My 12-Day Japan Summer Itinerary – 4 Cities, 3 Towns, 2 Mountains
July 29, 2017

Japan Itinerary

One person asked on Instagram: “Can you PM me your itinerary?” I figured it would be better to make a separate blog post for everyone to see, so I’m publishing it here.

For 12 days, I was able to explore 4 cities, 3 towns, and 2 mountains: Osaka – Mt. Rokko – Arima Onsen – Yuasa – Harie – Kyoto – Nagoya – Mt. Fuji – Tokyo.

NOTE: Given this itinerary, I’m glad I didn’t purchase a JR Pass. Read this blog post to know why.

Day 1: Arrival in Osaka

I cleared through Kansai International Airport’s immigration and customs at 5:50 in the afternoon of July 2nd. At 6:30, I was bound for Umeda Station on my first train ride in Japan.

Where I stayed in Osaka: Osaka Guesthouse Sakura

Day 2: Mt. Rokko – Arima Onsen – Dotonbori, Osaka

The next day, I headed straight to Mt. Rokko to prep for my upcoming Mt. Fuji hike.

Creek Mt Rokko

I took another trail on my way down and exited at Arima Onsen, a town in Kobe known for its natural hot springs. A nice dip in one of these onsens would have been the perfect post-hike activity, but walking around the town for a few hours was enough for me.

READ: Details of my Mt. Rokko hike.

Arima Onsen

At night, back in Osaka, I took the subway to check out Dotonbori, a shopping and food street that runs parallel to the Dotonbori canal.

To summarize…

– morning to afternoon: hiked Mt. Rokko, Kobe
– after the hike: walked the streets of Arima Onsen
– back in Osaka: went to Dotonbori to eat takoyaki

Read Also »  JR Pass: Should You Get One? I Didn't, But It Was Okay

Day 3: Yuasa

I checked out of my hostel, went to the train station, and bought a two-way ticket to Yuasa, the birthplace of shoyu (soy sauce).

READ: Details of my Yuasa trip

In the afternoon, I took the train to Kyoto.

Traditional Tools Shoyu Factory

Day 4: Harie

Although I was already in Kyoto, I decided to check out a town called Harie in Takashima City. The town’s water network was featured in at least two documentaries I saw on Youtube, so I wanted to see it for myself.

READ: Details of my trip to Harie, Home of Fresh Water

In the afternoon, I went on a self-guided walk exploring some parts of Kyoto.

Harie Water Wheel

Days 5-7: Kyoto

For two days, I met up with Sung Sik, my favorite student who I hadn’t seen in over 9 years, and his wife for a get-together-slash-walking-tour of the best places in Kyoto. I wrote separate blog posts for these tours. You can check them out in the links below.

– July 6: Gion’s top streets, temples, and structures
– July 7: Fushimi-Inari Shrine
– July 7 Arashiyama (Bamboo Groves and Kimono Forest)

For my last day in Kyoto, I did a quick self-guided tour to check out the city one last time. I even re-visited some of the places Sung Sik and his wife took me to.

– Higashi Honganji
Nishiki Market

In the afternoon, I took the bus to Nagoya.

Where I stayed in Kyoto: Shiori-an Guest House

Climbing Mt Inari Fushimi

Day 8: Nagoya

Nagoya was a nice side trip before my Mt. Fuji hike. I spent one afternoon visiting two of its top attractions.

Atsuta Shrine
Nagoya Castle

Read Also »  When in Tokyo: My Batto (Sword) Experience at HiSUi Tokyo

Where I stayed in Nagoya: Guesthouse Wasabi Nagoya Ekimae

ninja greeters nagoya castle

Days 9-10: Mt. Fuji

The morning of July 10 (Day 9) was spent on the bus, from Nagoya’s Meitetsu Bus Center to Kawaguchiko Station. I arrived at Mt. Fuji 5th Station at 2 in the afternoon.

The first leg of my two-part hike started at 2:30 in the afternoon of July 10th and ended at 6 in the evening when I reached GansoMuro, the mountain hut where I booked a bed.

At 2:30 in the morning of July 11th (Day 10), I started the second leg of my two-part Fuji hike. I reached the summit at 4, explored the area and waited for the sunrise until 5:10 when I made my descent. I was back at the trailhead at 7 in the morning.

I arrived in Tokyo at 11:30. In the afternoon, I explored the streets on foot, checking out some of the popular streets and districts of Shinjuku (e.g., Kabukicho and Golden Gai)

READ: Details of my Mt. Fuji climb

Line to Mt Fuji Summit

Day 11: Tokyo

I signed up for a batto (swordsmanship) class at 2:00 PM. After the 30-minute session, I checked out the Imperial Palace’s East Garden and other nearby attractions before I headed to Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku.

READ: List of popular districts in Tokyo I crossed off my list

Where I stayed in Tokyo: Nine Hours Shinjuku North. Read my review here.

Batto Sword Class Cutting a Tatami Mat

Day 12: Departure to Manila

From Tokyo Station, I took the bus bound for Narita Airport. I paid 1,000 JPY for the one-way ticket.

At 11:45, I was already on a Cebu Pacific plane, waiting for take-off.

Schedule of Stay for Japan Visa Application

If I were to submit this itinerary as part of my visa application, it would look something like this.

Read Also »  Hiking Mt. Inari (Fushimi Shrine) in a Yukata and Geta Shoes

Schedule of Stay Japan Visa Sample

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