questions & answers: general japan travel

october itinerary

October Itinerary

Hello,

Me and my gf is visiting Japan for the first time on 18-25 October 2014. I just have some questions and I hope you can help us on our itinerary. Our travel will land and depart in Narita airport and from there hopefully we can travel as much cities as possible in those 8 days.

  1. CITIES: In no particular order but Tokyo will be our first and last city. Other cities we want to visit: Nagoya, Osaka, Okayama, Hiroshima, Nagano, Kobe and Yokohama. I know 8 days won't be enough but can you help us short list the best cities to visit in 8 days?

  2. SPECIFIC PLACES:

    • Around Tokyo
    • Mt Fuji and nearby lakes (Is top of mt fuji or 5th station at least, accessible in these dates?)
    • Sky tree or Tokyo tower?
    • Disney Sea/Universal Studios?
    • Best temples to visit
  3. Japan Rail Pass

  4. Is the 7 day pass our best option to travel around?
  5. Is this unlimited use?

  6. Clothing

  7. What should we wear on October 18-25?

  8. BUDGET

  9. How to go around these cities and not spend expensively

Hope you can help us on this. Thanks alot in advance!

Mel

meljurado
meljurado

Hi Mel,

I would visit Tokyo - Kyoto - Okayama - Hiroshima - Kone - Yokohama/Tokyo in that order. Adding more would simply be too much I feel. If I had to pick, I would leave Nagano and Nagoya out. Nagano is pretty small and I don't think that it would be worth it, given the travel time involved. Nagoya has it's places but it looks much like Tokyo.

2.) The JR Pass is usable to all these places, except for Fuji 5th station, which is actually more of a parking lot/bus station. Also you may have to walk 20-30 minutes to Sky Tree.

3,4 and 5) I would certainly recommend a 7 day JR Pass. The savings are just too good to pass up. Especially since you may visit Hiroshima and Okayama. The JR Pass allows for UNLIMITED use!

6.) October can be cold, so bring a couple of layers. However it's not winter yet, so don't over pack either.

7.) Boots for sure! Perhaps a t shirt and maybe jeans. Hard for me to predict!

8.) Is something personal :)

9.) The JR Pass will cover travel for the greater part. Local travel within cities is low price, so it;s not something to worry about.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel,

Thanks a lot for the information. A couple more questions though:

  1. JR Pass - When we get a 7 day pass, can we ride the shinkansen anytime? or do we still need to book the exact date and time? Or is non-reserved seat advisable to take?

  2. Here's our itinerary:

Oct 18 - Arrive in Tokyo, visit Odaiba (night)
Oct 19 - Odaiba (Sky tree, Legoland, Ferris wheel, Roppongi Hills, Diversity Plaza)

       - Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikibukuro, Harajuku (Can they all fit in 1 day? is Ginza ok?)

Oct 20 - Imperial Palace, Meiji Shrine, Senso-ji (temples)
Oct 21 - Mt Fuji/Fuji-Q highland
Oct 22 - Kyoto, Okayama
Oct 23 - Hiroshima, Osaka
Oct 24 - Yokohama
Oct 25 - Tokyo (departure)

  • Is this a good plan?
  • we want to go to Osaka too, is half day possible or do we need a day?

Again, thanks a lot for the help. We do appreciate it Daniel San!

Mel

meljurado
meljurado

Hi Mel,

You can use the Shinkansen at any time. I would recommend making seat reservations beforehand but you can do so up to 5 minutes before departure.

It's a nice plan, visiting both Kyoto and Hiroshima will give you a good impression of Japan. Adding Osaka as well may be a bit much so I would recommend either dropping it or visit it as a day trip. You could visit it as half a day trip but I would only do so if there's something specific you wish to see there.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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

Thanks a lot for the info, you really are a great help!

Anyway, we've already booked our flight and hotels for our first 4 days in Japan. Let me just share to you the updated one:

Oct 18 - Tokyo (arrival)
Oct 19 - Tokyo
Oct 20 - Travel to Kawaguchiko
Oct 21 - Kawaguchiko
Oct 22 - Osaka
Oct 23 - Kyoto
Oct 24 - Yokohama
Oct 25 - Tokyo
Oct 26 - Tokyo (return)

It took me awhile to figure out the travel from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko, which we have to take the Shinkansen to Mishima station. And from there, take a bus all the way to Kawaguchiko.

From my itinerary above, is it sill worth it to use the 7-day Japan Rail Pass?
Hope we can finalize this one.

Thanks in advance!

Mel

meljurado
meljurado

Hi Mel,

Travel via Mishima station is what I would do coming from Osaka/Kyoto. From Tokyo the best way to get to Kawaguchiko is to take the train to Otsuki station with the JR Pass and from there use the Fujikyu (non-JR) line to Kawaguchiko. Here is the route in Hyperdia.

As for the JR Pass, a 7 day JR Pass would work very well. I'd advise using it from Oct 20-Oct 26h. This way you would make the best savings possible.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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

Hi Daniel!

Thanks again for the info, I never thought Mishima station to Kawaguchiko is not ideal.
My problem now is going from Kawaguchiko to Osaka, how do we get there faster? I really want to make the most out of the Rail Pass by riding the Shinkansen. Is Kawaguchiko to Mishima ideal? Or any better option for this?

Mel

meljurado
meljurado

Hi Mel,

Traveling from Kwaguchiko - Kyoto/Osaka always takes a lot of time, because a direct route would mean going directly through Fuji mountain. Ideally it would better to visit Kawaguchiko as a day trip from Tokyo and travel from Tokyo to Osaka.

An other option is indeed to take the bus from Kawaguchiko - Mishima and the Shinkansen from there. Depending on what hour you travel, this can be 30minutes faster than returning to Tokyo and taking the Shinkansen from there. However it is more expensive as the bus is not included in the JRPass.

The only other option would be to look at a night bus service between Kawaguchiko and Osaka.

Hope this helps you,
Daniel

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

Hi Daniel,

Again, thank you so much for your help. Btw, I just recently read that Suica card has been discontinued?
I wonder which card we should use around Tokyo, as well as traveling around Kawaguchiko and Osaka/Kyoto. I only know JR Rail Pass is for Shinkansen and other accredited JR trains. Can you guide me on this? Thanks so much.

Best,
Mel

meljurado
meljurado

Hi Mel,

Suica is still around and not going anywhere. There was a special NEX + Suica package, this is no longer around but you can just buy a Suica card at any JR station.

For Tokyo just use Suica to get around, the JR Pass can be used for most trains around Tokyo and you should not have to use your Suica card a lot with a bit of planning.

For Kawaguchiko, have a look at this website.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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