questions & answers: itinerary check

itinerary check august 2013 - 08/09/13 - 21/09/13

Itinerary check August 2013 - 08/09/13 - 21/09/13

Hello, I'm planning my first trip to Japan. It will be during august 2013. Since I hear that it's the main vacation season for japanese I would like to ask some general question before going over my interary:

Will I have a difficulty finding lodging/reserve train tickets during the period I'm staying (due to vacationi season)?
Are the annual festivals held at the same date every year or do they change? I would not go to Tokushima if the Awa Odori was not held then. How long before in time do they announce the next date?

So here's my plan for the trip. I'm mostly concerned about is the time I set for the destinations enough time? I usually am horrible at judging these kind of things.

1 - 2. Tokyo
3. Himeji and Arrive in Hiroshima in the night
4. Hiroshima and Miyajima
5. Tokushima (Mainly because I saw that it'd be when Awa Odori would take place)
6-7. Mt. Koyasan (Temple Lodging) (what would be the best way to get to Mt. Koyasan?)
8. Nara
9-12. Kyoto
13-14. Tokyo

I read some other people itinerary's and I'd like to add Hakone and Kinosaki to the places to visit, but I'm very insecure in how to fit them into my itinerary.

Any helpful tips and advice would be welcomed.
Thank you.


Hi there,

August can be a little bit more busy to travel in due to school holidays and more foreign people that are traveling, during the Obon holidays it is recommanded to reserve your seats in advance. Being limited by official school holidays myself I have traveled a lot during August and never found it hard to get train tickets or seats outside of the Obon season.

I have found that in Japan dates are pretty much set into stone. Due to work and maybe tradition as well. The same for Awa Odori in Tokushima. Which is held from 12-15 August every year.

Looking at your itinerary I you planned it well! You will see a lot for sure.
If you really want to see Kinosaki, you could plan it as a day trip from Kyoto and is covered by the JR Pass, keep in mind that the journey time is about 3 hours.

To mount Koya there are a couple of possibilities. The best way from Tokushima is to travel to Osaka and from there take Nankai limited express to Gokurakubashi. The JR pass does not cover the last leg between Osaka and Gokurakubashi, this costs about 1600Yen.

Looking at it all I think you will have a great trip! If you can't see everything you want (such as Hakone and Fuji) you can always plan a second trip!

Hope it helps.

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Thank you for your fast reply.
I've probably set most of the dates on stone. So now it's just to find places to stay that are close to the railway stations. :)

I'm quite worried about travelling during high season. Many things seems uncertain. From hotel bookings (I've looked at some sites that jrpass recommends, but according to those databases they're all fully booked, and it's not even january yet!) to train reservations. If I can't find any hotels, hopefully the youth hostels aren't too busy. Worst case scenario, I'll just find an internet cafe to sleep at. I come fully equipped with ear plugs and eye mask!

I've read many of your and mari's responses to these questions. Thank you for helping me and others find their answers.


Hi Mondo,

Don't worry about hotel reservations at this point, most hotels will only put their availability up 6 months in advance so right now they simply don't show up! If you really want to make a reservation now I would contact the hotel directly, although booking websites usually offer a better price. Hostels in Japan are great too! Will you be traveling alone? Depending on your age I would certainly recommend a hostel if you do. I have found that offers a great selection of hostels in Japan also offers a good oversight of official YHO hostels.

If you have to, an internet cafe ain't a bad option for a night, I have done so myself many times when I traveled and arrived by late train, I kinda enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and free drinks.

Again don't worry too much about it. At many places a tourist information can be found and if you don't have a room reserved yet, they will keep calling hotels for you until you do! It is a wonderful country!


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