questions & answers: general japan travel

need urgent advise for a last minute trip - first time travel to japan

Need urgent advise for a last minute trip - First time travel to Japan

Hi !

My friend told me " Lets go to Japan " last week. Basically, there is not much time we can plan for this 12 days trip.
I am bit worry as we never been there before, no planning, what I have is Lonely Planet Japan handbook. I was told to get JR Pass. In this trip, we would like to see more the beauty of nature more than buildings, we are not keen to visit those temple as my friend's religion not encourage them visit temple. But the nice garden that surround the garden is fine.

My questions are below:

My friend is doing online business, around 4 hours a day, it means we prefer a trip which is not too rushy from one place to another place.

We prefer to start the journey from NARITA AIRPORT and leave Japan from NARITA AIRPORT.

We arrive Narita on 7April Monday Morning and leave from Narita on 19 April Sat Morning.
can you recommend us a route and itineraries for 12 days trip in Japan which we can use 7days JR Pass wisely ?

Arigatou :)

I truely appreciate your help.



Hi Lew,

What could be better than a surprise visit to Japan? Nothing if you ask me :)
As for what to see and do, there's so much that comes to mind that it is pretty hard to make a selection. Still I've made one for you below, based on your given preferences and limitations.

Narita Airport is close to Tokyo so it makes sense to stay in Tokyo or Yokohama for the first couple of days, to get a feel what Japan is really like and try some of the tasty cuisine, you could for instance visit the Tsukiji fish market and taste some of the best fish in the world.

After Tokyo, I would head to Kyoto. The city is the home of Japanese culture, there are a lot of temples but there's enough else to see as well. Such as the imperial palace or enjoy some hikes in the surrounding mountains.

After Kyoto you could go to Matsue here you can find the most beautiful zen garden in Japan, which is besides the Adachi museum of art, worth in itself to visit.

After Matsue you could take the train to Kanazawa, the train ride is very beautiful and you will get to see a lot of the rural side of Japan. In Kanazawa great visits include Kenryokuen garden, Kanazawa Castle and the city hall.

After you could return to Tokyo as by this time your trip may be coming to an end. A last visit could be to Nikko, which is also home to a lot of temples but also has a lot of beautiful nature, monkeys and the Mausoleum of Iemitsu is very impressive.

For your travel I would recommend a 7 day JR Pass, as it allows you to make good savings and gives you the flexibility of taking the train whenever you want.

Hope this helps!


Hi daniel ,
Let me start by thanking you for your amazing work you’re doing here to help people visiting Japan.
You make it much easier for people to explore Japan.
I would post my question here later if I have need any advice .




Hi Lew!

Many thanks for your words :) It's part of the reason I enjoy doing this so much!

Let me know if you have any question that I can help with!


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