I will be visiting Japan for the first time from May 2nd-22nd 2019 with my boyfriend (I know, it's during Golden Week, but we found quite cheap flights, so we went with it...). We will try to carry only backpacks. For us, it's important to get some good food and try not to stress too much, even if we miss out on Hiroshima. This is our current plan:
First 5 nights in Tokyo. No side trips, just discovering Tokyo's different spots during the japanese holidays.
1 night around Kurobe.
2 nights in Takayama, daytrip to Okuhida Onsen.
2 nights in a farmhouse in Shirakawa-go, side trip to Kanazawa.
4 nights in Kyoto, including a side trip to Nara.
2 nights in Osaka.
last 4 nights in Tokyo, side trip to Nikko.
We want to start using the 14 days JR Pass from May 7th-20th and for the rest of the time the Suica Card.
In Detail:Day 1 (Thu):
- Arrive 12.30 p.m. at Tokyo Haneda. check in at hotel in Asakusa in the early afternoon.
- visit Sensoji Temple, Kaminamiron Gate, Nakamise Street, Dempoin Street and have Dinner in Hoppy StreetDay 2 (Fri):
- get a view of Tokyo either on Mori Tower in Roppongi or the Tokyo Metropolitan Building in Shinjuku
- explore Shibuya and Harajuku, wander through Meiji-Shrine, Yoyogi Park: Would you avoid Meiji Shrine during the spring festival days? (https://www.japanistry.com/event/meiji-jingu-spring-grand-festival/
- Shinjuku Golden Gai in the evening meeting a friendDay 3 (Sat):
- either 1) Ueno neighbourhood and National Museum or 2) Odaiba and the Future Museum, maybe Oedo Onsen (in Odaiba there will be the Spring festival during those days)
- maybe take a look at the parade in Fuchu in the eveningDay 4 (Sun):
- look at the Sumo Training (Arashio-beya stables) in the early morning, if possible
- afterwards whole-day visit of the Ghibli museum, Tickets are already reservedDay 5 (Mon, last day of japanese holidays):
- go to Tsukiji Fish Market in the early morning
- afterwards explore Ginza districtDay 6 (Tue):
- Start using JR Pass 14 days (days before only Suica Card)
- check out at hotel, travel from Tokyo to Kurobe Unazukionsen (stop at Itoigawa for lunch) and check in at the ryokan, take a ride with the Kurobe Gorge RailwayDay 7 (Wed):
- check out at the ryokan and drive to Keyakidaira, spend the day there
- travel to Takayama and check-in there until 7.30 p.m. for dinnerDay 8 (Thu):
- side trip to Okuhida Onsen
- look around Takayama Old Town in the eveningDay 9 (Fri):
- have breakfast at the Takayama Morning Market
- on our way to Shirakawa-go, arrive at the farmhouse until 4.30 p.m. for dinner, look around the villageDay 10 (Sat):
- side trip to Kanazawa to wander around Kenrokuen Garden, lunch break at Omicho MarketDay 11 (Sun):
- travel from Shirakawa-go to Kyoto (going to stop for lunch somewhere)
- visit Ginkakuji Temple, then walk along philosophers path to Higashiyama and Kiyomizudera
- maybe Sanjusangendo Temple, if there's time left
- visit Fushimi Inari Taisha Temple
- check in at our Hotel in Kyoto until 10 p.m.Day 12 (Mon):
- visit Kinkakuji Temple, walk around Gion neighbourhood, see Nikishi Market (9 a.m.-5 p.m.), relax and eat Kyo-KaisekiDay 13 (Tue):
- see the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and Tenryuji Temple
- Sagano Scenic RailwayDay 14 (Wed):
- get a glimpse of the Aoi Matsuri Festival in Kyoto
- Side trip to Nara (Todaiji Temple and walk around town)
- check in to Hostel in Osaka in the eveningDay 15 (Thu):
- visit Osaka castle
- spend the rest of the day eating and playing retro games in DotonburiDay 16 (Fri):
- after breakfast and check out, take the Shinkansen back to Tokyo
- check in at the hostel in Akihabara
- if there's time visit the Jazz Festival and/or Sanja Matsuri Parade in AsakusaDay 17 (Sat):
- go to a Sumo fight, if we get tickets
- maybe see some more of Sanja Matsuri FestivalDay 18 (Sun):
- day trip to Nikko (Toshogu Shrine, Taiyuinbyo, maybe visite the Yumoto Onsen in Nikko)Day 19 (Mon):
- explore Akihabara: Super Potato Retro Games Shop, Yarou Ramen, Gachapon Capsule Toys store
- have a drink at a nice bar in the evening, like Ben Fiddich in ShinjukuDay 20 (Wed):
- relax and pack the luggage, leave to Haneda Airport where the flight leaves late in the evening
I would like to hear your feedback and suggestions. What do you think about the decision of not visiting Hiroshima and travelling along the Japanese alps? Should I make changes regarding the sequence of places we are visiting? Thank you!