questions & answers: itinerary check

japan adventure

Japan Adventure

Hi Daniel,

Hope your well.

Me and my wife were booked to Japan on February 2, 2016 up to February 9, 2016. We’ll be arriving at Chubu Centrair International Airport in Nagoya around 8:30pm. At this early stage I am planning our 6N&7D Itinerary (just to avoid wrong planning). I believe the 7 day JR Pass is worth it if I we will purchase it rather than have a single purchase every time we will go from one place to another (please advise us if this is worth it).

Kindly check our itinerary & advise if it’s doable?

Day 1: Manila – Nagoya (15:20 – 20:30) probably we can go out by max. of 21:30.
• How can we activate the JR Pass? & where?
- We plan stay in Nagoya city proper to stay the overnight. Or shoud we go directly to Himeji? (1 night only).

Day 2: We plan to go to Himeji, Kobe & Nara (could you give us tourist attractions on these areas? Which accommodation can you refer for our stay?)

Day 3: We plan for Osaka & Kyoto. (Please give us some areas we can visit & accommodation we can stay)

Day 4: Takayama & Tokyo: (We want to stay the night in Tokyo, coz I have relative in Yokohama, and we want to go to Mt. Fuji.

Day 5: We want to travel in Hokkaido, Sapporo. My friend said that during February Snow Festival are celebrating in that area & we want to experience snow. :)

Day 6 & 7: still in Hokkaido.

Day 7: We have to go back to Nagoya departure will be around 9:30pm (please let us know what time should we leave Hokkaido, so we will not be late in our flight going back to Manila.

Here are some challenges we might face in our visit.
- Not all means of transportation are allowed with the JR Pass, are all the areas I mentioned above are accessible by the JR Pass we will be procuring? I believe there are some trains we cannot ride using JR Pass. - What are the timings of the JR Pass & up until when the JR Pass is open? Is it 24/7? - Please advise if the sequence of our itinerary is fine or we’ll have to do it the other way around? - It is our first time in Japan, our worries are that trains might leave us & the itinerary we set might adjust.

Please help us. As I read some queries in this page. I am impress with your answer Daniel, because you are not just giving JR Pass information but you are also giving some tips & knowledgeable information to make Japan tour worth it & memorable.

With regards to food, we love Japanese foods, i.e sushi, maki, tempura & takoyaki. I believe we can buy it anywhere in the streets of Japan. We also love Ramen! :)

I look forward of receiving feedback & more information from you. Thank you in advance.

BR

Sean

seanhm
seanhm

Hi Sean,

I can see that you are eager to visit Japan. Planning is half the fun! I checked your itinerary and most seems doable but the one thing you should sort out first is visiting Hokkaido. Going from Nagoya - Sapporo by rail takes a good 12 hours for one way. It's a shame to spend so much time on the train when you only have 7 days in Japan. I could imagine doing it one way if you are a rail fan and enjoy riding trains but otherwise it is better to look at domestic flights but even then it will add a good amount of travel time. At the same time, it may be worth it to visit to Sapporo Snow Festival (Yuki Matsuri).

As for some tips in general. Public transport (including JR) stops service at midnight and resumes the following morning around 6 o'clock. This is important to keep in mind when planning your itinerary.

Now let's have a look at your itinerary in more details. Starting in Nagoya. I would stay the first night in Nagoya, as your plane could be delayed and this could mean missing the last train to Himeji, it is much more secure to travel on the following morning. You could then visit Himeji and track back to Kyoto/Osaka on the same day, the bullet trains are very fast. In Himeji you will certainly want to see the castle.

For tips on Kyoto, see this page.

For tips on Nara, see our blog post.

Then on to Takayama, I am afraid that there simply is not enough time to travel to Takayama, do sightseeing and travel on to Tokyo on the same day. I would really recommend staying at least one night there.

I can tell you if a JR Pass will be useful once you have finished your itinerary. If you would leave out Hokkaido, then Hiroshima makes for a great alternative. There's much of historical value to be found and Miyajima is not to be missed for any itinerary. The local Ramen to Okonomiyaki are also amazing. You can combine it with a visit to the closeby Onomichi and try the local ramen style there too.

Hope this helps and let me know what you think,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
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Dear Daniel,

Thanks for the advise. However, we also want to experience snow not only snow blanket but snow fall. :) Can you suggest places which near to the places i mentioned that i can include in our itinerary?

seanhm
seanhm

Hi again.

A good website to start at is www.snowjapan.com it basically has all the information you want.

I must say that the Snow Festival in Sapporo is amazing, so it may be worth it to look at domestic flights just to see it.

Alternatively you could head to the Japanese Alps, or Nagano and enjoy the snow there. A popular resort is Hakone, not too far from Nagano city.

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Daniel-san
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