Further afield – Two weeks in Japan

My most requested travel itinerary, shared with many a friend before they head to an increasingly popular tourist destination. This summarises a few different posts I’ve made recently, linked to within the post, to give an idea of what could be done in reasonably busy days, with highlights noted, and some tips on getting around.

Days in Tokyo
DSCF5095– Ueno Zoo, Shitamachi Museum, Tokyo National Museum, Kiyosumi Tei-en Gardens, Fukagawa Edo Museum and Asakusa
– Tsukiji Market (highlight), Yurikamome Monorail to Odaiba, Museum of Maritime Science, Edo-Tokyo Museum (highlight)
– Yasukuni-jinja, Yushukan Miltary Museum, Honmaru Higashi Gyoen Gardens, Myonichi-Kan Frank Lloyd Wright, Rikugi-en Gardens, Kyu Furukawa Gardens, Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens
Part day – Roppongi Hills area including the Mori Art Museum (highlight) and National Art Centre
Part day – Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (highlight), Shinjuku Gyoen Park

Day trips from Tokyo
– Nikko – Rinno-ji, Tosho-gu Shrine, Futarasan-jinja
– Kamakura – Engaku-ji, and Yokohama – Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery, Tin Toy Museum, Yokohama Museum of Art (highlight)

Days in Kyoto
DSCF5955 Golden Pavilion
– Miho Museum (highlight), Golden Pavilion (highlight), Ryoan-ji (highlight) and Ninnaji Temple
Part day – Nijo-jo (highlight), Shosei-en Garden, Fushimi-ji Torii

Day trips from Kyoto
DSCF5734 Korakuen Garden
– Okayama – Okayama Castle, Korakuen Garden, and Hiroshima (highlight), Peace Memorial Museum and Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum
– Uji – Byōdō-in (highlight), Nara – Todai-ji (highlight), and Himeji – Himeji Castle (highlight)
– Kamazawa – Engaku-ji
– Osaka – Osaka Castle Park (highlight), Osaka Museum of History, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Few tips on logistics on getting around Japan
DSCF5436 Nikko Station Frank Lloyd Wright– Definitely buy a Japan rail pass, needs to be bought before you go, and gives you unlimited travel on pretty much all trains. It’ll save you money, and give you flexibility with your travel plans
– Try and book seats for trains as they can get full, easy to do with rail pass, just go to the booking office before your train leaves
– I based myself in Tokyo and Kyoto, six nights in each, rather than staying in lots of places. The train network is good to enough to make it easy to stay put (just stay near one of the main stations) and do day trips from there
– Getting around Japan without knowing any Japanese is easier than often publicised, with English information available throughout the train network

3 thoughts on “Further afield – Two weeks in Japan

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