Ayse & Jan's Travelspot - Japan - Itinerary

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I flew from Brussels to London first. Then it's over 11 hours from London
to Narita Airport in Tokyo. A long flight indeed...

Having arrived in Narita, I took the Narita Express to Shinjuku station.
The first couple of days I stayed at my friend Akihito's house in Kitami, in the Tokyo suburbs.

Next stops were Miyajimaguchi, Hiroshima and Okayama on Honshu.

Then I went by train to Shikoku Island and visited Imabari, Matsuyama,
Uchiko and Yawatahama, before taking the ferry to Kyushu.
There I visited Beppu - onsen capital of Japan ! - and Nagasaki.

From Nagasaki it was back to Honshu, stopping at Himeji, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Sendai, Namie, Matsushima, Kakunodate, Akita, Niigata,
Kashiwazaki and Toyama.
From Toyama I crossed the Japanese Alps by means of public transport,
also known as the famous Tateyama Alpine Route.
Then I stayed in Matsumoto and Ota, before finally heading back to Tokyo.

In total I was on the road for 25 days. Was it enough ? Hardly, but I guess
one month is a good average to travel in Japan. You should be able to see most of the things you'd like to see during that period.

My original itinerary also included a visit to Hokkaido, but eventually
I skipped that bit. People kept telling me it was just too cold up there
at that time and I would be better off enjoying the sunny weather
in the south. Oh well, maybe next time...

Although I would like to visit Japan in autumn as well, spring - being the season of cherryblossoms - proved to be an excellent time to travel : lots of sun, almost no rain and no humidity... perfect !

If you have plans to visit Japan and if you want to prepare your own itinerary, the first place to visit online is the Japan National Tourist Organisation.
They offer free downloads of their very practical travel guides at this page and an excellent interactive map of Japan here or alphabetical list of destinations.
These travel guides cover the whole of Japan and add a lot of extra information to that found in your own guidebook.

Besides these pdf-guides I also found the Lonely Planet Japan (6th edition - 1997) and New Japan Solo (4th edition - 1998) to be useful.

More useful links (in no particular order) :

Anyway, since Japan has so much to offer, make sure you know where you're going before you get there.
And what better place than the Internet to do so !

Take me home...

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