Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/2 22:32
Hi, we will like to explore as much as possible on our first trip to Japan. There is this suggested 11 days, 10 nights itinerary on the Japan-Guide website. I was wondering if this is still the best trip when arriving in Narita Tokyo morning January 30th and leaving February 9th midday.

It seems Ifm not allowed to post the link but I will try here:

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2400_tokyo_9.html

Any suggestions for this time of the year would be much appreciated.

Best,
DenB
by DenB (guest)  

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/3 10:47
Hi, it depends on what you like to do and see.

If for example you like nature, I dont think it is a great trip plan. It also isnt a great trip plan if you dont like crowds, though maybe it will be quieter that time of year. If you want to see snow it isnt a good plan.

If however you want to get a taste for Japan and like cities and dont mind crowds, it is an awesome trip plan. You could spend a lot longer in Tokyo and Kyoto and not get bored. Dont get me wrong - there are a lot of parks and things in Kyoto and Tokyo, but other places (eg Nara) are much greener and more relaxing.

by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/3 11:27
In my opinion those suggested itineraries are horrible. They are too fast paced and require a lot of time traveling to do them.

Better off doing your own and going at a better more managable pace.

You are going in the middle of winter. So hiking etc is out of the question.

For 11 days, I would suggest Tokyo and Kyoto only, with side trips to Hakone, Osaka and Nara.
by Hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/3 11:57
I think it's too busy if you include all the side trips. If you followed all the suggestions, you'd end up with a single day in each of Tokyo and Kyoto, which is definitely not enough! I would advise at least 3 full days in Tokyo itself, and at least two full days in Kyoto - more for both if you can!

Nara is a great day trip from Kyoto, so is highly recommended. Himeji is a bit far out unless you use the shinkansen, which may get expensive (unless you get a rail pass - a 7 day JR Pass would pay off with a round trip between Tokyo and Kyoto, plus the Himeji side trip). Himeji is easily done in half a day.

For Tokyo side trips, Kamakura is my favourite but may not be as attractive in winter. Nikko looks very attractive in winter due to the mountains, and Hakone is a good choice as the winter weather is clearer and improves your changes of seeing Fuji.
by / (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/3 12:47
Many thanks. We do not mind crowds. We just happen to be going now in winter due to our birthday. Goal is to get the best experience possible for that time of the year.
by DenB (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/3 15:39
Hi,

In all honesty, what is the best itinerary for you really varies based on your interests and your budget and your travel pace. I personally, like to travel at a faster pace than some other posters here, does that make me wrong? No. It just means I like to travel at a faster pace. There are other posters here who go at a much faster pace than me or do even longer day trips than I would like. They're not wrong either. It's really important to look honestly at yourselves and decide how much travel you want each day, what are your interests and what really is your budget. On a tighter budget, you could easily find enough to entertain you in the Kanto region for 11 days without even going anywhere further afield.

Do you want to visit temples and shrines?
Do you like onsen?
Are you hoping to try to see some sort of flowers? (there are some that bloom in February)
Are you interested in Winter illuminations?
Do you want to see snow?
Do you want to see the countryside?

We can all tell you what we like to do, but it won't necessarily be what you want to do.

Good luck! I've been to Japan in January and February and it can be cold, but in certain respects it can be easier dealing with the cold than the heat.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/3 18:22
I truly appreciate your replies.

Donft worry about traveling slow or fast. Ifm asking for your advice and what you would do. We will automatically adjust to our pace. What I was aiming at, with your knowledge, if you had to plan your perfect first time trip again, how would you do it?
Like: priority 1, definitely visit Tokyo and Kyoto
Priority 2: visit Osaka
Etc. Etc.
by DenB (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/3 23:02
Why did Japan develop by incorporating Western advanced culture? If you are interested in , please go to the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Tokyo
If you look at this, I want to take your loved ones

https://youtu.be/sYP14XFXFNc
by DEEP JAPAN (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/3 23:10
Thank you
by DenB rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/4 01:10
Hi!

Again, budget plays a role. If money is no object I would pick a different first trip to Japan vs. if you have budget constraints. I have certainly seen my share of people post on here with a tight budget and who might best have been better served with a slightly less ambitious itinerary.

And again, what you want to do on your first trip depends on your interests.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/4 04:14
Choose two or three places. Or themes/experiences.
Decide whether you want a snow experience.
Find out what airports you can fly into/out of from your home country (remember you can always eg fly to Tokyo and hop straight into a connecting flight to somewhere else).
Then, I reckon, your holiday will start to take shape.
by Winter Visitor rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/4 05:07
We do not have budget constraints fortunately. We will fly into Tokyo and leave from Tokyo. We will definitely want to spend a few days there and in Kyoto also. We are very open for suggestions. We know it will be a wow regardless of what we do. We just want a taste so that we can plan a longer trip and more places the next time. But this trip we definitely want to do more than just Tokyo and Kyoto. We talked about the skiing but being Europeans we are spoiled, so we donft think thatfs necessary a must do just because we travelling during winter.
by DenB rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/5 14:58
The basic itinerary you started with - Tokyo and Kyoto - makes sense for a first time visit to Japan. Note that if you're flying out of Tokyo, you can make it back from Kyoto to Narita (or Haneda) in about 4 hours so normally there is no need to return to Tokyo the day before you depart (as the itinerary suggests) - rather you can return the day of your flight. However, in your case, that is not going to work if the flight out is at midday. Thus, what I would do is reverse the sequence. If you arrive at Narita in the morning, head straight to Kyoto and stay there for 6 nights (so January 30 - February 4). Return to Tokyo on February 5, which is day 7. I would keep the itinerary's suggested day trips to Himeji and Nara and spend the rest of the time in and around Kyoto, where there is plenty to see and do. A 7 day JR Pass used to get you from Narita to Tokyo to Kyoto and back to Tokyo and including the itinerary's suggested trips to Himeji and Nara will be cost-effective (the Pass is yen 29,650 compared with the cost of buying individual tickets of about yen 43,000). On the way back from Himeji, stop in Osaka and visit Dotonbori, the nightlife and restaurant area of Osaka; other than that, don't bother with Osaka. The Pass will expire the day you get back to Tokyo so from day 8 onwards, you'll need to pay separately for any trips (including the return to Narita). Spend days 8 - 10 in and around Tokyo. I wouldn't do the day trips to Nikko and Kamakura -- yes, they're worthwhile but you can only do so much. The risk is that you spend time going from one place to the next without adequate time to see and experience where you are. There's lots to see and do in Tokyo itself to keep you occupied .... and yes, I'd pick Himeji and Nara over Nikko and Kamakura.
by tt7 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/6 05:04
Thank you so much for the advice!
by DenB rate this post as useful

Re: Best 11 days trip Jan 30 to Feb 9 2019/12/6 08:56
Since it's winter, you might want to explore the onsen culture. Rotenburos are lovely during winter.
by Andrea (guest) rate this post as useful

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