Post # 1
Watashitachi ha nihon ni ikimasu! Demo doko de hajimaru desu ka? Taskuete onegai shimasu!
My fiance wrote the Japanese above when I told him I was going to write this post hahahaha!
So we are really hoping on traveling to Japan for our honeymoon. Not sure yet if we will do it right after our wedding or save for another year and take our honeymoon on our first anniversary. But we were hoping to go for atleast a week. My fiance knows enough Japanese to get around on our own and I’m learning a little here and there, so we were not looking to do like a tour group. Which means we would need to plan everything ourselves. He has been there once before back in his college days and he had a host family to show him around.
I have looked into planning this trip and there are just sooooo many places to go! I have no idea where to start! We want to keep it as affordable as possible. I was wondering if anyone here has visited Japan recently and if you have any suggestions of which areas to visit and where to stay? Were there any great times of year to get the most affordable plane tickets?
Any help would be much appreciated! 😀
Post # 2
Ahh Japan is amazing! We got back in november. We organised our own flights, hotels, bought the JR rail passes and toured it ourself by train. It was surprisingly easy! Everywhere is signposted in english – even most of the tiny villages and alot of people speak english too. We did Tokyo then toured Gifu Prefecture (Magome, Kiso Valley, Tsumago and Shirikawa go) then went to Kyoto, down to Hiroshima, Miyajima and back up to Osaka, Nara and into the countryside to stay in Mt Koya. Everywhere was wonderful but this took us nearly a month. With one week you can afford to see the highlights. I would fly to Tokyo, spend a couple days there (one visiting Fuji 5 lakes) then go down to Kyoto for a couple days. If you wanted to you could shinkansen it to Hiroshima to see the peace park and spend an afternoon in Miyajima which is an island close to Hiroshima (ferry boat takes 10 mins). We went in October/ November and the weather was fantastic- in one month we only had 4 days of rain and none of those lasted all day. The leaves are amazing at that time of year too! Peak seasons tend to be Spring and Fall but we didnt find prices were any higher than normal.
Post # 3
I usually look up tour packages as a starting point of places to go to see what interest me. Then reserach and modify from their itineary to make it my own.
Post # 4
Thank you soooo much for the suggestions!
Post # 5
I did a study abroad in Toyohashi years ago. You’ll love Japan! Definitely Kyoto and I like Mt. Fuji. But so much is less about location and more about experiences. If it’s in season, go to sumo. Try a caligraphy class. Do a tea ceremony. Go to the public baths. And, eat all the crazy stuff you can find!
Post # 6
which part of japan are you going to? i’m going to kyoto and osaka for my honeymoon and will be hauling my gown over to take wedding pictures with the cherry blossoms! (we didn’t do a prewedding/engagement shoot.) my hubs (I CAN SAY HUBS NOW!!) proposed in hakone and it was amazing, the ryokan was gora hanaougi, definitely worth the splurge!
Post # 7
ADORE Japan. Kyoto and the surrounding areas are just beautiful, use Kyoto city as a base. There’s a great hike from Kurama to Kibune through forests. I started earlyish at 8 and it felt like I had the whole forest to myself… Cycling around Arashiyama, wandering around Nara… Oh, the Suntory distillery tour in Osaka is good too. now I want to plan a trip!
I reckon practical advice I would have is:
if if you’re going to more than once place, you’re likely to be using their uber efficient rail system, however the Japan Rail Pass is not necessarily the most cost effective way to go; it really depends on your itinerary. They have regional passes that can be more useful and cheaper if you are likely to stay in one region for anything over a few days. There’s lots of info on the Internet and my head spun the first time, but it makes sense once you plan out your stops.
Hyperdia was the most useful train app but we also found Metro v useful ( but you need to download cities in advance)
Wifi can be a pain but necessary for train times etc. 7-11s are trusty as are Starbucks, if you’re in a city. Everything will need you to register.
Just re read your post and you didn’t ask for any of that, but as I typed it out I figured I’d hit send..
Post # 8
Thanks for the tips!
Some questions I have emerged–When it comes to transportation, is taking the train or taxi the best way to go? I suppose that would differ depending on if we were to go from town to town, but it’s definitely a question worth looking into
Also, if we were to travel from place to place for a week, what about lodging arrangements? How did any of you go about figuring that out?
Post # 9
Train is pretty much always cheaper, and they run so regularly and have space for luggage. I think we got like 2 taxis the whole time we were there and they were quite expensive, but obviously this depends on where you want to go from where. Town to town is quite far in Japan infact Tokyo’s size is almost double that of New York City.
For lodging we used hotels.com and booking.com and to stay in a ryokan we used japaneseguesthouses.com. All are reliable. We generally stayed in toyoko inns which are like the days inn, travelodge standard. All were clean and comfortable, no problems. You can obviously get nicer hotels but we were on a budget and touring so we just wanted somewhere cheap and friendly. In Tokyo we stayed in the Grand Arc Hanzomon Hotel- it was a lovely hotel and our view overlooked the imperial palace gardens! Would recommend staying there. Most hotels are close to metro lines so getting around is really easy.
Post # 10
I’m soooo jealous of you! I went to Japan on my honeymoon and it was AMAZING.
We had two weeks and purchased a Japan Rail pass for the first week, when we explored Kyoto (3 nights), Hiroshima & Miyajima (2 nights in Hiroshima, ferry out to Miyajima for the day), and Osaka (1 night). Then we spent our second week in Tokyo. It was all just amazing. If you go to Osaka, you MUST go to Spa World. It’s like the Disneyland of spas. Kyoto also has some amazing markets–perfect for renting a bike & exploring. & the local bathhouses were fantastic. Gah, I want to go back!!