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Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Tokyo

Malaysia
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Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Tokyo

Hi, we are planning a 15 day trip to Japan and plan to cover the above places. I am wondering if it is a good itinerary in that order, flying off from Haneda Tokyo.

I have drawn up the following itinerary and would welcome any suggestions:-

a. Osaka 4 nights

b. Kyoto 3 nights

c. Himeji 2 nights

d.Hiroshima 1 night

e. Fukuoka 3 nights ( to see the carnival 2 - 4 May)

f. Tokyo 1 night plus a full day since we fly off late at night the next day.

Since this is our first time in Japan, and we are a retired couple, with an average budget, any advice would be most appreciated.

Are the above places worth visiting? Shd we substitute/change any of the places or reduce/increase nights in other?

Cheers

Mentioned in this post
Osaka
Osaka
Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Kyoto
Kyoto
Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Himeji
Himeji
Hyogo Prefecture, Japan
Hiroshima
Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
Fukuoka
Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Tokyo
Tokyo
Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Tokyo

Osaka & Kyoto are only 30 minutes from each other via train. Consider staying in one of the cities and do day trips to the other. This will eliminate a hotel move.

IMO - 7 nights might be too much between Osaka & Kyoto. Maybe cut back a day or two there and add them at Tokyo. Just my $.02

Mentioned in this post
Osaka
Osaka
Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Kyoto
Kyoto
Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Tokyo
Tokyo
Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
2. Re: Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Tokyo

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Tokyo, Japan
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3. Re: Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Tokyo

I think 7 days is totally worth it in the Kansai Region (Kyoto, Nara, Osaka), but I agree you might spend a bit more time in Tokyo as well.

BTW, Himeji Castle tower is now wholly under scaffolding due to thorough restoration work.

http://www.himejijo-syuri.jp/en/index.html

It can still be visited to see the restoration works, but I suggest keeping it to a later opportunity if there is. In any case, I don't think Himeji is worth staying overnight with or without restoration works. you might consider these castle alternatives:

1) Hikone Castle (near Maibara Shinkansen stop) plus Nijo Castle (the Shogun's magistrate office/villa in Kyoto)

2) Matsumoto Castle (in Nagano Prefecture), can be coupled with a visit to post towns in Kiso Valley, Magome/Tsumago among them.

3) Kumamoto Castle (in Kumamoto Prefecture, 49 minutes by Kyushu Shinkansen from Fukuoka).

I imagine that you can do 1-2 castles from above. Since you are going to Kyoto and Fukuoka, I think Hikone Castle and Kumamoto Castle are good picks (Nijo Caslte is still very worth visiting even if you did the above two, not as a castle but a villa of the Shogun).

Kyoto 3 nights should stay, or added extra 1-2 days. Nara should be visited as a day tour place (or perhaps for an overnight stay, to visit both the Nara city sights as well as Horyuji complex in the suburbs).

Osaka 4 nights can be reduced. Osaka is an interesting modern industrial/commercial city that might appeal more to the young. Namba/Dotombori is worth for great shopping and dining, but Osaka 4:Kyoto 3 seem unbalanced. Kyoto 5: Osaka 2 could be a right balance.

Hiroshima/Miyajima is quite nice- 1 night is fine (stay in Miyajima if you can) but 2 days are not spent bored. On your way to Hiroshima from the Kansai Region (Kyoto/Osaka/Nara), Okayama (Korakuen Garden) and Kurashiki (Ohara Museum and preserved quarter) is worth visiting as well.

Dazaifu, within 1 hour reach from Fukuoka, is a popular historical site.

Before going to Tokyo, Takayama (and Shirakawago village) is worth a side trip. Magome/Tsumago post towns near Nakatsugawa offers a nice hike and and a insight into historical countryside life.

Tokyo is not a boring concrete junk but perhaps you have visited earlier.

There are charming and cozy areas in Tokyo as well (like Asakusa, Yanaka), and Ginza is a nice shopping district where local grown up ladies and gentlemen spend time. Nikko and Mt Hakone are popular among tourists and worth visiting.

I'd suggest the 15 days like this (arrange so that you can fit sites that you prefer on appropriate dates):

D1 KIX. Stay in Kyoto

D2 Kyoto Higashiyama area. Stay in Kyoto

D3 Kyoto Kinkakuji/Arashiyama area. Stay in Kyoto

D4 Kyoto Nishiki Market. Hikone day trip (Castle, Museum). Stay in Kyoto

D5 Osaka Aquarium, Namba/Shinsaibashi area shopping and Dotombori in the evening. Stay in Osaka.

D6 Nara Horyuji and Todaiji. Osaka Umeda shopping and dining. Stay in Osaka.

D7 JRPD 1 JR Sanyo Shinkansen to Hiroshima. Stop by at Okayama for the garden, and local train to Kurashiki to see the Ohara Museum and the preserved district. In the afternoon, visit Hiroshima Peace Museum and Park. Late afternoon ferry to Miyajima Island from Miyajima-guchi. Stay in Miyajima (ryokan) or Hiroshima (city hotel)

D8 JRPD 2 JR Sanyo Shinkansen to Hakata (Fukuoka). See the festival and the Fukuoka city sites.

D9 JRPD 3 Fukuoka (festival). A visit to Dazaifu in the afternoon.

D10 JRPD 4 JR Kyushu Shinkansen to Kumamoto castle. Mt Aso visit. Stay in Fukuoka.

D11 JRPD 5 JR Sanyo Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka, JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Nagoya. JR Hida from Nagoya to Takayama. See Takayama sites. Stay in Takayama (ryokan).

D12 JRPD 6 Visit Shirakawa-go village from Takayama by bus. In the afternoon, return to Takayama and take the JR Hida to Nagoya. JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Tokyo (or Odawara then Hakone to stay at a onsen ryokan)

D13 JRPD 7 Mt Hakone day or overnight trip (Mt Fuji view at Owakudani or Togendai).

D14 Tokyo sites

D15 Flight back home.

* JRPD: JR-Pass days (7 days).

 

Edited: 12:43 pm, December 29, 2012
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Malaysia
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4. Re: Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Tokyo

Thanks Dave. Noted your advice.

cheers

Malaysia
Level Contributor
74 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Tokyo

Thanks Yobeekool. You have been so kind as to do up all that list. Now I will take some time to digest and try to follow your suggetions. If I have any questions, I might need to come back to you again.

Happy New Year to you and your family!

Cheers

6. Re: Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Tokyo

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