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Old 08-13-2013, 07:23 AM   #1
Barry
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Default My trip to Japan (how many days spending in each city)

I'm planning with a friend of mine a trip to Japan. We want to go in march-april for three weeks.

Before we delete cities and things to see from our list, we want to know if the days mentioned are correct or that we are completely wrong with our assumptions. I know that the number of days for only Tokyo is a bit low, but for everything else I have no idea.

Sendai 1 day
Aizu-wakamatsu 0,5 day
(Tokyo -) Nikko 1 day
Tokyo 2-3 days
Tokyo - Kamakura 1 day
Tokyo - Kawagoe 0,5 day
Tokyo - Mitaka (Ghibli Mseum) 0,5 day
Tokyo - Mt. Fuji 1 day
Tokyo - Narita 0,5 day
Tokyo - Yokohama 0,5 - 1 day
Matsumoto Few hours
Takayama 0,5 day
Takayama - Shirakawa-go 0,5 day
Kyoto - Hikone 0,5 day
Kyoto 2-3 days
Kyoto - Otsu 0,5 day
Kyoto - Nara 1 day
Kyoto - Nara - Sakurai Few hours
Koyasan 0,5 day
Osaka 1 day
Takarazuka (Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum) Few hours
Kobe 0,5 day
Himeji-jo 0,5 day
Okayama 0,5 day
Kurashiki 0,5 day
Matsue 1 day
Hiroshima 1 day
Hiroshima - Miyajima 0,5 day
Iwakuni 0,5 day
Tsuwano 0,5 day
Hagi 0,5 day
Kumamoto 1 day
Kumamoto - Mt. Aso 1 day
Kumamoto - Takachiko 1 day
Nagasaki 1 day
Nagasaki - Hashima Few hours
Nagasaki - Huis ten Bosch 1 day
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Last edited by Barry; 08-13-2013 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: My trip to Japan (how many days spending in each city)

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Originally Posted by Barry View Post
(Tokyo -) Nikko 1 day
Tokyo 2-3 days
Tokyo - Kamakura 1 day
Tokyo - Kawagoe 0,5 day
Tokyo - Mitaka (Ghibli Mseum) 0,5 day
Tokyo - Mt. Fuji 1 day
Tokyo - Narita 0,5 day
Tokyo - Yokohama 0,5 - 1 day
That seems a long time to spend around Tokyo. You could probably fit it in to 2/3 as many days.

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Matsumoto Few hours
Takayama 0,5 day
Takayama - Shirakawa-go 0,5 day
Not sure about how you intend to get from Yokohama to Matsumoto as there's no - it'd be maybe around seven hours by bus, less by train (but more expensive). The thing is that if you're only going to be there for a short time, then you'll basically have time to see the castle and then piss off - and there's no train to Takayama from there, so you'd have to go on the express-way (not sure what it's called) and that still would take at least two hours - assuming you have a car/taxi/bus to get there.

Unless you absolutely must see Matsumoto you're probably better off going to Nagoya by train. Adding a few days (which you could remove from Tokyo or Kyoto pretty easily) lets you see stuff in Nagoya, and potentially Gifu (city and prefecture; there are famous hot-springs in a town called Gero), and the train-line goes straight up through all of these places, to Takayama (from where you can go to Shirakawa if you want), and most importantly, up to Toyama, which makes it simple enough to get to Kyoto (and potentially lets you visit some places in Toyama/Ishikawa/Fukui prefectures along the way, but that would require a fair bit of restructuring).

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Kyoto - Hikone 0,5 day
Kyoto 2-3 days
Kyoto - Otsu 0,5 day
Kyoto - Nara 1 day
Kyoto - Nara - Sakurai Few hours
As I touched on above, as with Tokyo you have a lot of time here. There really isn't that much to see in Kyoto - temples and shrines, some gardens and the like, and as nice as it is, you'll get more variety elsewhere.

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Kobe 0,5 day
Himeji-jo 0,5 day
I don't think you're allowing enough time for travel - and you're giving too much to the castle. Might I recommend the aquarium in Kobe and Engyo-ji in Himeji?

Everything else is either fine or I don't know about. The thing is, you could easily spend three weeks just doing one region, and you could see all sorts of stuff in a relatively small area. The advantage with that is obviously that you can stay in one place for longer, get settled in an inn or hotel, save time (and money) on transport, and really get to know an area. I think it's a better experience. If you go to the other end of the spectrum, and try to see things all over the country, you should really trim the list down - any city you go to, see three or four things, tops, and allow one or two nights per city. Don't go to places that are out of the way. This also allows you to see all sorts of stuff, with the added bonus of variety, but the drawbacks of being more expensive and less relaxing. In the end, of course, it's all up to you.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: My trip to Japan (how many days spending in each city)

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Not sure about how you intend to get from Yokohama to Matsumoto as there's no - it'd be maybe around seven hours by bus, less by train (but more expensive). The thing is that if you're only going to be there for a short time, then you'll basically have time to see the castle and then piss off - and there's no train to Takayama from there, so you'd have to go on the express-way (not sure what it's called) and that still would take at least two hours - assuming you have a car/taxi/bus to get there.
The time I have to spend on travelling is something I still have to do, but seven hours by bus is something I don't want to do. The only thing I want to see in Matsumoto is the Castle, maybe we're gone skip this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mussolini View Post
Unless you absolutely must see Matsumoto you're probably better off going to Nagoya by train. Adding a few days (which you could remove from Tokyo or Kyoto pretty easily) lets you see stuff in Nagoya, and potentially Gifu (city and prefecture; there are famous hot-springs in a town called Gero), and the train-line goes straight up through all of these places, to Takayama (from where you can go to Shirakawa if you want), and most importantly, up to Toyama, which makes it simple enough to get to Kyoto (and potentially lets you visit some places in Toyama/Ishikawa/Fukui prefectures along the way, but that would require a fair bit of restructuring).
Thanks for the alternatives, that's sound intresting. I'm gone investigate this.

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As I touched on above, as with Tokyo you have a lot of time here. There really isn't that much to see in Kyoto - temples and shrines, some gardens and the like, and as nice as it is, you'll get more variety elsewhere.
The first time I heard this, I saw reviews from people who thought 1 week wasn't enough.

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I don't think you're allowing enough time for travel - and you're giving too much to the castle. Might I recommend the aquarium in Kobe and Engyo-ji in Himeji?
Recommendations are always welcome, but what's so special about the aquarium? Is it really that special? My first thoughts were "we have enough zoo's with sea animals here".

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Originally Posted by mussolini View Post
The thing is, you could easily spend three weeks just doing one region, and you could see all sorts of stuff in a relatively small area. The advantage with that is obviously that you can stay in one place for longer, get settled in an inn or hotel, save time (and money) on transport, and really get to know an area. I think it's a better experience. If you go to the other end of the spectrum, and try to see things all over the country, you should really trim the list down.
It's a interesting suggestion to stay in one region, but the first time we want to see at least Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But it's something to consider.

Thank you mussolini for you reply and suggestions, it was helpful!
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: My trip to Japan

you can easily do nara in a half day - walk to the deer park, check out the templates and such, done
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: My trip to Japan

also i disagree with the tokyo length - imo that should be more like a week. there is SO MUCH to see in tokyo, many offshoot trips like to kamakura, etc

also please please do yourself a favor and commit 1 day to miyajima. we went there as a half day trip (hiroshima in the morning, then miyajima) and really regretted it. it's gorgeous, and if you want to take the cable car trip all the way up to the mountain peak it's a multiple hour trip... we didnt have time :(
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: My trip to Japan

and also consider cost - JR passes are crazily expensive and to travel between big cities/regions you need one or it's not cost effective. at 3 weeks you're probably looking at $1,000 just in JR pass tickets to go to that many places
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: My trip to Japan

Quote:
Originally Posted by sothis View Post
you can easily do nara in a half day - walk to the deer park, check out the templates and such, done
Quote:
Originally Posted by sothis View Post
also i disagree with the tokyo length - imo that should be more like a week. there is SO MUCH to see in tokyo, many offshoot trips like to kamakura, etc

also please please do yourself a favor and commit 1 day to miyajima. we went there as a half day trip (hiroshima in the morning, then miyajima) and really regretted it. it's gorgeous, and if you want to take the cable car trip all the way up to the mountain peak it's a multiple hour trip... we didnt have time :(
Thank you for the advice!
Miyajima sounds great, we want to see nature and the cable car looks interesting.

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Originally Posted by sothis View Post
and also consider cost - JR passes are crazily expensive and to travel between big cities/regions you need one or it's not cost effective. at 3 weeks you're probably looking at $1,000 just in JR pass tickets to go to that many places
I already heard that JR passes are expensive, but that it's cheaper than not having one.

Thank you Sothis,with this advice I know I can make the trip better !
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: My trip to Japan

i agree with sothis, you should more time in Tokyo!! I guess it depends on your interest though... if you are more into nature and beautiful scenes then more time in kyoto! if you are more into going to interesting places and doing lots of activities then Tokyo!

as for things like Mt Fuji if you plan to climb maybe you need more than one day as you are gonna be tired!!!
I also recommend you spent at least 1 day rather then half a day in Yokohama! Its a beautiful place and a big place too! theres lots of great things there and near there!

And yes you should also re concider your travel time as some places are far to travel and you will be tired after the journey!!

i heard railpass tickets are cheaper to get outside japan then in japan so you should check that too ^^

i live in japan so if you need any other advice please mail to me ^^
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: My trip to Japan

Just don't get exhausted is all I'll say. It's better to take it easy with the schedule rather than try to fit everything on it.

If you're planning to spend a day or two in the mt. Fuji area I can recommend taking a day tour with Mt.Fuji One Day Bus Tour for budge travellers. I'd say it was definitely worth the money and certainly a lot easier than doing things on your own. Of course if you want to go mountain climbing or to the Fuji-Q then you'll have to make your own plans. I'd say there's a ton of things you can do in the Kawaguchiko area.

I can also give some tips for Tokyo if you're interested, based on my 3 months there last year. You're planning on going to the Ghibli museum but how will you get the tickets? Afaik you can only get them from LAWSON ticket machines and they're usually booked for a month in advance.
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:38 AM   #10
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i agree with sothis, you should more time in Tokyo!! I guess it depends on your interest though... if you are more into nature and beautiful scenes then more time in kyoto! if you are more into going to interesting places and doing lots of activities then Tokyo!
We like both. We want a balanced trip with nature, temples, shrines, nice view over cities and modern buildings.

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as for things like Mt Fuji if you plan to climb maybe you need more than one day as you are gonna be tired!!!
I understood that Climbing was only possible in July and August, we want to go in March/April. If I understood it correctly we can visit the the 5 lakes, and that's what we want to do.

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I also recommend you spent at least 1 day rather then half a day in Yokohama! Its a beautiful place and a big place too! theres lots of great things there and near there!
Okay, thank you! I didn't relly knew if it was wordth to go 1 day.

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i live in japan so if you need any other advice please mail to me ^^
Thanks for the offer! I'll mail you soon!

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Originally Posted by Eriol View Post
If you're planning to spend a day or two in the mt. Fuji area I can recommend taking a day tour with Mt.Fuji One Day Bus Tour for budge travellers. I'd say it was definitely worth the money and certainly a lot easier than doing things on your own.
Thank you. It looks interesting, and much easier than doing things on our own.

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I can also give some tips for Tokyo if you're interested, based on my 3 months there last year. You're planning on going to the Ghibli museum but how will you get the tickets? Afaik you can only get them from LAWSON ticket machines and they're usually booked for a month in advance.
Although I already made a large list, tips are always welcome! I can compare my list with yor recommendations.
Tickets for the Ghibli museum are also sold in other countries. I'm planning to buy the tickets here: Ghibli Museum - ticket only
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