questions & answers: general japan travel

i'm really confused :(

I'm really confused :(

Hi!

We are planning to go Japan this September for about 13 days and here's our plan so far;

4th Sept - arrival, check-in in sunroute shinjuku
6th Sept - check-in in sheraton urayasu (till 11th)
11th - checkin in osaka
12th-16th travel to kyoto and nagoya (and somewhere else near if possible)

Our itinerary is not that well planned yet but from the 4th to the 10th we planned to go around Tokyo and other neighboring cities. On the 10th to 16th is Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya trip.. etc.. Your recommendations would be highly appreciated. And also would it be really rainy on September and that we should expect typhoons?

I've read that there is so much lines and companies that got me really confused, that JR pass can only be used with JR trains? I really don't know which is which .. And so we need tickets or pass than we can basically use on most of the trains including subways to get around tokyo. Please advise on the best options.

Thank you! I'm looking forward to hear from you.

Zel

zel
zel

Hello Zel,

September may see some rain but it generally is one of the better moments to visit Japan, because temperatures are comfortable and the raining season is over.

It's hard to say for sure without knowing your complete itinerary but it looks like that the JR Pass could be a great help for you.

There are indeed a lot of train lines in Japan and not all are run by JR. We have a complete map with all lines covered here. This includes all Shinkansen (bullet train lines) but also many many local lines, including the JR Network in Tokyo. Other transport such as the Metro is not included.

I can also give you some recommendations if you let me know what you are interested in. Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya make for a good city trip. You could add Hiroshima and Miyajima or visit Nara or Nikko if you wish a bit more culture and tradition.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi Daniel!

Thank you for your immediate response!

I really want to make the most out if this trip.. My main goals are sight seeing, adventure, amusement, and shopping. If you could recommend the best places to visit (specific) that would be amazing!

Thanks a lot!

Zel

zel
zel

Hello Zel,

Alright! Let's start with sightseeing. Miyajima, Nara and Nikko are if you ask me the best side trips to make for sightseeing and getting the best of your JR Pass. They are all rich of Japanese culture and places you will never forget. Kyoto is also very nice for sightseeing. In Kyoto I would definitely include Kiyomizu-dera (temple), the bamboo forest near Arashiyama and the endless lines of Tori gates at Fushimi Inari.

For Shopping, Osaka and Tokyo are the best with Nagoya being a close second. The number one area for shopping in Osaka is the Namba/ShinsaiBashi/Dotonbori area. There are many many smaller shops in this area between all the bigger stores, selling everything you may imagine. For uptown shopping in Osaka, head to the Osaka Grand Front.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi,
The Kansai area is stuffed with great places to see. Nara is one of the very best side trips you can make especially around Nara Park. 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.
In Kyoto you could spend weeks there and not see everything. The three best sights though are the Kinkakuji Temple, Kiyomizudera Temple, and Fushimi Inari Shrine. Fushimi is the most time consuming; you could spend a couple of hours to over half a day if you want to romp over all the trails. And in Arashiyama, the Otagi Nenbutsuji is one of the most humorous and whimsical places you could visit in Japan - well worth visiting, even for kids.
There are other places you could visit and enjoy. Nearby Himeji has Japan's greatest castle, and the Kokoen Gardens next to it are wonderful. You could also go visit Koyasan and stay there a night at a monastery. It is something you will never forget.

There should be plenty for you to see and enjoy.

Toraneko
Toraneko

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