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Trip rescheduling Covid-19 May to November 2020/3/23 22:54

It seems there is a very high likeliness that my wife and I will be unable to travel to Japan in May due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will be travelling from Europe and seeing the (completely understandable) quarantine measures and worldwide status of the pandemic, it seems unlikely things will be business as usual in 7 or so weeks.

Due to work commitments we are looking towards an extremely busy 2021, and postponing the trip to May 2021 will most likely be impossible, so our we are thinking about postponing for 6 months and travel in the fall (November 2020).

I'm taking the first steps in the arrangements from a practical POV:
1. My plane tickets can be moved free of charge until November 30th. In case I cancel I will get a voucher valid until May 30th for the value of my tickets through the airline => Postponing is less hassle here. I'm not sure I would be able to use the voucher in time. Travelling to a different destination would of course be an option.
2. My hotels have free cancellation as I booked through a very well known online platform

This thus gives me quite some flexibility to move my trip towards end of year.

My original itinerary was basically as following
A) 1 Travel Day
B) 6 days in Tokyo/daystrips from Tokyo
C) 2 days Kanazawa
D) 1 day Takayama
E) 2 days Okuhida (for the onsens and perhaps also a day to Kamikochi)
F) 3 days Kyoto (one of those days would be mostly travelling from Okuhida to Kyoto)
G) 3 days Hiroshima (* 1 day was to bike the Shimanami Kaido)
H) 3 days Osaka
I) Travel to going home

So, a few questions about Japan in Fall (in general) + my itinerary:

In general:
Advantage would be the Autumn colours that are naturally not present in May: Great!

Weather: Reading the climate tables it seems Japan is a bit different compare to Western Europe, November seems to be quite a dry month. Also a tad cooler then let's say April, but the weather should be acceptable? I understand there is always some luck involved, I'm not expecting t-shirt weather, but I prefer not pack full winter gear...

In short: November should be fully fine for travel? Unless we have some out of character weather we don't need to foresee snow and freezing temperatures; but unlike May we shouldn't be hoping for t-shirt weather for example?

Ashikaga Flower Park was on our to-do to catch the very end of the Wisteria season. I see they also have a Bejeweled Flower Garden in November. Is this worth a visit as a day trip from Tokyo, or just scratch it and re-purpose the day?

Okuhida/Kamikochi: Is this worth doing around mid November? Or best to look for alternatives? We planned it because we enjoy the mountains and hot springs. But if we are most likely past the changing of colors perhaps it will be a bit "barren" as the snow will come later?

Kyoto/Hiroshima/Osaka: We should be there around the November 21-28th I would estimate. This will most likely be around the peak of the autumn colours to my understanding? Also here I don't think I will need to adjust my itinerary, perhaps cut the day for cycling the Shimanami Kaido as I imagine it will really be to cold to enjoy a relaxing day of cyling...?

Thanks for any feedback, if I missed anything, be sure to give you remarks :)
by Jbs4lf (guest)  

Re: Trip rescheduling Covid-19 May to November 2020/3/24 09:39
Gooday. Yeah it is a bit late for colour in Kamikochi in mid November, it usually closes in about the first week in November anyway. Colour there is mid October, I've been at the end of October and it is pretty drab though very nice otherwise. Full colour in Takayama is usually around the first week of November and that is very pretty then. Not sure about Okuhida.

November is a great time to travel though Kyoto is usually packed. Remains to be seen what will be the case this year. It can be quite warm early in November but usually quite cold by the end especially once the winds pick up.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Trip rescheduling Covid-19 May to November 2020/3/24 10:16
I wouldnt book anything until you see and improvement.

Airline are firther cutting.

Travel insurance wont cover anything if this closed borders business drags out longer.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Trip rescheduling Covid-19 May to November 2020/3/24 10:25

I think Okuhida and Kamikochi might be a little cold for you an it is possible Kamikochi could get a dusting of snow. (That is why it closes in November.) Takayama is unlikely to have snow then but it might be rather cold at night.

I went to Kanazawa in November one year and it was quite pleasant.

Overall, I use to always enjoy going to Japan in November. I only stopped because I have a school kid and we don't have break then.

If you want to start planning and booking say hotels, just pick refundable. It's so hard right now to know what the future holds.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Trip rescheduling Covid-19 May to November 2020/3/24 12:00
@H, you didn't read the OP properly. The hotels have FREE cancellation. The flights are flexible. Lighten up before you post further.
by Abcdefg (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Trip rescheduling Covid-19 May to November 2020/3/24 16:36
Last September, I have been to Japan. I was travelling many different cities and places and taste different types of foods. So in my opinion, September and October is the best time time to travel there. But, remember this, don't forget to add these apps in your smartphone like Google Map, Sound track, Google translator and vpn to access all you want to watch. https://www.purevpn.com/servers/japan-vpn
by Jessica (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Trip rescheduling Covid-19 May to November 2020/3/24 22:28
I would say November is a great month to travel. You are beyond the typhoon season and it is not yet cold and it isnt rainy either. At least not in the places you plan to visit.

Last year 9/Nov, it was definitely still t-shirt weather close to Osaka: http://bicycletraveljapan.blogspot.com/2019/11/perfect-ride-downhill-t...

and in Nov 2017 I had like 2 days of rain between 2 - 22/Nov: http://bicycletraveljapan.blogspot.com/2017/11/

Hopefully by November the situation will be back to normal... or we will have just learned to live with Covid-19 somehow.

by LikeBike rate this post as useful

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