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Best of Japan in 3 weeks 2017/3/21 06:29
Hi guys,

We are planning to visit Japan in the beginning in May and have an ambitious plan to see as much as we can. We've made up a plan, and I would be really grateful if you will share your thoughts about it - maybe we should change something which is not so obvious for us.

As for our preferences - we don't really like big cities (though I think Tokyo is still a must see) and prefer natural attractions rather than concrete jungles.

So the plan now looks as follows:
1. Arriving to Tokyo, staying there for 3 days.
2. Going to Hirosaki to see cherry blossoms, staying for one night there.
3. Going to Fuji 5 Lakes, 2 nights there (views on Fuji and Shibazakura festival)
4. 2 days in Kiso valley to enjoy rural Japan
5. 3 days in Kyoto and around
6. Kyoto - Shikoku (I have a trail race there), 1 full day on Shikoku
7. From Shikoku, via Kyoto to Kinosaki Onsen, enjoy traditional onsen town, 1,5 days.
8. Return to Tokyo, maybe going to Nikko for a day.

We also wanted to include Koyasan, Shirakawa-go and Monkey park to our trip, but had to throw them out due to lack of time.

Again, I would be grateful if you can indicate obvious weaknesses in the plan and share your advice.

Thanks!

by blackemcee  

Re: Best of Japan in 3 weeks 2017/3/21 14:02
I think you will be very rushed for most of the trip. If it were me, I'd cut out the three days in Tokyo at the beginning and add Koyasan, Shirakawa-go and Monkey park. Still kind of rushing it but 3 days in Tokyo is basically nothing. On your last day in Tokyo go see the palace.
by PsyGuy rate this post as useful

Re: Best of Japan in 3 weeks 2017/3/21 18:19
Well, some of your destinations are a little bit away from each other. Hirosaki is quite out of the way and Kinosaki might be as well (Ifm not sure how long that will take by train)c (since youfre in Tohoku you could look into going to an onsen there and skipping Kinosaki – I loved Tsurunoyu onsen and your relatively nearby, but on the other hand, Kinosaki is an onsen town and this is more middle-of-nowhere, and each has its own charms).

Something to think about is what you will do with your luggage. Consider making Kiso valley a day-trip instead of going there with luggage. It would give you less time there, but we went there on a day-trip from Nagoya and we had plenty of time to enjoy these post towns and to walk the old road between Magome and Tsumago, spending some time in the lovely tea-house thing in between. Of course, itfs further as a daytrip from Kyoto but itfs something you may want to look into as it would give you more time to spend elsewhere as well.

The monkey park in Arashiyama wasnft a must-see (if thatfs the one you mean), itfs fun if you have the time, especially if you have kids, but donft worry about skipping it. If you do add anything, Ifd go for Koyasan as Shirakawago is further away and you already have so many out of the way trips.

I also think three days in Tokyo is fine if cities arenft your thing. We stayed there mostly for convenience for a daytrip to Nikko and because we wanted to leave or luggage at an hotel while we went to Tohoku onsen for two nights in between, before spending one more night in the same hotel and picking up the luggage. If you can fit the sights you want to see in Tokyo in two or three days then go for it.

In your title you say you have three weeks though, I donft really count that in the schedule you givec If you do have three weeks, and there are travel days not included in your schedule that would give you more breathing room and I think it would work fine then.
by Ronda (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Best of Japan in 3 weeks 2017/3/22 05:25
Thank you very much for detailed reply.
Actually I just counted - 3 weeks are together with the plane trip to and from Japan, and speaking of pure days in Japan - it's only 18 days. And if you add time to move between all those places - here they are, 18 days.

I'll check Tsurunoyu onsen, maybe it's really a good substitute to Kinosaki. Although Kinosaki is not that far, according to Hyperdia it's 2,5 hours from Kyoto.

As for the luggage - we're planning to take as few as we can to be more flexible. Probably will have only backpacks with us.

And as for money park - I actually talked about Jigokudani, which is pretty far from all the places we picked up. So we'll definitely skip it.
by blackemcee rate this post as useful

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