questions & answers: itinerary check

itinerary 1 month

Itinerary 1 month

Hello, I have been planning my itinerary for the last two weeks but there are so many interesting places that I'm not sure I can do all of them. I have planned the following itinerary:

20th July- Arrival at Osaka
21st- Osaka
22nd- 1st day of JRPass- Ise Shima and sleep in Nagoya
23rd- Takayama and Shirakawa-go. Sleep in Kanazawa
24th- Toyama-Kurobe alpine route. Sleep in Matsumoto
25th- Nagano and Yamanouchi. Train to Fuji
26th- Fuji- Hakone. Sleep in Tokyo
27-28th- Tokyo
29th- Day trip to Nikko
30th- Day trip to Kamakura and flight to Sapporo
31- Daisetsuzan NP
1st August- Shiretoko NP
2nd- Shiretoko NP and train to Wakkanai
3rd- Rebun and Rishiri Islands and flight to Kobe at night
4th- Kobe and Kyoto
5th- Kyoto
6th- Stop at Himeji and visit to Naoshima
7th- Takamatsu and Iso Valley. Sleep at Matsuyama.
8th- Miyajima, sleep at Hiroshima
9th- Hiroshima, sleep at Fukuoka
10th- Nagasaki
11th- Aso and Beppu late train to Kagoshima (end of JRPass).
12-13th- Yakushima
14th- Flight or train to Osaka (cheapest option?)
15th- Day trip to Nara
16th- Day trip to Mount Koya
17th- Last day at Osaka or Kyoto.

What do you think?
Any advice?

Thank you, it's my first time in Japan and I'm travelling on my own.


Days 4th and 5th of August I decide to postpone them after I go up from Yakushima so I don't need to pay for that long Shinkasen from Kagoshima. Then I will visit Osaka and Kyoto without the JRPass.


Good evening,

I really like your itinerary and I can see that you are planning with a lot of enthusiasm. At the same time however I am a little worried that you are doing too much in the allotted time. For instance both Takayama and Shirakawago on the same day may prove to be a problem. Most people spend 2 nights in Takayama and visit Shirakawago as a day trip. The bus trip alone from Takayama - Kanazawa with a stop at Shirakawago takes 5 hours. The same is true for Rebun and Rishirin. I assume you will travel there by ferry but you will need at least a day to some some of each island respectively. I visited them some years ago and write from experience.

As for traveling from Kagoshima, it's a smart move to postpone your visit to Kyoto etc so you can get your long distance travel with the JR Pass.

As for my advice, all places you plan to visit are really great but take your time to visit them and don't make it a rush job. This way you can enjoy everything much more even if you see a little less.

Let me know if I can help with anything in particular.

Expert button 2

Thank you so much Daniel, but it's so difficult to remove any of the stops from my list.
I may have to skip Shirakawa-go and one of the islands (Rebun or Rishiri).
Do you see any other difficulties? I trust in your experience as I couldn't imagine that the short trip between Takayama-Shirakawa-go could take 5 hours...
Thank you in advance!


Hi Jorge,

Yes I understand, it is always hard to make changed once planned.
What I meant to write about going to Shirakawa-go and on to Kanazawa is that the whole trip Takayama - Shirakawago - Kanazawa will take up 5 hours of your time. Giving you not a lot of time to look around in either Shirakawago and Takayama. Sorry if this way not clear, of course you can always stay in one of the farmhouses there.

For the rest I checked travel times for the rest of your plans, it is technically all possible but I have one last concern.

Which is the travel time for the following route: Augest 2nd from Shiretoko to Wakkanai, train travel from Shiretoko (Shiretoko-shari station) to Wakkanai takes over 600 minutes or 10 hours! This means you will spend most of your day in the train and may be a little too much for most people.

I hope this helps,

PS: If you can, stay the night at Koya-san. It makes for a much better experience than just a day trip.

Expert button 2

Wow Daniel, I feel like I owe you a beer hahaha.
Thanks for all the info, finally I'm going to rent a car for 3-4 days in Hokkaido so I can make stops and sleep wherever I want without worrying about train times. It's a bit more expensive but I can sleep in the car and save money for the rent.
Thank you so much!


Haha well feel free to drink one on me when you are in Japan!

Hokkaido is great to explore by car but even better by moter cycle if you are confident enough.

Have a great trip!

Expert button 2

I have thought about it but I don't have a license to drive motorcycles bigger than 50cc which is a shame...


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