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Feedback on my rough itinerary 2020/3/5 15:14
Hey all, I’ll be going to japan for my first ever solo trip next month as part of my Asia backpack trip, and just put my first version of a rough itinerary on paper! (Very last minute I know, I’m booking everything the coming few days.)

I’ll be going for about a month, but I don’t have a strict return date.

4/1/2020 - Arrive in Tokyo

4/2/2020 - Full day in Tokyo

4/3/2020 - Full day in Tokyo

4/4/2020 - Full day in Tokyo

4/5/2020 - Full day in Tokyo

4/6/2020 - Full day in Tokyo

4/7/2020 - Tokyo ―> Kawagoe | Leaving around 11:00

4/8/2020 - Kawagoe ―> Nikko | Leaving around 16:00

4/9/2020 - Full day in Nikko

4/10/2020 - Nikko ―> Kamakura | Leaving around 13:00

4/11/2020 - Kamakura ―> Hakone | Leaving around 14:00

4/12/2020 - Full day in Hakone

4/13/2020 - Hakone ―> Matsumoto | Leaving around 12:00

4/14/2020 - Matsumoto ―> Takayama | Leaving around 13:00

4/15/2020 - Takayama ―> Ise | Leaving around 14:00

4/16/2020 - Full day in Ise

4/17/2020 - Ise ―> Nara | Leaving around 11:00

4/18/2020 - Nara ―> Kobe | Leaving around 12:00

4/19/2020 - Kobe ―> Hiroshima | Taking the last train

4/20/2020 - Full day in Hiroshima

4/21/2020 - Hiroshima ―> Matsue | Leaving around 11:00

4/22/2020 -Matsue ―> Osaka | Taking the last train

4/23/2020 - Full day in Osaka

4/24/2020 - Full day in Osaka

4/25/2020 - Osaka ―> Kyoto | Taking the last train

4/26/2020 - Kyoto

4/27/2020 - Kyoto

4/28/2020 - Kyoto

4/29/2020 - Kyoto

4/30/2020 - Flying back (?)

Please let me know any feedback, as I want to see quite a lot!

Excuse me for the terrible formatting as I am writing this on mobile.
by Pepijn (guest)  

Re: Feedback on my rough itinerary 2020/3/5 17:06
For Kansai ,I strongly suggest you to buy surutto Kansai pass 3 day= 5200 yen for unlimited travel in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara etc
by John (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Feedback on my rough itinerary 2020/3/5 17:22
OK. I have lots of questions about the mechanics of getting from one place to another. It looks like you have some long train rides.

Are you planning to get a JR Pass? Starting when?

Where are you flying in and out of?

Are you planning to use Hotels? Can you use a hotel as a base, and do day trips, or, does everything go with you, wherever you go?

Nikko and Kawagoe? I am assuming a Tobu Nikko Pass of some sort?

I’d almost suggest moving Hakone earlier, and return back to Tokyo, before heading to Matsumoto. Use a Hakone Pass.

How are you planning to get to Matsumoto? Bus?

Are you also planning to take the bus from Matsumoto to Takayama?

Are you aware the Takayama is having their Festival on the 14th & 15th. Do you have reservations? If so, I would leave Matsumoto early, to give you more time at the festival.

Takayama to Ise is a stretch, but can be done.

Ise to Nara.. Maybe a bus to Nagoya, and a Kintetsu train to Ise? Are you planning to get the five day Kintetsu pass? I think it would be better to go to Nara as a day trip from Osaka or Kyoto. A Kintetsu pass would get you to Osaka, but not Kobe. Think about putting Osaka after Nara.

If you do get a JR Pass, think about staying in Okayama, and doing Hiroshima and Matsue as day trips from there. Kobe as well.

I obviously have more questions about how to respond? Is this the type of feedback that you are interested in?

Good Luck, in planning your trip.

by ebaychucky311 rate this post as useful

Re: Feedback on my rough itinerary 2020/3/5 23:20
I just checked Takayama on the 14th on JAPANiCAN, there is lodging in Takayama! BOOK THIS FIRST. I am planning on going Spring 2021, and I plan to book this six months in advance of my trip.

I have no clue if the festival will be held, but, I am blown away that there are rooms in Takayama.
by ebaychucky311 rate this post as useful

Re: Feedback on my rough itinerary 2020/3/6 02:11

Some of these days seem like a lot of long travel where you won't have all that much time in your destination and then towards the end of your trip you have a lot more free time. Unless you have specific things like USJ you plan to do in Osaka, I'd take one of my Osaka days and move it elsewhere. I think Hakone to Matsumoto is a long day and you're not going to have time to do anything in Matsumoto by the time you arrive there. Takayama to Ise is the other really long day to me.

Getting from Ise to Nara is doable without backtracking to Nagoya, I believe you change trains in Yamato-Yagi and then again in Yamato-Saidaiji. I stayed last Summer in Yamato-Yagi/Sakurai and thought about visiting Ise via Kintetsu. You're going to want to take some Limited Express trains though which will cost additional from just the regular pass. I seem to remember the trains in Yamato-Yagi were timed well and ran often. I didn't go through Yamato-Saidaiji though. I would avoid taking JR from Sakurai up to JR Nara. That train line runs a lot less frequently than Kintetsu.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Feedback on my rough itinerary 2020/3/6 05:04
That's the impression I got as well - a lot of painful transport. You didn't mention any rail passes you plan to use, and actually Kawagoe to Nikko is not bad at all, but going from Nikko to Kamamura is going to be a bit of a pain. Why not return to Tokyo the night before? Hakone to Matsumoto is going to be quite painful - most likely taking 4½ hours or more. For Hiroshima to Matsue, there is a direct 3 hour bus you can take (and until a year ago a dirt cheap fare of just 500 yen; can't get any new info on an extension) for 3900 yen, otherwise by train it's 9130 yen. And it's about 3½ hours from Matsue to Osaka - it just looks too painful for me for just an overnight side trip - why not add a day you have for Osaka? You can easily see Osaka at night after a day of sightseeing in Kyoto, and Osaka really comes alive in the evenings anyway.
You just list cities for some of your days, so I can't see how you are allocating your time locally.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Feedback on my rough itinerary 2020/3/6 06:34
Overall, I am guessing that you plan to visit a lot of Shrines and Temples. Several locations indicate that, like Nara, Ise, Matsue (Iszumo shrine), Kamakura, Nikko, Kyoto, and possibly Hiroshima (Miyajima Island). Did you think about adding “The Shrine” in Nagoya, or, a temple visit on Mount Koya? On my first visit to Japan, I visited many of these myself, as well as Shrine 1 of the Shikoku, and three major Kannon pilgrimages (33 Kanto, 33 Kansai, and 34 Chichibu). You only include Kamakura, which has the start of the 33 Kanto Kannon Pilgrimage.

I do think adding Takayama is a good addition to a Temple/Shrine visit to Japan. The festival has a good parade with mobile shrines in it.

Ok... I missed Kawagoe for some reason. Mentally, when I think Nikko, I also think about Kinogawa, and somehow put that as your location to visit, Instead of Kawagoe.

Kawagoe is a good place to visit. Are you planning to go to the warehouse district? Candy Alley? A Tokyo Area Pass can be used for both Kawagoe and Nikko.

Do Tokyo for a while. Do Kamakura and Hakone, and then return to Tokyo. Then do Nikko and Kawagoe on a Tokyo Area Pass, and finish by using it to get close as you can to Matsumoto on the pass, and pay for the liner train to finish the journey.

I am assuming Matsumoto, is to visit the Black Castle. It is currently closed, due to the Coronavirus outbreak. You may want to skip this.

Good luck, in planning your trip.
by ebaychucky311 rate this post as useful

Re: Feedback on my rough itinerary 2020/3/6 09:28
I've found the current link for the Hiroshima to Matsue bus.
It runs til Mar 31st, but as they have continued the sale for the past few years, hopefully then will renew it again for April and beyond.
As for the Kansai Thru pass, it is dubious at best that it would pay off. I highly suggest you check the fares to make sure you'd at least be breaking even on it.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Feedback on my rough itinerary 2020/3/6 20:08
Those to and froms have horrible transport option. You,ll be taking a lot longer than planed
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

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