Japan Journey Planning Summer season 2024

Hey everybody! Have you ever been to Japan? We visited in 2010 and had a implausible time. It was our final worldwide journey earlier than we had a child. Journey was a lot simpler and carefree again then. We visited Tokyo, Izu Peninsula, Kyoto, Miyajima shrine, Himeji Citadel, Takayama, and Hakone in 11 days. That journey was too brief, but it surely was the most effective worldwide journey we took as a pair. We liked Japan and all the time needed to return to discover additional.

*The picture right here is from Narita. We had an 8-hour layover in 2019 and took benefit of the free Narita Airport Transit & Keep program.

Anyway, Mrs. RB40 is popping 50 this 12 months. I requested the place she needed to go and she or he mentioned Japan. All proper! 2024 is a good time to go to Japan as a result of the Yen is manner down in opposition to the USD. In 2010, the change charge was about 80 Yen to 1 USD. This 12 months, a buck will get you 150 Yen! Wow, that’s a pleasant deal. It’s the right time to revisit Japan. Additionally, we’re manner higher off than in 2010. We will splurge a bit this time.

Japan may be intimidating as a result of it’s so completely different from the U.S. Nonetheless, our final journey was very straightforward. We don’t know any Japanese and we received by simply positive. Everybody was so good. This time, I’m studying a little bit of Japanese with Duolingo. It ought to assist us talk higher. Additionally, our final journey was a whirlwind. We moved round an excessive amount of. It was exhausting, however we might deal with it as a result of we have been younger. Lately, Mrs. RB40 doesn’t like transferring to a brand new lodge each evening. She’d slightly journey at a extra relaxed tempo. Ideally, we might spend a month in a metropolis earlier than transferring on. Nonetheless, Mrs. RB40 remains to be working full-time. She will be able to solely take 3 weeks for this journey.

Relaxed journey

Most of us have restricted trip time. That’s why we attempt to cram as a lot as potential right into a trip. On our final journey to Japan, we modified inns nearly each evening. We crammed in as many sights as potential. By the tip of the journey, we have been exhausted. The one stress-free day we had was in Hakone. It was stormy and we relaxed at our pricy ryokan. It was nice.

This time, we’ll attempt to chill out extra and journey at a slower tempo. We don’t really feel like we have to see every part anymore. Our major precedence is to decompress, eat superb meals, rejuvenate in sizzling springs, and absorb the distinctive Japanese tradition. After all, we’ll hit a number of sights and decide up a number of souvenirs alongside the way in which.

I’m the planner for this journey. Mrs. RB40 likes to journey, however she refuses to do any planning. She completely hates journey planning. I suppose she’ll must discover a journey agent once I’m gone. Hahaha…


I already bought our flight tickets. We’re heading over to Japan on the finish of June, proper after RB40Jr will get out of faculty. When he was youthful, we didn’t thoughts taking him out of faculty to journey. Nonetheless, he must sustain with college now. Beforehand, I desire to journey through the shoulder seasons as a result of every part is cheaper and fewer crowded. From what I learn, summer season isn’t the most effective time to go to Japan as a result of it may be sizzling and humid. However what are you able to do?

Right here is the essential define of our Japan journey.

We’ll fly into Osaka and spend 9 days there. This would be the stress-free half of our journey. After that, we’ll fly north to Hokkaido and make our manner all the way down to Tokyo by practice. This half will probably be fairly busy. We’ll go from city to city and alter inns nearly each evening.

That is the place I want your assist. Our flight is already booked, however the remainder of this system is fairly versatile. I haven’t bought the JR cross or practice tickets but. Additionally, our lodge reserving may be canceled earlier than June. If you already know Japan nicely, I’d like to get some suggestions on my itinerary.

Osaka – 9 nights

We’ll begin our journey off in Osaka. I booked a room for us on the Dormy Inn Namba close to Dontonbori. This midrange enterprise lodge has an onsen (sizzling spring bathtub) and offers complimentary ramen, ice cream, and yogurt drinks. Mmm… I’m trying ahead to it already.

This phase of the journey will probably be fairly relaxed. We’ll want a number of days to recover from jet lag anyway. Beneath are a few of the issues on my exercise record. All these are versatile so we are able to change or take a relaxation day as applicable.

  • 2-day Osaka Wonderful Cross. This cross offers public transportation and tickets to varied in style websites round Osaka. We’ll go to Osaka Citadel, the Umeda Sky constructing, a Ferris Wheel, a river cruise, the Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum, and the Tsutenkaku Tower. I’ll must test the record and see what else is sweet.
  • Day journey to Kyoto. Kyoto was superb the final time we visited. Sadly, I heard it’s overrun with vacationers as of late. We already noticed many of the major touristy spots final time, however missed Kiyomizu-dera and Ginkakuji. I’d like to go to these two temples and stroll alongside the Thinker’s Path.
  • Day journey to Nara. I do know in regards to the deer park, however that’s about it. I’m certain there’s lots to do in Nara for a day journey.
  • Take a look at the Aizen matsuri (pageant) in Osaka and discover the world round Aizen-do shrine.
  • Perhaps one other day journey to Kyoto to browse the flea market on the Kitano Tenmagu Shrine. The Samurai Ninja Museum is true close to there. That must be loads of enjoyable.
  • We might go to the Osaka Aquarium and/or Common Studios.
  • The Cup Noodle Museum seems like enjoyable, but it surely’s out of the way in which. It’ll take about an hour to get there from our lodge. It most likely isn’t well worth the trek.
  • Within the olden days, vacationers hiked between Tokyo and Kyoto on the Gokaido (the 5 Routes.) I want to discover a good hike on the previous walkway. If you already know of a great hike close to Osaka or Kyoto, tell us. I examine a hike from Takao to Arashiyama. I don’t assume that’s a part of the previous previous routes, although. BTW, we visited the Arashiyama bamboo grove on our final journey. We received there at nightfall and there was no one there. Mrs. RB40 thought it was spooky and we didn’t keep lengthy. I heard it’s packed stuffed with vacationers at this time.

Hokkaido to Tokyo – 10 nights

We’ll catch a flight from the Osaka Airport to the New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido. This 2nd half of the journey will probably be fairly hectic.

Noboribetsu – 1 evening

We’ll take the practice to Noboribetsu, probably the most in style sizzling spring resort cities in Japan. It ought to take a little bit over an hour. I reserved an evening at a pleasant ryokan for us. The kaiseki dinner and a soak within the sizzling spring water will get us prepared for the subsequent a part of this journey. It’ll be a pleasant stress-free break.

Sapporo – 2 nights

After a conventional breakfast on the ryokan, we’ll head to Sapporo, the most important metropolis in Hokkaido. Sapporo is legendary for ramen, beer, and the annual snow pageant. Sadly, there received’t be any snow in July. We’ll must make do with ramen and Sapporo beer.

In Sapporo, I reserved a room on the Ibis Fashion, a mid-range enterprise lodge. We’ll try Mount Moiwa ropeway, Odori Park, and the Sapporo Clock Tower. I additionally need to strive Hokkaido specialties equivalent to soup curry, Miso ramen, Genghis Khan (Mongolian grill), zangi (fried hen), yubari melon, Hokkaido crab, and ice cream. Mmm…

Hakodate – 1 evening

My plan is to buy the JR East South Hokkaido cross on-line. This cross is legitimate for six consecutive days. It’ll allow us to trip many trains, together with the high-speed shinkansen. We’ll use the cross to make our manner all the way down to Tokyo. I’ll activate it on the day we go away Sapporo. The categorical practice from Sapporo to Hakodate will take about 4 hours.

Hakodate is surrounded by the ocean and is a haven for scrumptious contemporary seafood. We’ll go to Goryokaku and Mount Hakodate. Apparently, contemporary uncooked squid is the native specialty. I’ll strive it and let you know the way it goes…  

Subsequent morning, we’ll take the shinkansen to Aomori. This may take a few hours.

Aomori – 1 evening

Aomori is legendary for his or her apples and nekke-don (seafood rice bowl.) I reserved a room for us on the JAL lodge close to Aomori station. We’ll go to A-Manufacturing facility to take a look at their cider and discover the world round Aomori Bay. The Nebuta Museum seems fascinating too.

Subsequent morning, we’ll head to the Furukawa market to strive the nekke-don. You should purchase 12 tickets for two,000 yen and change them for meals. A bowl of rice value 1 ticket. After that, stroll across the market and change the tickets for contemporary seafood toppings. I by no means tried uncooked fish for breakfast, however I’m sport.

Akita – 1 evening

We’ll take the Resort Shirakami practice from Aomori to Akita. I heard this is likely one of the most lovely practice rides in Japan. The observe follows alongside the scenic shoreline of northern Tohoku. There’s a bar and a small artwork gallery in the course of the practice. You’ll be able to strive sake and browse native souvenirs. Additionally, there’s a 15-minute cease on the Senjojiki Rock Plateau station. Vacationers can get off and stretch their legs a bit on the seashore. This stress-free trip will take about 5 hours. It isn’t a quick practice.

If time permits, we might get off at Juniko station to take a look at Aoike, the blue lake. Then come again to the station to catch the subsequent practice to Akita.

I don’t have any plan for Akita Metropolis. We most likely received’t have time to do something there. I booked us a room on the Dormy Inn Akita. We will soak within the onsen and relax that night.

Sendai – 1 evening

Subsequent, we’ll catch the morning shinkansen to Sendai. The trip will take a little bit over 2 hours. As soon as we arrive in Sendai, we’ll go away our baggage on the lodge and head to Matsushima Bay. I learn Matsushima Bay is likely one of the prime scenic locations in Japan. They’ve nice oysters there. We’ll spend the day in Matsushima Bay and head again to Sendai within the night.

I booked a room for us on the Lodge Metropolitan Sendai. It’s proper subsequent to the Sendai station. We’ll head out to Nikko early the subsequent morning. This journey will take about 3 hours.

Nikko – 1 evening

Nikko is a well-liked day journey vacation spot from Tokyo. Nikko’s shrines and temples are a UNESCO World Heritage website. I reserve a room for us at a ryokan subsequent to Lake Chuzenji. That is about half-hour away from the primary Nikko station. We’ll discover the well-known temples, hike a bit, after which go soak within the sizzling spring on the ryokan.

I plan to hang around in Nikko earlier than heading to Tokyo within the afternoon.

Tokyo – 2 nights

I reserved an Airbnb room for us close to Ueno station. That is essentially the most handy location for transportation to Narita airport. The small Airbnb residence seems extra spacious than a lodge in that value vary. We’ll most likely be worn out from touring at this level. I don’t have loads of plans for Tokyo. We most likely will hang around close to Ueno and Asakusa. I need to store for a great kitchen knife and a few matcha tea bowls.

Whew! Simply penning this 2nd half out is exhausting. I would want to chop out a few of these stops. Let me know when you have any solutions. Japan is such an important vacationer vacation spot. There are such a lot of issues to see and do. I’d like to dwell there for a number of years.

Have you ever been to Japan? Do you’ve any suggestions for an important restaurant we are able to’t miss? Let me know.

Picture credit score Natasha Jenny, Seiya Maeda

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Joe began Retire by 40 in 2010 to determine learn how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved monetary independence and retired at 38.

Passive earnings is the important thing to early retirement. This 12 months, Joe is investing in business actual property with CrowdStreet. They’ve many initiatives throughout the USA so test them out!

Joe additionally extremely recommends Private Capital for DIY traders. They’ve many helpful instruments that can show you how to attain monetary independence.

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