16 Days in Japan
Appreciate your help and comments on the following itinerary for our visit to Japan. Please advise if the sequence is appropriate and whether 7 of 14 days JR pass is necessary. If using 14 days JR pass, should I activate the pass on Day 2? Thanks.
Day 1: Morning Arrival at Chubu Centrair International Airport
Travel to Nagashima Spaland, Nabana no Sato; Overnight Nagoya
Day 2: Nagoya -Osaka
Day 3: Day Trip to Hiroshima; Overnight Osaka
Day 4: Universal Studio; Overnight Osaka
Day 5: Day Trip to Arashiyama; Overnight Osaka
Day 6: Day Trip to Kyoto; Overnight Osaka
Day 7: Day Trip to Nara; Overnight Osaka
Day 8: (Dec 5): Osaka - Takayama; Overnight Takayama
Day 9: (Dec 6) : Takayama - Shin Hokata, Shirakawago. Overnight Takayama
Day 10: Takayama - Kanazawa; Overnight Kanazawa
Day 11: Kanazawa - Tokyo; Overnight Tokyo
Day 12: Day Trip to Hakone; Overnight Tokyo
Day 13: Disneyland; Overnight Tokyo
Day 14: DisneySea; Overnight to Tokyo
Day 15: Tokyo;
Day 16: Tokyo - Home
Yes a 14 day pass for Days 2-15 makes sense. The JR Pass will not take you all the way to Hakone though, so look into getting a Hakone Free Pass.
For Hiroshima, don't miss Miyajima - in fact, it's worth 3/4 of your time there. For Arashiyama, you can take the JR train there from Kyoto Stn. The most written about place is the Togetsukyo Bridge, which is historical but looks like any other bridge with card and trucks rumbling over it. Keep going and see the Tenryuji Temple (the garden is best), and if you want, the Monkey Mountain. Don't miss the bamboo grove, and then move northwards to Jojakkoji and Gioji. Further along is a preserved old street and the 2 Nenbutsuji temples. The 2nd, the Otagi Nenbutsuji is the real treat though - you won't find a more whimsical and humourous temple in Kyoto. In Nara, the best sites are near Nara Park - the Todaiji Great Buddha is a must-see, but also feeding the deer and seeing Kofukuji and Kasuga Shrine. Plus close by are the Isuien and Yoshikien Gardens which are also worth seeing.
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 wonderful.
For Kanazawa, don't miss the Kenrokuen Garden which is widely regarded as the finest historical garden in Japan.
Thank you for your suggestions. Really appreciate them.
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