questions & answers: itinerary check

16 day itinerary - suggestions and reccomendations please

16 Day Itinerary - Suggestions and Reccomendations Please

I will be traveling from NYC to Japan for just about 2 weeks (16 days) in June and can use some recommendations regarding getting a JP Rail Pass. Bellow I've outlined our current itinerary for you to review.

Based on the bellow itinerary, what kind of JP Pass should we get? Also, have we left anything out or do you have any recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

ITINERARY:

DAY 1 | (Saturday): Arrive Tokyo (Arrive 4pm)
- Explore Tokyo at Night Roppongi Crossing (Evening) or Tokyo Skytree after Dark for view - Stay night in Tokyo

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

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

DAY 4 | (Tuesday): Leave Tokyo to Mt Koya
- Stop at Mt Fuji Five Lakes, spend ½ day in Mt Fuji then onward to Mt Koya - Stay night in Mt Koya at a Temple

DAY 5 | (Wednesday): Leave Mt Koya, go to Nara, then onward to Kyoto
spend ½ day in Nara and then onward to Kyoto
- Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 6 | (Thursday): Kyoto explore the following:
- Kiyomizu-dera Temple - Fushimi Inari - Sanjusangendo temple or Shugaku-in Villa - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 7 | (Friday): 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 8 | (Saturday): Free Day in Kyoto
- koke-dera - koto-in temple - gio-ji moss garden - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 9 | (Sunday): Free Day in Kyoto
- Otagi-Ninbutsu ji - Stay night in Kyoto

DAY 10 | (Monday): Leave Kyoto to Himeji Castle then onward to Osaka
½ day at Himeji Castle and then onward to Osaka. Stay night in Osaka.
- Stay night in Osaka, leave in morning to Yakushima

DAY 11 | (Tuesday): Osaka Itami (Dpt 10:20am) to Yakushima (Arv 11:50am)
- Spend day in Yakushima - Stay night in Yakushima

DAY 12 | (Wednesday): Yakushima
- Hike to Jomon Sugi - Stay night in Yahkushima

DAY 13 | (Thursday): Yakushima
- Hike to Shiratani Unsuikyo - Stay night in Yahkushima

DAY 14 | (Friday): Yakushima (Depart 1:00pm) to Tokyo Haneda (Arrive 4:15pm)
- Explore Tokyo east districts or Explore Tokyo at Night Roppongi Crossing (Evening) or Shinjuku for neon lights
-Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 15 | (Saturday): Explore Asukusa Area of Tokyo
- Stay night in Tokyo

DAY 16 | (Sunday): Last Day in Tokyo - Leave Tokyo (Depart 5pm)
- Ceramics shops - Takumi Craft Shop

saltrainer
saltrainer

Hello there,

Most of the itinerary looks great even perfect! Also love the visit to Yakushima. There is one route that needs attention though, namely Fuji Five lakes to Mt. Koya. This route takes nearly 8 hours for non stop train travel. It looks like this. It's better to visit Fuji Five Lakes / Kawaguchiko as a day trip from Tokyo and travel on from Tokyo to Kansai (the area where Kyoto, Osaka, Mt. Koya and Nara are located).

An easier stopover to make instead of Fuji Five Lakes, is Hakone which can be accessed directly from the Shinkansen.

I'd would also suggest traveling first to Kyoto or Osaka and on a later day travel to Koya-san, this spreads travel time more around. This still a good trip from Osaka to Koya.

Think it looks all great for the rest!
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi,
Well, it's a start - I see a couple of red flags here. One was mentioned already - getting to Koyasan. Another is going to Kokedera. Do you already have a reservation set up? You can't just go there when you want. You need advance permission to visit and they set the date and time. You need to send them a letter and they reply to it with a date/time. If you go there when the moss is in full growth it is stunning - but you will pay through the nose to see it - at 3000 yen per person.

For your Day 2, if you plan to visit Harajuku at all, then that is the day to go (on a Sunday). Day 3 looks pretty empty - even if your pace is slow, you can still fit more in on that day. Day 9 is also empty - if you are staying the night in Arashiyama then fine, but to go all the way back there just for the Otagi Nenbutsu really isn't worth it. It's a great and even humorous place - you can see a preview of it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efvtB_5jmjA

But unless you've seen them already, you're missing out on the eastern side of Kyoto which has some of the most interesting places, including Kiyomizu-dera, Nanzenji and further to the south, the Fushimi Inari Shrine. You might consider moving Otagi up to Day 8 and exploring the eastern side on Day 9.

For Day 10 - aside from Himeji Castle, be sure to see the Kokoen Garden next to it. Gorgeous. For Osaka at night, don't miss Dotonbori plus the Umeda Sky Bldg or Abeno Harukas:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7LcPcmoSg-jkgQdiQlK2bcKCzr2pJQh2

Yakushima sounds like a marvelous idea. Be ready for some rain though - it gets a lot.

These links can give you more info on what to see and do:

Tokyo:

http://www.gotokyo.org/en/index.html

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/tokyo/index.html

http://www.ar.jal.com/world/en/guidetojapan/city_information/tyo/see/akasaka/

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2164.html

Kyoto:

http://www.pref.kyoto.jp/visitkyoto/en/

http://www.kyoto.travel/

http://www.ar.jal.com/world/en/guidetojapan/city_information/uky/see/central/

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2158.html

Toraneko
Toraneko

Dear Daniel-san & Toraneko:
Thank you both for this insightful information. We are in the process of adjusting our itinerary based on your feedback and suggestion. Additionally, we are in the process of checking availability to Kokedera.

Based on our itinerary do you think it would be smart to purchase a two-week JP Rail pass?

Thanks again for all the info and suggestions. The links you provided Toraneko are excellent.

Kind regards.

saltrainer
saltrainer

I presume that you are taking an airplane to Yakushima....
in that case a 2 week JR Pass would not pay off.

You can get info for Kokedera at:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3937.html

Toraneko
Toraneko

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