questions & answers: itinerary check

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Visit Japan

Hi! Good morning. We are a family of 5, scheduled to arrive Narita on June 2 at 12nn and back to the Philippines on June 8, 2015. The places we want to visit are the ff: TOKYO , HAKONE, KYOTO and OSAKA. Please help us create our itinerary and means of transportation in going to those places. How many days would you recommend to stay for each place? if you have other places you would like to recommend for us to visit then we would highly appreciate it.

Thanks and we look forward for your assistance.

vilma
vilma

Hi,
Given that you have almost 7 full days, you are trying to see a lot of the country. You can cover many of the best places though, and a 7 day pass would work out perfectly, activated from Narita Airport for the Narita Express and able to take you by JR trains to Kyoto/Osaka and back to Narita.
As a suggested itinerary, you might try this:

Day 1 - See Tokyo
Day 2 - Day trip to Nikko
Day 3 - Go visit Kyoto til early afternoon, then spend half day in Nara Park
Day 4 - See Kyoto til early afternoon, then see Himeji Castle/Kokoen Gardens
Day 5 - See Kyoto during the day; see Osaka from the evening
Day 6 - Return and see Tokyo
Day 7 - See Tokyo if any time open; go back to Narita

The above is pretty packed but doable if you don't linger. The big 3 places in Kyoto are the Kinkakuji Temple, Kiyomizudera Temple, and the Fushimi Inari Shrine which is something people of all ages would love very much. There are also numerous places around all 3 of those to fill up your time. In Nara the area around Nara Park is the best with the Todaiji Great Buddha, deer feeding, Kofukuji Temple, Kasuga Shrine, and Isuien and Yoshikien Gardens. It takes very little time to get from one to the other.
Osaka is largely a clone of Tokyo but after the temples of Kyoto close down around 5 PM, you can zip over to Osaka for the evening. At night the city 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 terrific.
Himeji has Japan's finest castle and it's one of the originals - not a reconstruction. The many gardens next to it are also a delight for the senses and largely skipped by the tourist masses so they are not crowded. Nikko north of Tokyo is also a real gem of a place and not to be missed.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Thanks for reply, highly appreciate it.., What about Hakone? By the way, how much is the 7 day JR PAss?

vilma
vilma

Hi,
Well, given your length of trip, it's really up to you - if you prefer to see Hakone over Nikko, that is certainly up to you, and it is a very nice place as well. If you wish to purchase the Pass, it's currently listed as $239.00 and all the info in on the front page of this website.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Thanks again for your reply. I have few more questions:

1.) Can i use the 7day JR pass within TOkyo?

2.) Can i use Tokyo to Kyoto?

3.) What about Kyoto to Osaka?

4.) What about Kyoto to Nara?

Appreciate your reply..thanks

vilma
vilma

Hi,
Yes, within Tokyo you can use it on the JR Yamanote Line. It goes to many good tourist places. But you cannot use it on subways.
All the other routes are serviced by JR, so no problem.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Hi,

Please help us plan our trips in Kyoto and Osaka.. These are the places that we want to go and please advise us on how to go to these places and kindly give us a landmark please..

KYOTO:

Nijo Castle, Kinkajuji Temple, Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kitano-tenmangu Shrine will be visited instead if the palace is closed)

● Lunch plan: Japanese-style lunch, what restaurant can you recommend?

● Afternoon: Heian Jingu Shrine, Sanjusangendo, Kiyomizu Temple

OSAKA

Aerial Garden Observatory/Umeda District

● Lunch plan:

Afternoon: Osaka Castle

Appreciate your help.

Thanks

vilma
vilma

Hi,
I suggest you look at the info on each website for Kinkakuji, Nijo Castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Heian Shrine, Sanjusangendo, and Kiyomizu Temple. Please note that you need to make a prior reservation to see the Imperial Palace. You can sign up online.
Personally I usually don't advise wasting any time looking for a certain restaurant. You will find them everywhere, and the cleanliness and quality of all are extremely good. Just look for something that catches your eye when you get hungry. If you want a famous area, there is the Pontocho area, and many places prepare for international tourists by making some menus in English. It's also a famous spot in the evening to catch a glimpse of a geisha or maiko.

For Osaka, you can see a good preview of the Umeda Sky Bldg here, and more info here For Osaka Castle. I suggest though that you go up to see the city view just before sunset and watch the city change from day to night. It is quite an experience. Seeing Dotonbori, at night plus the night views from the Abeno Harukas Bldg are also wonderful.

Toraneko
Toraneko

Thank you very much for your assistance.

vilma
vilma

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