Around The World
We have bought a 5 day bus pass (gives us bus travel on any 5 days within the next 2 months). We'd like to leave from Osaka and travel to a few cities to see as much as we can in about 17 days.
Does anyone have any suggestions on a good itinerary?
We were thinking Osaka to Tokyo (7 days in Tokyo and exploring Narita and Chiba). Then Tokyo to NIigata for a day trip and then to Kyoto for 2 days. Nagoya for a day. Hiroshima for 5 days and back to Osaka where we can explore Osaka, Nara and Kobe.
Does this sound good? Should we include places like Yokohama, Fukuoka and Shizuoka to see Mt. Fuji?
We know Kyoto is close enough that we may be able to get a cheap bus or train ticket there anyway and save one of our rides for another location.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance!!
Make sure you have ample time for Kyoto. Also, not sure what you want to see in Narita, unless you are a fan of the airport. Time better spent in Tokyo traveling the Chuo line West from Shinjuku and exploring the "towns" at the stops along the way. Would give Yokohama a pass, too, unless you want to see a Baystars ballgame (that is fun)--then again seeing the Yakult Swallows at home (in Tokyo) would be even better.
Mt. Fuji? Meh. Unless you are a big nature/hiking fan, much better taking it in at sunset from a balcony of a bar or some such in Western Tokyo (again, Chuo line).
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Seven days in Tokyo is really good and I would suggest going to Mout Fuji and the nearby places of Hakone. I never went to Narita and Chiba Prefecture but I believe Narita doesn't have too much to offer.
I would spend more time in Kyoto than Osaka, as Osaka is good for shopping, restaurants and bars but Kyoto is very traditional and has a lot more beautiful temples, shrines, castles and generally more traditional Japanese things to see! It's also a bit more tourist friendly than Osaka, as a lot more signs/menus/etc are in English. Nara and Kobe are worth a day each to visit, especially Nara. Kyoto is also really accessible to get from Osaka. There are three train options and the cheapest is about 600yen (from Umeda Station in Osaka to Kawaramachi Station in the middle of Kyoto)
Hope this helps :)
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I am not sure what kind of traveller are you but there is so much to do around that region. I am not sure if Bus pass is ideal, I would any go for train pass as you can enjoy lot more.
Things to enjoy in Tokyo
2. Studio Ghibli Museum - I probably haven't ever seen better anime museum in my life. But make sure you book way in advance. (Atleast a month). If you have a friend in Japan - ask them to book it for you.
3. Sensoji Temple - Amazing temple and there is amazing aampaan breads that are sold nearby. Amazing area for shopping too. World Second tallest tower Asakusa tower is walking distance from here.
4. Akihabara All new electronic stuff , manga life, maid cafes and various other adventures present here. I was one of the kid who used to loved playing those arcade games and this brought back childhood memories. Ofcourse skill level of gamers here is astounding.
5. Roppongi I am not sure how it is right now but it is where all night life is present. This is where you want to enjoy it. I was there during christmas and illumination was just gorgeous. You can enjoy ride up to Roppongi hill tower where you get the best view of surrounding. Tower in itself isn't that beautiful but the view from the tower is magnificent.
6. Shibuya is where you can enjoy the busiest crossing , the famous hatchiko dog and ofcourse the amazing world war 2 time old town with lot of izakaya present.
7. Takeshita Street - Cheap Shopping
Omotesando is where you get branded stuff.
Do not forget to check out the famous Yoyogi Park nearby. Lot of fun activities goes around there on weekend and they are preparing for Olympics there.
I am not a temple guy and it gets boring to see so many temples around Japan. I was really bored seeing few that I gave a pass to any nearby old temple sites.
Things to see in Yokohama is just one thing. Its Minato 21 area. Please skip Ramen Museum. See piers , one of the most iconic sky rise and observatory deck. Amazing plush waters. Gorgeous view with weird looking building. Amazing engineering marvels such as bridge which you can enjoy at night. Ferris wheel.
You want to spend some time at
1. Hakone - Enjoy the onsen (its not over -rated)
2. Kobe - The night fireworks is thing to watch.
3. Osaka - Go to Traveller Information desk and they would offer you discounts coupons and amazing package that you can use to travel around Osaka at extremely low cost.
4. Kyoto - Ancient Japan - I can't get enough of it. I would love to spend way more time there than I actually did. Walk around famous Gion at night.
But more than all sights I have seen.. What I took home was the culture and amazing sights I saw. Ofcourse I can't forget to Japanese toilets and sweet voice of Konnichiwa and Arigato Gozaimasu.
Kyoto - 3 days
Osaka - 2 days - if you like night life add 1 more day
Tokyo - 5 days is easy.
Hiroshima - 1 day. Please go to nearby Miyajima
Nagano 1 day
Hakone 1 day
If you are staying for more days then Japan can still be awesome.
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Mt. Fuji is worth to see if you are going there on a sunny and cloudless day. You can always do a day trip to see Mount Fuji from Tokyo. It is also possible for you to see the tip of Mount Fuji from Tokyo city center on a very good day. Check out this article - How to See Mount Fuji.
I've been to Tokyo for 7 days last year and documented my itinerary. You may want to check my Tokyo travel blog for your reference.
I hope this helps!