questions & answers: itinerary check

21 days in japan - itinerary advice

21 Days in Japan - itinerary advice

I am flying into Narita airport on 11 Sept 2016 from Mongolia and leave Narita airport on 3 October 2016 for London.

Are any of these suggestions feasible?

  1. Stay overnight in Tokyo and get a flight from Narita on 12 Sept to Sapporo to begin a journey from North to South, getting back to Tokyo for the last 3 days, before flying home.

  2. Get a Japan Railpass for 14 OR 21 days?

  3. Go south as far as Hiroshima - enough time?

  4. How many days in each place and what places should I stop for more than a day?

  5. Interests are culture, scenery, historical places, off the beaten track places

  6. Am happy to stay in hostels along the way.

  7. A rough idea of coatings - budget or mid range (where appropriate).

  8. I am a fit 71 year-old female, who travels independently, no organised tours, but happy to use local guides.

Many thanks for any help.

Siesta
Siesta

Hello there,

That is quite a trip to make, I definitely hope to do the same when I reach that age. As I understand it, you will travel from Hokkaido down south and fly back home from Tokyo. With 21 days this does give you a lot of options and I mean a lot!

You could use a 14 day JR Pass if you stay the other 7 days locally in Sapporo and Tokyo. Starting then in Sapporo you could do the following 14 day route with the JR Pass. Sapporo - Hakodate - Hirosaki or Sendai - Tokyo - Kanazawa - Osaka - Hiroshima - Kyoto before returning to Tokyo station. On average you would have two days in each place but you could also just stop at one place longer and shorter somewhere else. For instance Hirosaki is a nice stop over coming from Hokkaido but you can see most of it within a day. My advise here would be to read up on each place and make a list of things that you find captivating, this way it is easier to decide how to stay in each place.

The charm about the route Tokyo - Kanazawa [...] Kyoto - Tokyo is that you will travel via the top side of Honshu to Hiroshima and travel back via the bottom side to Tokyo.

The weather in September is generally very mild and one of the best times to travel in Japan. There's no need to pack very warm but it could be nice to have something for Hokkaido.

To get you started, here are some websites with information some cities I mentiodedy:
Hakodate Hirosaki Sendai, especially nice are side trips to Yamadera and Matsushima from Sendai. Kanazawa

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Thank you Daniel for your reply.

I wish to fly to Sapporo from Tokyo but I have read the reviews of some of the low-cost carriers and they have NOT been very good eg cancelled at the last minute - many times (Peach), indifferent service and rude staff, etc. That would NOT be a good start to my trip!! The prices with Peach were very good - I would use Peach Plus, for the extra service but, am a bit worried about the whole issue.

Would I be wise to fly to Sapporo the day AFTER I fly into Tokyo, as my flight does not arrive from Mongolia until 2.30 pm.

If I do not activate my JR 14-day Pass until I am leaving Haikkido, what is the most cost-effective way to get from Haikkido to north of this city to see a bit more of the area - eg the Whiskey Distillery and the coastline on the way north.

If I spend 4 days in Haikkido and 3 days in Tokyo - using up 7 days of the trip - I still need to get around, hence would it be CHEAPER just to go ahead and get the 21 day Pass - I have to get from Narita airport into the city and then back to the airport to catch a flight to Sapporo - if I leave the next day.

Finally, for the extra cost, should I go for the First Class JR Pass for 14 days OR the 21 day JR Pass for 21 days? Is it possible to get a mixture - have the First Class for the LONG journeys (14 days) and a 7 Day Ordinary Pass?

I leave Tokyo on 3 October for my flight home. Thank you.

Siesta
Siesta

Hello again!

I only used Peach once but it was fine. There are literately bad reviews about everything on the internet. At the same time, if you do fly on to Sapporo on the same day make sure there is plenty of time before making the transfer.

Using rail and the JR Pass to Hokkaido is an alternative, it takes a lot longer but the cost is very low if you see it as a single day from your JR Pass.

If you do not have your JR Pass yet in Hokkaido, you could look at a JR Hokkaido pass. Travel to closer places to Sapporo, such as Otaru is not costly and normal tickets are fine there.

With Hokkaido and your last days in Tokyo in mind, it may indeed be better to simply use a 21 day JR Pass. The cost for the extra 7 days is 12,960yen.

Its not viable to mix between Green Class and Ordinary Class. As buying upgrades with an Ordinary class ticket costs a lot. So you either have to travel Green Class for the full route or use ordinary class. I've traveled both and love green class but ordinary class is very good as well. In fact it is better than 1st class in other countries I've visited.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Thanks Daniel.

I will try Peach and fly up to Sapporo, but I will stay overnight in Tokyo as I think there is only one flight a day with Peach at it leaves the same time as my plane is touching down from Ulan Bataar!! However, I will recheck that.

I have also decided to get the 21-day Green Pass - I will be spending so much time travelling the length of the country, I might as well be comfortable and enjoy the ride!

My next job is to do some research - make a plan of the route - see if there are compatible train connections - book accommodation - get a Visa (if an Irish Passport holder is obliged to do so) and check out some of the places you mentioned in your first reply to me.

I just hope I don't make a mess of it and, choose wisely!! Wish me luck. Brigid

Siesta
Siesta

Hi again!

All the best with your travels, I am sure its going to be a very good experience.

Do let me know if I can help with anything!
Daniel

PS: there is no need to get a visa in advance for Irish passport holders.

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