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Tokyo to ?? 7 day trip itinerary help!

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
265 posts
29 reviews
Tokyo to ?? 7 day trip itinerary help!

Hello everyone, and thank you so much in advance to anyone that might respond to this post in hopes of helping me plan the last 4 days of our 7 day trip to Japan! I have many questions but I will try to keep this one to "where to go for 4 days" once our time in Tokyo is done.

We will arrive (wife and I, late 30's) NRT at 1700 on March 19th to watch the Seattle Mariners play in the Tokyo Dome March 20 and 21st. We have to leave from Osaka on March 26th. Those are the only real restrictions or deadlines to the trip. My question is....for the remainder of the trip which is essentially the morning of March 22nd - Night of 25th what would first time travelers to Japan recommend? We are seasoned travelers but not to Japan, and we would like to see as much as we can in those limited days. I am open to suggestions and don't mind if we go north or south from Tokyo for our 3.5 days to explore. I imagine that we will have a JR pass for traveling and try to use that for a majority of our transportation. I don't mind seeing the "big city" items, but I wouldn't mind taking one of the days to see something or doing something off the beat and path so to speak? Hiroshima and "deer island", Nagano, Kyoto etc. I had envisioned Tokyo to Kyoto for 1.5 days then a night time train to ? Hiroshima or somewhere else?. I also am interested in seeing the Sumo championships being held in Osaka until the 24th. Is something that you would recommend to someone who knows nothing about sumo, but loves sports. We would go on the championship day March 24th (our last full day to explore Japan). Would you "waste" a half or whole day to watch this or explore somewhere else? So many decisions!? ;)

Thank you so much in advance, I am so looking forward to our first trip away from home without the kiddos! :)

7 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
4,143 posts
335 reviews
1. Re: Tokyo to ?? 7 day trip itinerary help!

Forget the sumo.

7 days is a short amount of time, and if you are arriving Narita and departing from Osaka (Kansai International Airport), you wont need a JR Pass because it would not pay off. I would split the the time equally between Tokyo and Kyoto and go from the latter to Kansai International Airport.

Tsukuba, Japan
Level Contributor
8,958 posts
311 reviews
2. Re: Tokyo to ?? 7 day trip itinerary help!

The 7 day JR Pass costs 29,110 yen, while it costs @14,000 yen and @10,500 yen between Tokyo and Kyoto,

and Kyoto an Hiroshima, respectively, by the standard tickets of JR Shinkansen. Thus, the JR Pass pays off only when you round trip Kyoto from Tokyo making additional day trip to Nara from Kyoto, or when you move oneway from Tokyo to Kyoto with a round trip to Hiroshima from Kyoto in addition.

Late March to early April is the Cherry Blossom Season in Honshu(Main) Island in Japan, and this year it bloomed @1-2 week(s) earlier than usual in late March in Tokyo and Kyoto, although it usually fully bloomed in early April. If you can stay until early April, you can definitely see Cherry Blossom somewhere, but if you stay only in late March, you can enjoy it only if it is warm in the next March as this year, as follows.







If you arrive Kyoto, I recommend to visit at first the Kyoto Tourist information Center on the 2nd Floor of the huge Kyoto Station Building Complex, next to Isetan Department Store, where you can learn from its English-speaking staff which temples, shrines, and gardens are the best to see Cherry Blossoms NOW, as follows!!


Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
265 posts
29 reviews
3. Re: Tokyo to ?? 7 day trip itinerary help!

Thank you both so very much for your replies! Very thoughtful of you! I have used the fare calculators and yes, it does seem to be cheaper to buy the individual routes instead of the JR pass for our travel routes. We have a room booked at KIX airport for the night of March 25th for an early morning flight on the 26th. Do you think that 2 days in Kyoto and 1 day spent taking a "day trip" to a place like Hiroshima or another city/town that you would recommend for a day trip from Kyoto seem OK? We would then take the train to KIX on the night of the 25th from Kyoto. Thanks again!

New Zealand
Level Contributor
6,945 posts
386 reviews
4. Re: Tokyo to ?? 7 day trip itinerary help!

With 7 days, I would definitely stick to Tokyo and Kyoto and forget about doing a day trip to Hiroshima, which would be so rushed. If you want to get outside the big cities, a day or half-day trip to Nara from Kyoto would be nice.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
265 posts
29 reviews
5. Re: Tokyo to ?? 7 day trip itinerary help!

Exactly the type of information I am looking for, thank you so much!

Level Contributor
95 posts
7 reviews
6. Re: Tokyo to ?? 7 day trip itinerary help!

If you want a day trip, yokohama is 30-40 mins on the train and you can walk round easily.

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
6,782 posts
190 reviews
7. Re: Tokyo to ?? 7 day trip itinerary help!

agree with #4.

Tokyo alone can easily take up 3 to 4 days for 1st-timers depending on your interests.

Search on the Tokyo official website and Japan guide for more info.

For day trips consider Hakone or Fuji 5-lake on clear days.

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