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Input on 5 weeks Japan itinerary October 2019 2019/5/27 02:04
Hello Everybody,

On the 28th of September my boyfriend and I are going on a 5 week trip to Japan, Yay! I've been preparing by reading some books and searching the internet. First I just wrote down everything I saw and for now I've come to an itinerary. What do you guys think of it? Is it worth it to do 2 main castle's like Himeji and Matsumoto. If no is it better to go to Nagano and from there to Yudanaka so we can see Nagano as wel or better stay in Tokio, make it a daytrip from there and then also not losing a travel day/have an extra day in Tokio or Kyoto. Thanks in advance for looking!

Day 1 – Sunday 29 sept. Arrive at Osaka - Rest from flight/sightsee
Day 2 – Osaka - Osaka-jo, spa world?/sightsee
Day 3 – Osaka to Kobe/sightsee
Day 4 – Kobe – Shin kobe ropeway/Kobe beef!
Day 5 – Kobe to Hiroshima/ Miyajima
Day 6 – Hiroshima – Memorial/sightsee
Day 7 – Hiroshima to Nagasaki/sightsee
Day 8 – Nagasaki – Dejima/Battleship
Day 9 – Nagasaki – Huis ten Bosch
Day 10 – Nagasaki to Beppu/Chill
Day 11 – Beppu – 7 hells/Monkey/Chill
Day 12 – Beppu to Nagoya
Day 13 – Nagoya – Suzuka GP
Day 14 – Nagoya – Suzuka GP
Day 15 – Nagoya – Suzuka GP
Day 16 – Nagoya – Mangome/Tsumago daytrip
Day 17 – Nagoya to Tokio
Day 18 – Tokio -
Day 19 – Tokio -
Day 20 – Tokio/Nikko daytrip
Day 21 – Tokio/Mnt. Fuji daytrip
Day 22 – Tokio -
Day 23 – Tokio -
Day 24 – Tokio to Nagano/sightsee
Day 25 – Nagano/Yudanaka daytrip
Day 26 – Nagano/Matsumoto daytrip
Day 27 – Nagano to Kyoto
Day 28 – Kyoto -
Day 29 – Kyoto/Himeji daytrip
Day 30 – Kyoto -
Day 31 – Kyoto to Osaka
Day 32 – Osaka/Nara daytrip
Day 33 – Osaka – Aquarium - Halloween
Day 34 – Friday 1 nov Osaka to Home
by Aaltje (guest)  

Re: Input on 5 weeks Japan itinerary October 2019 2019/5/27 08:37
It looks doable, though you are mostly just listing cities and not details.
You can certainly visit more than 2 castles - no two are identical. But you can easily skip Osaka castle - which isn't a castle, nor even a reconstruction - it's a museum with a castle facade over it. If you want to see a real one, go see Hikone Castle in Shiga - it is also one of the 12 surviving originals, like Matsumoto and Himeji. The Genkyuen Garden next to it is nice as well.

What you could do, unless you really want to spend a whole day in both Kobe and Himeji, is spend half a day to see Himeji Castle and the Kokoen Garden, and half in Kobe.

For Days 5-6, 2 days for Hiroshima & Miyajima should do nicely - you could likely also fit in Iwakuni.
For Hiroshima, don't miss the Shukkeien Garden and Mitakidera Temple - most do, which is a terrible shame. But at least the crowds are far less. Please note though that it will take you 3-3½ hours to get from Hiroshima to Nagasaki. You might want to break that up if you like - seeing the Yutoku Inari Shrine in Saga would be an excellent detour.
Also you'll love Nagasaki - be sure to try the chanpon and saraudon for lunch dinner.
You might try to see Gunkanjima as soon as you can - it is a 3 hours trip, and if the seas are rough, the boat trips are cancelled.
Going from Beppu to Nagoya is really the sticking point - it is over 5 hours by train (although you could fly on ANA in just over an hour for only 10,800 on their Experience Japan Fare). You are also putting in over 4½ days in Tokyo, so you might consider adding another half or full day trip. For the Fuji area you need to choose either Hakone or the Fuji 5 Lakes, or add more time to see both.
One thing you might consider is if you can fit in a day from elsewhere, between Nagano and Kyoto, take a day and see Kanazawa. It's one of the nicest places and not overrun like Kyoto, with one of the nation's top notch traditional gardens.
If you have the chance to see some festivals, by all means go.
Some areas like mountains might have some autumn colors, which are worth seeing.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 5 weeks Japan itinerary October 2019 2019/5/27 09:27
I see that you are staying in Nagoya to attend the GP at Suzuka (Days 13-15). You can do it, but so will 99.9% of people. If you have no other business in Nagoya, I recommend staying south of Suzuka (like Tsu, Matsuzaka, Ise, or Toba, etc.) to have much easier time on the train. Going from Nagoya to Suzuka is not so bad (it will still be crowded) because people arrive at varying times, but going back to Nagoya after the race is worse than the morning rush hour train in Shinjuku (Tokyo). I did see one smart group of Nagoya-bound people take a train to south from Suzuka first, then they caught the Nagoya-bound train from one station south of Suzuka. In any case, be prepared for lots of people.
by Belldear (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 5 weeks Japan itinerary October 2019 2019/5/27 10:25
Plenty of lodging in Yokkaichi as well for the Suzuka GP. It's just north of Suzuka, so it's not a bad choice. That's where I stayed for the '17 Suzuka race.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 5 weeks Japan itinerary October 2019 2019/5/27 14:12
In addition to the PPs here my two cents :

- for my feeling you are changing hotels too often in Kansai. Kobe, Nara and Himeiji can be easily done as daytrip from Osaka or Kyoto. As well as Osaka from Kyoto. So I would maybe directly go from the airport to Kobe rest there, do some sightseeing , next day or day 3 depart to Himeiji see it on the way to Hiroshima and then following day see Miyajima. As PP wrote Osaka castle isnft worth it. And spa world in my eyes neither. If you want great onsen, you have Beppu plus you could maybe throw in some onsen in Nagano Prefecture.
This way you should gain a day or two, which I would use to see Naoshima or Teshima or maybe Inujima in the Seto inland sea.
- when you come back to Kansai I would just stay the entire time (day 28-34) in Kyoto. You can do Nara and Osaka as an easy daytrip from there. (I personally would prefer staying a few days in Nara though, but as you want to go only one day to Nara that wouldnft make sense. )

What kind of JR pass are you getting? I guess itfs a bit complicated as you have 5 weeks and several times you stop for quite long breaks in one place. So maybe some combination of regional passes, National pass and normal tickets can be the best combination.

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

Re: Input on 5 weeks Japan itinerary October 2019 2019/5/30 00:45
Hello Again,
Thank you all for replying this fast!

@Ken Thanks! I think we are going to do himeji and kobe as you proposed and than as a day trip from Kyoto. The hard thing for me is figuring out what we can and can't do with luggage, for example you said, break Hiroshima to Nagasaki up by going to Saga. But how functional is it with big trolley bags. We're not backpacking. Or is it doable? It's my firt time traveling around a country.

@Belldear and John B Oeh thanks for that advice, I'm going to look around for a more suitable place to stay!

@likeB The same as I asked ken. Is it doable with luggage to go from kobe to hiroshima and stop on the way to see a place, in this example himeji? Also the stay in Kyoto tipI think i'm going to use. Only we are flyin to and from Osaka so we will spend the last 2 days there for the aquarium, and chilling before going back to The Netherlands.
by Aaltje (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 5 weeks Japan itinerary October 2019 2019/5/30 01:05
Oh and from where is the best place to do the day trip of walking the mangome/tsumago trail? If i'm not going to stay in Nagoya?
by Aaltje (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Input on 5 weeks Japan itinerary October 2019 2019/5/30 01:37
Nakatsugawa is a bus ride away from Magome and on the JR Central's Chup Main Line.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

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