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Itinerary help 2021/10/10 08:40
Hello
I am planning to visit Japan in 2022( permitting tourists entry)
I need your help in finalising itinerary ( 15 days) arriving in Tokyo- departing from Osaka
We are a couple from Uk and love nature, animals, botanical gardens, trails etc, not much into disco/ nightlife or shopping.
Arrive Tokyo - day 1-4
Day trip to Hakone-day 5
Day trip to Nikko-day 6
Day trip to Kamakura -day 7
Day 8&9 - Kyoto ( stay)
Day 10,11,12 -Osaka ( stay)
Day trip to Nara -day 12
Day trip to Kobe -Day 13
Day trip to Himeji day 14
Question-1- I will be buying Suica card in Tokyo, and will use in Kyoto, but can I return it in Kyoto? I read that it has to returned in same region. If I canft then can I buy Icoca card in Kyoto and return in Osaka ( being same region)?
This is just a rough itinerary. Any suggestions are welcome.
Thank you in advance
by Priya jay (guest)  

Re: Itinerary help 2021/10/10 10:34
Question-1- I will be buying Suica card in Tokyo, and will use in Kyoto, but can I return it in Kyoto?

Indeed, Suica cards cannot be returned in Kyoto. A small fee is charged when you return cards. It adds up if you return four cards. If you plan to visit Japan again within the next ten years, then I recommend to hold on to your cards and use them on your next trip, instead. The balance remains intact for 10 years after last use.

As for your itinerary, I find it interesting that you list "nature" first among your interests, yet you spend most of your time in the most urbanized parts of Japan:
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2325.html
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary help 2021/10/10 13:01
Regarding the card, you will need one in Tokyo and in Kyoto/Osaka. So yes, theoretically you could buy Suica in Tokyo, return it and the but ICOCA in Kyoto and return it in Osaka, but I think itfs about 500 yen or so what you donft get back. Because the money you have loaded onto it you can get gbackh by simply spending it. You can use IC cards not only fit travel but also for shopping. So unless you load up incredible amounts of money on the card, you can spend the last few thousand yen at the airport for some snacks/drinksc


Arrive Tokyo - day 1-4
Day trip to Hakone-day 5
Day trip to Nikko-day 6
Day trip to Kamakura -day 7
Day 8&9 - Kyoto ( stay)
Day 10,11,12 -Osaka ( stay)
Day trip to Nara -day 12
Day trip to Kobe -Day 13
Day trip to Himeji day 14


As PP said, not a lot of nature in this itinerary. Itfs a pretty standard itinerary for a first time visitor and nothing is wrong with that. What I would change is:
- why are all the day trips bundled together? Specially Hakone and Nikko are very long day trips. Possible, but do you want two of them back to back?
- why move to Osaka? I would just stay in Kyoto and do the daytrips from there. It will only add maybe 30 minutes to the Kobe / Himeji day trip but you donft need to change hotel. Plus Kyoto is definitely the nicer city.

Enjoy planning your trip and donft be disappointed if itfs going to be 2023 instead.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary help 2021/10/10 13:27
If you focus on being in nature, Nikko and Hakone, I wonder if you have enough time for that.

A day trip to Nikko, for example, is usually for heritage hopping, even if you omit it and go ahead nature part, I think you need to check transportation to get so that you don't waste your time and time you enjoy won't be shorter than travel to/from Tokyo.
by Asiansenior (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary help 2021/10/10 15:57
To be honest - spending a week in Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka each is probably the easiest thing to do. Moving between Osaka and Kyoto for hotels seems as though it's more pain than it's worth.

Odd question to ask - but what month are you planning to visit Japan? The reason I ask is that Nikko is nice but is close to some fantastic walks which are great for most season (apart from December - April). Staying the night since it's a long commute from Tokyo would allow you to see more and leaving your main luggage in storage in Tokyo (many hotels hold onto luggage for 1 or 2 nights) would make life easier. It would also allow you to see more nature.

You also mentioned that you like nature - but your places visited (as mentioned by Uji) are mostly built up areas. Lake Biwako along with the Kumano Kodo near Kyoto allows you to get near to nature.

Is there also a reason you are visiting Kobe? Apart from Kobe Beef and the Earthquake museum, I would not find anything particularly special there that would bring it to a "must see city" for a persons first visit.

Himeji is nice but unless you are a slow traveler or want an easy day, it's not really a full day. Adding Mt Shosha would make it a full and memorable day.

Have you considered visited a place like Hikone, Omi-Hachiman or Nagahama. Visiting Nagahama overnight from Kyoto and also visiting Chukubu Island could be quite nice. Imagine some of the better places in Japan - just without the massive Kyoto crowds.

https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/report-3377
https://www.japan-guide.com/community/mfedley/report-3378

Have fun deciding where to go!
by mfedley rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary help 2021/10/10 19:26
I see no reason to go to Himeji or Kobe judging by your described interests. Add more time to Hakone and Nikko.

IC cards - Buy in Tokyo. Return it the day you leave Tokyo. Repeat for Osaka.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary help 2021/10/18 02:18
Day 5 Hakone
You can buy Hokone Tozan railway nonbiri kippu =1400 yen unlimited ride for 1 day from odawara or hakone yumoto to gora,15 km you can get on get off freely
by Boris (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Itinerary help 2021/10/20 04:47
Day 14 Himeji
You can buy shinki Bus 1 Day pass =600 yen
Himeji sightseeing Tour wide free ticket=1300
by Johnson (guest) rate this post as useful

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