questions & answers: general japan travel

9 day in japan

9 Day in Japan

I will be traveling to Narita in July with my adult daughter and we plan to mainly just cover Tokyo and Kyoto.

We are not sure if we will be taking many train rides as we want to enjoy each city at a leisurely pace. Of course there will be the travel within both cities for sights that may be further apart than a comfortable walk. We are thinking of 3 nights in Kyoto and the rest in Tokyo, but would like to hear any recommendations and if we should do some day trips from both bases.

Is it still feasible to buy a rail pass and how many days will be recommended?

PT
PT

Hi,

It's almost covered by going to Kyoto and back. You need a couple of side trips to break even - you could easily do it by seeing Himeji with Japan's finest castle for a day. Or go see Nikko for a day north of Tokyo. Or go visit Nara for a day, and go see Osaka in the evening. At night the city comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg, and Abeno Harukas Bldg are wonderful.
You can also use the Pass on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo, as much as you want for as long as the pass is still valid. In Osaka you can also use it on the loop line.
As long as you leave Tokyo and return within 7 days, the pass looks like a good choice. You don't give any info on how long your total trip is. But seeing Kyoto for 3 days, with a day trip to Nara and a day trip to Himeji would work quite well.
In Tokyo a few of the best places to see are the Tsukiji Fish Market, plus the site that every last tourist goes to see, the Sensoji Temple. If you are in Tokyo on a Sunday afternoon, be sure to go visit Harajuku to see the youth with their wild fashions. Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park are next to it and well worth seeing also. And be sure not to miss the Shibuya Hachiko intersection especially on a weekend when it looks like half the city is crossing the street at once.

Best of luck.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Thank you for the advise. We will be I japan for 9 days and I have roughly decided on the same places to visit in Tokyo and Kyoto as you have advised. We were thinking that we will not want to rush to other cities in order to just soak in the places. Of course if we do buy the rail pass then we will have the option of going further should we feel like venturing out.

I suppose a 7 day pass would be sufficient and have to decide whether to use it at the beginning or the end of the trip.

PT
PT

Hi,
As a cheaper alternative for getting to/from Tokyo, you might look into the 1000 yen bus. I understand about not wanting to rush through many places. But Nara is often neglected by some tourists, which is a shame. Missing the Todaiji in Nara is like going to India and skipping the Taj Mahal. Nara Park has a lot of great places. A few other great places missed out even by those who go to Nara though are the Isuien and Yoshikien Gardens. They are gorgeous and not crowded at all.

Toraneko
Toraneko

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