Some last itenerary doubts
As I am leaving to Japan coming Tuesday, I am having some minor final doubts on my itenerary, listed here:
29 Flight to Tokyo
30 Arrival in Tokyo - Get a JR Kanto Area Pass (can I activate this on a later date like the 3-WEEK JRPASS?)
07 Takayama _ACTIVATE 3-WEEK JRPASS when travelling to Takayama
17 Osaka / Koyasan
21 Hiroshima / Miyajima / Iwakuni
22 Fukuoka / Nanzo-in Temple
23 Fukuoka -> Okinawa
26 Okinawa -> Fukuoka -> Train(s) from Fukuoka to Tokyo or a flight?
29 Return flight
Ofcourse I also intend to visit places like Kamakura, Nikko and Fuji around Tokyo.
I have three questions about my itenerary:
+ Am I staying at a particular place too long or too short a time?
+ I'd love to incorporate some one or two 1-day hikes during my travels, what are some suitable locations for this?(besides Okinawa ofcourse)
+ I know there is more too see than I am able, but is there any place along my route you would replace with a different one, out of personal preference? Would love to hear suggestions/alternatives.
Thank you so much, this forum is amazing.
EDIT: I just found it's probably impossible to stay at Kanazawa at those dates, since everything is booked.
With the exception of your time in Tokyo, I think the timing looks pretty good. Regarding Kanazawa, I am not sure what the problem is in finding a hotel, but you can still see the city on your desired dates - you just might have to find a hotel in a suburb, or even in Toyama where it is less than 25 minutes to Kanazawa by bullet train.
About 3 days is enough to see Tokyo proper for most people, for the rest of your time you can use for some good day trips. There is no shortage of good places, and you'd need some to make the Kanto Area Pass pay off. Karuizawa (great hiking), Izu, Kusatsu, the Boso Peninsula-Nokogiriyama (great hiking), Kawagoe, Mt. Takao (great hiking) etc are all good places to explore. Including Nara is an excellent choice - the Todaiji is a must. The Nanzoin temple in Fukuoka is also an excellent choice. There is a lot more to see there though. You can also get some ideas from this local guide.
One issue though is that if you take a train back from Fukuoka to Tokyo, it will be very long. But you might not justify the costs of a pass without it.
For Himeji, don't miss the Kokoen Garden next to the castle, and if you want to make it a full day trip, see Mt. Shosha with its large temple complex. For Hiroshima, the Mitakidera temple is also very nice and mostly overlooked by the tourist crowds. Miyajima is by far one of the biggest tourist draws in the area, but aside from the Itsukushima Shrine with the giant "floating" torii, the Daishoin Temple is also a must-see place. There are several other pagodas and temples, and climbing Mt. Misen offers a fantastic view over the island and whole area. For Iwakuni the iconic historical bridge is the highlight of the area but don't miss the mountaintop castle as well. And if you can fit it in, Akiyoshido in Yamaguchi is a 300 million year old 1km limestone cave that is breathtaking. Within Tokyo, you might look at a 3 day subway pass. You could use the Kanto Area Pass on the Yamanote line but it'd be such a waste. Use it for more long distance travel. For Hakone, look into a Hakone Free Pass.
Best of luck.
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