questions & answers: itinerary check

14 day pass itinerary

14 day pass itinerary


My partner and I are looking to buy a 14-day travel pass in September with the proposed itinerary:

Tokyo - 3 nights
Kyoto - 3 nights
Hiroshima - 1/2 nights (?)
Kagoshima - 3 nights
*Koyasan - 1 night Oshima/Tokyo - 3 nights

Do you think this is feasible/viable?

We have 15 nights in total so a little flexibility - even if we stay in Hiroshima 2 nights we have another night left to help us.

I know the journey between Kagoshima and Koyasan will probably take 8 hours+. Is there somewhere easy to stop for a night between those two places to break up the journey? We thought about Osaka but it seems too big a city to stop for one night. Is there a small place on the way that could be appreciated in a night's stay?

Also, would we be able to go straight from Koyasan to Oshima? I read that you rise early in Koyasan anyway, for morning prayers. How long do you think we need to appreciate Koyasan?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give. Sorry for such a long post!


Perhaps we could stop at Himeji for a night between Kagoshima and Koyasan? Also, do you think a 3 night stay is appropriate for Koyasan or will we get fed up with the ash dump? We want to do a volcano tour and visit the Samurai village.

  • sorry - is a 3 night stay appropriate for Kagoshima (not Koyasan)?

Hello there,

Different stops come to mind between Kagoshima and Koyasan, such as Himeji and its newly renovated castle, Kurashiki or Iwakuni all these places are pretty small and offer a look into Japans history and culture.

I do think visiting Kagoshima is a great idea, most people leave it out since it is all the way down in the south. Filling 3 days will also be easy. You could for instance spend a the first day on general sightseeing, such as the city itself and find out about it's local heroes, such as Saigo Takamori. There's a small hike up to Shiroyama park and you'll have a beautiful view of the city and Kagoshima bay, in where the active volcano of Sakura Jima is located. The 2nd day you could take the ferry to Sakura Jima and explore the vulcano and also visit Senganen Garden although it is more a park in size and very impressive, at least for me it was.
Then on the 3rd day you can visit Ibusuki, as sort of a day trip. The area is famous for taking a sand-bath and the sight of Mt.Kaimon is not to be missed either.
There's plenty to do but it does require a bit of planning in advance.

Hope this helps,


Overall it doesn't look too bad - lots of variety, and a lot that is off the beaten path. In total, 6 nights in Tokyo is more than enough though, and some day trips to Nikko, Hakone, and Kamakura/Enoshima would all make great outings.
For Kyoto, you could never really spend too much time there. But don't miss Nara as well. The Todaiji Great Buddha is one of Japan's very finest places.

Two days and a night are enough for Hiroshima and Miyajima, if you want to see them without being rushed. You might be able to fit in Iwakuni also, with its iconic historical bridge and mountaintop castle.

But honestly 3 nights in Kagoshima is serious overkill. You can see the city, including Sakurajima and the Senganen Garden in less than a day. Another day you could go to Ibusuki. But really Nagasaki is really the most interesting city on the island. It is worth a couple days to see the city, and another day to see areas nearby like Shimabara/Unzen or whatever interests you. Gunkanjima, while it takes 3 hours, will blow your mind. Fukuoka has some great places as well, including the Nanzoin Temple which is one of Japan's finest yet almost totally unknown to the outside world.
For returning from Kagoshima, you could get to Koyasan in 7 hours with a good connection. But as you said, breaking up the trip would be better. The cities I mentioned are good, Himeji is also a worthwhile place with the best castle in Japan. One of the very best places you could see along the way is the Akiyoshi Limestone Cave, a 300 million year old wonder with huge caverns and underground river running through it. You can get through Koyasan really in a full day and a night there.

Best of luck.

an example


Wow, thanks for your advice, both!

This is the new schedule we are considering:

Tokyo - 3 nights
Kyoto - 4 nights (with side trips to Nara and Yamazaki Distillery)
Hiroshima & Miyajima- 1 night
Kagoshima - 2 nights (thanks for the Kagoshima advice, Daniel-san, really looking forward to it!)
Himeji or limestone cave area (?) - 1 night
Koyasan - 1 night
Oshima - 2 nights
Tokyo - 1 night

However, we've now realised you can only get the hydrofoil from Tokyo to Oshima at 8.30am so it wouldn't be possible to travel straight from Koyasan to Oshima. I guess one option might be to cut Oshima to a one night stay and get the overnight ferry on the first night instead. I'm a little concerned about weather conditions affecting ferry availability though, especially if we were only planning on getting the ferry back to Tokyo the day before our flight back to England. Are there a lot of storms in September?

We're considering dropping Oshima from the schedule and heading to Mt Fuji instead. It's the 3rd week in Sept so we would be just off climbing season but am I right in thinking we would still be able to climb if we wanted to? Do you know anyone who has climbed at that time? Again, we would need to access by public transport/taxi.

The Akiyoshi Limestone Cave sounds amazing, Toraneko! However, neither of us can drive - is it easy to access by public transport?

One more question - does our JR pass get us to Koyasan or is it just as far as the cable car part?

Thaks again for all the help - what a great forum this is!



There are some storms in September, but not that many. You can watch the weather report and know a few days before they even get to you. It may be good to have a back-up plan though.
You cannot get to Koyasan by JR alone. You might look into getting a Koyasan World Heritage Ticket. For Fuji, it is not "closed", but only experienced climbers should attempt to go to the top outside the season. The air is also very thin at the top, so unless you are used to that, you need to be careful.
Getting to the Akiyoshi Limestone Cave is not hard - with the pass you can ride the JR bus for free from Yamaguchi Station (55 minutes).

Good luck.


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