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My Tokyo / Kyoto 10 day Trip in November - Advice/help/suggestions wanted please!


#1

Hello, I am Nick from Florida, USA!

I am planning my first trip to Japan, and I can’t recall the last time I’ve been this excited!!! I’ve done quite a bit of research in the last few days and ran into your site via youtube and I am so glad I found it! Thank you for all the helpful information!

I will be in Japan from the 23rd of November to the 3rd of December. I am planning on splitting my time between Tokyo and Kyoto with a stop in Takayama. I am trying to see as much as possible while hitting some of the more traditional areas known for their Autumn colors. I wanted to throw my itinerary out there and see if anyone would mind providing some suggestions/advice. I am assuming the Japan Rail Pass is the right one for me. I am also looking for any suggestions on the best mid range hotels that would be convenient for this rail pass and the places I am going to - Please let me know if the schedule looks like it is too much or if I should spend more time in one area over another or if there are spot you don’t think are worth going to!

Thank you!

Nov 23 (half day) - Arrive in Tokyo Evening - Explore
Nov 24 - Tokyo > Nikko > Tokyo - Day Trip to Nikko
Nov 25 - Explore Tokyo City
Nov 26 - Tokyo > Kamakura or Hakone (Day trip - suggestion on which of the two is better?)
Nov 27 - Tokyo > Takayama (train early morning, half day trip | half day to explore Takayama)
Nov 28 - Takayama > Shirakawago > Kanazawa > Takayama
Nov 29 - Takayama > Kyoto (evening exploration)
Nov 30 - Kyoto > Arashiyama > Kyoto
Dec 1 - Kyoto > Osaka or Nara> Kyoto (suggestion on which of the two is better?)
Dec 2 - Kyoto > Tokyo (Spend day on Kyoto, head back to Tokyo in late afternoon)
Dec 3 - Tokyo (all day, take off in evening)


#2

Sounds like a very busy trip!
Maybe that’s how you like to travel.
My main observation is you’re not allowing much time for Tokyo


#3

I feel the same.
Do you see anything that you would cut out?
Takayama?


#4

Sounds like a very busy trip, with quite a lot of your time in transit (though Japanese trains are usually a great experience).

My main comment is that it doesn’t seem like you’ve allowed much time to see Tokyo, but perhaps that’s not your priority.

For Kamakura vs Hakone, Kamakura is much closer and easier to get to, so given the amount of travel you have planned, I’d say Kamakura would be better.

Also the popular autumn leaves spots can be very busy, probably best to avoid them at weekends.


#5

Have you been to Takayama? I’m thinking of cutting those two days and stay longer in Tokyo and Kyoto.


#6

This is the my finalized Itinerary - Thought I’d share! I extended my trip and allowed an extra day in Tokyo and Kyoto and removed some of the one day trips (excluded Nara in Kyoto and Kamakura in Tokyo)

Friday Nov 23 (half day) - Arrive in Tokyo Evening - Explore/Sleep
Saturday Nov 24 - Explore Tokyo
Sunday Nov 25 - Explore Tokyo
Monday Nov 26 - Tokyo > Nikko or Hakone > Tokyo
Tuesday Nov 27 - Tokyo > Takayama (train early morning, half day trip | half day to explore Takayama)
Wednesday Nov 28 - Takayama > Shirakawago > Kanazawa > Takayama (Bus tour to visit Kanazawa and Shirakawago)
Thursday Nov 29 - Takayama > Kyoto (evening exploration)
Friday Nov 30 - Explore Kyoto
Saturday Dec 1 - Kyoto > Arashiyama > Kyoto
Sunday Dec 2 - Kyoto > Explore Kyoto
Monday Dec 3 - Kyoto > Tokyo (Spend day in Kyoto, head back to Tokyo in evening)
Tuesday Dec 4 - Tokyo (Explore Tokyo in morning, take off in evening)