questions & answers: itinerary check

tokyo-hakone-kyoto-hiroshima?

Tokyo-Hakone-Kyoto-Hiroshima?

Hi there,

My wife and I are planning an exciting trip to Japan at the start of April (hopefully catching the end of the cherry blossom season) we will be away for 11 nights and fly in to Tokyo and out of Osaka.

We would like to spend the first 3 nights in Tokyo and then embark on our rail journey. We would like to incorporate somewhere with views of Fuji (hopefully) and an Onsen. We would also like to head down to Kyoto to spend a few nights and possibly a day trip to Nara. Additionally, we would like to visit Hiroshima before spending the final night in Osaka.

Do you think this itinerary is realistic and could be covered with a 7 day JR. pass?

We are also welcome to any other suggestions that would help us get the most from this trip. Is Takayama too far to incorporate in this trip too?

many thanks

Benjamin

Benjamin
Benjamin

Hello Benjamin,

Knowing what you would like will ensure that you get the most of your time in Japan. Looking at your wishes, it is certainly possible with a bit of good planning.

The 7 JR Pass will offer amazing value here as well. Think about this, a normal return ticket Tokyo - Kyoto alone is almost the price of a 7 day JR Pass. Amazing savings can be had, with all the additional travel added in. Normal tickets Kyoto - Hiroshima alone cost 20,000+yen without the JR Pass.

As for onsen visits, there are a couple of options that come to mind.

1.) Kurama Onsen located in the north of Kyoto, this would be the one most easily incorporated in your itinerary. The area is also very nice to hike trough and Kibune Templem, the closeby temple, is wonderful too.

2.) Kinosaki Onsen The name somewhat gives it away - this is a town dedicated to onsen. Best visited with a overnighter at one of the local Ryokan, this is one of the best places to enjoy an Onsen in Japan.

3.) Arima Onsen About 90 minutes from Kyoto and closely located to Kobe, this is one of the most famous onsen in the Kansai Area. Also well worth a visit, a great bonus is that can be accesed by rope way which connects to Mount Rokka, from where a view of the entire Kansai Region can be seen. Very romantic when night falls.

Takayama is also fantastic (Japan has too many great places), however I feel it may feel like a rush job if this we would try to put it in besides Kyoto, Nara, Onsen visit, Hiroshima and a stopover for Fuji.

Coming to Fuji, would advise a visit to Hakone. This area can be visited with the Shinkansen and is directly on the route between Tokyo - Kyoto, so you could visit before going to Kyoto or when returning to Tokyo. More on Hakone can be found here.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

Hope this helps,
Daniel

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Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Hi there,

Thank you so much for your reply. It was really helpful and we now feel we are getting an itinerary sorted. Like I said, we will be away for 11 nights and will use a 7 day JR pass. This is our intinary as it stands (at the moment!):

Day 1: arrive Tokyo Haneda
Day 2 Tokyo
Day 3: Tokyo
Day 4: Tokyo - day trip - perhaps to Nikko - not using JR. pass.
Day 5: Tokyo - Hakone (activate rail pass) - staying 1 night in Hakone
Day 6: Hakone - Kyoto
Day 7: Kyoto
Day 8: Kyoto
Day 9: Kyoto - perhaps a day trip to Nara??
Day 10: Kyoto - Hiroshima - stay 1 night in Hiroshima
Day 11: Hiroshima - Osaka - stay 1 night in Osaka
Day 12: Osaka - fly home.

How does this seem as an itinerary? Does it look about the right amount of time in the places and the day trips good choices?

Thanks once again!

Benjamin

Benjamin
Benjamin

Hi again!

That looks great! I love both the visit to Nikko (do include it!) and Hiroshima! They both just add that bit extra to make your itinerary unforgettable.

You could swap Hakone and Nikko around, this would add a little more travel time but it would also allow you to make better savings with the JR Pass.

Hope this helps,
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thank you so much! Your help is so so appreciated!

One final (I promise!) question:

If we are trying to balance location and value, which areas of Tokyo would you recommend staying in? Last time, I seem to remember we stayed near Ueno.

Many thanks,

Benjamin

Benjamin
Benjamin

Hi again!

A lot of cheaper accommodation can be found in Asakusa, Shinagawa and also in the other wards.

Hope that helps :)
Daniel

72a8815842aa5db137c135807bd6bb11?s=50&d=mm
Daniel-san
Expert_button_2

Thanks! Great help! :)

Benjamin
Benjamin

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