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15 Days Tokyo/Takayama/Kyoto/Hiroshima/Miyajima/Osaka

Dear all

We are a family of 6. Couple with 4 teenagers. We're planning a trip in early Dec 2017.

We arrive in the evening of 2 Dec, so effectively is only 14 days tour.

Our initial plan is :-

2 days - Tokyo
1 day - Mt Fuji/ Hakone
1 day - Disney Sea or Nikko day trip
2/3 days - Takayama (Hida & Shirakawa-go)
2 days - Kyoto (Arashiyama)
1 day - Nara
1 day - Himeiji
1 day - Hiroshima
1 day - Miyajima
1 day - Osaka

It's our first trip to Japan and wonder if this itinerary work. Would JR pass be worth it?


  • Also, appreciate any advice for a Ryokan experience in any of our route. And should we base ourselves in Osaka to go all places after Takayama or should we split it into Osaka and Kyoto?

    Many thanks!
  • Hi Steven

    For the itinerary that you have above it would be more cost effective to get a 14 day JR Pass. However please be aware that the JR Pass will not cover the bus journey to Shirakawa-go (http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5953.html) or the transport within Hakone (http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html).

    Regarding accommodation I would stay in Kyoto for visiting Kyoto and Nara, then stay one night in Himeiji, then stay in Hiroshima for Hiroshima and Miyajima then stay in Osaka. It would be best to stay in the areas that you are visiting otherwise it would be a lot of travelling. If you are travelling at the beginning of December this is a quieter time to travel, so it should not be difficult to get accommodation.

    Please find ryokans by area on the Ryokan Association website http://www.ryokan.or.jp/english/.

    Hope that helps.

    Best regards

    Japan Experience
  • edited April 2017
    A JR Pass would be worth it, and your plans work out well. Although I'd suggest a couple of things. Since there are 6 of you, the less moving around from hotel to hotel, the better. I suggest you go to Nikko instead of Disney - why go to some American theme park if you fly all the way to Japan? If you want to try an interesting theme park in Japan, then try Edo Wonderland in Nikko
    or in Kyoto there is the Toei Uzumasa Eigamura.

    Also, you can see the best of Hiroshima and Miyajima in a full day with an early morning start. You might consider taking one of those days and seeing Kanazawa. It is a lovely city with Japan's finest traditional garden and lots to explore - and you can do it with rental bicycles if you like.
    Since you are already seeing Tokyo, you can largely skip Osaka during the day. I suggest you give the morning and half the afternoon to see more of Kyoto, and see Osaka in the late afternoon and evening. At night the city comes alive and has some great places to see, such as Dotonbori, plus the night views from the Umeda Sky Bldg and Abeno Harukas Bldg are wonderful.
    On another evening, you could also go and see Kobe.

    Also if you have the time time, just a bit past Miyajima is Iwakuni, with its iconic historical bridge and mountaintop castle. If you really want to go all out, in Yamaguchi there is also the Akiyoshido Limestone Cave, which is a 300 million year old marvel 1 km deep with an underground river rushing past you and giant caverns - the best in Japan and simply stunning.

    On Miyajima, aside from the Itsukushima Shrine with the giant "floating" torii, the Daishoin Temple is also a must-see place. There are several other pagodas and temples, and climbing Mt. Misen offers a fantastic view over the island and whole area.
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