questions & answers: itinerary check

12 days in japan - am i doing too much?

12 Days in Japan - Am I doing too much?


I am arriving in Japan on Monday 20th April I would be grateful if you could advise me on my current plan...yes I know it's not far away but it's been somewhat of a last minute idea!

I have purchased a 7 day JR Pass.

Day 01 - Land in Tokyo Narita (1030hrs) spend day/night in Tokyo.
Day 02 - Spend day/night in Tokyo.
Day 03 - First day of JR Pass. Catch a wednesday morning train from Ueno to Aomori, (Cherry blossom is forecast to bloom around this time)
Day 04 - Morning train from Aomori to Kyoto, spend day in Kyoto
Day 05 - Spend day in Nara
Day 06 - Spend day/night in Kyoto or Osaka
Day 07 - Spend day/night in Osaka
Day 08 - Morning train from Osaka to Hiroshima. Spend day/night in Hiroshima
Day 09 - Last day of JR Pass. Afternoon train from Hiroshima to Okayama. Spend day in Okayama. Catch overnight Sunrise sleeper train from Okayama to Tokyo.
Day 10 - Tokyo
Day 11 - Tokyo
Day 12 - Fly back to England

I'm slightly worried I'm trying to cram too many places in. Do you think it's too many? I'm quite an active person and I'm travelling alone.

Any advice is welcome.

Many Thanks



It is pretty packed in a few places, but doable. To go from Aomori to Kyoto though will take just over 6 hours - so it will eat up a lot of your day just to see cherry blossoms. Hirosaki is one popular place. A little more time in Kyoto would be well worth it also. Since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip Osaka during the day. After the temples of Kyoto close down around 5PM, 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 great.

If you are going to see Hiroshima as a day trip, start as early as you can and visit some of the best places (Peace Park/Museum, Shukkeien Garden, the castle) before heading over to Miyajima. Okayama has some good places, including its castle, plus one of Japan's Top 3 Gardens, Korakuen, plus another beautiful garden, Handayama.

If you like flowers, before returning home, in late April or early May the wisteria hit their peak, and one of the best places to see them are in the Ashikaga Flower Park - truly stunning - if you have a chance, they are well worth going to see.


Hi there,

Doing Aomori - Kyoto will mean spending a long long time on the train. It's certainly possible but be sure t check the route before going. You won't have much time (or energy) to explore Kyoto the same day.

Also, please note that the Sunrise express can be sold days, sometimes weeks beforehand. Try to make seat reservations as soon as you can, once you are in Japan.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Toraneko, Daniel - Thank you both for your advice.

Much appreciated!


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