questions & answers: itinerary check

october itinerary - a bit too fast paced?

October Itinerary - a bit too fast paced?

We're travelling to Japan in October (for 2 weeks of a 3 week holiday) and I've come up with the following itinerary (not ideal) but there's a bit of a method to the madness. I spent some time (2 years) in Japan some years ago but my partner has never visited and so I am trying to combine an introductory trip with seeing a couple of friends and retracing some steps. We plan to get the 14 day rail JR pass given our current plans as I don't think it would work otherwise - not sure if this too ambitious though

Day 1 - Arrival Haneda around 7am - head directly to Nagano ( I used to live here)
Day 2 - visit Zenkoji and take a quick trip to Matsumoto to see Matsumoto Castle - stay 2nd night in Nagano
Day 3 - travel down to Kyoto (via Nagoya)
Day 4 - 6 Kyoto (visit sites in Kyoto area with including day trip to Nara and Kobe (quick visit with Japanese friend)
Day 7 - Head to Miyajima/Hiroshima via Himeji - spend night in Miyajima/Hiroshima
Day 8 - 9 - Head to Fukuoka - (meet another friend in the area and this is my favourite Japanese city - might squeeze in a trip to Nagasaki (never been) )
Day 10 - Head to Takayama ( spend night)
Day 11 - Head to Tokyo for 3 nights
Day 14 - We fly out of Haneda just after midnight

Is this all a bit too mad?

Thank you,



Hi Andy,

I think the trip works out well for the most part, it is actually an itinerary take looks like one I would travel. There are a couple of points here that come to mind. The first is more a suggestion, coming from Nagano why not take the brand new Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kanazawa, make a stop there and travel from there using the Thunderbird express to Kyoto. Kanazawa is an amazing stopover and one I can't recommend enough. This is also a bit related to the 2nd point, traveling Fukuoka - Takayama is a long trip and you won't have much time to look around if you travel on the next day to Tokyo. Possibly you could visit Kanazawa instead or alternatively, I would recommend a stop over directly or close to the Shinkansen to Tokyo. Such as Hakone, Shizuoka or even Osaka.

Also, Nagasaki is a really nice visit but I am afraid you may not have time to see much of Fukuoka if you visit it. That is a shame in itself. I guess that is just a choice to make.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your response. You found the weakest link in my itinerary as I wasn't convinced myself with the stop in Takayama because of the length of trip and the time we planned to stay there. I like your suggestion to visit Kanazawa instead and as I've never been there, it will be a new experience for me on the trip.
In that case, once we leave Fukuoka, we'll head straight to Tokyo.

I know what you about Nagasaki - I think we'll make the call when we're there but Nagasaki might just have to wait until the next trip as I do plan on visiting again after this trip.

Thanks again for your help!

Best regards,


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