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Itinerary for a week each in Tokyo and Kyoto 2019/2/19 20:17
This is our first trip to Japan, let introduce our self, we are a retired couple our interest are: Castle , temple, shrine, landscape, not sport/hiking/activity. We will land in Tokyo on Apr 13, stay in Tokyo and will go to Kyoto on April 20 and on April 27 will go back to Tokyo and catch a cruise ship back to Vancouver, BC. to make it short, one week in Tokyo and one week in Kyoto.
(1) We will get the JR ticket for two weeks, I wonder is this worth it ? We have to go from Tokyo to Kyoto and then back to Tokyo, may be couple side trips which are depended on your recommendation.
(2) Are we too late for Cherry Blossom for this year ?
(3) We need help with itinerary for that two weeks ? Just list the places to see for Tokyo and Kyoto.
(4) My wife likes to go to hot spring and take the pictures of everything.
Thanks You.
by Dat1234  

Re: Itinerary for a week each in Tokyo and Kyoto 2019/2/20 19:09
Hi, you mean April like in 6 weeks? You are going to have to get a wriggle on for accomodation, it is essentially peak time for the peak country.

It sounds like you would be around cherry blossom (sakura) time, check out the forecasts. I wouldnt base the whole trip on following it around because while it is really pretty, it brings crowds and inconvenience as well.

Personally I'd almost give up on Kyoto during hanami, it is overcrowded as it is, it will be worse then. But many others would disagree, I dont like crowds and I dont like lining up. If you like both of those, then Kyoto during hanami is the place for you. If I was going to Japan with your interests in April, I would spend a few days in Tokyo (maybe 4), then maybe look at a few days in Kyoto, a few in Nara, and maybe down to Hiroshima more if the dome and Peace Park are important for you than anything else. Then on the way back I'd go out to Takayama for 2 nights, to Kanazawa for 2 nights, then back toward Tokyo. You might be able to squeeze that section into 7 days and save on a 2 week pass.

There are heaps of alternatives though. Like a side trip to Hikone (nice castle near Kyoto) or Matsumoto (nice castle near Nagano which would be more accessible to you on the way back) or Himeji (probably the best known castle of all, closer to Osaka.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary for a week each in Tokyo and Kyoto 2019/2/20 20:36
1. Just Tokyo-Kansai return will not make up the cost of a 14-day JR Pass. This is easily checked using the rail pass calculator on this website. You'd have to add a side trip to Hiroshima or similar distance to make up the cost. A 7-day JR Pass only comes close to paying off with a Tokyo-Kyoto round trip. Note that you should only look to purchase the pass for long-distance travel; don't extend it just to cover local travel in cities (won't make up the cost).

2. Check the current cherry blossom forecast (still a long way out). Mid-April is usually too late for Kyoto and Tokyo anyway (for the main type of blossom), and it's predicted to be an early season this year. Head north if you want to see full bloom, but this will take you away from the Tokyo-Kyoto route.

3. Look at the itinerary section of this website - it has pre-planned options you can use for inspiration. There are also half- and full-day itineraries for Kyoto and Tokyo. This forum is not a travel agent - we won't plan your days for you, but we can make suggestions once you make some plans yourselves.

4. Note that Tokyo and Kyoto themselves are not known for onsen, but nearby areas (e.g. Hakone from Tokyo, and Kurama from Kyoto) are known for onsen. A popular choice is to stay overnight in Hakone between Tokyo and Kyoto at an onsen ryokan (this will be more expensive than a normal hotel!).

As the first poster has already said, you will need to get a move on with planning and booking if you want to go in less than two months' time. It's a popular time of year to visit and Japan is experiencing a huge rise in tourism lately, so things will book up fast! This website is a great resource, so have a thorough read of all the relevant sections and you will be in a much better position to plan your trip.
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