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Itinerary check for 23 day honeymooon

Hi. We are going on our honeymoon soon for 23 days in Japan and would love some feedback on our planned itinerary. It is our first time in Japan and we are planning to include a week of skiing (just renting equipment as we don't want to drag it all over). Was thinking of getting the 21 day JR Pass. Annoyingly we are staying just over the 21 days, so will have to pay for the trip back to Narita.

Day Weekday Schedule

1 Sunday Arrive Tokyo in the morning

2 Monday Tokyo

3 Tuesday Nagano (travel to Nozawa in evening)

4 Wednesday Nozawa skiing

5 Thursday Nozawa skiing

6 Friday Nozawa skiing

7 Saturday Myoko skiing

8 Sunday Myoko skiing

9 Monday Myoko skiing

10 Tuesday Kanasawa

11 Wednesday Kanasawa / Takayama

12 Thursday Takayama / Kyoto

13 Friday Kyoto

14 Saturday Kyoto (day trip to Nara?)

15 Sunday Hiroshima (stop at Hijema on the way) (stay at hotel on Miyajima?)

16 Monday Miyajima and Okayama / Kurashiki? (Stay here or go back late to Osaka?)

17 Tuesday Osaka

18 Wednesday Osaka

19 Thursday Enoshima / Kamakura? Somewhere to see Mt Fuji?

20 Friday Tokyo

21 Saturday Tokyo

22 Sunday Tokyo

23 Monday Hotel at Narita and fly home in the morning

I think it looks like a good itinerary, but I am just not sure if it is too much travelling? We have both traveled a lot before so are used to moving around, but usually take it a bit slower. The trains seems comfy and fast here though so maybe it is ok?

Not a relaxing honeymoon, but should be fun and give lots of good memories.

Thank you.

7 comments
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level 1

Given that you're not using the JR Pass for long stretches while skiing, I'm not sure that it's a particularly cost-effective choice. Have you used a calculator, or considered a combination of regional passes?

After skiing, your trip seems quite rushed. Not enough time in Kyoto, Miyajima is worthy of a full day, Tokyo only a few days. I'd seriously consider dropping a couple of destinations, possibly Okayama and Takayama, to allow you to spend more time in the other locations. Either that, or drop some skiing days. The travelling isn't the problem, it's not being able to enjoy the places you are visiting.

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 1 year ago

Given that you're not using the JR Pass for long stretches while skiing, I'm not sure that it's a particularly cost-effective choice. Have you used a calculator, or considered a combination of regional passes?

Yea I used a calculator and entered all the large journeys, not journeys within cities. That said we would save 15-20k yen. So not a huge sum, but every bit helps. And don't have to worry about finding a ticket machine everywhere. Going from 14 to 21 day pass is not that expensive (~€90), so will pay for the Narita express and Nagano Shinkansen at least. I looked briefly at getting a regional pass for the skiing, but they did not seem cheaper to me.

After skiing, your trip seems quite rushed. Not enough time in Kyoto

Yea it is more rushed than we usually travel. Is 3 days enough in Kyoto? Hard to answer I know, but we do not want to see every temple in the city as we get tired of stuff like that after a while.

Miyajima is worthy of a full day

Both of you suggesting a full day at Miyajima, so will definitely get that in.

Tokyo only a few days.

5 days in Tokyo not enough? I know, can probably spend years there, but just to see the "hightlights"?

I'd seriously consider dropping a couple of destinations, possibly Okayama and Takayama, to allow you to spend more time in the other locations. Either that, or drop some skiing days.

Yea I think we are leaving out Okayama at least. Will consider Takayama. Skiing accommodation is the only thing we have booked, so that is staying. Also one of the reasons we are going is for skiing in Japan. That's the reason we are visiting during winter.

Thanks for your comments. Will see how we can change our itinerary.

level 3

Three days in Kyoto is a good amount, but you don't have three full days - you have 1.5 days with a day trip to Nara. There's quite a few things to do outside of temples and shrines - Arashiyama, for instance, and the new train museum.

I missed a couple of your Tokyo days! Tokyo is huge though, so you certainly won't get bored. I've spent two weeks there total over two trips, and still have several days' worth of things I'd like to visit next time!

level 1
moderator3 points · 1 year ago

1 Sunday Arrive Tokyo in the morning

2 Monday Tokyo

3 Tuesday Nagano (travel to Nozawa in evening)

Go straight to skiing from the airport and move your Tokyo time to the end. Going to Nagano is useless. Just go straight to the resort and give the extra day to Kyoto or Tokyo.

10 Tuesday Kanasawa

11 Wednesday Kanasawa / Takayama

12 Thursday Takayama /

Cut all of this. Assign one of the days to either Tokyo or Kyoto, and give the other two days to the other city.

16 Monday Miyajima and Okayama / Kurashiki? (Stay here or go back late to Osaka?)

Impossible itinerary. Miyajima will take up a good portion of the day. Just go straight to Osaka when you're done.

level 2
Original Poster1 point · 1 year ago

Go straight to skiing from the airport and move your Tokyo time to the end. Going to Nagano is useless. Just go straight to the resort and give the extra day to Kyoto or Tokyo.

Thank you. We did consider going skiing straight away, but thought that since we are flying for 19 hours from Europe we would be pretty tired and jet-lagged and not up for skiing. We already booked accommodation for skiing and Tokyo at the start (only things booked so far), so can't change that. But if you say there is no reason to go and check out Nagano then we can maybe spend that day in Tokyo and go to Nozawa in the evening.

Cut all of this. Assign one of the days to either Tokyo or Kyoto, and give the other two days to the other city.

Cut both Kanasawa and Takayama you mean? That is not happening as my wife is really looking forward to Kanasawa, so we are definitely going there :) Could just take the faster Thunderbird train to Kyoto from there I guess, but we thought one night in Takayama seemed fun. Slower travel, but I read that the train journey through the mountains there are supposed to be very nice?

Impossible itinerary. Miyajima will take up a good portion of the day. Just go straight to Osaka when you're done.

Thanks. I did not realize there was so much to do at Miyajima. Will have to do some more research. Our original plan was 2 nights accomodation in Hiroshima, but then I read that the city was not that interesting (you agree with that?), so I added the idea about staying overnight at Miyajima and one night at Okayama instead. But can just go to Osaka one day earlier. How much is there to do in Osaka? Should I add another day in Kyoto instead? Just know from experience that eventually we'll get a bit "templed" out after seeing a myriad of them in a few days.

level 3

Your itinerary does feel very rushed.

Kanazawa → Takayama → Kyoto is okayish... until you get to the time spent in Kansai and Tokyo. 2½-3 days is the minimum you should set for highlights of Kyoto.

Beside Takayama is awkwardly reachable and you need ~2 hours to get there from Kanazawa by bus and a further 3½ to get to Kyoto.

Another advice: Splitting your stay in Kansai does not make much sense. I'd pack all the Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Himeji time together.

Re: Hiroshima/Miyajima/Okayama - Hiroshima is a city with some nightlife, Okayama is a much smaller city, Miyajima is a touristy/"rural" that shuts down after dark. If you're looking for a ryokan stay - Miyajima is ok, if you are looking for semblance of nightlife - Hiroshima is the way to go.

Just know from experience that eventually we'll get a bit "templed" out after seeing a myriad of them in a few days.

So plan around it. Nishiki Market, Gion, Ponto-cho...

But if you say there is no reason to go and check out Nagano then we can maybe spend that day in Tokyo and go to Nozawa in the evening.

Seeing Zenko-ji or/and Jigokudani Monkey Park would probably be more sensible use of your time than going back and forth.

level 1

Was thinking of getting the 21 day JR Pass. Annoyingly we are staying just over the 21 days, so will have to pay for the trip back to Narita.

There are alternatives for getting to/from Narita. The Keisei Skyliner is more convenient if you're staying in East Tokyo (anywhere near Ueno or Nippori), and not too expensive. The JR Pass is a waste of money for your days in Tokyo anyway.

I also think you'd be better off cutting some of those destinations. Sure the trains in Japan are great, but even as a train nerd I found it got tiring taking long journeys so frequently. I'd recommend going to HyperDia and look up all the travel times, because it adds up.

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