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Tied down in Tokyo

I am tagging along with my husband on his business trip to Japan. I plan to do a lot of exploring while he's at work. I have basically 8 days to myself, but the only problem is that I have to come back to Tokyo every night by 6 or 7pm (maybe 8pm at the latest). Some of the places I plan to visit are Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kanazawa, Mt. Fuji, Nagano, and Nikko. Out of those places, Kyoto, Mt. Fuji & Osaka are the three places I definitely have to visit. By train all of these places are at least an hour by train from our hotel in Tokyo. How do I make the best of my time while being tied down in Tokyo?


  • While you'd certainly get your money's worth on a pass, honestly you are being unrealistic and overly ambitious with your plans. Going to Kansai as a day trip just doesn't make sense - a round trip to Nara would put you on trains for 7½ hours - completely wasted time not used for sightseeing or doing anything meaningful. Osaka is about 6 hours round trip, Kyoto 5 hours, and Kanazawa 5 hours. You could see a few places in Kyoto, but still such a waste - at least do one overnight there if you really want to go. Kanazawa at least is much smaller and easy to get around with a rental bicycle. Otherwise, I suggest you save Kansai for a future trip.
    There are many great places in the Tokyo area though. Karuizawa in Nagano is quite doable - only about 1 hour by bullet train. For Mt Fuji you can go to either Hakone or the Fuji 5 Lakes, or both on separate days. Nikko is doable too as well as Kamakura/Enoshima and Yokohama. There are regional passes for each.
    A Tokyo Wide Pass could save you a lot.
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