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21 or 22 days in Japan in 2016

almost 3 years ago
6 responses

Hi everyone :-)

Some time ago I already posted our itinerary for deciding if we should use a 14 or 21 days JR Pass (we use now a 21 days pass). Here our itinerary again:

  1. Arrive in Narita / Tokyo
  2. Tokyo
  3. Tokyo
  4. Tokyo
  5. Tokyo
  6. To Kyoto or Osaka in the morning
  7. Kyoto / Osaka
  8. Kyoto / Osaka
  9. Kyoto / Osaka
  10. Kyoto / Osaka
  11. Kyoto / Osaka
  12. Kyoto oder Osaka / to Hiroshima
  13. Hiroshima
  14. Hiroshima / around midday to Himeji / late afternoon to Nagoya
  15. Nagoya
  16. To Takayama in the morning / Takayama
  17. Takayama
  18. Takayama / to Kanazawa / Kanazawa
  19. Kanazawa / in the evening to Tokyo
  20. Tokyo
  21. Tokyo
    prob. 22. Tokyo

We also do some side trips (for example from Tokyo to Hakone, Nikko..., from Kyoto/Osaka to Nara, Kobe..., from Hiroshima to Miyajima, Takyama to Shirakawa-Go).

We will travel to Japan on 23th or 24th March and return to Switzerland on 14th or 15th April.

Is this itinerary good? And is this itinerary ok for cherry blossom? Have you some more good tips?

Thank you :-)

12223 posts
almost 3 years ago
Expert button 2

Hello there,

I guess this will be for next year, as it is already the 29th of March. Just got a bit confused there by the dates. The JR Pass will work very well here and you can make great savings, especially with the added in day trips.

The Cherry blossom has started the last couple of years near the end of March in Kyoto and Tokyo, so you may be right in time next year. Of course it is somewhat weather dependent.

Also love the idea of adding in Kanazawa and Takayama. You could travel from Takayama to Kanazawa Shirakawa-go, which is a very picturesque traditional mountain village in the Japanese Alps. Shirakawago is reached by bus and although the bus is not covered by the JR Pass, it is a very worthwhile trip to make.

Also you could spend 1-2 days less in Kyoto/Osaka and stay a night at Naoshima Island. It's Art, Beach, Nature and Freedom all on one small island and well recommended.

All looks great!

6 posts
almost 3 years ago

Thank you a lot for your reply and your help :-) Yes I will travel to Japan with my brother next year and I'm really looking forward to it :-)

1318 posts
almost 3 years ago

You will make the 21 day pass pay off with your plans, although you could further enhance it with a few nice side trips.
Since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip Osaka during the day. But 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.
There are many nearby sights for you to enjoy, including Nara, Koyasan, Hikone, and Kobe.
Likewise, six days in Tokyo is way more than plenty. Take a few good day trips to Nikko, Kamakura/Enoshima, Hakone or the Fuji 5 Lakes Area.
Lastly if you stay in Japan longer, you won't be able to use the pass to get to/from Narita, but there are cheap buses cheap buses to use for that as well.

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