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Second trip to Japan - mid May 2019/3/3 12:55
I am planning my second trip to Japan. I had visited Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo on my first trip and enjoyed it very much. For this trip, I would like to see Hokkaido and the alps area. So I was wondering how feasible the following itinerary is. I am planning to go in mid May/June. If this itinerary is too hectic, or if more time would be better spent in one area over two, I am open to saving Hokkaido for another trip.

Day 1 - Sapporo
Day 2 - Sapporo
Day 3 - Otaru
Day 4 - Hakodate
Day 5 - fly from Sapporo to Tokyo, catch train/bus to Kusatsu
Day 6 - Yamanouchi
Day 7 - Matsumoto
Day 8 - Kamikochi
Day 9 - Take alpine route to Toyama
Day 10 - Kanazawa
Day 11 - Shirakawago during the day, then to Takayama
Day 12 - Takayama
Day 13 - Takayama
Day 14 - Nagoya
Day 15 - take Shinkansen to Tokyo, then take Narita Express to Narita airport for evening flight home
by travelgeek (guest)  

Re: Second trip to Japan - mid May 2019/3/4 09:57
The middle section is not realistic. Anywhere from 3 to 5 hours of travel per day. Plus moving hotels etc etc.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Second trip to Japan - mid May 2019/3/4 09:58
Drop Nagoya and one Takayama day, and add it to the middle section of your itinerary.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Second trip to Japan - mid May 2019/3/4 16:12
For Day 5 consider if you can take a flight or Shinkansen from Hakodate to Tokyo instead of back tracking to Shin Chitose.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Second trip to Japan - mid May 2019/3/5 01:30
You can also make Kamikochi a one day trip from Takayama. You could even take bus to Shinhotaka ropeway, ride it up and go down the mountain on the other side to Kamikochi and then take bus back to Takayama. Price of bus (Nouhi bus) from and to Takayama should be around 5000 JPY I think.
by haens rate this post as useful

Re: Second trip to Japan - mid May 2019/3/7 12:25
Thanks everyone for your reply and input:

Would the following revisions make the plans more feasible?

Plan 1:
Day 1 - Sapporo
Day 2 - Sapporo
Day 3 - Otaru
Day 4 - Hakodate
Day 5 - fly from Hakodate to Tokyo, catch train/bus to Kusatsu
Day 6 - Kusatsu
Day 7 - Yamanouchi
Day 8 - Matsumoto
Day 9 - Matsumoto
Day 10 - Kamikochi
Day 11 - Alpine route to Toyama
Day 12 - Kanazawa
Day 13 - Shirakawago during the day, then to Takayama
Day 14 - Takayama
Day 15 - Train to Nagoya, Shinkansen to Tokyo, then take Narita Express to Narita airport for evening flight home

OR

Plan 2:
Day 1 - Sapporo
Day 2 - Sapporo
Day 3 - Otaru
Day 4 - Hakodate
Day 5 - fly from Hakodate to Tokyo, catch train/bus to Kusatsu
Day 6 - Kusatsu
Day 7 - Yamanouchi
Day 8 - Matsumoto
Day 9 - Matsumoto
Day 10 - Alpine route to Toyama
Day 11 - Kanazawa
Day 12 - Shirakawago during the day, then to Takayama
Day 13 - Takayama
Day 14 - Takayama - day trip to Kamikochi
Day 15 - Train to Nagoya, Shinkansen to Tokyo, then take Narita Express to Narita airport for evening flight home
by travelgeek (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Second trip to Japan - mid May 2019/3/7 23:43
The Hokkaido part looks fine. Note that Otaru is quite close to Sapporo can can make a nice afternoon/night trip. I do think that Lake Toya or Noboribetsu might be more memorable from a nature perspective.

Is there a reason you want to spend 2 nights in Matsumoto and only 1 night in Kanazawa?

A possible option for Matsumoto/Yamanouchi might be to stay 2 nights in Nagano instead and complete day trips.

Obuse and my other post are also places nice near Nagano.

https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/report-1573
https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/report-1572

I've also stated this in another thread - but Tohoku is also quite spectacular this time of year and has better transport links and is easier to get to as well (along with being less busy).....
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Second trip to Japan - mid May 2019/3/8 00:29
Hi!

Trying to get from Kamikochi to the Alpine Route and completing it in one day is pretty challenging. Even if you take the first bus from Kamikochi at 7:50 am you're not going to get to Matsumoto until 9:50, you can then take a 10:27 train and get to Shinano-Omachi at 11:01 The earliest bus to Ogizawa is at 11:20 and you won't reach Ogizawa until noon. And that's when you actually really start the route.

I love Nagano. It's pretty underrated on this forum. I also agree with @Mfedley that you should think about Tohoku. It has a lot to offer and some really interesting and different sights.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Second trip to Japan - mid May 2019/3/8 07:42
Like others wrote, I would spend more time in Tohoku, too. Whether culture, nature or food, it has a lot to offer.

The same goes for Hokkaido. May to June is a great season in Hokkaido. If you're a nature-going person, you can spend more than a couple of days in Hokkaido. And it easily takes more than 5 hrs to travel around Hokkaido! Also, the national museum for the indigenous Ainu is opening in April 2020 - next year. It'll be located in the southern Hokkaido area (approx 1.5 hrs drive from Sapporo). This is worth visiting for sure! I'm looking forward to it myself.

I recommend you keep Hokkaido for your next trip.
by Junko (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Second trip to Japan - mid May 2019/3/17 11:15
Thanks again everyone for your input. I am seriously considering saving Hokkaido for another trip. Would the four days be better spent in Tohoku or lengthening the stay in the Nagano/Kanazawa/Takayama areas?

Here is my revised itinerary:

Day 1 - Sapporo
Day 2 - Sapporo
Day 3 - Otaru
Day 4 - Hakodate
Day 5 - fly from Hakodate to Tokyo, catch train/bus to Kusatsu
Day 6 - Kusatsu
Day 7 - Nagano - day trip to Yamanouchi
Day 8 - Nagano - day trip to Matsumoto
Day 9 - Nagano (day time) to Shinano-Omachi (evening)
Day 10 - Tateyama/Alpine route to Toyama
Day 11 - Kanazawa
Day 12 - Kanazawa (morning) Shirakawago (afternoon), then to Takayama
Day 13 - Takayama
Day 14 - Takayama - day trip to Kamikochi
Day 15 - Train to Nagoya, Shinkansen to Tokyo, then take Narita Express to Narita airport for evening flight home
by travelgeek (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Second trip to Japan - mid May 2019/3/17 14:42
This trip is doable but there is still a lot of travel in Hokkaido. What are you hoping to see and do on this trip? What things do you like to do?

These two questions can significantly open up other people's expertise to see things most people don't...
by mfedley rate this post as useful

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