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My 10-Day Japan Itinerary - Feedback?

My 10-Day Japan Itinerary - Feedback?

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Old Dec 13, 18, 7:29 pm
  #1  
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My 10-Day Japan Itinerary - Feedback?

I have planned a 10 day trip to Japan. The outline of my trip is as follows:
  • I will be their during Cherry Blossom season in 2019 (hopefully)
  • I fly in and out of Tokyo, so the trip will start and end their
  • First 4 nights in Tokyo - Staying in Shinjuku
  • Next 4 nights in Osaka
    • I will do a day trip to Kyoto
  • Last 2 nights back in Tokyo - Looking to stay in Ginza
  • I will use the bullet train to get around between cities
The main purpose of the trip is to explore, eat and really just experience the culture.

I will be doing things like:
  • Eating all kinds of food
  • One or two hikes (a couple of hours each)
  • Bicycle rental to explore (Kyoto potentially)
  • Visit temples
  • Shopping
  • Baseball game
I have never been to Japan and am putting together a list of things to do.

Any suggestions/feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 8:17 pm
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I believe you're going to Osaka on day5 and returning to Tokyo on day9.
Are you flying out of NRT on day11?

If so, and you're getting the 7-day JR Pass, then activate it to start on your day5 and end on day11 so that your bullet train and return NEx are covered.

On the other hand, if you're going far enough via JR for your day hike trip from Tokyo like on day 3 or 4, then you'd want to have your JR Pass active between days 3-9.

You could do a day trip to Miyajima from Osaka and do some easy hikes on Mt.Misen where the inland sea views are outstanding from the top.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 10:38 pm
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For a 10 night/11 day trip, I’d spend 4 nights in Tokyo and 7 nights in Kyoto, and take the train back to Narita on day 11. Get a 7 day JR Pass for days 5 - 11, do some day trips from Kyoto, depending on what you want to do.

Why do you want to stay in Osaka? Tokyo is modern Japan writ large, Kyoto is old/cultural Japan at its best, Osaka is .... not much of anything - a bit like a mini-Tokyo with none of Tokyo’s attractions. Why do you want to stay in Ginza - high-priced shopping and restaurants?
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Old Dec 13, 18, 11:33 pm
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If you stay several days in Kyoto, a Japan Rail Pass would be a good value. Day trips to Himeji, Osaka, Nara and possibly even Hiroshima are all doable from Kyoto Station.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 1:13 am
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What are your dates?
Certain attractions that are extremely crowded in late March may well be peaceful and serene in early April.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by tt7 View Post
For a 10 night/11 day trip, I’d spend 4 nights in Tokyo and 7 nights in Kyoto, and take the train back to Narita on day 11. Get a 7 day JR Pass for days 5 - 11, do some day trips from Kyoto, depending on what you want to do.

Why do you want to stay in Osaka? Tokyo is modern Japan writ large, Kyoto is old/cultural Japan at its best, Osaka is .... not much of anything - a bit like a mini-Tokyo with none of Tokyo’s attractions. Why do you want to stay in Ginza - high-priced shopping and restaurants?
100% agreed. Do one evening in Osaka at Dōtonbori (check departing train times back to Kyoto).
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Old Dec 16, 18, 3:00 am
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I think one day in Kyoto is quite short especially if u have to go to/from Osaka that day.
There is quite a bit of walking.

If possible, stay at a Ryokan in Kyoto but it can be very expensive during cherry blossom season.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 7:38 pm
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I echo others that say that spending more time in Osaka than Kyoto doesn't make much sense. That said, Kyoto can be done in 2-3 days - once you've been to a few temples, they all start to blend together, to be honest. I'd personally do 2 days in Kyoto, maybe a day or half day in Osaka and 7 days in Tokyo. I've been going to Tokyo once or twice a year for 18 years now and I still haven't done everything I want to do there. I've been to a bunch of other Japanese cities as well and I just never find that most of them require more than 2 days, whereas Tokyo and its surrounding area just seem endless...

But it all depends on what you're into. Tokyo's better for modern stuff, Kyoto for ancient stuff. I personally prefer modern Japan, but you might be the opposite.
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Old Dec 16, 18, 9:53 pm
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For the other point of view, I find Tokyo boring and a little sad. Accordingly, I'd stay longer in Kyoto but plan on doing some day trips out of town. Two or three days in and around Kyoto, one day in Osaka, one day in Nara plus another day in either Hikone or Himeji. Kyoto Station is a much easier "hub" for day tripping than any of the stations in Osaka. After 5 or 6 days in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka and surrounds,) you could proceed to Tokyo for a few days in the bustling city before heading home.

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Old Dec 17, 18, 9:31 pm
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Here's the best analogy I can think of for an American:

Kyoto = Washington, DC (minus the current government stuff, but with all the history)
Osaka = Philadelphia
Tokyo = New York City
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Old Dec 22, 18, 5:12 am
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
I believe you're going to Osaka on day5 and returning to Tokyo on day9.
Are you flying out of NRT on day11?

If so, and you're getting the 7-day JR Pass, then activate it to start on your day5 and end on day11 so that your bullet train and return NEx are covered.

On the other hand, if you're going far enough via JR for your day hike trip from Tokyo like on day 3 or 4, then you'd want to have your JR Pass active between days 3-9.

You could do a day trip to Miyajima from Osaka and do some easy hikes on Mt.Misen where the inland sea views are outstanding from the top.
Day 1 is the day I arrive, and I leave on day 10. I think you are right - I will plan to get the JR Pass to cover the last seven days of my trip (I think I will spend the first couple of days in Tokyo exploring the areas closer to me.). This way, I may also be able to use the pass to get back to the airport.

Miyajima seems far for a day trip. Looking on Google maps, it seems like a 4-5 hour commute each way. I was considering exploring Kyoto once and possibly Nara as well, or going to Kyoto twice.

Thanks for the input!
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Old Dec 22, 18, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by tt7 View Post
For a 10 night/11 day trip, I’d spend 4 nights in Tokyo and 7 nights in Kyoto, and take the train back to Narita on day 11. Get a 7 day JR Pass for days 5 - 11, do some day trips from Kyoto, depending on what you want to do.

Why do you want to stay in Osaka? Tokyo is modern Japan writ large, Kyoto is old/cultural Japan at its best, Osaka is .... not much of anything - a bit like a mini-Tokyo with none of Tokyo’s attractions. Why do you want to stay in Ginza - high-priced shopping and restaurants?
The main reason I am staying in Osaka over Kyoto is my hotel situation. I am using A LOT of points for this trip and the difference in price is significant between Kyoto and Osaka (based on the points I have available). While in Osaka, I will probably do 1 or 2 day trips to Kyoto and possibly Nara. I may go to Kyoto twice. With the JR Pass, it seems like an easy enough trip to make (2 hours round trip). I am an early riser and will try to get there on the first train in the morning (hopefully I can beat some of the crowds). I do also want to see Osaka. It seems interesting. Maybe I wont like it as much as Tokyo, but I want to experience it as well. In preparing for this trip, Japan has become more and more interesting to me. If it is half as interesting as it feels, I will be back several times and will explore more and more areas of the country.

As far as staying in Ginza, I was thinking of using that time to explore the Eastern side of Tokyo (going from Ginza to Asakusa and the surrounding area's).

Is it foolish to try and do the two day trips out of Osaka?

Thank you for the input.
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Old Dec 22, 18, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
What are your dates?
Certain attractions that are extremely crowded in late March may well be peaceful and serene in early April.
April 5th thru April 15th
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Old Dec 22, 18, 5:33 am
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Originally Posted by HawaiiO View Post
I think one day in Kyoto is quite short especially if u have to go to/from Osaka that day.
There is quite a bit of walking.

If possible, stay at a Ryokan in Kyoto but it can be very expensive during cherry blossom season.

Yes, I am seeing that from the responses here. The Kyoto hotels are more expensive and I am trying to use points as much as possible to keep this trip affordable. Kyoto does not have a Hilton (Hilton is where I have most of my points currently). I was thinking of possibly doing two day trips to Kyoto or one to Kyoto and one to Nara. Is that unreasonable?

Thank you for the input.
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Old Dec 22, 18, 5:40 am
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Originally Posted by basscadet75 View Post
I echo others that say that spending more time in Osaka than Kyoto doesn't make much sense. That said, Kyoto can be done in 2-3 days - once you've been to a few temples, they all start to blend together, to be honest. I'd personally do 2 days in Kyoto, maybe a day or half day in Osaka and 7 days in Tokyo. I've been going to Tokyo once or twice a year for 18 years now and I still haven't done everything I want to do there. I've been to a bunch of other Japanese cities as well and I just never find that most of them require more than 2 days, whereas Tokyo and its surrounding area just seem endless...

But it all depends on what you're into. Tokyo's better for modern stuff, Kyoto for ancient stuff. I personally prefer modern Japan, but you might be the opposite.
Thank you for the input. I think I would agree with your sensibilities in that I think I will enjoy modern Japan more as well. I am looking at this trip as an exploratory trip into Japan. I dont want to try and cram everything in on one trip. I hope to be back several times. I may visit Osaka and realize 4 days was too much, but I do plan on taking trips out of Osaka (where as, while I am in Tokyo, I will stay in Tokyo). Do you think it is too much to go to Kyoto twice for the day? Google maps indicates that it is an hour train ride each way. Would you say that is accurate?

Thanks again. This is helpful.
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