#1 9-29-2017 12:39 PM

DrewJ
Torrance, California
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All nine Regions of Japan...Possible? Worth it?

So I'm going back to Japan in October for two weeks. I was going to pick at least maybe two cities in each region. Do you think it's possible AND worth it? I get the feeling that if I try, I will be rushing from one spot to the next instead of thoroughly enjoying myself. I know that of course it would be better to just pick one region and do that which I'm still debating on. What about three weeks? Any better? For the sake of argument, let's just assume the two cities in each region are max an hour away from each other.

Any thoughts or input?

 

#2 9-29-2017 1:17 PM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
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Wanderer
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Re: All nine Regions of Japan...Possible? Worth it?

Two cities in each region in three weeks about 1 day each town or 1,5 days in 1 month, transportation is excellent it should be is possible, personaly i would not like it. Some regions have definately more than 2 interresting places, Kansai for instance where you can do many places as a daytrip and don't have to find a hotel in each town...

Last edited by ulis (9-29-2017 1:20 PM)

 

#3 9-29-2017 10:49 PM

sarahelaine
Sarah Elaine
Manchester, England
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Re: All nine Regions of Japan...Possible? Worth it?

I wouldn't.

First of all, you're going to arrive with jet lag. Unless you are exceptionally good at overcoming it, you'll need a day or two to recover. So assuming three weeks is three times seven days and the extra weekend and assuming you need two travel days, that's 23 days, less two flight days and two jet lag days, 19 days. A day a city. Now Japanese transport is excellent and it might be you genuinely only lose an hour or two and that every single connection is at a convenient time of day. That's not an assumption I would risk in any other country, by the way. But playing let's pretend, let's pretend there really is a connecting train at 9am (so you have to get up 7.30-8), that gets you close to your hotel by 10. By the time you've dumped your bags you're at 11. That gives you 11 until close of business to site see and then have dinner, but severely restricts your night life and more chilled out activities like onsen because you're back on the road by 8 again. Small cities may be doable in a single day, but I don't think you'd have more than scratched the surface of a world city like Tokyo or a historic wonder like Kyoto in less than a full day.

I know Americans don't get the leave others do and have to travel far, but I would view a single day in each city as a terrible waste.

Last edited by sarahelaine (9-29-2017 10:50 PM)

 

#4 9-30-2017 1:03 AM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Nomad
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Re: All nine Regions of Japan...Possible? Worth it?

I visited Japan twice and there are still some places I haven't seen.  It is possible to see all nine region in two weeks but as you said that will be rush and surely you miss something if you do that. So two cities in one day that will be better. If you have a car that will be possible to see all regions in two weeks, but still is a bit rushed.

 

#5 9-30-2017 5:36 AM

nolan
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Explorer
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Re: All nine Regions of Japan...Possible? Worth it?

Well, if you do accomplish all those in two weeks, you would have done the Amazing Race, Japanese version.

Japan is such a rich country culturally and this is what makes people linger beyond the cursory photos at the tourist spots. You have to imbibe the culture, otherwise it's just like passing through any big city for work or in a hurry, except the people are different.

I've been to Japan 4x in the past 3 years and each trip is always not enough, there are so many things that could be done, hence the desire to keep on coming back. Unless this is the last trip you'd be making to Japan, I wouldn't hurry the pace, especially since it's a return visit. When I visit a country for the first time, I know the time spent won't be enough (unless it's a boring country), and you get a deeper perspective on your repeat visits.

If you decide to go for this 9 region feat, then definitely the JR Rail Pass will be your best friend. Probably even consider taking the overnight sleeper trains or buses so you won't waste time traveling and packing/unpacking. Definitely just carry a backpack of carry-on size, about 40-45 liters capacity.

 

#6 9-30-2017 10:46 AM

DrewJ
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Re: All nine Regions of Japan...Possible? Worth it?

Thanks you guys. You were all a big help. I think the reason why I was trying to do too much was because I wanted to stay for a month this time, but since I'm not able to I was trying to cram a month's worth of traveling into one go. I will have many more opportunities to go to Japan again. I have to remember that this is a country and that I will never be able to see everything. I should be happy about that because that means every time that I go, I can see something new.

I greatly appreciate all of your input and I've finally decided that I will go to just Hokkaido and Tohoku.

Now I can finally actually get a grip on my trip.

 

#7 10-1-2017 7:29 PM

Lotus28
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Re: All nine Regions of Japan...Possible? Worth it?

I am a bit late but Hokkaido and Tohoku for 2weeks sounds about right.
If you want to take a deeper look into the regions, you will stay at rural areas where transportation system is very inconvenient and it's not fun if you're just hopping major cities in the regions.

Be sure to visit some Onsens in Tohoku. There're very affordable bath houses where people stay for months to have rehabilitation of the body from ancient times. (We call it "Toh-ji".)
My favorite is Namari Onsen in Minami Hanamaki Onsen regions, Iwate. It was opened 600 years ago and its main bathroom is very unique. It's very deep (about 1.3m?) and hot water springs from the bottom of the tub. (It's a gender mixed bath which has "female only hours".) It has ryokan section and tohji section. I've stayed at both but tohji section was very interesting. You pay for the room (like 3000yen for private rooms) and rent all the equipment you need for fee, for example, futon for 100yen, heating for a few bucks etc. They can prepare supper and breakfast for fee but there was a communal kitchen and you can cook if you bring food. Of course you can buy some bento on your way there too.
You can take a free shuttle bus from Shin-Hanamaki station or Hanamaki station.

And I would also recommend you to take a flight between Tokyo and Hokkaido (Sapporo or Hakodate) just for one way. Going to Hokkaido by shinkansen is extremely long. Flying one way and stopping by at some places in Tohoku along the other way sounds very practical.

 

#8 10-3-2017 8:54 AM

DrewJ
Torrance, California
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Re: All nine Regions of Japan...Possible? Worth it?

Thanks. I definitely need to stay at an Onsen. I didn't do it the last time I went. I'm grateful for you giving me this information. I've been fumbling around so much that I didn't know what to do. I think I need to learn how to take things slow when traveling. I'll look into flying one way to Hokkaido. I think that I will fly on the return trip going home. I don't get jet lag and I'm usually not that tired when getting off of planes. I will be more curious when going to my destination vs me going home. I know that they give special plane discounts for foreigners. Thanks again.

 

#9 10-3-2017 10:18 PM

davejo
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Re: All nine Regions of Japan...Possible? Worth it?

Crazy idea, we just returned from Japan yesterday, 4 days Kyoto, 4 days Hiroshima and 2 days Osaka, and even then we did not have enough time to see the surrounding areas. In Kyoto we took day trips to Omihachiman, Nara and a day exploring the city attractions, could easily have spent two more days there. Hiroshima, day trips to Miyajima Island where we climbed the hill, Iwakuni and Saijo where we visited the sake breweries and a day exploring the city---guess it was about right. Osaka, 2 days---just not enough !!!

 

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