questions & answers: general japan travel

24 days japan travel

24 days Japan Travel

Hello!
I intend to visit Japan this June for about 24 days.
These are the few areas I've planned to visit with the 21 day pass.

6 days Tokyo (including day trips to Hakone/Yokohama/Mt Fuji)
2 days Takayama
4 days Kyoto
3 days Hiroshima
4 days Osaka
2 days Fukuoka/Hakata

There is an offer for the JR East pass at 10000Yen for 3 days (flexible, used within 10days) which I am considering to get as well. With just 2 days to spend, which area in the East prefecture is highly recommended to visit and stay?

I would really appreciate opinions and advice on how best I should plan my routes and also any other places I should cover during my trip.

Thank you so much!

janice611
janice611

Hi there,

Looks great! Here are some thoughts:

  1. Consider spending 1 day less in Hiroshima or Osaka and visiting an onsen town such as Kinosaki Onsen.

  2. As you're in the Kansai area for a while, you should consider visiting Naoshima art island - an excellent and leftfield overnight trip.

  3. I think you should plan on simply exploring Tokyo for 3 days at the start of your trip. This will let you acclimatise to the country, and also focus your travel spend on the 21 day Japan Rail Pass, and metro tickets in Tokyo and elsewhere as needed rather than adding another Rail Pass to your trip.

  4. For Tokyo, you should look at the Metro ticket offers available to tourists, or the Narita Express + Metro ticket, which will give you a great discount on your initial travel inside Tokyo.

  5. For Hakone you should investigate the Odakyu Hakone Free Pass, which would give you a 2 day return all around Hakone from Tokyo for ¥5000.

  6. If you do decided to go for the extra JR-East Pass at the end, a good day trip from Tokyo which costs around ¥10000 would be a visit to Nikko outside Tokyo. You'll still need to do more travel to get good value from the 3 day pass, but it would make it cost effective in 1 trip.

  7. You may also get a lot of value from this great recent thread on planning a 21 day itinerary, where I (and others) cover many of these points in more detail.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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Thank you so much for the suggestions! I will be travelling alone and it's my first trip to Japan, so I hope I'm not being overly ambitious on my itinerary.

3 days Tokyo
4 days Kyoto
2 days Hiroshima
2 days Fukuoka/Hakata (is 2 days adequate?)
4 days Osaka (day trip to Nara?)
2 days Kanazawa
2 days Takayama
back to Tokyo/other cities

I'd like to visit Yokohama/Mt Fuji/Hakone - maybe a stop at the Gotemba Premium Outlets as well, and I'm not sure if day trips itself are suffice or if should spend a day or 2 before returning to Tokyo.

The only reason I thought of getting the JR East pass is because it gets me on the Narita express, Yokohama,Tokyo and Nikko (as you've suggested), which I can perhaps utilize at the start or end of my trip. At 10000 Yen, I thought it's a better deal than purchasing separate passes.

Thanks! :)

janice611
janice611

Hi there,

For Mt Fuji/Hakone you'll want to do an overnight stay to really get the most from them, but Yokohama and Gotemba can be done in a day trip from Tokyo quite easily.

Your itinerary currently lists 16 days of travel outside Tokyo and 8 days in and around the city, which I think is pretty great. Hearing more about your reasons for looking at the 3 day pass, I think I recommend you get the NEX+Suica metro card combo for your arrival in Japan. This combo makes the Narita Express leg very cheap/free, and you can use the charged Suica card for the Tokyo Metro and for JR lines to Yokohama in a day trip. You can then activate the 21 day pass on the 3rd day and use it up until you return to Narita (and do trips to Nikko on it etc).

Although I love Fukuoka/Hakata (I did some growing up there in fact!), it is a modern Japanese city so I'm not so sure it needs more than a single night stopover. The more interesting parts of Kyushu easily accessible by bullet train are (in my opinion) Mt Aso active volcano, Sakurajiima/Kagoshima and Dazaifu. That said, it very much depends on what you're looking for in your trip.

You will certainly be able to do a day trip to Nara from Osaka, so you should have no problems there, and I love the Osaka > Kanazawa > Takayama > Tokyo loop.

Hope this helps!

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mari
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After weeks of planning, I've finally finalised my route :-)

5 June: Arrive Narita
5 - 8 June: Yokohama/ Hakone (using Suica/ N'EX pass)
8 - 12 June: Okayama/ Himeji (start using 21 JR Rail pass)
12 - 16 June: Kyoto/ Nara
16 - 20 June: Kumamoto/ Fukuoka
20 - 23 June: Osaka
23 - 28 June: Tokyo
28 June: Depart from Narita

Since I will be travelling solo on most of my trip, I decided to skip Takayama and Kanazawa this time as there seem to be a lot of changing of trains involved and I'm not sure if I can manage my baggage!

I've booked most hotels except for 23 June in Tokyo as I decided to head there a day earlier and I had already booked my hotel for 24 - 28 June.

Is there anywhere I can obtain JR map lines for the individual prefectures? I searched the web and only managed to find one for Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

Also any tips/ feedback on my travel route?

Thanks! :-)

janice611
janice611

Hi Janice,

Route looks great! We have a good upcoming map for you to use, but in the meantime, you can use this basic map for general planning. We'll let you know when it's ready!

Hope this helps!

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mari
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