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Japan solo first timer itinerary

Japan solo first timer itinerary

Old Jul 24, 2023, 8:24 am
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Japan solo first timer itinerary

Planning my 1st trip to Japan. Will be travelling solo. Narrowed down all the stuff I've been planning over the last 3 years into a spreadsheet. Unfortunately a lot of tours are a min of 2 people so those might not be possible.

Any comments or advice will be greatly appreciated!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...qg-Aqm/pubhtml
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 8:49 am
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Hi

I think the edo tokyo museum is closed for major renovations until 2025

Regards

Tbs
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 8:51 am
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My first thought is that your schedule is full of events. Do you think you will be up to the full schedule every single day over three weeks visit in Japan? Besides your physical strength of keeping up with three weeks of full of schedule, things do happen (sometimes simply traffic conditions) which will put your schedule off. Have you entertained the idea of putting some cushion in the schedule so that if you are tired or unforeseen events make it impossible to keep the schedule, you will have a buffer to catch up?

When are you planning to make this trip? On Day 3 you are planning a day trip to Nikko. To complete the day trip to Nikko as your plan, avoid major holidays or foliage season. During major Japanese holidays and the middle of foliage season will have pretty bad traffic conditions around Nikko, it will make it difficult to get around the Nikko area by bus. Places will be busy during major weekends and major holidays, and meals at specific restaurants may have long waits. For example, during major weekends, major holidays, or peaks of the foliage, buses around Nikko can post 30 - 40 min. delay due to the traffic.

What is your plan to get around Kyoto? I think getting around places you planned around Kyoto by public transportation may be a little difficult if you want to visit all the places you have listed. Getting around tourists places by taxi in Kyoto can be a few thousand yen per ride (3000 yen = 16.57).
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by AlwaysAisle
My first thought is that your schedule is full of events. Do you think you will be up to the full schedule every single day over three weeks visit in Japan? Besides your physical strength of keeping up with three weeks of full of schedule, things do happen (sometimes simply traffic conditions) which will put your schedule off. Have you entertained the idea of putting some cushion in the schedule so that if you are tired or unforeseen events make it impossible to keep the schedule, you will have a buffer to catch up?

When are you planning to make this trip? On Day 3 you are planning a day trip to Nikko. To complete the day trip to Nikko as your plan, avoid major holidays or foliage season. During major Japanese holidays and the middle of foliage season will have pretty bad traffic conditions around Nikko, it will make it difficult to get around the Nikko area by bus. Places will be busy during major weekends and major holidays, and meals at specific restaurants may have long waits. For example, during major weekends, major holidays, or peaks of the foliage, buses around Nikko can post 30 - 40 min. delay due to the traffic.

What is your plan to get around Kyoto? I think getting around places you planned around Kyoto by public transportation may be a little difficult if you want to visit all the places you have listed. Getting around tourists places by taxi in Kyoto can be a few thousand yen per ride (3000 yen = 16.57).
I plan to be there during October avoiding all the holidays and busy period.

I'm planning to take a bus or walk (looking at Google maps this seems possible)?
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 9:20 am
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The foliage season at Nikko is from mid October to early November. Foliage season at Kyoto is from mid November to early December.
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by AlwaysAisle
The foliage season at Nikko is from mid October to early November. Foliage season at Kyoto is from mid November to early December.
Ah Ok so I should aim for late September early October to avoid the crowds.
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 9:46 am
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Just breaking down your first plan for Day 2

9:00am: Arrive in Harajuku. Visit Meiji-jingu Shrine, Omotesando, and Nezu Museum.
12:00 Travel to Kichijoji/Mitaka


Harajuku Station to Meiji Jingu Shrine is a 20 minute walk.
Meiji Jingu to Harajuku is a 20 minute walk
Harajuku to Nezu Museum via Omotesando is a 20 minute walk

Out of the allotted 180 minutes, one third will be spent getting to and between each of the places.

The question you need to ask yourself is what are you expecting to get out of each of the destinations?

Is it enough to walk to and from Meiji Jingu rather than hang around and see how the shrine is used?
How long do you think you will want to spend at Nezu Museum? Have you already decided you don’t want a cup of coffee there?
Is there any reason you want to go to Harajuku or Omotesando or are they just part of a path between Meiji Jingu and Nezu Museum.

As AlwaysAisle has said, I think you need to put lots more cushioning into your itinerary and not just to help you keep to schedule.

So far your itinerary is all about going to places. Cushioning is essential so you can plan on being in places.
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap
Just breaking down your first plan for Day 2

9:00am: Arrive in Harajuku. Visit Meiji-jingu Shrine, Omotesando, and Nezu Museum.
12:00 Travel to Kichijoji/Mitaka


Harajuku Station to Meiji Jingu Shrine is a 20 minute walk.
Meiji Jingu to Harajuku is a 20 minute walk
Harajuku to Nezu Museum via Omotesando is a 20 minute walk

Out of the allotted 180 minutes, one third will be spent getting to and between each of the places.

The question you need to ask yourself is what are you expecting to get out of each of the destinations?

Is it enough to walk to and from Meiji Jingu rather than hang around and see how the shrine is used?
How long do you think you will want to spend at Nezu Museum? Have you already decided you don’t want a cup of coffee there?
Is there any reason you want to go to Harajuku or Omotesando or are they just part of a path between Meiji Jingu and Nezu Museum.

As AlwaysAisle has said, I think you need to put lots more cushioning into your itinerary and not just to help you keep to schedule.

So far your itinerary is all about going to places. Cushioning is essential so you can plan on being in places.
You've hit my problem on the head. A lot of online guides specify a list of places to go to, but not to be at. Is there any resource that gives guidance on how long being at each location would be recommended? Or a resource that has a ready made itinerary taking into account travel time and visiting time.

Last edited by GodAtum; Jul 24, 2023 at 10:06 am
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by GodAtum
You've hit my problem on the head. A lot of online guides specify a list of places to go to, but not to be at. Is there any resource that gives guidance on how long being at each location would be recommended? Or a resource that has a ready made itinerary taking into account travel time and visiting time.
That will be dependent on your personal interest. For example, visiting temples are visiting historic sites with architectural and religious nature. If you have no interest in historical architecture or religion, then you may not find temples interesting, and may not spend a lot of time there. For me, I can easily spend two hours at Kiyomizu-Dera temple in Kyoto. If you are not into nature in a non-city setting then Kegon Fall at Nikko may not be for you.

I think you should prioritize what is your personal interest and that may help you prioritize where and what in Japan you want visit in Japan.
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 10:31 am
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Originally Posted by AlwaysAisle
That will be dependent on your personal interest. For example, visiting temples are visiting historic sites with architectural and religious nature. If you have no interest in historical architecture or religion, then you may not find temples interesting, and may not spend a lot of time there. For me, I can easily spend two hours at Kiyomizu-Dera temple in Kyoto. If you are not into nature in a non-city setting then Kegon Fall at Nikko may not be for you.

I think you should prioritize what is your personal interest and that may help you prioritize where and what in Japan you want visit in Japan.
I think for my first visit I'd like to keep things simple and tick off the big ticket attractions. Some of the smaller ones I can visit on my subsequent holidays. For example, on my first visit to New York City, I went to the Empire State and Statue of Liberty. On my 2nd visit I went to the smaller museums.

I'm interested in food, historic sites, culture and nature.
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 10:35 am
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If you can fit it in - miyajima island on hirosmia day is worth the detour. Take the tramway to the top for the view.

This is a healthy itinerary. Have fun.
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 11:30 am
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Miyajima is a beautiful place and highly recommended. However, I will not add Miyajima to your itinerary unless you remove half a day from Hiroshima or make Hiroshima two days trip by removing a day from other stays.

From your schedule, I can see you have done an excellent job doing homework and coming up with places to see in Japan. However, I think you are in a situation now where you cannot do it all. Willing to remove items from the schedule. As LapLap has mentioned, I am afraid that you will spend more time getting to places and not much meaningful time at each location. At Kyoto and Osaka, some days you have six /seven places to visit during the day and have a food tour scheduled for the evening. I do think you will end up battling with the clock all day long to make sure you will not get behind schedule and make it to the evening food tour.

What you came up with on the schedule are all good places to visit. It will be difficult to say which items should be removed from your schedule.
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 11:37 am
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^ I think thats a fair point.
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 11:49 am
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Overall it's a solid plan. Although you have to prepare for things not going exactly according to plan, it's always good to have a list of the things you'll want to see and do, and you've definitely done your research.

Two suggestions:
- Make sure to get to Kurama-dera early (it opens at 6AM, IIRC.) You'll (almost) have the place to yourself as you do the hike to Kibune. And when you finish your walk, perhaps have lunch at HIrobun, which offers the Kawadoko experience until about Mid-October.
- If you're wanting to see Fuji, it's best viewed early in the morning (if it's not covered in clouds, which is always possible.) Given that, I'd suggest that you go from Hiroshima to Kawaguchi-ko, and stay overnight at a hotel or ryokan there. Or, alternative, head over to Hakone, and you might have a chance to see Fuji from either Ashinoko (Lake Ashi) or the Owakudani area. From there, spend the rest of your time at Aman Tokyo.

Agree with 1200GS that Miyajima is an amazing place. But you need to spend the night to truly get a sense of the magic, after the hordes of daytrippers have left for the day (and before they arrive the following morning.)
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Old Jul 24, 2023, 11:58 am
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Hi,

Some of the tokyo gardens are beautiful and well worth a visit. But as other posters have mentioned, there is probably too much in it.

Whilst tokyo skytree is impressive, you may not get the best views as it is a bit away from the main tokyo attractions . ( I would tie in Tokyo sky tree with Senso-ji- & asakusa as they are close by). Views from Tokyo Tower or Mori tower in Roppongi are better as you are closer to central tokyo

It can be worth taking it slower and exploring attractions in more detail ( ie there is always lots to explore in the Meji-jingu shrine and park, imperial palace gardens etc) rather than rushing from one place to another

Regards

TBS
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