questions & answers: general japan travel

tokyo hiroshima kyoto fukuoka in 10 days.where to start

Tokyo Hiroshima Kyoto Fukuoka in 10 days.where to start

Hi there!

Going to Japan after middle of March and hoping to see a little bit of the beginning of Sakura/Cherry Blossom.
We are flying into Tokyo(arriving 7 am). Should we stay in Tokyo for a day or just start the trip and leave Tokyo untill the end?
Have just ordered the 7 day JR pass.
Any suggestions where we should start our trip ?
I mentioned Fukuoka since Sakura officially starts there on the 22nd of March.Not sure where in Fukuoka Prefecture we shouls visit..
I will be staying 2/3 nights in the end of our trip in Tokyo since we are departing from Narita Airport.
Thank you so much!
Any suggestions greatly appreciated

verussketa
verussketa

Hi there,

Well Fukuoka is very nice to visit, I can heartily recommend it - having lived there myself in the past. The main spot for Sakura viewing that immediately comes to mind is Ohori Park and the sife of the former Fukuoka Castle.

An other great spot is Uminonakamichi Seaside Park and lastly you could visit Dazaifu.

I must say though, that traveling from Tokyo to Fukuoka is quite a long trip, 361 minutes to be exact. Even with the Super fast bullet trains. So you may want to plan in a stop or two in between. Great and easy stops to make directly on the Shinkansen are, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima. I think especially Hiroshima may be a good place to make a stop as it is more south than the others and you'll have e better view of the Sakura. You could then make a stop at Kyoto/Osaka on the way back to Tokyo.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
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Hi Daniel
Arigato for your quick answer!
5 1/2 hours by train from Tokyo to Fukuoka is not too bad!! I come from Brazil but live in Australia now and I am used to long trips by now . :)
I think based on what you said we will depart Tokyo and go to Hiroshima first and stay one night.From there, Fukuoka for 2/3nights, then Kyoto 3 nights,then Tokyo for the remainder of the trip.
I was in Japan in January/Feb 2011 and do not remember well..but I think I didnt need the JR pass for the trip from Narita into Tokyo right? (was in Kyoto for 3 days and think should go back to see some more..)
My boyfriend think we will be too tired after flying for 10 hours and want to sleep in Tokyo the first night. I thought we should go straight away to Hiroshima..and then follow as you suggested.
Thank you very much again for your suggestions! Dazaifu looks soooo amazing! Will deftly visit along with Ohori Park,and the former Fukuoka Castle.

Regards
Veronica

verussketa
verussketa

Hi Veronica,

I guess it really depends on what you are used to :) In Europe you will have crossed 3 countries within such a time period but I am glad to hear that it no problem for you!

The JR Pass does cover the trip between Narita Airport - Tokyo, at the same time though you can make this trip for as low as 900yen and use the JR Pass for a date later. The JR Pass can be used on the Narita Express though, which is a very nice way of getting into Tokyo (a normal ticket is around 3,000yen).

Let me know if I can help with anything else :)
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
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Since you are traveling in cherry blossom season, then I'd also recommend you start from the south and work your way up. While the official cherry blossom season is forecast to start March 22nd in Fukuoka, the peak doesn't arrive until about a week later. Mother Nature can also be quite fickle. There are also different varieties of blossoms that don't all bloom at the same time.

Ohori Park though has next to no cherry blossoms worth mentioning. But next to it is Maizuru Park with the castle ruins, which is one of the best places in the city:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=968CH00PboY

Ohori is worth seeing and taking a stroll however,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbdQUjljOyw

and there is another wonderful cherry blossom park just 10 minutes on foot north of it - Nishi Park:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-pJPZjNVx0

There is also Minami Park for blossoms as well as the zoo and botanical garden, but the above 2 are the best. For some other good info to see on visiting Fukuoka, try:

http://www.thejapanfaq.com/fukpic.html

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7LcPcmoSg-j4RLa6iC7ayvBAbOn8-028

Dazaifu is not the place to go for cherry blossoms though. It is famous for plum blossoms, which come out earlier and are actually in bloom right now. They may be gone by the time you get to Japan.

Kyoto will be extremely busy during cherry blossom season - be sure to take at least half a day and go see Nara as well.
The best place for blossoms in Japan is on Mt. Yoshino in Nara - they are forecast to start on April 3rd - if you can go there a bit after that you will be rewarded with a mountain with over 30,000 cherry blossom trees. For Kyoto spots, see:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3951.html

Your best chance to see the blossoms might just be in Tokyo if you'll be there the first week of April. The best places to see them are Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoen Park, Nakameguro and Yoyogi Park (near Harajuku & Meiji Shrine).

Toraneko
Toraneko

Dear Toraneko
Thank you so much for all your comments and suggestions!
We actually arrive on the 19/3 and leave on the 28/3 so won't be in Japan in April
Hoping still to see a bit of the beautiful Spring season that Japan has.
Any kind of blossoming or in full blossom tree will be a plus for me/us.
As Daniel suggested,will go to Hiroshima first and work our way back.
I've been to Nara..not sure if going there again.
Have a great day!
Veronica

verussketa
verussketa

Dear Daniel

You mentioned that I can travel from Narita Airport into Tokyo for around 900 yen.
If we really stay in Tokyo one night at the beginning of the trip,I won't use the JR pass..will start using when we leave for Hiroshima.Which train is the one for 900 yen?
There are a few options I saw,including the limousine bus which costs around 3000 yen one way.
Thank you again!!
Veronica

verussketa
verussketa

Dear Veronica,

It's actually the 900yen Keisei Bus that you can use to travel on a lower budget into Tokyo. It's a great way to save some money (and spend it later on a good Japanese dinner for instance). Using local trains costs 1,320 yen.

An other interesting ticket is the Keisei + Metro ticket. Especially since you can buy an option with 2 day unlimited metro tickets.

Honestly, there are so many options available to travel from Narita Airport - Tokyo, that it is hard to keep track.

Hope this helps!
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
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Hi again!!
I'm checking Fukuoka Hotels and they seem to be all booked out.Can only find accommodation 30,40 km from Fukuoka.
Is that too far from the city? I know the trains are quick and frequent ..
I'm really consused!
I did check the www.thejapanfaq.com but cannot get my bearings right! :(
We are only there for 2 days...

verussketa
verussketa

Hi there,

I had a look for myself but found many many available hotels! Could you tell me what dates/budget/persons/other wishes you are looking for and I'll post some links.

Daniel

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

Hi Daniel

I was online for 6 hours yesterday and was so hard to find Hotels at a "decent "price.
It was either capsule/single/smoking or over 300 dollars/night or they wouldn't have availability and I would have to change hotles in the same city.
Today somehow all is better and have spoken to a friend who also gave me some advice.
I did look into ToyokoInn and Super Hotel and also all the other search engines..
Too many people looking ,booking and cancelling so everything changes all the time.
Someone suggested Kamakura on the way to Tokyo..It looks very cute!
Thank you again for all your suggestions!
Have a great day!
Veronica

verussketa
verussketa

Hi Veronica,

Glad to hear it!

Have a great day too!
Daniel

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

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