Japan 2019

Chelsea is a phenomenal planner and we have quite the trip put together. Check out our planned itinerary and all links and research we compiled. We are starting to digest the highs and lows and this page will be updated accordingly.

Flight to Japan

March 11, 2019

All we know right now is that we are leaving LAX… and heading west

Heading to Japan

March 11, 2019 4:15 pm

After nine months of planning, we are headed to Japan for 17 days!

2 Days In Kyoto

March 12, 2019

We’ll be traveling after our first night directly to Kyoto and staying 2 nights.

While in Kyoto we plan to visit Inari but approach it from a less frequented section pass by several temples visit before descending up the gates.

The start of our walking route

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Transit Day – Kyoto to Kagoshima

March 15, 2019

We plan to leave Kyoto at 7 am and head to Hiroshima.  Checking our backpacks for the day will allow us to explore Hiroshima a bit before heading to Kagoshima for the night.

 

A Morning in Hiroshima

March 15, 2019

Stopping in Hiroshima the plan is to drop our bags and do a quick morning walking tour before heading to Miyajima in the afternoon and then finally off to Kagoshima for the night.

Walking Map

Planning Helps:

While in Hiroshima try local food such as oysters and Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki lunch before Miyajima? 

There are many oyster bars where you can enjoy grilled oysters from 1 piece. My recommendation would be “oyster curry-pan” which is fried bread-roll stuffed with curry and two pieces of oysters!

Visit Hiroshima – Okonomiyaki

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An Afternoon Miyajima

March 15, 2019

After exploring a bit we are anticipating relaxing on banks watching the golden hour cast its light on the Great Floating Tori. High Tide is at 3:10 and will be going out during sunset at 6:20.

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Kumamoto Castle

March 19, 2019

Leaving Yakushima, we head to Fukuoka but plan to spend a little bit of time in Kumamoto to see the castle grounds.

Fukuoka

March 20, 2019

Fukuoka Cherry Blossom Spots:

Sights to See:

Fukuoka Food: 

Fukuoka‘s open air food stands (屋台, Yatai)

Typical dishes enjoyed at yatai are grilled chicken skewers (yakitori), hot pot (oden) and most famously Hakata Ramen, a local noodle dish featuring relatively thin ramen noodles in a pork bone based soup (tonkotsu). 

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Onomichi – Himeji – Okayama – Osaka

March 22, 2019

Transiting day! We are working our way back towards Toyko but popping into various towns as we go.

From our planning notes:

Himeji Castle

The broad Otemae-dori Street leads straight from JR Himeji Station to Himeji Castle. You can walk from the station to the castle’s entrance gate in about 15 to 20 minutes. Sanyo-Himeji Station, served by Sanyo Railways, is located just a short walk north of JR Himeji Station and provides direct train connections to/from Osaka‘s Hanshin Umeda Station.

OKAYAMA 

Okayama Castle (Crow Castle) and Korakuen Garden admission $6 

Okayama Castle is about 1.5 kilometers or a 25-30 minute walk east of Okayama Station. Trams on the Higashiyama Line can be taken to Shiroshita stop (5 minutes, 100 yen, frequent departures) from where the castle keep can be reached in a 10-15 minute walk.

Osaka: 

  • Osaka Castle The recommended approach to Osaka Castle is through Otemon Gate at the park’s southwestern corner. The closest station is Tanimachi 4-chrome Station along the Tanimachi Subway Line and Chuo Subway Line. The closest JR station to Osaka Castle is Osakajokoen Station on the JR Loop Line, a 10 minute, 160 yen ride from JR Osaka Station.
  • Sumiyoshi Shrine
  • Tsutenkaku Osaka’s most nostalgic downtown area, Shinsekai  
  • Umeda Sky Building is a 10-15 minute walk from Osaka and Umeda Stations
  • Shitennoji Temple
  • Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum
  • Dotonbori, the most touristic area with lots of neon lights and gigantic shop displays. 
  • Hozenji Yokocho Alley 

Train to Takayama

March 23, 2019

If Wakayama is cherry blossom blooming possible train route–

(Osaka to Hanwa Line in Kansai

Located in Osaka Prefecture of the Kansai Region, the Hanwa Line runs from Osaka City to Wakayama. In late March, the Hanwa Line is ideal for viewing sakura cherry blossoms. You’ll be delighted to find your train view filled with pink or white blossoms, often swaying peacefully in the breeze along both sides of the railway.)

Mt. Fuji

March 24, 2019

From the notebook:

Shiraito Falls (Shizuoka)白糸の滝

https://www.japan.travel/en/spot/1512/

You can reach the falls by bus from a few different stations and then a short walk.

Buses running between Shin-Fuji Station, Fujinomiya Station, and Fuji Five Lakes stop at Shiraito Falls. The walking trail down from the road takes less than five minutes. A bus from Shin-Fuji Station takes about an hour, but there are only a few buses per day.

Mount Fuji from the Shinkansen

The Tokaido Shinkansen line is located in the Shizuoka Prefecture of the Kanto Region. The line passes between Tokyo and Kyoto, and right from your seat, you’ll be treated to the famous bullet train side view of Mount Fuji. Plan your seating according to your destination for the best viewing.

If you’re headed south to Nagoya or Kyoto, the mountain will appear to the right of the train; if headed north to Tokyo, the left.Access to the Tokaido Shinkansen line is completely covered by the JR Pass.

Mt. Fuji to Tokyo

March 25, 2019

From our planning notebook:

The Great Buddha is located a 5-10 minute walk from Hase Station, the third station from Kamakura along the Enoden railway line. The Enoden is a streetcar-like train that connects Kamakura with Enoshima and Fujisawa. Its terminal station in Kamakura is located just next of JR Kamakura Station.

-Kairakuen Garden

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6201.html

3 Days in Tokyo

March 26, 2019

Our last three days will be spent exploring Tokyo. We don’t have a set daily plan yet but check out all of our research we have been combing over by taking a look at our planning notes below.

After we return, we will be updating this page to reflect on how the trip went.

Food and Leisure restaurants and bars:

Activities:

Recommended viewing spot of Tokyo Tower is Zojoji Temple, which is located right next to the tower

Free City View at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

 The famous tuna auction can be seen now at Toyosu Market. (Map: http://bit.ly/2J3JURX)

Harajuku:

“After Rikugien, I headed to Tokyo Metro Nanboku Line Komagome station. Then I took Nanboku Line, transferred to Yurakucho Line at Iidabashi station, and got off at Koujimachi station.

The hours of boats are extended to 20:00 during sakura festival (26 March to 3 April in 2016), and won’t be closed on scheduled holidays. The fee is 800 yen for 30 minutes, but be prepared to wait in the line! I was there at about 2:00 PM and it was 2 hours wait!

Chidorigafuchi Boat Ride

Hours:
1st March to 30th November 11:00 – 17:30 (9:30 – 20:00 during sakura festival)
Closed on Mondays (No holidays during sakura festival)

Fee:
500 yen/30mins (800 yen/30mins during sakura festival)

For the latest information, Chiyoda Tourism Association has a website. Sakura festival is held usually from late March to early April every year, and during the festival, Sakura will lighten up at night and strolls will be out at Yasukuni Shrine, which is just 5 mins walk from Chidorigafuchi. So I went to Yasukuni Shrine to get another view of Sakura.

https://travelwithnanob.com/2017/04/23/cherry-blossoms-at-chidorigafuchi-moat-yasukuni-shrine/

Tokyo Food:

https://jw-webmagazine.com/top-10-ramen-restaurants-in-shinjuku-area-9b4117c410fa 

We return!

March 28, 2019

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