What's new

What should I do for a week in Japan?

NewDes_Laudo

後輩
Joined
Jun 8, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Hello,

How is everyone? First time poster on JREF, see the strong expat community here so hope to get some help from you all.

What can a single person do for a week in Japan??

Would a backpacking trip be suggested? Please explain as talking to a first timer here, not well versed with any location based technicalities.

Which locations can fit in a single weeks plan of stay? I want to do a location "hop" (Flight -> Start -> X -> Y -> Z -> Stop -> Flight).

I found these traveller experiences:

My 6-Day Solo Travel in Japan: Tips, Costs & Itinerary for Filipinos
the viewing deck: 7 Days Wandering Solo in Summer Japan
7 Days on a Budget!! - Japan Forum - TripAdvisor
Tips for Planning Your First Solo Trip to Tokyo, Japan

Can someone comment on the above? Some say couchsurfing is good, while others say that "cheap" hotels better. Personally I seek to visit all the famous shinto temples and any landmarks, if necessary. This will be on a budget of course.

Thank you and hoping to hear from you all.
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
2,604
Reaction score
474
If by "backpacking" you mean packing light, sure. If you mean "camping" then I'd say that would add additional logistics that isn't worth the hassle.

I would rethink the idea of visiting "all the famous temples." There are too many to count and most people would be bored silly after a day or two of temple hopping. (Imagine if I said I was visiting all the churches in your area; is that something you would recommend?)

If you get the rail pass you could do quite a bit of hopping around.

> What can a single person do for a week in Japan??

It's difficult to recommend something here. We don't know you.
You could spend a lot of time drinking and eating. Or you could spend a lot of time touring landmarks and historical places. And various other activities.

It looks like you already found some good references. I suggest building a plan around what you found and then asking us any specific questions you may have.
 

nahadef

Doing it for himself
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
774
As @mdchachi writes, without knowing your tastes, it's hard to make recommendations, but...

For the average person, there's a checklist of stuff that people want to experience in Japan, and a week is time enough to get a rough experience of it, though not too deep.

I would fly to Tokyo and leave through Osaka. That stretch of Japan I'd compare to America's northeast, with lots of cities clustered relatively close together (New York, Boston, Philadelphia, etc), so you can travel in an hour or two and not waste too much of your vacation on a train.

In Tokyo, you can go to Shibuya and Akihabara, the most popular images of Tokyo. Next to Tokyo is Yokohama, which has a famous Chinatown. Next to that is the Daibuttsu in Kamakura, possibly the most famous Japanese image other than Mt. Fuji. There's a year of stuff to do in Tokyo, so just going from neighborhood to neighborhood is a fun experience.

After two days, head to Kansai, where Kobe, Nara, Kyoto, and Osaka are near each other. Kyoto is good for two or three days of 'quiet' Japan. Nara is also very serene, and less touristy than Kyoto. Then finish off in Osaka, which is a more party-like version of Tokyo.

I'm guessing you want a 'Japanese' experience, and that's a good chunk of it. You're missing out on mountain hot springs and a lot of regional variety, but you only have a week.
 

johnnyG

先輩
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
983
Reaction score
232
Kyoto..., too many people.

Look up Takayama, and then maybe Kanazawa. Or maybe the reverse.

Stay in hostels for social contact.
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
Oct 23, 2012
Messages
693
Reaction score
104
Yeah it really does depend on your personal tastes. I personally could have spent at least a week more exploring the shops and atmosphere of Akihabara. But if that's not your type of thing then it's a waste of your time to spend a lot of time there. I would personally suggest going to some kind of Onsen while you're there. They're a really special kind of place.
 

NewDes_Laudo

後輩
Joined
Jun 8, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
If by "backpacking" you mean packing light, sure. If you mean "camping" then I'd say that would add additional logistics that isn't worth the hassle.

I would rethink the idea of visiting "all the famous temples." There are too many to count and most people would be bored silly after a day or two of temple hopping. (Imagine if I said I was visiting all the churches in your area; is that something you would recommend?)

If you get the rail pass you could do quite a bit of hopping around.
Hi, thanks for your response. By backpacking I meant travelling. I think a rail pass sounds like a nice idea! I would go visit the sights but not limit myself to eating and drinking only I guess!
 

NewDes_Laudo

後輩
Joined
Jun 8, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
As @mdchachi writes, without knowing your tastes, it's hard to make recommendations, but...

In Tokyo, you can go to Shibuya and Akihabara, the most popular images of Tokyo. Next to Tokyo is Yokohama, which has a famous Chinatown. Next to that is the Daibuttsu in Kamakura, possibly the most famous Japanese image other than Mt. Fuji. There's a year of stuff to do in Tokyo, so just going from neighborhood to neighborhood is a fun experience.

After two days, head to Kansai, where Kobe, Nara, Kyoto, and Osaka are near each other. Kyoto is good for two or three days of 'quiet' Japan. Nara is also very serene, and less touristy than Kyoto. Then finish off in Osaka, which is a more party-like version of Tokyo.
Thank you for your detailed response! This sounds like a nice plan, very well balanced! I would like to see at least one temple and a hot spring if I can.
 

NewDes_Laudo

後輩
Joined
Jun 8, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Yeah it really does depend on your personal tastes. I personally could have spent at least a week more exploring the shops and atmosphere of Akihabara. But if that's not your type of thing then it's a waste of your time to spend a lot of time there. I would personally suggest going to some kind of Onsen while you're there. They're a really special kind of place.
A whole week for one place sounds too long! I guess for me, a few hours in Akihabara (or any place rather) should be enough. Well I guess to each their own.
 
Last edited:

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
Oct 23, 2012
Messages
693
Reaction score
104
Hi, thanks for your response. By backpacking I meant travelling. I think a rail pass sounds like a nice idea! I would go visit the sights but not limit myself to eating and drinking only I guess!
For sure get a pass. Especially if you want to travel a lot. Worth every penny. I'm a recent customer so I know for sure. You can buy a one week pass and it activates when you go in and activate it at a station. If you're staying in one region you can get a regional pass for slightly cheaper. For instance if you're only in the JR East area it's cheaper to just buy a one week JR East pass than to buy a full JR pass. If you're going between regions though JR East/JR West which you would if you went with Nahadef's suggestion you'll need the full pass. Try to get a concrete idea of where you want to go first then you should be able to decide which pass is best for your needs.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,750
Reaction score
379
When do you want to come?
What interests you about Japan?
You're not going to see very much in just a week, maybe 2-3 major cities. It would be wise to choose places that have a lot in each, rather than just one attraction.
 

NewDes_Laudo

後輩
Joined
Jun 8, 2017
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
I personally could have spent at least a week more exploring the shops and atmosphere of Akihabara.
For sure get a pass. Try to get a concrete idea of where you want to go first then you should be able to decide which pass is best for your needs.
Thanks for your suggestions so far! I think I wont be as prevalent on Akihabara as one would expect (not a weaboo what can I say), but do look forward to the other many amazing things Japan is known for (which are sadly mulled over :( ).
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
2,223
Who is sadly mulling over what?
 

Seiko

後輩
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Messages
91
Reaction score
10
Its cool and I your asking people for help but where do you want to go in Japan. for 1 week you can do a lot depending how aggressive you are in your travel, Example start your travel at 6am and finish by 10pm.

we can work off a small itinerary
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
4,750
Reaction score
379
is there some reason you ignored my question? can't really give decent advice without knowing what interests you, or why you decided on Japan in the first place.
 
Top