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Planning Japan trip in June 2019 2018/10/21 04:29
Ifm headed to japan for 13 days in June. Trying to roughly begin planning an itinerary. Was thinking four nights in Tokyo and then heading to Kyoto/Osaka on skinkansen. Not sure where to go from there but would like to see some mountains and possibly coastal areas. Is 4 nights enough or too much in Tokyo? How many nights in Kyoto and or Osaka? Any suggestions for ryokan/onsen in Kyoto/Osaka area? Other places to go visit? Mountains? Further north? Coastal seaport areas?
Any help appreciated.
Thank you.
by Doc Mike  

Re: Need help planning Japan trip. June e19 2018/10/21 10:46
All depends on your interests. If you have no idea, maybe refer to something like this?

Enjoy planning and traveling!
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Need help planning Japan trip. June e19 2018/10/21 11:14

I don't know when you are thinking of going in June, but one thing to be aware of is June (especially mid-late June) is the rainy season. Mid- Late June can also be very hot and humid. I've been going that time period the last 3 years because of school. I still enjoy it, but this particular year it was very very hot and humid.

Planning for June, means you still have a lot of time. I'm also hoping to go in June and I am just starting to think of an itinerary. I think some things you need to ask yourself first are: What do you really want to see and do, what is most important to you. If you want to spend your whole trip in nature and hate big cities, you can do that. If you hate nature and just want to see cities, there is that too, along with a whole host of other options. You need to decide what is best for you.

If you want to go to Tokyo and Kansai, I would look into now whether you have the option to use an open jaw ticket. That means flying into the one metro area and then flying out of another. It prevents you from needing to backtrack and can save you a lot of time.

If there is nothing in particular you want to see in Kyoto and Osaka and would rather see mountains and coastal areas you could instead do a JR East Pass and just explore Tokyo and Tohoku. You could fly to Hokkaido and slowly work your way back South. You could get a Regular JR pass or use buses and explore the Chubu region and do the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route. I really like Kyoto, but that doesn't mean it's where you want to go. You need to figure out what you would most enjoy seeing and doing and while we can all give you advice on whether it is feasible to visit spots A+B+C on a specific day or tell you whether we liked someplace or a specific activity we can't tell you what is best for you.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Need help planning Japan trip. June e19 2018/10/21 11:15
I think 4/5 days in Tokyo will be quite enough.

For Osaka you don't need that much, 1 day is enough for sightseeing and Osaka has a nice nightlife, so one day exploring from morning until night is quite good. But if you are into theme parks or aquarium, then I recomend 2 days (1 day sightseeing + 1 day for Universal park or Osaka Aquarium).

For Kyoto you'll probably need the same amount of time as in Tokyo, 4/5 days. There's lot to explore in Kyoto.

As for day trips, or mountain areas you mentioned. How about after some traveling of those 3 cities (which will be tiring) do something more relaxing in the countryside? Rural Kyoto is a wonderful destination. I could recomend going to Kurama and Kibune and sleep in Kurama Onsen. Besides Kurama and Kibune, you also have Ohara. Or travel to Hikone, a nice place to relax, sightseeing, and sleep in Ryokan.

Another similar suggestions, will be the traditional town of Kinosaki Onsen. Or you could travel south of Osaka and visit Mount Koya (you could sleep in a temple, always a different experience).

Close from Osaka and perfect as day trips are Kobe and Himeji.
Close from Kyoto and perfect as day trips are Nara and Uji.

I hope everything goes well for your itinerary, happy planning!
by catiasmteixeira rate this post as useful

Re: Planning Japan trip in June 2019 2018/10/22 10:29
Thanks for all the good advice. Unfortunately due to my son being in school, mid June was the only time to travel. I would ask anybody who knows, would it be better to grab a train and head to Hokkaido and work our way back down to Tokyo over 7 days vs. going to Kyoto/Osaka? I know the weather is better up north but Ifve akso read that Kyoto has a great deal to see as well.
by Doc Mike rate this post as useful

Re: Planning Japan trip in June 2019 2018/10/22 11:12

As I mentioned, I also travel in mid to late June because of school, so I definitely understand.

Honestly, there is a lot to see everywhere in Japan. Kyoto has some really superb temples and shrines. I mostly go to Osaka to see a friend/shop and to visit Universal Studios. I honestly don't think Osaka offers as much to a tourist also going to Tokyo. But I think you need to honestly decide what your priorities are and what you would like to do. Since you're in the USA, when you say mountains are you thinking something like the Rockies or smaller and greener mountains like the Appalachians. Are you think coasts, like dramatic coasts or beaches or?

I don't know how old your child is, but are they old enough to have opinions on what they want to do? My first trip with my child I didn't give her a lot of input but on the most recent trips and our future June one, she will have a lot more say. We always try to mix places we've been before with new destinations. My child is in 3rd grade. Favorite places for her have been: Matsushima, Uji, Kyoto, Miyajima, Takamatsu, Tokyo (for shopping) and Nagano. Of the onsen she has gone to, her favorite was the one at the Associa in Takayama.

Kurama and there might be one in Arashiyama are the nearest onsen to Kyoto, though there are many sentos. Though Kyoto is full of traditional ryokans. Arima onsen is not so far from Kyoto.

If you're flying from LAX or SFO you do have the option to do an open jaw flight.

If you really wanted to do Kyoto too, I might do: 4 nights in Tokyo, 4 nights in Kyoto (you could always easily go to Osaka for dinner one night) , 2 nights in Kanazawa, 2 nights in Takayama, 1 night in Matsumoto and 2 nights in Tokyo, or something along those lines. I would probably not get a rail pass and just pay out of pocket, since the fastest way to Takayama from Kanazawa is bus and you would do a bus from Takayama to Matsumoto. I would prob skip getting off at Shirakawa Go, I think Hida Folk Village in Takayama itself is better presented. You could day trip to Shin-Hotaka or Okuhida. Depending on flight times, you could also add a night in Kamikochi or somewhere else on the way. This itinerary is more mountain heavy,

If you want to go north, I'd have to think more on it. We're actually currently looking at a Tohoku based itinerary ending in Kansai, though I would prefer to start in Kansai and end in Tohoku. We shall see.

Speaking as a parent from the USA, I don't know the age of your child, but my child always finds the time change to Japan challenging. She is up by 5 or 6 am the first week and ready for bed by 6. I find as an adult I adjust much better than she does. Please be cognizant of this when planning your itinerary.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Planning Japan trip in June 2019 2018/10/22 12:22
Hi! June can be very hot but it is also a rewarding time to go. If I was to go in June, I would stay out of Tokyo unless I was passionate about big cities (which I am not) and I would also stay out of Kyoto as it is surrounded by mountains and gets ferally hot and humid that time of year. I would instead go to alternatives that are either near the ocean or in cooler places. My suggestions would be as follows:

tokyo no more than 2 days;
Kamakura and Enoshima (pretty good alternative to Kyoto really) 2 days;
Nikko 2 days;
(they are essentially quite local to Tokyo);
Karuizawa for one night - stay at Tsuruya Ryokan which caters really well to foreigners, do the "hike" to the lookout;
on to Matsumoto - great castle;
on to Kamikouchi - a night or two;
on to Takayama for a couple of nights (Takayama still gets pretty hot, but nice and a little trip to Shirakawa would be good);
on to Kanazawa for a night or two, then back to Tokyo.

Lots of moving about, but mostly cooler places.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Planning Japan trip in June 2019 2018/10/22 23:05
Thanks again for the great advice.
My son is 16 and will be close to 17 when we travel. Being our first time in Japan, I'd like to get a taste of a little bit of everything, including Hokkaido up north and the mountains and coasts. I know that the mountains are not typically like the Rocky's and i know the coasts are not like Florida sandy beaches. We like to see seaports and I'd like to travel through the mountains if possible. We want to experience many things including but not limited to: street food, capsule hotel, shopping, onsen/ryokan with night stay and traditional meal, shinkansen, big city life, as well as seeing country side and how the rural side of Japan lives. I'm concerned a little bit about the rain/clouds/dreary weather during that month and that's why I've considered bullet train up to Hokadate and working down. We are travelling from Michigan and I'm using Delta Miles for my trip so my open jaw isn't an option. We will have to arrive in HND and leave from NRT. We have 11 full days (not inclusive of travel days). Once again, I love all the advice and feel very overwhelmed with all the options. Its hard since I've never been there and even though I can come back i just dont want to miss anything.
Thank you once again for all the continued help

by Doc Mike rate this post as useful

Re: Planning Japan trip in June 2019 2018/10/23 06:35

Please excuse any typos I am on my cell.

Japan has mountains like the Rockies in Chubu and has beaches like Florida in Okinawa and Shirahama, the issue is more fitting what you want to do in as 11 days is limited.

I live outside NYC and love big cities, so I do have that bias. I also didn't think Tokyo or Kyoto was that bad in 2016 and 2017 it was just this past year that was miserably hot and humid.

Are you traveling alone with your child or with a partner? Finding rooms with 3 occupancy is hard. I would recommend against committing to Kamikochi with an overnight stay. We were there in June and all it did was rain. We were freezing cold and sopping.

There can be rain anywhere in Japan during rainy season but certain places are more of a bummer in the rain. The rain ruined Kamikochi but was not a big deal in Osaka and Kyoto.

I have been to a few ports. You can take a short evening cruise out of Takeshiba and Matsushima offers tour boats of the islands.

I want to stress I love Kyoto but is there anything there you specifically want to see or are you more interested in Hokkaido and Tohoku? I went to Onuma Park in the Autumn and it was quite lovely.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Planning Japan trip in June 2019 2018/12/9 01:13
Wefve decided to spend 4 days in Tokyo and then take Shinkansen to Hokkaido. Spend 2 nights in Hakodate. Then slowly make our way back to Tokyo, stopping along they way to an onsen town staying at ryokan, see the mountains and the coasts and hold south and west japan for another trip. What do you think about this??
by Doc Mike rate this post as useful

Re: Planning Japan trip in June 2019 2018/12/11 23:02
Weather in June:

Tokyo would be hot and humid, Sendai would be humid, and Hakodate and Sapporo would be cool, but sunny. Your plan of doing Tokyo first, then Hakodate and going back to the south looks fine with this weather trend.

Jalan's recommendations in June:

Google even translates location names as well. So, here are some pickups.

#1 Mt Hakodate (also as #5, #26)
#8 Hakodate (also as #19, #20)
#15 Goryokaku Fort (also as #24)
#16 Yonokawa Onsen

#1 Oirase Stream
#2 Yamadera
#3 Lake Towada
#4 Mt Haguro (also as #9)
#6 Hiraizumi (also as #21)
#8 Zao Onsen (also as #18 and Mt Zao as #11)
#10 Goshikinuma Ponds
#13 Ginzan Onsen
#14 Ouchijuku
#15 Nyuto Onsen
#17 Akiu Onsen (Akiu waterfalls as #23)
#19 Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu Wakamatsu
#20 Sukayu Onsen
#22 Kakunodate
#25 Naruko Onsen

#6 Yokohama Minato Mirai 21 (also as #17, #20, #22)
#10 Meiji Jingu Shrine
#12 Shinjuku
#21 Kamakura
#23 Enoshima
#24 Asakusa
#30 Odaiba

Jalan lists Tokyo, Yokohama, and Kamakura. You may add Nikko for Kanto. You may even spilt them into two for your case.

People stay Yonokawa Onsen to explore Hakodate and Goryokaku. Tohoku is just a wild card. You could add Hirosaki Castle, Matsushima, and more.

On the arrival, I usually go to bed at the sunset and get up at the sunrise to get used to the local timezone.
by Luisjp rate this post as useful

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