Just two days to go until we jet off to Japan. Can’t come quick enough now. We’ve spent the last few months reading, planning and booking the various parts of our first trip to Japan. Given we’ve been to nearly fifty countries it’s hard to believe we have never been before. Three of our sons have been twice. In fact our youngest son, Jay, is there right now. He received a uni exchange from the University of Melbourne to Sophia University in Tokyo for semester two complete with a scholarship to help pay for some of the exchange. So we figured it would be good to go to fulfil some of our Japan travel ambitions and see him a couple of times. At least for that part of the trip we will have a Japanese speaker with us. Our Japanese is pretty limited but we’ve been to quite a few countries where we knew very little of the language and managed. So where are we going you ask.
The first part of our trip (days 1-8) will be walking along the UNESCO World Heritage rated sacred Kumano Kodo trail on the Kii Peninsula south of Osaka. Starting with a monastery stay in Koyasan we will then walk from Kii-Tanabe in the west via Hongu to finish at Kii-Katuura in the east.
On completion of our walk we will train it back to Osaka before activating our JR Rail Pass and heading west to Hiroshima via Himeji and its famous castle. We plan to do a day trip to the famous tori gate at Miyajima from Hiroshima.
Next we will train it towards Tokyo with a couple of days in the Tsumago- Magome area. Following that we will spend a few days with Jay in Tokyo before taking a train to Fuijikawaguchi which is in the heart of the lakes area near Mt Fuij. Our aim is to do some walks in this area.
Next will be Takayama. Whilst there we will visit the Hida folk museum before heading to Kanazawa to visit the castle and Kenroku Garden. As our time comes to the last ten days we will split our time between Kyoto and Tokyo. In Kyoto we plan to visit the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-Ji Temple), Nijo Castle and the Imperial palace as well as visiting the bamboo forest at Arashiyama.
In Tokyo we will catch up with Jay for his birthday as well as doing a couple of days trips to nearby Yokohama and Nikko.
All up we are spending just over a month in Japan. I am hoping to upload some posts of our travels whilst in Japan so hoping wifi is good otherwise I’ll be doing some once we return home. I have read a number of posts about Japan on other travel blogs but if any readers have been to Japan we would appreciate any tips you have.