questions & answers: itinerary check

15 day itinerary + jr pass questions

15 day itinerary + jr pass questions

Hi there,

Planning our first trip to Japan from May 11, 2016-May 26, 2016. Got most of the information from this forum but changed a few things around.

ITINERARY:

DAY 1 | (wednesday): Arrive Tokyo NRT (Arrive 1pm)

-trail running around tokyo: okutama, hakone, tanzawa, takao area?? - Explore Tokyo at Night Roppongi Crossing (Evening) or Tokyo Skytree after Dark for view - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 2 | (thursday): Explore Tokyo
- Free day to explore Tokyo - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 3 | (friday): Ginza
- Visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 4 | (saturday): Leave Tokyo to fuji five lakes (maybe to hakone?)
- Stop at Mt Fuji Five Lakes, spend day in Mt Fuji. hike to top and return to tokyo - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 5 | (sunday): Leave Tokyo to Kansai.

Kyoto explore the following:
- Kiyomizu-dera Temple - Fushimi Inari - Sanjusangendo temple or Shugaku-in Villa - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 6 | (monday): Kyoto day trip to Arashiyama and monkey park

  • Tenryu-ji Temple - Bamboo Forest - Okochi-Sanso Villa - Kinkaku-ji Temple - Daitoku-ji Temple - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 7 | (tuesday): Free Day in Kyoto
- koke-dera - koto-in temple - gio-ji moss garden - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 8 | (wednesday): Free Day in Kyoto
- Otagi-Ninbutsu ji - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 9 | (thursday): Explore eastern side of Kyoto - Kiyomizu-dera, Nanzenji and further to the south, the Fushimi Inari Shrine - stay night in kyoto

DAY 10 | (friday): Leave Kyoto to Himeji Castle and Kokoen Garden
½ day at Himeji Castle and then onward to Osaka. Stay night in Osaka.
- Stay night in Osaka ( Dotonbori plus the Umeda Sky Bldg or Abeno Harukas)

leave in morning to Nara

DAY 11|(saturday) Leave early for Nara day trip (1/2 day)

Then onward to Mt Koya - Stay night in Mt Koya at a Temple

DAY 12 | (sunday): Mt Koya (Dpt 10:20am) to Yakushima via ferry/JETFOIL?? need more info

  • Spend day in Yakushima - Stay night in Yakushima

DAY 13 | (monday): Yakushima
- Hike to Jomon Sugi - Stay night in Yakushima

DAY 14 | (tuesday): Yakushima
- Hike to Shiratani Unsuikyo - Stay night in Yakushima

DAY 15 | (wednesday): Yakushima (Depart 1:00pm) to Tokyo Haneda OR ferry port???jetfoil?
- Explore Tokyo east districts or Explore Tokyo at Night Roppongi Crossing (Evening) or Shinjuku for neon lights, more trail running! -Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 16 | (thursday): Last morning in Tokyo. Early city run. Depart NRT@ 1:50pm (get to airport 3 hours earlier)

QUESTIONS:
1. how to get from Mt. Koya to Yakushima via ferry (JETFOIL??) as we are traveling on a lesser budget. Is this possible? i know we have to get to kagoshima before we get to yakushima but i'm wondering if it is possible by ferry. if not, can we take a plane from mt. koya to yakushima or do we have to fly out of osaka?

  1. should we forego yakushima because it is so far away and instead spend more time in osaka, nara, mt. koya area... specifically should we be spending more time in osaka? i dont want to miss anything important there. if we spent more time in osaka with the nara and mt. koya mini trips, we could also then come back to tokyo a day early and have one extra day and night there.

  2. do we need the 7 day JR pass or 14 day JR pass. i'm still a bit confused about this.

  3. are we totally missing out by not hitting hiroshima? my guy thinks it is too depressing and would rather spend time elsewhere but i think it is an important historical place to see. thoughts?

Please let me know what your thoughts are. Especially about whether to make the trek to yakushima or just stay for more time in osaka. Does this itinerary sound good?

Best,

Tegan and Bowen

tegankrobinett
tegankrobinett

Hello Tegan and Bowen,

I am glad to hear that you've had help in the forum for planning your itinerary.

To start with travel to Yakushima, you could either travel there buy flying from Kansai/Osaka or travel by train to Kagoshima and take a ferry from there. Taking the train is by far the more economic option if you have a JR Pass. However I think you may be better served looking at flights because you plan to go directly to Tokyo after. Again using a JR Pass here is the more economical option but it takes a lot more time to get there.

I do think you should decide on whether to include Yakushima or not. It is a very nice place to visit but will require a good a mount of money and time to get too. While I can't make this decision for you, I would consider visiting somewhere else instead, such as Takamatsu and Naoshima in Shikoku or head further down south to Kyushu and visit Fukuoka and Nagasaki. This also hits on your 3rd question. I definitely recommend visiting Hiroshima and the close by Miyajima. There's nothing depressing about the city, if anything it is remarkable what happened there after WWII. The peace memorial park and museum are something that will leave a deep impression but are indeed very important historically. The rest of your itinerary looks great! My advise for now would be to make a decision on Yukushima and then see what kind of JR Pass best matches your itinerary.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

Thank you for your reply Daniel. I think we are going to forego Yakushima and explore somewhere else. I still have to research a bit. Do you know of any "yakushima-like" places to visit for hiking and foresty adventure? If we can find something similiar to visit I would be so happy. I will adjust our itinierary and write back to get your thoughts.

T & B

tegankrobinett
tegankrobinett

Hi again!

There's not something like Yakushima that comes to mind right away. However there are plenty of good hikings to be made in Japan.

For instancce the Kiso Valley is a very pleasant trip to walk. An other alternative is making a visit to Naoshima. It is a very nice island to visit in Shikoku and you can explore the island easily on bicycle.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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

Hi Daniel,

Here is our updated itinerary that now includes Hiroshima and excludes the Yakushima trip

DAY 1 | (wednesday,11): Arrive Tokyo (Arrive 4pm)

-trail running around tokyo: okutama, hakone, tanzawa, takao area?? - Explore Tokyo at Night Roppongi Crossing (Evening) or Tokyo Skytree after Dark for view - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 2 | (thursday,12): Explore Tokyo
- Free day to explore Tokyo - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 3 | (friday,13): Ginza
- Visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 4 | (saturday,14): Leave Tokyo EARLY to fuji five lakes/kawaguchiko station
- Stop at kawagushiko/saiko, spend day on Mt Fuji. hike to top and return to tokyo - Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 5 | (sunday,15): Leave Tokyo to Kansai.
Arrive in Kyoto explore the following:
- Kiyomizu-dera Temple - Fushimi Inari - Sanjusangendo temple or Shugaku-in Villa - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 6 | (monday,16): Kyoto day trip to Arashiyama and monkey park

  • Tenryu-ji Temple - Bamboo Forest - Okochi-Sanso Villa - Kinkaku-ji Temple - Daitoku-ji Temple - Otagi-Ninbutsu ji..Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 7 | (tuesday,17): Free Day in Kyoto
- koke-dera - koto-in temple - gio-ji moss garden - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 8 | (wednesday,18): Explore eastern side of Kyoto - Kiyomizu-dera, Nanzenji and further to the south, the Fushimi Inari Shrine - stay night in kyoto

DAY 9 | (thursday,19): Leave Kyoto early to Nara (1/2 day trip)

Onward to Mt. Koya - Stay night in Mt. Koya at temple

DAY 10 | (friday,20):Mt Koya hike, explore- Stay night in Mt Koya at a Temple

DAY 11|(saturday,21):Leave Mt. Koya early and head to Himeji Castle and Kokoen Garden..½ day at Himeji Castle and stay night in himeji to explore.

DAY 12 | (sunday,22): Leave early for Hiroshima/Miyajima day trip. Leave early enough to stay night in Osaka.

DAY 13 | (monday,23): Free day in Osaka. explore Osaka (Mondial Koffee
( Dotonbori plus the Umeda Sky Bldg or Abeno Harukas) Stay night in Osaka.

DAY 14 | (tuesday,24): Free day in Osaka. Explore, trail run, good eats, etc. Stay night in Osaka.

DAY 15 | (wednesday,25): ) Leave early to Tokyo Haneda
- Explore Tokyo east districts or Explore Tokyo at Night Roppongi Crossing (Evening) or Shinjuku for neon lights, more trail running! -Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 16 | (thursday,26): early trail run. leave tokyo (airport at eleven am)


QUESTIONS

  1. Is this evenly planned out? I didn't want to backtrack at all. Are we staying too long in Kyoto?
  2. Is it possible on DAY 9 to do Nara in the early part of the day and still get to Mt. Koya for a five pm check in at the temple?
  3. Is it possible on DAY 11 to get from Mt. Koya to Himeji to see the castle and garden?
  4. Is it possible on DAY 12 to see Hiroshima and Miyajima in a day and still get back to osaka to stay the night there?
  5. Are there any things you see off the bat that are too rushed? I wanted to cut out Yakushima and fit in more in Osaka because I felt our original itinerary was lacking time in Osaka.
  6. Would it also be doable to arrive in tokyo and immediately go to DAY 5 itinerary and basically start the trip in Kyoto and move the original four days to the end portion of the trip so we are ending it all in Tokyo. I was thinking this may be less stressful in the end since we fly out of Narita Airport.

I know this was very long and I am asking a lot of questions but I'm nervous I'm not planning logically and just want to make this plan as smooth as possible before I start booking accommodations.

Thanks so much for reading!!!!!!

Tegan and Bowen

tegankrobinett
tegankrobinett

AND LASTLY to wrap it all up, would we need the 7 day pass or 14 day pass with this updated itinerary?

Thank you!

T&B

tegankrobinett
tegankrobinett

Order your Japan Rail Pass Online

Starting from $282.00 for 7 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel

Please note: we are only able to handle order related enquiries via our online direct support. Commercial advertising is prohibited as per our website terms.