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Japan 2 week itinerary 2019/8/23 06:18

I am travelling to Japan with my girlfriend for the first time from March 27 - April 10. I have drafted the itinerary below but not sure about the best day trips to take from Tokyo, how many nights to stay in each place, and the order of places to go to. Any advice would be greatly appreciated (taking into account the best sakura viewing spots) as hoping to book accommodation in advance while cheap!

27th March - Arrive in Tokyo
28th March - Tokyo
29th March - Tokyo
30th March - Tokyo
31st March - Tokyo

(day trips to Hakone, Kamakura andor Nikko)

1st April - Matsumoto or Takayama

2nd April - Kyoto
3rd April - Kyoto
4th April - Kyoto
5th April - Kyoto

(day trip to Nara)

6th April - Osaka
7th April - Osaka

(daytrip to Himeji Castle & Kobe)

8th April - Hiroshima & Miyajima

(overnight onsen stay in Miyajima)

9th April - Tokyo

10th April - Depart Tokyo
by Elliot (guest)  

Re: Japan 2 week itinerary 2019/8/23 11:20
Gooday. it actually looks pretty good especially if you like cities.

Personally I dont so much so I would do it differently, but working on the basis you do, what I'd suggest is that you think about going Tokyo to Matsumoto, stay the night there, then Matsumoto to Takayama by Bus and stay the night there, then on to Kyoto by train (I'd actually stop at Hikone and see the castle on the way). That will have a nice flow and you will see some good countryside. You could cut a day off Tokyo or Kyoto (or Osaka) to facilitate that.

by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japan 2 week itinerary 2019/8/23 12:32
Well, honestly "the best sakura viewing spots" in cities are likely to have more people in front of you than petals.
If you're already seeing Tokyo, there is less need to see Osaka. There are a few places for cherry blossoms, but the city is at it's best at night, and you can always see it after a day in Kyoto. It's just 30 minutes away by train.

Himeji Castle also has some good places for pictures - and don't miss the Kokoen Garden nearby.

Hiroshima has some good blossoms as well, especially Miyajima. In Hiroshima City there is also the Shukkeien Garden and Mitakidera Temple - less crowded and very nice.

In addition to Miyajima, just a bit beyond is Iwakuni which is excellent for cherry blossoms - and far less known.

One of the sticking points is Takayama - it's 4½ hours by train from Tokyo. Matsumoto is closer, but getting from there to Kansai is about 3 hours. Trying to cram both into one day does neither place justice.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Japan 2 week itinerary 2019/8/23 16:13
Overall that looks pretty good. I would make a couple of changes. I would take a day off of the initial Tokyo stay to use elsewhere. I would also slightly rearrange the middle of the trip so it would look like this:

27th March - Arrive in Tokyo
28th March - Tokyo
29th March - Tokyo
30th March - Tokyo

Day trips definitely to Kamakura & possibly Nikko

31st March - Takayama Minshuku stay (http://www.hida-yado.net/sp/html/yado-takayama-eng.html)
Although this is a long train journey of over 4 hours the views on the train up from Nagoya are very nice.

1st April - Kyoto
2nd April - Kyoto
3rd April - Kyoto
4th April - Kyoto
5th April - Kyoto
(day trips to Nara & Osaka)
Kyoto & Osaka are very close by train & I don't see the advantage of changing hotels.

6th April - To Hiroshima stopping at Himeji en route
7th April - Hiroshima/Miyajima

8th April - Hikone
I have put this in to break the long journey back from Hiroshima to Tokyo. There is a lovely original castle & garden. There is also Ryotanji, a temple with a stone garden that would be famous if it was in Kyoto. You could also stay in Hakone if you wanted.

9th - Tokyo
10th - Depart

Of course this is only one look at what I might do. I might be tempted to take another day off the Kyoto stay & have two nights and full day in Takayama. I'm sure others will have different ideas :)
by Stan Norrell rate this post as useful

Re: Japan 2 week itinerary 2019/8/23 18:17
Looks pretty good. For the sakura, just follow the crowds ;-)

Note that if it is sakura season, you will be jammed in all directions in Kyoto. We went off the beaten track and enjoyed a peaceful day there last year, during that early season.

I'm a big fan of Kamakura and Enoshima, and also like Kawagoe for a day trip from Tokyo. I've done a day trip to Nikko, it is quite wonderful too.

As others have said, I wouldn't move hotels between Kyoto and Osaka.

I'd add a night in Nara, because I like Nara and also it means you can spend an hour or two in Uji on the way there or back.

Endorse the idea of stopping in at Hikone to see the castle. You could stay a night there if you like.

I like Matsumoto very much, though to my taste it's a bit out of the way for this trip.

I'd be tempted to go Tokyo/Hikone (1)/Kyoto/Nara(1)/Hiroshima/Miyajima(1?)/Himeji(1?)/Tokyo. The gate at Miyajima is under wraps, if that's what you want to see, maybe check again. Note if you go to Nara you will already have seen many deer (many, many deer).

As suggested, you could call into Himeji and see the castle on the way back from Hiroshima, even making a night of it. Friends of ours loved staying there.

Have a wonderful time in Japan.
by Who? (guest) rate this post as useful

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