Japan Trip Suggestions - Tokyo -> Osaka -> Hokkaido?

Discussion in 'Asia' started by happytraveler24, Feb 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. My partner and I are planning a trip to Japan in 2012 and would love sight seeing and itinerary suggestions from anyone who has seen Tokyo, Osaka and Hokkaido within the same trip. I've always wanted to see the Japanese macaque / snow monkeys in Hokkaido. How much time should one allow to have a few days in Tokyo, few days in Osaka and then enough time to see the snow monkeys up north? What is the best season to go to see the monkeys? Do you need to hire a tour guide, or can you do a self-guided hike? Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

    Gargoyle and JALPak like this.
  2. KIXman
    Original Member

    KIXman Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,836
    Likes Received:
    12,161
    Status Points:
    10,575
    Well I guess winter would be the best time to see snow monkeys at their best ;)
    I read that in Hokkaido you'll find them in Hakodate, but according to this site though, you find more of them in Nagano prefecture. I don't think you'll need a tour guide, transportation in Japan goes to almost anywhere you want and is easy to arrange.
     
    JALPak likes this.
  3. mjm

    mjm

    The Japan Forum on FT has a wealth of itineraries, many of which IO hae participated in developing. Rather silly to repost them at random and evne more silly to repeat what has already been develpped by the same people here. Have a look and maybe post back here which ones worked for you. Cross-pollination via actual usage. Works in all our favors.
     
    JALPak likes this.
  4. RichardInSF
    Original Member

    RichardInSF Silver Member

    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    473
    Status Points:
    600
    But for starters, the right order would be Osaka->Tokyo->Hokkaido (or the reverse). Also most folks believe on a first trip, you should skip Osaka in favor of staying in Kyoto. Quite a different experience, and if you really want to spend a day in Osaka, it's only an inexpensive 30 minute train ride.
     
    arkleseizure and JALPak like this.
  5. joejones
    Original Member

    joejones Silver Member

    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    338
    Status Points:
    520
    Places where you can find snow monkeys; note that Hokkaido is not one of them. (Source)

    [​IMG]

    As you can see there are many spots around Tokyo and Osaka, and this will save you money since you can do all your domestic travel on a rail pass. Hokkaido does have rail connections to Honshu, but it's a very very long way.
     
    JALPak likes this.
  6. thetenken
    Original Member

    thetenken Silver Member

    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    130
    Status Points:
    420
    Definitely skip Osaka in favor of Kyoto and Nara. You will get a better sense of the cultural history of Japan in Kyoto than in Osaka. Hokkaido is too remote of a location for a first time trip to Japan. Definitely follow the advice of those above in consulting where best to see the snow monkeys (I've never done it). Looking at your trip length and travel, it might be worth it to pick up the JR Rail Pass (7 day pass). Fly into Tokyo, do your time in Tokyo (won't need it as you'll be doing most subway, unless you're doing day trips out), pick up rail pass, then head out to the north or Kyoto. Depending on the season you are going, you may want to account for weather related delays, and cool things to see depending on season (watch out for hot summers and cold winters for walkable cities).

    Without better knowing your budget, travel time, and other travel preferences, it would be tough to recommend more. Adventure travelers vs. comfort travelers vs. ? Definitely consult FT Japan forum for more info, but I will try and help out if I can.
     
    JALPak likes this.
  7. no-backpacker
    Original Member

    no-backpacker Silver Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    126
    Status Points:
    420
    I LOVE Japan and I have been there twice. First time Tokyo-Hakodate-Tokyo-Kyoto-Hiroshima-Tokyo in May. Second time Tokyo-Tsukoba-Tokyo in the end of August. I would recomend going in May, then you may get the sight of the famous and beautyful cherry-blossom. (They have a cherry-blossom forecast!) Going in May you will also avoid the heat later in the year. Kyoto is a "must" and if you really want to see Hiroshima you can do that in a day. We did it on the way back from Kyoto, went to Hiroshima in the morning and went back to Tokyo in the evening.

    Xxx.
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  8. wingspan
    Original Member

    wingspan Silver Member

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    139
    Status Points:
    395
    I agree - depending on how much you want to travel around and the reasons that you want to start in Tokyo. I guess if you MUST fly in to Tokyo and for some reason want to start your journey there, it could be done in whatever order but of course if you are able to start up in Hokkaido or down south in Kansai it just makes sense to travel in one direction.

    BUT then it also depends on how you plan to travel domestically. There are some comfortable and pleasant night bus services from Tokyo to Osaka that are cheap too and I actually really like the feeling of setting out on a bus and waking up on a new city. If I was taking buses around Japan I would want to follow the trip in a north-bound or south-bound single direction.

    If you're flying in on a oneworld carrier, I'd take advatage of JL's Visit Japan pass and that way it really doesn't matter what order you do each city in as you have 10000Y tickets to anywhere you want.
     
  9. BWITraveller

    BWITraveller Active Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status Points:
    75
    Where can I find the information about night bus between Tokyo and Osaka ? I will visiting Osaka in mid April for 7 days, and looking a quick hop to Tokyo for a day or two. Thanks
     
  10. weegiewife
    Original Member

    weegiewife Silver Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    116
    Status Points:
    270
    Chimpy, Tenmoc, Kaanapali and 3 others like this.
  11. kaka
    Original Member

    kaka Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    3,689
    Status Points:
    2,070
    i think it doesnt really matter if u're opt for plane. of course if you're getting JR pass it makes no sense to spend 10000Y/segment. but its a massive time saver (less night train is your thing).
     
  12. HiIslands
    Original Member

    HiIslands Silver Member

    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    759
    Status Points:
    720
    Aloha BWT traveler! If you're looking for a quick trip to Tokyo, you're much better off taking the Shinkansen (bullet train). You will save yourself a lot of time that you could spend sightseeing.
     
  13. thetenken
    Original Member

    thetenken Silver Member

    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    130
    Status Points:
    420

Share This Page