questions & answers: itinerary check

1st trip to japan

1st trip to Japan

My husband and I will be in Japan from Oct 27 to Nov 19. We have 23 days in Japan. We arrive at Haneda Airport and leave at Narita Airport. I like to have suggestion of our itinerary.
Day 1 - western Tokyo
Day 2 - central Tokyo
Day 3 - eastern Tokyo
Day 4 - Yokohama
Day 5 - Hakone
Day 6 - Western Kyoto
Day 7 - Eastern Kyoto
Day 8 - Kobe
Day 9 - Hiroshima
Day 10 - Miyajima
Day 11 - Nagasaki
Day 12 - Dejima
Day 13 - Mt Aso
Day 14 - Yufuin
Day 15 to 17 - Osaka
Day 18 - back to Tokyo or go somewhere else

Question 1: our original plan wants to go Hokkaido, do we have enough time? If yes, when should we go best fit our schedule?
Question 2: is the above itinerary too rush to each place? Is it in a right order?
Question 3: we like to avoid moving from hotel to hotel. If we book our accommodation mainly in Tokyo and a couple nights at Kyoto/Osaka, does it work based on the above plan?
Question 4: should we get the 14 days or 21 days pass?
Question 5: any suggestion to add to our plan besides Hokkaido?

We are still at early stage of our plan, I apologize if there are a lot of questions.
Thanks

rebandjohn
rebandjohn

Hello there,

I very much like your itinerary, I've always thought that Kyushu secretly was the best part of Japan and you'll visit a nice amount of places there. I see that there are some days left after Osaka, this is where you could visit Hokkaido, although it still feels short to visit Hokkaido, in general I would recommend a week to get a good feel for Sapporo and a couple of other places in Hokkaido.

In terms of route traveled, it looks good, there is no unnecessary travel and the route looks great as well. Although a bit more time in Kyoto to see the city and make a day trip or two (think about Nara and Koya-san) would not be a miss either. You could also make your base in Kyoto for a longer amount of time and visit Osaka, Kobe and even Hiroshima from there. Kyushu is a bit further away, so I would stay there. The area near mount Aso has been closed for some time because of hazardous gases but this may be different in November, be sure to check beforehand though. Dejima is also an interesting place seen historically but it won't take up a full day so you could visit some other places around Nagasaki as well, there are for instance old samurai houses nearby.

I would probably go for a 21 day JR Pass, although this also depends on what you will do after Osaka. If you do fly out of Osaka, then a 14 day JR Pass would be enough, however only a little bit of travel would make a 21 day JR pass pay off. The price for the 7 extra days only being 12,960yen. If you do not want to travel all the way to Hokkaido, then Shikoku makes for a great alternative. You can enjoy onsen in Matsuyama, visit some of the smaller islands from Takamatsu and visit the beautiful island of Naoshima. The last is one of my favorite spots in Japan.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Btw, If you do have a day extra, either at the beginning or later on. Then be sure to make a day trip to Nikko as well. It's something not to be missed, I found the temple complex the most impressive in Japan.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thank you for the suggestion. We like to go Mt Aso and we decide to do the Kyushu on the next Japan visit, so we don't need to worry if it still close in November.

Here is our revised itinerary:
Day 1 - western Tokyo (arrived at Haneda)
Day 2 - central Tokyo
Day 3 - eastern Tokyo
Day 4 - Nikko
Day 5 - Yokohama
Day 6 - Mt Fuji
Day 7 - Hakone
Day 8 - Kyoto
Day 9 - Kyoto
Day 10 - Kobe
Day 11 - Hiroshima
Day 12 - Miyajima
Day 13 - Nara
Day 14 - Takayama or Okayama
Day 15 - Kanazawa
Day 16 to 18 - Osaka
Day 19 - Mount Koya (spend a night at temple)
Day 20 - Shikoku
Day 21 - Takamatsu and Naoshima
Day 22 & 23 - Tokyo (fly from Narita)

Please advise how this new plan. Is the route ok?
Can we book the accommodation based mainly at Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka?
We like to experience a ryokan and onsen a couple nights on this trip, do you have any good suggestions?
Thanks

rebandjohn
rebandjohn

Hello there,

I see that you've made a good amount of changes and I think the itinerary looks good too. One think I may would change is visiting Kanazawa/Takayama between Osaka and Tokyo. This way you can avoid a bit of travel time.

Most trips can be made from Tokyo and or Kansai. However I think it wise to stay in Shikoku when you visit there.

For Ryokans,
Have a look at this link:
http://sumiyoshiya-ryokan.com/sightseeing/yukizuri-work.html

Hope this helps!
Daniel

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

Should we have the 14 or. 21 days pass based on our revised itinerary? Do you also have any suggestion for the onsen experience?
Thanks

rebandjohn
rebandjohn

Hi again,

I would suggest a 21 day JR Pass for this one. There's more than enough travel to warren the purchase and you'll be able to take the train at any moment during the 21 day period.

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

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