Hello everybody !
Last April, my friend and I had the chance to travel to Japan for 4 weeks. We spent an amazing time there, and this is in part due to this website. I actually spent several hours reading the forum before leaving France, and I could find in the discussions many informations and pieces of advice which helped us to plan our stay in Japan.
Hence I think I should give you more details about our itinerary there, and share our experience, so that you can find ideas to plan your own trip.
April 8th: Toulouse-Narita via London Heathrow
April 9th to April 12th: TSUKUBA (visiting friends there) and day-trips to TOKYO
April 13th and 14th: KYOTO
April 15th and 16th (morning): day-trip to KOYA-SAN (one night there)
April 16th (afternoon) : KYOTO
April 17th: day-trip to NARA
April 18th: left Kyoto in the morning to MIYAJIMA island - Mt Misen hike - night in a wonderful ryokan on the island
April 19th: left Miyajima in the morning to KUMAMOTO (visit of the castle in the afternoon)
April 20th and 21st: drove to ASO - Mt Nakadake hike - Kurokawa onsen - back to Kumamoto on 21st evening
April 22th: left Kumamoto in the morning and spent the day in HIROSHIMA
April 23th: left Hiroshima in the morning and went to NAOSHIMA island - spent one night there and visited several museums there
April 24th: Naoshima in the morning, OSAKA in the afternoon - night in Osaka
April 25th: back to TSUKUBA
April 26th: Tsukiji market (TOKYO) in the morning, and then flight to ISHIGAKI (Okinawa) in the afternoon
April 27th: Ishigaki - visit of TAKETOMI-JIMA
April 28th: see-kayaking and snorkeling in ISHIGAKI
April 29th: IRIOMOTE - hike in the mangrove and to waterfalls
April 30th: ISHIGAKI - snorkeling
May 1st: Ishigaki - flight to Tokyo Haneda in the morning and back to TSUKUA
May 2nd to 5th: Tsukuba and day trips to TOKYO, including visit of several museum (MOMAT, MOT) and famous places (Yoyogi gymnasium, St Mary's cathedral, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Asakusa...) and many sushi restaurants !
May 6th: Back to France
As you can see, we tried to experience many different aspects of this beautiful country: modern cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Tsukuba), tradition and religion (Kyoto, Nara, Koya), beautiful Nature (Aso volcano, onsen, Ishigaki and Iriomote), modern Art (Naoshima, Tokyo), and delicious food (everywhere !).
We took the 2-week JR pass which was very convenient.
We could fly to Ishigaki thanks to Yokoso pass which gives very cheap flights anywhere in Japan.
If you want more details about our trip, have a look to our blog, with day-by-day updates :
I hope this will help some of you planing their trips.
We had an amazing time there, and we can't wait going back !