3 Week Round Trip - first time Japan
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Nov 18, 2012 1:34 PM Last Post By: Zappi
Jul 22, 2012 1:00 PM
15re #13: Haven't been to Karuizawa so can't say.
As for option 2) If you start early from Osaka, you could probably see quite a bit in Takayama on day 1, perhaps see the (early) morning market on day 2 and continue east. Then it depends a lot on what you actually want to do in Kamkikochi/Hirayu Onsen/Matsumoto. 2 days for these three places is rather relaxed unless you want to do some hiking. Personally I think that Kamikochi is not all that interesting if you don't hike and if there is no autumn foliage (which you might be a bit early for).
Nov 18, 2012 1:34 PM
Returning recently from my 3-week trip to Japan, I'd like to share my final itinerary and some of my impressions with you.
Overall I had a fantastic time in Japan. This is really an amazing country full of contrast between modern cities and a rich history. The people were very warm-hearted and helpful, and despite language barriers all very open-minded.
Again, many thanks for your recommendations in advance. Below a rough overview of my journey:
- Tokyo: 7 nights (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ebisu, Imperial Palace, Ginza, Ryogoku, Ueno, Akihabara, Asakusa, Tsukiji, Tokyo Midtown: Roppongi & Akasaka, Meiji, Harajuku (Omotesando), Mitaka...)
- Kamakura (daytrip from Tokyo)
- Hakone Nationalpark: 1 night
- Kyoto: 4 nights (East Kyoto, Central Kyoto, Northwest Kyoto, West Kyoto - very recommendable! and Fushimi-Inari Shine)
- Osaka: 4 nights (Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori, Osaka Castle, Umeda, Osaka Aquarium). mainly used as a hub to visit further destinations in Kansai / Western Honshu as per below
- Nara (daytrip from Osaka)
- Hiroshima & Miyajima (daytrip from Osaka)
- Takayama: 2 nights
- Matsumoto: 1 night
- Tokyo: 1 night (before flying back to London)
Tokyo - main reason for me going to Japan and it really is an amazing city
Hakone - perfect contrast to buzzing city life. One of the most beautiful landscapes. Unfo, weather conditions were not perfect
Takayama - most positive surprise maybe. I went there expecting nothing and it is a beautiful town despite its small size
Misses (ie things I took into consideration but did not visit in the end):
Mt Fuji - never really caught a perfect climse due to weather conditions / unfo outside climbing season
Nikko - after Kamakura, Kyoto and Nara I did not want to spend another whole day on temple watching
Yokohama - I did not go there in the end because Tokyo had so much to offer
Railpass - I took the two-week JR railpass activating it just when I left Tokyo heading for Hakone
Luggage delivery service (Yamato Transport "Takuhaibin") - incredible cheap and very convenient. Don't bother carrying your luggage around. Just drop it off in your hotel and take the Shinkansen to the next spot
Weather - it was really humid & hot cooling down in later stages of my journey when going to Takayama/Matsumoto. Still, I did not need any of my jumpers I brought
Food - as everyone confirms who's been to Japan most amazing food I know and you can spend quite a lot of money on it (especially in Tokyo): Sushi, Ramen, Kaiseki, vegetarian Zen Buddhism food, Wagyu beef, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, event dinner....I tried as much as I could and nothing did disappoint really!
Shopping - unless you have a fabel for anime or pottery, this is not really the place to ship imho. Clothing is incredibly expensive
I am more than happy to provide more details upon request if anyone is interested.
Again, many thanks for your support during the planning period. This was really helpful for me!
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