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Around Japan in 5 weeks initiary

almost 4 years ago
2 responses

Hey there!

I've never been to Japan before and am now planning a longer trip there.

What I would like to know is:

  • Does my intiary look reasonable? What would you change?

  • When should I start my 21-days rail pass based on my plan?

  • Also what budget would I need for this trip?

I think that after paying the flight tickets I'll have around 6000 USD (619 591 yen). Maybe less, maybe more. But it should be around that sum.

Also my interests are japanese culture, architecture, nature, mythology and I'd like to see some picturesque small towns in Japan. That's why some places might seem odd to you.

My initiary:

Day 1: Tokyo
Day 2: Tokyo –
Day 3: Tokyo – Day trip to Nikko
Day 4: Tokyo – Day trip to Zao Fox Village
Day 5: Tokyo –
Day 6: Tokyo – Hakone
Day 7: Hakone – Kyoto
Day 8: Kyoto
Day 9: Kyoto – Day trip to Nara
Day 10: Kyoto – Day trip to Arashiyama.
Day 11: Kyoto
Day 12: Kyoto – Day trips to Kinosaki Onsen + Himeji
Day 13: Kyoto – Mount Koya (Stay overnight in a temple)
Day 14: Mount Koya – Okayama
Day 15: Okayama – Day trip to Kurashiki
Day 16: Okayama – Tomonoura
Day 17: Tomonoura
Day 18: Tomonoura – Hiroshima – Day trip to Miyajima island
Day 18: Hiroshima – Day trip to Okunoshima ”rabbit island”.
Day 19: Hiroshima – Fukuoka
Day 20: Fukuoka
Day 21: Fukuoka – Takachiho
Day 22: Takachiho
Day 23: Takachiho – Aso
Day 24: Aso
Day 25: Aso – Kurokawa Onsen
Day 26: Kurokawa Onsen – Yufuin
Day 27: Yufuin Floral Village + owls – Fukuoka
Day 28: Fukuoka – (Flight to Tokyo) – (train to Nagano)
Day 29: Nagano – Day trip to Jigokudani Yaekuen – Tokyo
Day 30: Tokyo – Takaragawa Onsen (Stay at a Ryokan the last days of my travels)
Day 31: Takaragawa Onsen
Day 32: Takaragawa Onsen
Day 33: Takaragawa Onsen – Tokyo
Day 34: Tokyo – Back home

If you've got tips on places to go and things to do, please do tell me!

Take care, and thanks in advance!


16610 posts
almost 4 years ago

Hi Sandra,

I really like this trip, makes me want to do something similar. Your budget should be no problem at all, I've done trips for less than 50USD/day excluding costs of the JR Pass. Japan is basically a country where you can make it as expensive as you like or do a budget trip. Accommodation will by far eat the most of your budget, so ask yourself what you need there. In Japan you can stay at a hostel in a dorm for 2000-2500yen/night business hotels start at around 3.500yen/nights. I've found these to be excellent in Japan and are great for meeting fellow travellers as well. If you want to try Ryokan and Minshuku, then the prices goes up and starts at around 6.000yen a night but breakfast is generally included. Same goes for food, you can have a full set meal at places like Sukiya and Yoshinoya for 500yen, which is fine for dinner, or go to the most expensive sushi place you'll ever see and pay 10.000yen+ per sushi!

For the JR Pass, you will be travelling a lot from Day 3 to day 33. There is both significant travel at the start of your trip and end. I think I would use the JR Pass from day 3 - day 23, possibly get a JR Kyushu pass and use local trains to Takawagawa Onsen in order to save on transport.

As a bit of general advice, I think your itinerary looks very good, there are a lot of high lights to visit. One thing I am not completely sure about is why you fly to Tokyo from Fukuoka and then use the train from there? You could use the JR Pass to travel all the way, or flight to Nagano (Matsumoto Airport). I am not really sure why you planned it like this?

About the Fox Village, I have not been there but read that the village is not like how it is described in popular blogs. More like a small place where they keep foxes in cages, you may want to read some reviews on trip advisor about it.

Hope this helps,

2 posts
almost 4 years ago

Hi! Thank you so much for your help!

I will probably live in backpacker hostels to save money most of the time, but spend maybe 3 or 4 nights at a Ryokan during the whole trip just for the experience of it. I'll try to eat cheap too, but still not fast food cheap. I still want to try some of the japanese delicacies.

But I guess there are small restaurants with genuine japanese food that doesn't cost too much?

Also!! Another question!
Should I make the trip backwards instead? Fly directly to Fukuoka etc.

16610 posts
almost 4 years ago

Hi again,

That sounds like a good balance between experiencing things and keeping a good budget. That said, the Japanese fast food is really good. You may not even consider it fast good, think of Ramen, Gyudon, Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Sushi and so on. You will find these at local restaurants and its viable to find a good meal for a around 1,000yen.

You could make the trip backwards but I don't see any advantage or disadvantage, have you considered taking the train from Fukuoka to Hakata instead of flying?

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