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1st Time to Japan (Tokyo,Sapporo,Kyoto,Osaka) 2019/3/29 15:12
Hi, 1st time travel to japan and travelling solo on 2nd and 3rd week of May, wanting to view the sakura at Sapporo as forecast states its best to view in Hokkaido at the time of the season.

May I ask a few questions:

1) Is Sapporo the best viewing spot for sakura for 10-13 May around this period? If not, may I know if there's any better spots in Japan without sacrificing too much time traveling from Tokyo to X location?(Yep, I know sapparo is far but kinda want to see the sakura despite being only able to travel on May )

2)Is the travel plan decent or passable? any suggestions to improve would be really helpful:)

1st Day Tokyo-Odaiba+Ashikaga Flower Park+a little bit of Shinjuku
2nd Day :Transit to Sapporo+ Night roam Sapporo
Day 3 - 4:Nakajima Park,Mount Moiwa Ropeway, Odori Park,Sapporo Clock Tower,Maruyama Park and Hokkaido Shrine.
Day 5: Transit to Matsumoto+Free time
Day 6: Transit to Shinano-Omachi for Alpine route > Toyama to Kyoto
Day 7-9: Kyoto-Nara day trip+Arashimaya day trip (mainly for bamboo forest, shrines like fushima inari)
Day 10: Transit to Osaka +Osaka Castle Park,Dotonburi
Day 11: Osaka- Osaka Museum of History+Sumiyoshi Taisha + Free time till Sunrise Express to Tokyo
Day 12-14: Tokyo -Meiji Shrine,Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building,Ueno Park, Sensoji Temple, Sumida Park,Akihabara, Ashikaga Flower Park Round 2.

*Going Ashikaga twice as I've found out that there is a rotation of the flower arrangements during my time in Japan.

Do let me know which stuff to cut out or add in based on your experiences.

Accommodation wise, I'll be using a mix of capsule hotels and budget hotels.
Do capsule hotels hold luggage for consecutive days? As, if they do, I would use them fully to cut more costs.
Food: To be honest ,I plan to just free roam and eat those with a long local queue, but if there is any must experience/eats, do let me know:)
Any advice is greatly appreciated :)
by K.X Tong (guest)  

Re: 1st Time to Japan (Tokyo,Sapporo,Kyoto,Osaka) 2019/3/29 16:30
Forgot to mention a few points(which might be important for consideration?)

Transport mainly using JR pass, suica(not sure if suica is needed but saw a review on it about able to refund before flying back to my country)

Is there deals that combine JR pass & suica ? As I haven't found any deals up till now.
by K.X Tong (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 1st Time to Japan (Tokyo,Sapporo,Kyoto,Osaka) 2019/3/31 01:37
You should get a flight from NRT or HND to CTS (Sapporo) instead of wasting time on a long two-way rail trip (Tokyo-Sapporo and Sapporo-Tokyo-Matsumoto). Check into adding a discount ticket on to the end of your international flight, or a separate ticket from the discount airlines in Japan.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2364.html
The flight is only 2 1/2 hours but the Shinkansen (Tokyo-Hakodate) & Hokuto Express (Hakodate to Sapporo) is 7-8 hours each way.

Start your JR Rail Pass in Sapporo and then work your way south to Tokyo and Matsumoto.

I've seen the cherries in Sapporo, Aomori, Towada, and Morioka at the end of May several times. It seems to me that these are a cold weather species and not the same type as in the hotter Tokyo and south types. To me they look like "yamazakura," or "mountain cherries," which are sometimes called "kwanzan" outside of Japan and not "sakura." My wife actually prefers these as the blossoms are larger and pinker but they don't have the shorter time limit and fall to the ground all at once like the southern varieties.

The All Japan JR Pass is unlimited travel on JR Lines only for 7-14-21 days. The Suica and other "pre-paid" passes are handy when you want convenience when riding subways and non-JR lines. The fare is deducted from the card as you pass through the gates or get off a bus. Things are changing all the time but I haven't seen any "combo pass." The prepay cards give a very small discount in that the fares aren't rounded off as for regular tickets but the total amount wouldn't add up to very much.
If your card is "empty" you get your Y500 deposit back when you turn it in. If there is any fare left on it (>Y500), there is a handling fee charged. If you keep it, the number of the card will be kept in the system for 10 years and you can recharge it if you return to Japan.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2359_003.html

Each hotel/hotel chain has different policies on how long you can leave luggage or not. Luggage delivery service will delay delivery up to 7 days if a hotel won't keep it for you.
by kokumamushi rate this post as useful

Re: 1st Time to Japan (Tokyo,Sapporo,Kyoto,Osaka) 2019/4/1 13:15
Thanks kokumamushi :), with this I'll gain an extra day by saving time on the towards sapporo transit.
Do you have any suggestions for spending that 1 extra day on? As Im considering a hakone day trip, but I fear it might break my bank while doing so as I'll have to pay more for the 1 day worth of extra activities n 1 way flight to sapparo.
by K. X Tong (guest) rate this post as useful

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