. I'd recommend just starting each day and see how far you get. It's better to enjoy where you are at than rushing all the time.

When you are in Osaka consider adding a visit to Shinsekai.

For the rest I think that it all looks good but don't feel bad when leaving something out or changing plans on the go.

Save journey!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

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