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Itinerary- thoughts? And other questions (Nikko, Samurai...)

London, United...
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Itinerary- thoughts? And other questions (Nikko, Samurai...)

Hello! (apologies in advance for the long post)

I am going to Japan for 19 days mid-November. Does my itinerary allow for enough time in each destination, and does it sound reasonable to you? Have I missed any destinations out? N.B. - Flights to and from the UK are booked already (to and from Tokyo). My interests lie in history, nature, traditional Japenese culture, food, and technology.

Tokyo- 3 days. See main sites - fish market, street food, temple, electronics district, harajuku, animal café etc, possibly do a walking tour.

Kamakura day trip from Tokyo

Fly to Fukuoka – 2 days. See Sumo in the afternoon one day (a must do for my partner).

Hiroshima- 2 days.

Koyasan – temple stay, 2 days.

Nara (see the deer)– 1 day

Kyoto – 5 days

Hakone (for an onsen) – 1 day

Tokyo- 2 days (possible trip to nikko on one day).

So approx 3/4 days in Tokyo, 5 days in Kyoto, and the rest a few days here or there.

Have a few other specific questions I have:

-when are internal flights released? It seems they can only be booked up until October at the moment. Couldn’t find the info online.

-what are the key things to do in Tokyo I may not have considered? I don’t mind doing some shopping for unique to japan things but not more than a few hours. I live in London so not that excited by cities, e.g. browsing designer shops is of no interest to me as I used to work on Regent Street!

-are nikko, kamakura and nara worth the trip given my itinerary? Do you have a preference between them?

-I have an interest in the samurai, is there anywhere interesting to visit for this?

Any advice/comments are welcome! Thank you!

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6 replies to this topic
Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: Itinerary- thoughts? And other questions (Nikko, Samurai...)

your itinerary is basically good one

if Sumo is then only interest of yours in Fukuoka, you can do a day trip from Hiroshima and back

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Haan, Germany
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2. Re: Itinerary- thoughts? And other questions (Nikko, Samurai...)

I prefer Nikko first, needs a full day, also Nara, needs also a full day from Kyoto. If it’s too much I recommend to skip Kamakura, however you will miss the big Buddha but to me Nikko and Nara offer more interesting places.

When going to Hiroshima don‘t miss Miyajima!

If you like to get some souvenirs the Oriental Bazar in Harajuku at Omotesanto offers a good selection of typical Japanese souvenirs.

London, United...
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3. Re: Itinerary- thoughts? And other questions (Nikko, Samurai...)

Thank you! Hmm hard to decide if it will be too much, we don’t want to be rushing around. Will fit in Miyajima for sure!

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4. Re: Itinerary- thoughts? And other questions (Nikko, Samurai...)

My two cents.

Even if you are accustomed to London, shopping in Japan is a different experience. There is I think no store in London rivalling Yodobashi for electronics or Tokyu Hands and LOFT.

As you are in Kyoto as well, you could skip Kamakura, although it is a really nice place. You could consider a stay in Nikko or a very streched day. You can not only visit the temples there but also the ghost shizo along the river and also go to Chuzenji lake and waterfall, as you like nature.

Make sure you have tickets for the basho and want to pay the price, otherwise doing Fukuoka at this point in your itinerary is inconvenient.

In Tokyo, I would recommend Skytree as weill. I really like Shinjuku and could spend days just exploring.

London, United...
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5. Re: Itinerary- thoughts? And other questions (Nikko, Samurai...)

Thank you for your comments, yes we definitely will spend time exploring the electronic district/Shinjuku/Akihabara, taking in the atmosphere and do a bit of shopping!

I am undecided yet on overnight in Nikko or not, I suppose having to drop bags off when moving hotel etc is a bit of a hassle but we can do that if it gives us more time there.

Not sure if we need two nights on Mount Koya or just one night, and time better spent elsewhere with so much to see!

I think sumo tickets aren’t released until October, we will be sure to book there as soon as they are released or queue up on the day if we are unlucky!

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6. Re: Itinerary- thoughts? And other questions (Nikko, Samurai...)

When you spend just one night, you can just take the things you need for that night. If you do not return, you can still forward the bulk of your luggage to the next place you stay longer.

When I go there, I have an intricate logistics plan st out how to pack and what to send where, saves me a lot of hassle.

Nikko might be very romantic at that time of year.

Koyasan, I think most people spend just one night. But being in the area already, you might want to give part of the Kumano Kodo a try?

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