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Itinerary feasibility?

about 2 years ago
2 responses

We're visiting Japan in February for our honeymoon and just wanted to check whether our itinerary is feasible? We're cramming in as much as possible...

7 FEB - Arrive HND at 5:30am. Trade in our Rail Pass at the airport for use on Monorail and Yamanote Line etc to get to hotel. Visit Odaiba Island.
8 FEB - Flight to New Chitose in morning. Train to Sapporo Snow Festival.
9 FEB - Visit Lake Shikotsu Hyoto Festival (is there any transport out there we can use our JR Pass for? Buses etc?). Train to Otaru in evening. Return train to Sapporo.
10 FEB - Flight back to Tokyo. Arrive 9:40am. Go straight to Tokyo Station to catch train to Nagano and visit the Jigokudani Monkey Park (there is a 10:51am train which arrives at 12:30pm I think). Return to Tokyo on train in evening. Would this timetable be too tight? This is our preferred day to go there as hopefully it won't be as crowded as it would be in the weekend.
11 FEB - Visit Meiji Shrine with a local friend. This is National Foundation Day - will anything be open?
12 FEB - Visit Ghibli Museum.
13 FEB - Visit Sensoji Temple and the Skytree.
14 FEB - Free day - maybe visit Yokohama or Nikko. Any recommendations?
15 FEB - Day at Disney park
16 FEB - Day at other Disney park
17 FEB - Flight to Nagasaki in morning. Any recommendations on things to see during the day? We'll be looking round the Lantern Festival at night.
18 FEB - Leave first thing in the morning to take the train to Hiroshima. Explore Miyajima all afternoon.
19 FEB - Visit Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum in the morning. Train to Kyoto. Explore Monkey Park Iwatayama and Arashiyama Bamboo Groves in the afternoon. Possibly Tenryu-ji Temple and Kinkaku-ji on the way back to Kyoto if time.
20 FEB - Kyoto Imperial Palace tour booked for morning. Visit Nijo Castle, Kodaiji Temple, Higashiyama and Kiyomizudera in afternoon. Look around Gion in the evening.
21 FEB - Train to Himeji Castle in morning. Train to Osaka to visit the Kaiyukan Aquarium in the afternoon and the Umeda Sky Building and Dotonbori at night. Train back to Kyoto.
22 FEB - Free day in Osaka or Kyoto. Any recommendations?
23 FEB - Train to Nara to visit Todaiji Temple and Nara Park in the morning. Train back to Kyoto. Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine in the afternoon/evening.
24 FEB - Train to Nagoya. Visit Satsuki and Mei's House in the afternoon. Visit the Nabana No Sato Illuminations at night (again, is there any transport out there we can use our JR Pass for? Buses etc?).
25 FEB - Visit Toyota Museum. Any other recommendations for sites around Nagoya?
26 FEB - Train back to Tokyo. Debating whether to spend the day in Hakone on the way or just spend the day in Tokyo. Any advice? How could we get around Hakone with a JR Pass?
27 FEB - Train to Zao Fox Village. Train back to Tokyo.
28 FEB - Day in Tokyo. Fly out of HND at 10:30pm.

We used the Hyperdia site and it seems like that the 21 day JR pass costs a wee bit more than regular tickets just for traveling between the cities. Will the particular activities/attractions we'll be traveling to each day justify a pass of this duration? Can we use this pass for any local bus services in Kyoto etc?

Are we biting off more than we can chew on any of these days? Things look a lot closer together on a map!

Thanks for any help! Very excited!

12232 posts
about 2 years ago
Expert button 2

Hi there,

That does indeed look like a very busy itinerary. There's a lot in here, so let's start with a bit of general advise. Doing all the travel you plan to do is possible but keep in mind that you will do a lot and I mean a lot of travel! For me this would be too much but it may not be too much for you.

In Hokkaido, the JR Pass covers all train lines but buses are not included. Travel to Shikotsu Hyoto Festival seems to be by bus only, so you'll need a normal ticket here.

Then once you arrive back in Tokyo, I would advise against making the trip to Nagano and Jigokudani in one day. Maybe if you stay the night in Nagano and travel back the following morning but otherwise I think it is impossible with too much travel time involved. Most big stores will be open during National Foundation Day but smaller ones may be closed, especially outside of Tokyo. As a day trip from Tokyo, I would visit Nikko. This is by far my own personal preference, as there is so much to see and do. Also the local temple complexes are very impressive.

In Nagasaki, I would plan a visit to Mount Inasa and also Dejima.

In Kyoto, you could also visit Kibune and Kurama. These are all in the north of Kyoto but are some of the best places to visit and don't see that many tourists.

For Nabana No Sato, sadly there is no JR transport from Nagoya station.

As for the validity of the JR Pass, it is valid on all JR lines nationwide, local buses run by JR and several other options. Such as the Tokyo Monorail and Ferry to Miyajima. Other transport such as the Tokyo Metro, Kyoto bus and travel within the Hakone region is not covered by the JR Pass.

Hope this helps,

2 posts
about 2 years ago

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so much for the advice! We are a little wary about the fact that it's quite a lot of travel but if it's possible then we want to see it all - so we'll give it our best shot and if some things fall by the wayside it won't be a big deal. We'll definitely be rejigging our Jigokundani plans though.
Thanks also for all the recommendations. Nikko sounds amazing and it looks like the Mt Inasa Ropeway starts up again just in time for our visit. Must be fate!
Cheers again - your advice is really, really helpful :)

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