Japan was always on my bucket list and I am so glad I made an incredible trip last Fall considering that it is the other end of the globe from the U.S. In my previous blog I discussed Tokyo and now it’s time to discover the rest of Japan. In two weeks, we explored Tokyo, Kyoto, Kawaguchiko region near Mount Fuji, Gero Onsen, Takayama, Osaka, and Nara. There were so many places on my list, but it was very hard to do all of it, so we decided to stick with these cities/regions.
Bullet trains are so fast and convenient, and its probably one of the biggest invention of mankind. It made our journey so incredible that we didn’t have to take any flights in Japan. It is slightly expensive but so much more convenient than other modes of transportations. I would highly recommend buying a weekly pass or the duration you are staying in Japan.
Kyoto, is beautiful and is famous for it’s traditional pagoda temples, shrines, and food. It is a widely spread out city, so connectivity is not as good as Tokyo, but you can take cabs, which are little more expensive than the ones in New York.
Must see in Kyoto: Kinkaku-ji, Kiyomizu-dera, Nijo castle, Fushimi inari-taisha, Arashiyama, Tenryu-ji, Yasaka shrine, Imperial palace and Nuno-miya. There are other beautiful gardens and temples to see and the ideal time to visit these places would be in April, during cherry blossom festival.
Kawaguchiko is a small town, from where you can view Mount Fuji on a clear day. You can also take a cable car to view points and spend some time there. It is a an hour and half drive or train ride from Tokyo.
Gero Onsen is a cute laid back heritage town of natural hot springs in the mountains. We stayed in a beautiful Japanese style Ryokan that has amazing five star amenities. We wore traditional Kimonos and lived typically like any Japanese. There is a small Ghasso village and small shrines to see in this cute town of Gero Onsen.
Takayama is a very historic city in Gifu region of Japan. We rented bikes and rode all over the small city. Enjoyed seeing the temples, shrines and a narrow shopping street where all the stores and houses are made of wood.
Osaka is a commercial city and very densely populated like Tokyo. Osakan cuisine is a must try, and to die for. Since I have shell fish allergy, I couldn’t eat all of it but my husband loved it entirely.
Must see in Osaka: Osaka Castle; Shinsekai area and Dotonbori is very lively and you will find street shops and street eatery also to try.
Nara is a beautiful small city, where you will find deers freely roaming around on the streets and parks. Todai-ji is a must visit temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also one of the most beautiful and powerful temples in Japan.
Weather: Winters are very cold and summers are bearably hot. Fall time was pretty good, it was neither hot, nor cold. I would highly recommend you to visit Japan in April as mid of April is the major tourist season because of Japanese cherry blossom festival.
What to wear? Comfortable footwear and clothing is necessary, a lot of walking is required in exploring these gorgeous cities and towns. Keep a shrug or a shawl in your bag, sometimes it rains and it gets cold. For the cities situated in mountains, a light quilted jacket is a must, as it gets cold sometimes.
Your two weeks itinerary for Japan is ready, time to pack your bags and fly to Japan.