Itinerary Help/Advice - October 13th - 20th 2019

tehSAC

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May 28, 2019
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I'm asking the forums for advice. I want to do all of this, but almost feel like I am planning on doing too much in the time we have.

This is my itinerary for our first trip to Japan. After a few re-writes, and additions, I was hoping I could receive some critique and input to my itinerary below. I feel pretty good about this, but still would like a little critique. There are so many things to see and do, but so little time on our trip. So if we are over doing it, please be honest and let me know. Also I must note that we are planning on doing this trip with two backpacks, and a small carry on luggage for souvenirs. So our last day (Sunday) I would probably store the luggage in a locker somewhere, or just carry it with us.

This is a father/daughter trip over fall break from October 12th to October 20th 2019 and her first international trip. She will be 12 at the time of travel, and has been interested in Japan and the culture since she was 8. We are leaving the US from Chicago with ANA on the 12th, and arrive in Tokyo (Haneda) late Sunday the 13th. When I say late, it’s an 8:30 PM arrival, so we won’t have much we can do by the time we get settled in. Thankfully with the late arrival maybe we can try and get ourselves onto Japan bedtime relatively quickly to combat jet lag. We will also be packing some sleep aids just in case.

Ideally we will be rising early and returning to our place mid evening each day. A few days we will take a break mid-day so we can see some sights at night. We are looking to hit up the usual tourist attractions, but also have a few other interests we would like to check off the list. One site she really wants to see is Chureito Pagoda, and I realize that will probably be a full day, and I'm okay with that. Hopefully not and we can squeeze in a few things in the late afternoon/evening. We are not staying in Central Tokyo, but not too far away from Shinjuku. We will be resting in an AirBNB near Egota-no-mori Park for the week.

Our plan is to enjoy snacks/street food during the day, and a sit down restaurant at night. She is not a kid that likes to sit down for huge portions, and neither am I. We would much rather snack throughout the day, than waste time for a seat. However I do know we will have to for a few places in mind.

Flights and accommodations have already been taken care of, I just need to figure out if a budget of $1000 - $1500 USD is enough for our trip. This budget is for food, subways, and souvenirs. One of my biggest questions is if we should get the JR Pass. We will only be using the Shinkansen once and a one way trip to Narita. I don’t think it’s going to save us money but I could be wrong. Am I?

We enjoy Ghibli and Disney, but have no interest in visiting while in Tokyo. Would like to fit in Benitsuru, Gram or Rainbow Pancake at some point in the trip, but not sure when. This is a pretty flexible schedule as well. If we want to move things around due to weather or other items we are going to do that. Especially if we know the day is going to be clear then that’s when we go towards Fuji.

Overall I think this is doable, but there are some days that have more going on than others which might force us to move it into other days.

Getting to Naritia from Gotokuji Temple. What would be our best option? The NEX from Tokyo Station?

The Bold text items are places/things that we really would like to see. Missing out on these would make me feel like the trip was all for naught.


Day 1: Monday October 14th

Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu
Cat Street/Harajuku
Owl/Cat Cafe
Lunch ( Monster Cafe maybe ) and a Snack somewhere nearby.
Nakano Broadway
Samurai Museum and Godzilla


Day 2: Tuesday October 15th

Asakusa ( Temple and Back Streets ) – Early before the crowds
Benitsuru

Kappabashi Street (Short Visit)
Taiyaki Sharaku
Sumida Aquarium
Tokyo Skytree (Maybe)
Night Boat Cruise (Maybe)


Day 3: Wednesday October 16th

Chureito Pagoda
Shibyua Crossing and Hachiko Statue
Dinner ( Oreryu Shio-ramen Shibuya-sohonten ) Fried Chicken Ramen

Ice Cream at Milk, Crepe in Harajuku, or Toyko Food Show


Day 4: Thursday October 17th

Akihabara (Retro Game and Plastic Model Kit Shopping)
- TamTam
- Amiami
- Super Potato
- Yodobashi Camera
- Don Quijote
Hanabusa Inari Shrine
Arcade, Gachapon, and Vending Machine Corner
Beef Katsu Ichi Ni San for Lunch
Nezu Shrine
Yanaka Ginza
Ueno Park
Ameyoko Market ( Cheese Dog for sure )


Day 5: Friday October 18th

Day Trip to Nikko (To experience a bit out of the city and ride the Bullet Train)


Day 6: Saturday October 19th

Zojoji Temple
Hei Shrine
Tokyo Tower
Imperial Palace (Iffy on this one)
Giant Ghibli Clock
TAMIYA Plamodel Factory
Odaiba
- Gundam Statue
- Fuji Building
- Statue of Liberty
- Joyopolis

Day 7: Sunday October 20th

We check out that morning early and will have bags as we cannot leave them after 10AM
Gotokuji Temple
Late afternoon flight out of Narita.



Again thanks for looking and any input you may have.
 

JTF_Chris

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Aug 6, 2018
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Hi. For the most part I'd say it looks do-able. You'll be worn out and rushing in places, but you can probably make it happen.

Specific comments I have:

Chureito pagoda: If that's all you're going to go see that direction, I would look at taking the JR liner (sort of a shinkansen lite) from Shinjuku to Otsuki, and then the Fujikyu line to shimoyoshida instead of going all the way to Fujisan or Kawaguchiko and then having to double back. Its a pretty long walk and the last part is straight up a long long flight of stairs, so be ready. Then just reverse the route to get back... The view from the train is pretty decent all by itself, mountains/valleys/villages etc.


Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 8.04.31 PM.png


Your last day, not sure what to tell you on your luggage, but getting from Gotokuji to Narita you'll probably want to just take the NEX from Shinjuku: like so:

Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 8.01.51 PM.png

Yoyogi Park and Meiji are big places and takes a bit of walking to get around to and within them, so budget time accordingly.

Days 4 and 6 might be rough ones. Instead of doing Akihabara in the morning, I would do Ueno/Yanaka/Nezu early and then come back to Akihabara noon-ish time into dark, just for the lights/experience alone. I'm not sure when the stores open (if they aren't 24h) but it probably isn't until 9-10am anyway.... Ueno park alone has plenty to get lost in, from the Zoo, the museums, and several temples/shrines right there.

Day 6 maaybe if you get an early start but you'll be rushing by the time you get to Odaiba. And that's without hitting the Palace grounds. Plus you'll already be getting wiped out ;) But that's up to you guys and what you can handle.

Also keep in mind the Rugby World cup stuff is going on sometime in Oct or Nov and I can't recall the dates exactly, so ...

I would probably NOT get the JR pass, unless you can add up your one way NEX at the end, your JR train to/from Otsuki, your Nikko trip, and just the JR lines in Tokyo. ... I can't see it being worthwhile. You should be able to load up a Suica card and just use that, though.

As for your budget, its probably OK. I say probably because you'd need to use a tool like hyperdia to plan your trips and figure up your fares. Nikko and Chureito will take a chunk out of that for sure.

But you've got a good handle on it and a great start! Welcome to the site and hope to see you back again with pix afterwards! Feel free to ask away with any more questions.
 

tehSAC

New member
May 28, 2019
6
2
3
Hi. For the most part I'd say it looks do-able. You'll be worn out and rushing in places, but you can probably make it happen.

Specific comments I have:

Chureito pagoda: If that's all you're going to go see that direction, I would look at taking the JR liner (sort of a shinkansen lite) from Shinjuku to Otsuki, and then the Fujikyu line to shimoyoshida instead of going all the way to Fujisan or Kawaguchiko and then having to double back. Its a pretty long walk and the last part is straight up a long long flight of stairs, so be ready. Then just reverse the route to get back... The view from the train is pretty decent all by itself, mountains/valleys/villages etc.


View attachment 225


Your last day, not sure what to tell you on your luggage, but getting from Gotokuji to Narita you'll probably want to just take the NEX from Shinjuku: like so:

View attachment 224

Yoyogi Park and Meiji are big places and takes a bit of walking to get around to and within them, so budget time accordingly.

Days 4 and 6 might be rough ones. Instead of doing Akihabara in the morning, I would do Ueno/Yanaka/Nezu early and then come back to Akihabara noon-ish time into dark, just for the lights/experience alone. I'm not sure when the stores open (if they aren't 24h) but it probably isn't until 9-10am anyway.... Ueno park alone has plenty to get lost in, from the Zoo, the museums, and several temples/shrines right there.

Day 6 maaybe if you get an early start but you'll be rushing by the time you get to Odaiba. And that's without hitting the Palace grounds. Plus you'll already be getting wiped out ;) But that's up to you guys and what you can handle.

Also keep in mind the Rugby World cup stuff is going on sometime in Oct or Nov and I can't recall the dates exactly, so ...

I would probably NOT get the JR pass, unless you can add up your one way NEX at the end, your JR train to/from Otsuki, your Nikko trip, and just the JR lines in Tokyo. ... I can't see it being worthwhile. You should be able to load up a Suica card and just use that, though.

As for your budget, its probably OK. I say probably because you'd need to use a tool like hyperdia to plan your trips and figure up your fares. Nikko and Chureito will take a chunk out of that for sure.

But you've got a good handle on it and a great start! Welcome to the site and hope to see you back again with pix afterwards! Feel free to ask away with any more questions.
Thank you, I will be sure to share our experience and photos!

I’m aware that we might be over doing it that’s my main reason for asking. I don’t want to give up our trip on the Shinkansen but as time gets closer to that day I’m just not sure the trip to Nikko is worth it. We want to experience the Shinkansen, but at what cost right? Are there any other ways to experience the Shinkansen?

For the most part we are pretty relaxed in our touring style. We don't have to see every little thing in each area, nor do we plan on doing that. Ameyoko Market we just want to walk through and enjoy the sights and smells. We would love to grab a Cheese Dog we have been seeing all over Youtube.

Uneo I thought we could just visit for a park bench to eat a little lunch from A nearby convenience store. Not planning on walking the entire grounds or the zoo.

Day 6 will also be quick visits except for Tokyo Tower and Odaiba. Odaiba id like to be there in the evening. To see the Gundam, and view of Rainbow Bridge and city. If we got in the other things, great, if not im okay with that.

Day 4 those are great suggestions and a much better plan for that day. Akihabara would be such an amazing place to see at night! Don’t know why I didn’t think of that before. Doh!

I may exclude Yanaka from the overall plan. Just seems out of the way and maybe not necessary to visit. We saw a quick video on YouTube and thought it would be cool. However if it kills the flow, then it has to go.

Overall when I look at my list here are the places we would spend the most time at, and reasons why.

Akihabara
Retro Game/Plastic Model Kit (Gundam/F1)/Diecast Shopping
Arcades
Gachapon
Ichi Ni San

Nezu Shrine - Love the look of this temple and its Torii Gates, plus it is less crowded than most temples.

Nakano Broadway - Shopping similar to Akihabara.

I may have more to add later on, but I sincerely appreciate the first response. Hope to hear more in the future.
 
Last edited:

tehSAC

New member
May 28, 2019
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3
I have removed Nikko from the list. I have updated my list to have a half day trip on the bullet train to Odawara. Still might be a bit packed, but I think this is more suited to our tastes.

Day 1: Monday October 14th

Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu
Cat Street/Harajuku
Owl/Cat Cafe

Totti Candy Factory
Lunch ( Monster Cafe maybe ) and a Snack somewhere nearby.
Nakano Broadway
Samurai Museum and Godzilla


Day 2: Tuesday October 15th

Asakusa ( Temple and Back Streets ) – Early before the crowds
Benitsuru

Kappabashi Street (Short Visit)
Taiyaki Sharaku
Sumida Aquarium
Yanka Ginza
Day 3: Wednesday October 16th

Chureito Pagoda
Shibyua Crossing and Hachiko Statue
Dinner ( Oreryu Shio-ramen Shibuya-sohonten ) Fried Chicken Ramen

Ice Cream at Milk, Crepe in Harajuku, or Toyko Food Show

Day 4: Thursday October 17th

Gotokuji Temple
Nezu Shrine
Hanabusa Inari Shrine (Quick Visit - Just want to see it quickly)
Akihabara (Retro Game and Plastic Model Kit Shopping)

- TamTam
- Amiami
- Super Potato
- Yodobashi Camera
- Don Quijote
Arcade, Gachapon, and Vending Machine Corner
Beef Katsu Ichi Ni San for Late Lunch/Early Dinner

Day 5: Friday October 18th

Half Day Trip to Odawara (To experience a bit out of the city and ride the Bullet Train)
Giant Ghibli Clock
Tokyo Tower (View from Below and surrounding area )

Zojoji Temple
Mori Tower Night View
Day 6: Saturday October 19th

Ueno Park (Stroll Through - No Zoo/Temples
Ameyoko Market
River Cruise to Odaiba

Odaiba
- Gundam Statue
- Fuji Building
- Statue of Liberty
- Joyopolis

Day 7: Sunday October 20th

We check out that morning early and will have bags as we cannot leave them after 10AM
Late afternoon flight out of Narita.
 
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tehSAC

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May 28, 2019
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Made one more tweak over the weekend. Thoughts?

Day 1: Monday October 14th

Godzilla
Yoyogi Park (Walk Through – Maybe have lunch in the park)
Meiji Jingu (Quick Visit – First Goshuin Stamp)
Nakano Broadway


---------------------------------------

Day 2: Tuesday October 15th

Ueno Park (Stroll Through - No Zoo/Temples)
Ameyoko Market

Yanka Ginza
Gotokuji Temple (Goshuin Stamp?)

---------------------------------------

Day 3: Wednesday October 16th (Depending on Weather may be moved to another day)

Chureito Pagoda
Shibyua Crossing and Hachiko Statue

Dinner ( Oreryu Shio-ramen Shibuya-sohonten ) Fried Chicken Ramen
Ice Cream at Milk, Crepe in Harajuku, or Toyko Food Show

---------------------------------------

Day 4: Thursday October 17th

Nezu Shrine (Goshuin Stamp)
Hanabusa Inari Shrine (Quick Visit - Just want to see it quickly)
Akihabara (Retro Game and Plastic Model Kit Shopping)

- TamTam
- Amiami
- Super Potato
- Yodobashi Camera
- Don Quijote
Arcade, Gachapon, and Vending Machine Corner
Beef Katsu Ichi Ni San for Late Lunch/Early Dinner

---------------------------------------

Day 5: Friday October 18th

Half Day Trip to Odawara (To experience a bit out of the city and ride the Bullet Train – Tokyo Station)
Giant Ghibli Clock
Tokyo Tower (View from Below and surrounding area)
Zojoji Temple
Mori Tower Night View


---------------------------------------

Day 6: Saturday October 19th

Asakusa ( Temple and Back Streets ) – Early before the crowds
Benitsuru
River Cruise to Odaiba

Odaiba
- Gundam Statue
- Fuji Building
- Statue of Liberty
- Joyopolis

---------------------------------------

Day 7: Sunday October 20th

We check out that morning early and will have bags as we cannot leave them after 10AM
Cat Street/Harajuku
Owl/Cat Cafe
Totti Candy Factory

Late afternoon flight (4:30 PM) out of Narita.
 

JTF_Chris

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Aug 6, 2018
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JapanTravelForum.com
I like it, just my observations:
  • Harajuku on the weekend could be crowded, depending how early you got out. With luggage in tow it could be interesting.
  • Nezu Shrine is fairly near to Ueno Park / Yanaka Ginza. You'd still be A-OK like you have it though. Plenty of time still. Actually the more I think about that, you'll like that better, how you have it, hitting the shrine in the morning....
  • Odawara Castle is a short walk from the station, might be worth a look. I remember doing it on the way back from a full day at Hakone, doesn't take long at all. There's a larger park attached but you can decide how much you actually want to see and budget time accordingly: http://www.city.odawara.kanagawa.jp/kanko/language/english/castle.html
 
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tehSAC

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May 28, 2019
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I like it, just my observations:
  • Harajuku on the weekend could be crowded, depending how early you got out. With luggage in tow it could be interesting.
  • Nezu Shrine is fairly near to Ueno Park / Yanaka Ginza. You'd still be A-OK like you have it though. Plenty of time still. Actually the more I think about that, you'll like that better, how you have it, hitting the shrine in the morning....
  • Odawara Castle is a short walk from the station, might be worth a look. I remember doing it on the way back from a full day at Hakone, doesn't take long at all. There's a larger park attached but you can decide how much you actually want to see and budget time accordingly: http://www.city.odawara.kanagawa.jp/kanko/language/english/castle.html

Odawara Castle and the Samurai Museum are on the agenda for our half day trip on the Shinkansen.

Harajuku on that Sunday is my biggest question mark to be honest. We plan to only travel with backpacks and a small carry on for souvenirs, but that might be a issue trying to carry it around. However I was hoping there might be some lockers near by that I can use to store bags. 🤷‍♂️
 

tehSAC

New member
May 28, 2019
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3
Due to some changes, I have updated my Itinerary. Still might be a bit packed, but I think this is more suited to our tastes. My daughter has changed her mind with some things she wants to see, and has expressed a desire to see DisneySea while we are there. Not a full day, more likely an evening thing after the twilight ticket is available. She is really getting into photography as of late and has some ideas for next year’s 4-H project.



Reasons for visiting certain areas/shrines/etc, explained in previous posts.



Day 1: Monday October 14th

Meiji Jingu (Quick Visit – First Goshuin Stamp)
Cat Street/Harajuku
Totti Candy Factory
Nakano Broadway

---------------------------------------

Day 2: Tuesday October 15th

Ueno Park (Stroll Through - No Zoo/Temples – Breakfast in the park)
Ameyoko Market
Tokyo Disney Sea

---------------------------------------

Day 3: Wednesday October 16th (Depending on Weather may be moved to another day)

Chureito Pagoda
Shibyua Crossing and Hachiko Statue
Dinner ( Oreryu Shio-ramen Shibuya-sohonten ) Fried Chicken Ramen
Ice Cream at Milk, Crepe in Harajuku, or Toyko Food Show

---------------------------------------

Day 4: Thursday October 17th

Nezu Shrine (Goshuin Stamp)
Hanabusa Inari Shrine (Quick Visit - Just want to see it quickly)
Akihabara (Retro Game and Plastic Model Kit Shopping)
- TamTam
- Amiami
- Super Potato
- Yodobashi Camera
- Don Quijote
Arcade, Gachapon, and Vending Machine Corner
Beef Katsu Ichi Ni San for Late Lunch/Early Dinner

---------------------------------------

Day 5: Friday October 18th

Half Day Trip to Odawara (To experience a bit out of the city and ride the Bullet Train – Tokyo Station)
Giant Ghibli Clock
Tokyo Tower (View from Below and surrounding area)
Zojoji Temple
Mori Tower Night View

---------------------------------------

Day 6: Saturday October 19th

Asakusa ( Temple and Back Streets ) – Early before the crowds
Benitsuru
River Cruise to Odaiba
Odaiba
- Gundam Statue
- Fuji Building
- Statue of Liberty
- Joyopolis

---------------------------------------

Day 7: Sunday October 20th

We check out that morning early and will have bags as we cannot leave them after 10AM
Gotokuji Temple (Goshuin Stamp?)
Late afternoon flight (4:30 PM) out of Narita.
 
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