Three weeks for $4000 each ! "Fill the spreadsheet in" my son Kyle said...so I did ! Picking underground art galleries on Japanese islands that are hard to get to, boat rides through old villages, streets to go Geisha spotting and noodle museums.
Here are some helpful sites we used in our frenzy of planning.
As it was my first trip to Japan it was good to stay in the cities: Tokyo, Kyoto etc to see art exhibitions at the major galleries, eat and shop at Harajuku and Shinjuku and for Kyle to see his bands. My favourite p[laces in Japan were away from the cities and major tourist destinations.
Bucket List for next Japan trip
Found a brochure for a great place to stay near Zushi Beach..weBase, Kamakura. I would love to stay here for a few days. Zushi Beach, great spot to hire a longboard and go for s surf, the sunset here was beautiful, especially after spending a few days in Tokyo amongst the buildings and crowds It was soothing to be in nature again. This area is close to The Great Buddha and the Hokokuji Bamboo Garden.
Philosophers Walk, If you stayed close to here then you are walking distance to a few temples: the Zenrin-ji was beautiful. There are quaint shops that run along this walk. You can even do a pottery class here and of course lots of coffee shops as usual.
Luggage lockers are easy to find at stations but are often already taken. Try and be early before 8am. Lockers range from ¥300- 1000. Think carefully about suitcases.
We stored our bags for instance at a luggage storage shop in Asakusa overnight when we went to Fuji to stay. Cost ¥5000 for overnight. For an extra cost, they will forward your luggage to your next hotel or the airport not air bnb’s.
Some train stations have luggage storage facilities other than lockers. You have to look at all exits . As we left Okayama we found the luggage storage near JR train line at Okayama Station.!
Luggage storage at Kyoto was a little hard to find, downstairs near the JR ticket office.B1 Lots of lockers but already full.
Storage at Osaka Station was easier to find, level 1 near 7 eleven on the north side of the station. ¥ 800 per bag for the day.
Plan trains and ferries if not in city areas, they are on time but don’t run as often.
Buy an IC Card use for trains, buses and some vending machines, saves queuing to buy tickets.
All Starbucks and most JR train stations have WiFi, some towns even offer free WiFi. We chose air bnb’s that had a free portable WiFi you could take out of the apartment . This made life easier in terms of going for sponteaeous walks and then finding stations.
You can charge your devices at most Starbucks and the Wired Cafes.
Here is a detailed link to information about Wi-Fi in Japan
‘Gion, with its many traditional machiya buildings, is probably the most popular place for photographing geisha in Japan. Its two hanamachi -- Gion Higashi and Gion Kobu -- are by far the biggest and most famous out of the five geiko areas of Kyoto, the others being Kamishichiken, Pontocho and Miyagawacho’
Early November in Tokyo, the days were quite warm..20 degrees light shirt, pants were fine, comfortable light joggers. A pair of nice low heel boots and a good shirt/ dress for a change when shopping or eating out.
Mid November, quite cold at night and cooler during the day when we were at Fukuoka. Glad to have my down jacket, light to carry or roll up in a back pack.
Take comfortable walking shoes, my leather ankle boots from Kathmandu were perfect for the cold, drizzly days of walking around in late November. We bought gloves and scarves as well for walking around at night.
Bigger back pack for day trips Comfortable walking shoes !!!! Two pairs of glasses Better portable battery pack