questions & answers: itinerary check

heading to japan next week - advice needed!

Heading to Japan next week - advice needed!


A friend and I have booked a last minute trip to Japan and China starting on the 17th of December.

Key dates:
- 17 Dec: land in Tokyo (evening) - 18 Dec - 20 Dec: ??? - 21 Dec - 26 Dec: China (from Osaka, returning to Osaka) - 27 Dec - 29 Dec: ??? - 30 Dec - 1 Jan: Tokyo for New Years - 2 Jan - 7 Jan: ??? - 8 Jan - 10 Jan: Tokyo (departing on the 10th)

I would greatly appreciate any advice on how best to spend the rest of our time in Japan. Given this is our fist visit to Japan, we would like to see:
- Mt. Fuji (from Kawaguchiko) - Osaka - Kyoto - Hiroshima & Miyajima - Nagano (if possible)

Please suggest some day trips that we can work into this itinerary too - we are happy to use Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto as bases to do day trips out of.

I was also wondering what the most practical JR Pass option would be. I'm thinking of the 21 day pass, given we will likely use it both before and after the China side trip.



Hello Ani,

This is quite an unusual trip in a way. What you could do is base yourself in Tokyo for the first part and explore the surrounding area. It would be easy to include, Fuji and Nagano as trips from Tokyo. Then on the send part stay in Kansai (Kyoto/Osaka) and also explore down south to Hiroshima and Miyajima.

I would decide on a plan and then see if you can use a JR Pass for it, right now everything is too open to say for sure what would work best.

If you have the time, I think it would also be nice to add a visit to Kanazawa and Takayama to this itinerary.

Also, let me know what you are interested in and I can give you some better recommendations.


Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your response. And agreed - it is quite unusual, hence we were not too sure as to how to structure it.

Based on your response, and a little bit of additional research, I have drafted the following itinerary:

Dec 17: arrive in Tokyo at 7pm
Dec 18: Tokyo
Dec 19: Tokyo
Dec 20: Tokyo [Mt. Fuji day trip – Kawaguchiko area]
Dec 21: Tokyo to Osaka // Osaka to Beijing (depart Osaka at 5:30pm)
Dec 22 - 26: China
Dec 27: Osaka
Dec 28: Osaka
Dec 29: Osaka to Hiroshima / Miyajima
Dec 30: Hiroshima to Tokyo
Dec 31: Tokyo
Jan 1: Tokyo
Jan 2: Tokyo to Kyoto
Jan 3: Kyoto
Jan 4: Kyoto [Himeji day trip]
Jan 5: Kyoto to Kanazawa
Jan 6: Kanazawa to Takayama
Jan 7: Takayama
Jan 8: Takayama to Tokyo
Jan 9: Tokyo [Nikko day trip]
Jan 10: Tokyo to Sydney (depart at 8:10pm)

Given the amount of travel, I think the 21 day rail pass might be best, and activating it on Dec 20. Keen to get your thoughts!

Finally, what is the best way to spend new years in Tokyo? Would it be at/around Shibuya?



Hello Ani,

I looked at your new itinerary and you could either consider a 14 or 21 day JR Pass. The price difference is minimal so either option would work.

Definately Shibuya, Tokyo Tower or maybe Harajuku. Disneyland has a big firework show as well and you'll find people celebrating all over the city. Though in a more held back manner than you may see in other countries.

Cheers to you too!


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