questions & answers: itinerary check

from seoul to tokyo

From seoul to tokyo

Hi all,

I''m flying from UK into Seoul and out of Tokyo a month later. I've come up this this plan, I think I only need the 14 day rail pass just want to check

  • if i do day trips out of Tokyo then would the 21 day pass be a better option?
  • anything anyone think i can change/add to the trip to make use of the pass better?
  • would flying out of Seoul and landing in Tokyo be better? i'm a bit concerned about a first timer to Japan (me) arriving in a port in a non tourist zone (Fukuoka) where I read there are no ATMs etc! like arriving at an airport.

thanks a lot! :)

day day of week place
1 Wednesday London fly seoul
2 Thursday Seoul arrive morning
3 Friday seoul
4 Saturday seoul
5 Sunday seoul
6 Monday seoul
7 Tuesday gyeongyu
8 Wednesday gyeongyu
9 Thursday busan
10 Friday busan
11 Saturday hiroshima (via ferry / Plane to Fukuoka) + train ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 1
12 Sunday hiroshima | day trip to Miyajima ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 2
13 Monday osaka ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 3
14 Tuesday osaka ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 4
15 Wednesday kyoto ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 5
16 Thursday kyoto ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 6
17 Friday kyoto | day trip to nara ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 7
18 Saturday kyoto | ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 8
19 Sunday kyoto ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 9
20 Monday kanazawa ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 10
21 Tuesday kanazawa ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 11
22 Wednesday takayama ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 12
23 Thursday takayama ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 13
24 Friday tokyo ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 14
25 Saturday tokyo
26 Sunday tokyo
27 Monday tokyo
28 Tuesday tokyo
29 Wednesday tokyo - fly london

cjr123
cjr123

Hi,
It looks like your itinerary comes up a bit short for the cost of a 14 day JR Pass. But if you for example went to Himeji on Day 4 instead of Osaka, that would cover it. Also your idea of a 21 day pass works well if you put in a day trip for example to Nikko and use the Pass for the Narita Express to go to the airport when you leave Japan.

But going back to your original plan - you need to check with the airline about which way is cheaper, if there is a difference at all in the air fare. More importantly, you will need proof of onward travel like a copy of your ticket when you get to the airport - otherwise when you get to London you will be denied boarding since it'll look like you're trying to fly on a one-way ticket - which you can't do without a visa to stay in the country.

Taking a ferry from Korea to Hiroshima would be very long and tiring. And what do you mean by Fukuoka as a "non tourist zone"? Fukuoka has a lot to see in tourism; in fact the whole island of Kyushu is loaded with some of Japan's most interesting places. There is also money exchange in the airport, and you can buy yen at a good exchange rate with your ATM card at any 7-11 or Japanese Post Office. For Fukuoka, the Nanzoin Temple is one of Japan's finest yet almost totally unknown to the outside world and completely FREE! There are many open parks, shopping, seaside historical areas, and urban neon. See this site as a good guide.

Good luck.

Toraneko
Toraneko

hi, thanks for your help and I apologise to people of Fukuoka for saying it is a "non tourist zone! :)

I came up with another possible plan using the rail pass I think more effectively based on the sample 14 day plan i found here:

http://www.jrpass.com/blogs/14-sample-itnerary-tokyo-kyoto-hiroshima-kyushu-and-osaka

day day of week place
1 Wednesday London fly seoul
2 Thursday Seoul arrive morning
3 Friday seoul
4 Saturday seoul
5 Sunday seoul
6 Monday seoul
7 Tuesday gyeongyu
8 Wednesday gyeongyu
9 Thursday busan
10 Friday busan
11 Saturday hiroshima (via ferry / Plane to Fukuoka) + train
12 Sunday Fukuoka | Nanzion Temple
13 Monday Nagasaki ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 1
14 Tuesday Nagasaki ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 2
15 Wednesday Aso | Kumamoto ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 3
16 Thursday Yufuin ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 4
17 Friday Himenji Castle | Hiroshima ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 5
18 Saturday Hiroshima | Miyajima ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 6
19 Sunday Osaka ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 7
20 Monday Osaka ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 8
21 Tuesday Kyoto ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 9
22 Wednesday Kyoto ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 10
23 Thursday Kyoto | Nara ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 11
24 Friday tokyo | local travel ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 12
25 Saturday tokyo | Nikko ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 13
26 Sunday tokyo | yokohama ? ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 14
27 Monday tokyo
28 Tuesday tokyo
29 Wednesday tokyo - fly london

based on this plan I think 14 day pass is better than 21? I have to buy the pass today so will go with 14 days I think,.

cjr123
cjr123

sorry made a mistake with day 11, should be like this below, in any case i think 14 day pass is best.

day day of week place
1 Wednesday London fly seoul
2 Thursday Seoul arrive morning
3 Friday seoul
4 Saturday seoul
5 Sunday seoul
6 Monday seoul
7 Tuesday gyeongyu
8 Wednesday gyeongyu
9 Thursday busan
10 Friday busan
11 Saturday Fukuoka | Nanzion Temple
12 Sunday Nagasaki ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 1
13 Monday Nagasaki ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 2
14 Tuesday Aso | Kumamoto ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 3
15 Wednesday Yufuin ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 4
16 Thursday Himenji Castle | Hiroshima ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 5
17 Friday Hiroshima | Miyajima ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 6
18 Saturday Osaka ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 7
19 Sunday Osaka ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 8
20 Monday Kyoto ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 9
21 Tuesday Kyoto ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 10
22 Wednesday Kyoto | Nara ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 11
23 Thursday tokyo ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 12
24 Friday tokyo | Nikko ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 13
25 Saturday tokyo | yokohama ? ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 14
26 Sunday tokyo
27 Monday tokyo
28 Tuesday tokyo
29 Wednesday tokyo - fly london

cjr123
cjr123

Hi,
Well I think the plan looks a lot better. Nagasaki is the most interesting city on the island and worth a couple of days. Gunkanjima would take up 3 hours but it will be something you will never forget for the rest of your life. Like going to Chernobyl without the radiation. Be sure to see Mt. Inasa at night if the weather is clear, and try the Nagasaki chanpon and saraudon! Also the Koshibyo Temple is an often overlooked jewel that is quite unique in Japan.

Kumamoto is famous for its castle, Suizenji Garden (a must-see), Mt. Aso and Kurokawa hot springs. But beware - Mt. Aso has been closed for a while due to higher poisonous gas emissions. You may not be able to get to see the crater at all.

Yufuin is nice as a quiet, tranquil hot spring area. Although if you wanted more to see and do, there is nearby Beppu. For your Day 25, Yokohama has some great spots, but you also might like Kamakura/Enoshima.

It looks like you will have a lot of adventure on your upcoming trip.

Best of luck!

Toraneko
Toraneko

hi. thanks so much for your help. I have now finished my trip, below is the trip I ended up doing. I worked out I ended up saving 24,670 Yen using the japan rail pass! :) (71,060 spent vs 46,390 for the pass) , all in all I had a great trip and would recommend the rail pass to everyone doing something similar

some comments:

  • I ended up flying from Busan to Fukuoka, the ferry website was a mess and not in English, and couldn't select 2015 for the year, other websites such as Aferry needed days notice. so I gave up and flew for even less cost.

  • Fukuoka was great, I went to Nanzoin temple as you suggested and it was brilliant, peaceful and away from tourists yet so impressive and easy to get to.

  • Nagasaki was a cool place, I went to Gunkanjima as you suggested and it was amazing, I recommend it to everyone! the tour is in Japanese but they hand out English information

  • Kagoshima has a tourist loop bus which makes life easy. I got the ferry across to see Sakurajima Volcano, and then loop bus around the island. you can watch it blowing smoke which is cool and then take the tourist bus in the city itself to top of hill to get view across city with Volcano in background

  • Miyajima is stunning and a highlight for me, I used the rail pass to take the ferry across. Take 2 cable cars all the way up to the top for stunning view, allocate plenty of time.. Sunny day helps.

  • I stopped at Himeji castle on the way to Osaka from Hiroshima, left my bag in the locker there and the castle was definitely worth seeing

  • Osaka has great nightlife, plan to be there for weekends. The metro is busy place, be aware that some stations can have up to 38 exits!

  • Kanazawa was another highlight, Kenrokuen garden there is worth the trip alone and was the best garden I saw, I actually went there twice it was that good! also you can tour the 'Ninja' temple there which is in Japanese but they give an English handout explaining it all, need to book in advance but they can do that for you on the day at the tourist info in the train station, take the tour bus that loops around the city to make life easy.

  • Kyoto has lots to see and famous of course, red gates - I walked the entire thing in a loop in about an hour, then go to golden pavillion, about 30 mins needed there so small. bamboo forest - another 30 mins, quite small

  • Tokyo, nightlife good but trains stop at midnight and no bus options, I ended up waiting for first train at 5.05am one night. skytree overrated and so busy but do it if you are bored, fasttrack 'tourist' pass costs 2820 which is a rip-off but its either that or wait all day. I went up government building for free view and it was just as good really and no queue. Did a daytrip to Kamakura, lots to see there but spaced out a bit, I walked all over to buddha, temples, beach.

  • Pack light! you can find washing machines / dryer coin machines at almost every hostel/hostel that can wash and dry your clothes in about an hour, for about 300 YEN washing 100 YEN drying. I took a small carry on backpack with about 4 changes of clothes, trust me when you are jostling around on the Osaka metro going up and down stairs you will wish you packed light.

  • Accommodation can get very busy,most people book their entire trip in advance I learnt, I was doing mine 'on the fly' with 2-3 days notice and struggled to get into some good hostels which were booked out, but a tip, keep looking 2-3 days before as a lot of people cancel and new accomodation options open up all the time, I used both booking.com and hostelworlda and did end up staying in some great places.

  • I was actually surprised that every popular temple/shrine/garden/castle in Japan has about 50000 Japanese school children running around in groups. its not a peaceful place in a lot of these tourist zones, and this is especially true in Kyoto, you will be lucky to get a photo without anyone in it, bring a lot of patience to these places.

day place Rail cost
1 London fly seoul
2 Seoul arrive morning
3 seoul
4 seoul
5 seoul
6 busan
7 busan
8 busan
9 fukuoka
10 fukuoka
11 nagasaki 4,700 ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 1
12 nagasaki ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 2
13 kagoshima 13,590 ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 3
14 kagoshima ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 4
15 hiroshima 17,880 ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 5
16 hiroshima | miyajima 410 ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 6
17 osaka 10,440 ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 7
18 osaka ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 8
19 kyoto 3,020 ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 9
20 kyoto ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 10
21 kyoto ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 11
22 kanazawa 6,900 ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 12
23 kanazawa ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 13
24 tokyo 14,120 ACTIVE JAPAN RAIL PASS DAY 14
25 tokyo
26 tokyo
27 tokyo
28 tokyo
29 tokyo

cjr123
cjr123

Hi,
Glad to hear you had a great trip, saved a lot of money, and got to visit some fantastic places you ordinarily would have missed. Hopefully someday you can go back and see a lot more good places - and there is certainly no shortage of them, even in the areas that you traveled.
In Fukuoka, the Yusentei Garden is a beautiful and rarely visited gem, and Nokonoshima offers great exploring and a nice flower park. The sunset at Odo Park is also wonderful.

You might go see the Akiyoshido Limestone Cave in Yamaguchi, a 300 million year old marvel with huge caverns and an underground river flowing through. It's a bit harder to get to, but it's the best in Japan and one of the biggest in Asia that's open to the public. Also in Yamaguchi is Iwakuni with its iconic bridge and mountaintop castle. Further north is Onomichi with its temple tour and one of Japan's most ornate temples, Kosanji. Okayama is also an often overlooked place, with its castle, plus Korakuen and Handayama Gardens. It's also easy to get over to Kotohira in Kagawa to see the magnificent Konpirasan Shrine where the journey up is the real treat and the shrine and views from on top and just icing on the cake.

At night Osaka comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg, and Abeno Harukas Bldg are gorgeous.

Well, start saving up, and hope you can make it back some day!

Toraneko
Toraneko

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