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Japan trip :)

Hi everyone!

This is my second trip to japan since March 2017. I loved it so much my husband and I will be turning since he has a Global exchange trip with his MBA in Seoul March 9-16 2018.

To maximize my time in Asia. I decided to not miss out and do a completely solo Korea trip and head to Japan with my hubby for the 2nd leg of our trip.

I would love for advice on Japan’s specifically but if you can give a solo traveler some great tips/ things to do in Korea I would appreciate it !

My plan is as follows

March 11 depart LAX to ICN
March 12 arrive to Seoul 6pm check in to Airbnb near COEX around 6-7pm maybe grab dinner/ go to mall?
March 13 explore / shopping for Korean skincare stuff / wander
March 14 explore +cooking class or tour or both
March 15 explore +evening hiking tour/ food tour
March 16 explore Korea / shop if I forgot anything then in the evening depart ICN to
Fukuoka check in to Airbnb+ dinner
March 17 explore Fukuoka
March 18 Nagasaki day trip possibly visit Saga or pottery places
March 19 ???? yufurin (?) [ SUGGESTION for day trip here would be appreciated!!]
March 20 leave Fukuoka pick up car rental drive to Kurokawa Onsen check into Ryokan Sanga
March 21 check out of Ryokan and either explore Kumamoto/ castle area or nearby area then head to Kumamoto airport by 4:30-5pm and depart at 6:30pm to tokyo Narita then get dinner
March 22 day trip to Hakone
March 23 day trip to Nikko OR Kamakura (I would really love advise here as i am getting mixed suggestions for where to day trip too! Is the best thing about Kamakura the buddha statue? I have seen plenty of buddhas statues in thailand. I want to experience the culture/ food/ nature- I LOVED NARA so if any of these is a similar experience I would love to hear which to go to)
March 24 depart at 4:25 from Haneda-LAX

between march 22-24 =sushi dai 1-2am line up :)

Posted by
161 posts

My March 2017 trip consisted of
Osaka 4 days
Nara by day trip
Kobe by day trip

Kyoto 2 days
Uji by day trip

Tokyo 5-6 days
Visited sushi dai, Ghibli Museum, tokyo sea, and all major districts in tokyo.
- I did not get to visit the parks! The cherry blossoms were not in full bloom last time I visited from March 5-18 2017
- did not do the robot show it was $80 a person not sure if it is worth it

Posted by
5630 posts

We visited Japan in 2015 and loved the country. It is one of our favorite countries in the World. The Japanese people are wonderful.

Your itinerary doesn't include Kyoto, which is strange.
You mention going to Nikko or Kamakura. We did both. I would go with Nikko.
Nara was great, but don't miss Kyoto.

Here is my review of our precruise visit to Japan as well as cruise that included Japanese ports.
Japan and a little bit of China

Posted by
161 posts


I have visited Kyoto one my previous March 2017 trip :) I was in Japan for 15 days then! I was in kyoto from March 10 till March 12 then!

I did wish I had one more day in Kyoto back then but to travel JUST to kyoto on this next trip would be out of the way and costly. As I am trying to Go from Seoul to Fukuoka and Kurokawa Onsen, it seemed the next best thing to do was Fly to Tokyo as I have to fly home from there anyways.

To go from Kurokawa Onsen - KMJ - KIX Osaka flight cost about $110 x2 - Kyoto +
Kyoto - Tokyo train 110?? x2 cost and travel time didnt seen worth it this time around! :(

Correct me if I am wrong about the routes! I just used Rome2Rio and did the calculations back then and the travel time + cost seemed a little hectic EVEN for an aggressive traveler such as me!

I thought it might be wiser to spend the time in Tokyo as a day trip to Hakone and Nikko or kamakura :)

Posted by
5770 posts

Not sure if doing Hakkone as a day trip does the area justice. Same with Nikko. Since both are reasonably accessible from Tokyo, and some day you'll be back to/through Tokyo, maybe pick one or the other and do an overnight there, save the other for the next trip. Both are fun.

We did a day trip to Kamakura and yeah, the big buddha is a main draw, but we also felt like the town itself, and especially the railway there and back was cool, too. You're right, it's not chock full of notable 5-star sights, but it's cute and feels like a slice of authentic old Japan.

The "Robot Restaurant" show is weird and very much "crazy Japan." Grotesquely touristy and overpriced (skip the food) but a hoot if you're in the mood for it. I recommend it for most people's first few days in Tokyo as an odd way to experience crazy Japan right away. Since you've been around Japan already, it might be a bit too garish for you (still, I'm glad I went).