questions & answers: itinerary check

backpacking japan for 5-6 weeks. 3 week jrpass itinerary

Backpacking Japan for 5-6 weeks. 3 week JRPass itinerary

Hi, I will be landing at Narita on the 1st of March and will be backpacking for a yet undetermined length of time. I have already purchased a 3 week pass and was wondering if my travel will be all covered by the pass, as well for some suggestions as this is my first time traveling to Japan and I will be solo.

Land at Narita - Express to asakusa station or Tokyo station
Spend 5 days in Tokyo with day trips to Nikko, Kamakura, Yokohama, perhaps the fuji five lakes,
Tokyo to Ise, spend night in Nagoya.
Nagoya to Hakone and spend night in ryokan
Hakone to Kyoto with day trips to Nara, Kobe,
Kyoto to Osaka and spend the night
Osaka to Hiroshima, with day trip to Itsukushima, Nagasaki

I will eventually be leaving through Osaka International and heading to Seoul. What else should I do while here, I will be there long enough to consider getting another pass if there is more to see.

artdangle
artdangle

Hello there,

It's really nice, having such a good amount of time to enjoy Japan.

As for as I can see, all rail travel between the above places is covered by the JR Pass.

I'd recommend adding a bit more travel in Kyushu, for instance Beppu, Mount Aso, Kumamoto and Kagoshima are all wonderful places to visit and easy to add to your current itinerary.

You could also add in Shikoku If you have more time, it's a very laid back area of Japan and a nice change for the busy city life.

I can give you some more specific recommendations if you tell me what you like to see/do/visit.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

I'd really like to climb Mount Fuji. Will it be too cold to do so during the time I'll be there? I come from a very cold climate in Canada and am used to sub-zero temperatures. I'd also like to spend a night with the monks at Mount Kano.

I will have to do more research on the places you suggested, but I'd like to experience the tech, scenery, and culture. As i do build computers and am an amateur photographer. I'd also like to spend as much time possible mingling with the locals.

artdangle
artdangle

It's good you mentioned Nagasaki - otherwise you'd get sorely jipped for getting a 3 week pass. Even with it, you can and should add some cities to make it worth the cost.
It is very unclear though why you are going from Tokyo to Ise, then backtracking and wasting time going to Nagoya. Then backtracking again to go to Hakone. Unless you have some event there, see Hakone while you are in the Tokyo area, then Nagoya if you want to (I'd skip it - it's by far the most boring of all the big cities). But Takayama, Shirakawa-go and Kanazawa would be good additions.
Kyoto and Nara are the best of the historical and cultural Japan - well worth several days. But if you are seeing Tokyo you can largely omit Osaka in the day. That said, after seeing Kyoto or Nara it's easy to zip on over after the temples and shrines close around 5PM and enjoy the Osaka night life. Dotonbori is one of the best areas of the city at night, with great food and a lively atmosphere:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COJ_MeXbeow Also the night views from the Abeno Harukas and Umeda Sky Bldg are truly fantastic:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AyUZmGbW8g https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb1wuyAGgyQ In the Kansai area you also might want to see Himeji, Japan's best surviving castle, as well as Hikone. You also might like to see Miyama, about 30km north of Kyoto, for a taste of the old Japan:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3985.html On the way to Kyushu there are many good areas well worth staying a night.
Okayama has one of Japan's top 3 gardens, as well as the Handayama Botanical Garden - a truly hidden gem:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zAI3_N7NEM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGQ8o7k9GbA Kurashiki is off the beaten path for many western tourists, but offers a quieter old canal city. Onomichi in Hiroshima is another secret jewel with its mountainside temple tour, and one of the most fantastic temples that few ever venture to see: Kosanji, which is described as being like a Buddhist Disneyland:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97Q5EjEOXI8 Hiroshima & Miyajima are well known and very nice - each worth a day. Farther down is Iwakuni, with its iconic bridge and mountaintop castle - very famous but not very crowded:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0COOZXi66mM In the middle of Yamaguchi is the Akiyoshido cave and plateau - a 300 million limestone cave with huge caverns and is truly breathtaking (with your pass you can reach it by a JR bus).
Kokura Castle in Kitakyushu is a nice place to visit, as well as the Moji Retro district and stunning night view from atop Sayakurayama.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl1pCW9Ibbk For Fukuoka, there are many open parks, shopping, seaside historical areas, and urban neon. See this site as a good guide:
http://www.thejapanfaq.com/fukpic.html There are also many useful videos to give you a preview:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7LcPcmoSg-j4RLa6iC7ayvBAbOn8-028 Look into a Fukuoka Tourist City Pass also:
http://yokanavi.com/access_tourist_eg Be sure to see the Nanzoin temple only 20 minutes by train from Hakata Stn - one of Japan's best and almost totally unknown to the self-procliamed experts:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT4VQFmHFyM Kyushu has a lot more to offer - Nagasaki is the most interesting and varied city on the island. Beppu and Yufuin are both hot spring meccas, Kagoshima has its Sakurajima volcano to walk around which is extraordinary, and if you have the time, a stay on Yakushima is like nothing else in Japan.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4650.html

Toraneko
Toraneko

BTW - forget about climbing Fuji - climbing season is July-August.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi All,

That are some great suggestions Toraneko!

Fuji is open for climbing from 1 July to early September. So that is best left for your next trip to Japan^
All the details are HERE

Other recommendations I have are a visit to Akihabara in Tokyo and Den Den Town in Osaka. These are the local tech/computer/gadget havens and well worth a visit.

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Beppu was one of my favourite places in the whole of Japan! Wild onsens and the mud onsen... Amazing! Also Miyajima was another must visit places - seeing the floating Torii gate was on my bucket list.

Kllewell
Kllewell

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