I spent 10 days enjoying the beautiful country of Japan this year, and finally got around to putting together a short timelapse video of my visit. I wrote a post for my 10 day itinerary, that has gone on to be one of my most viewed posts this year. Enjoy the video!
For first timers visiting Japan, planning an itinerary can be a daunting task. Upon first glance, there are an infinite number of places to visit, and each one seems to offer a bevy of side trips. In this post, I’ll share some advice and research I found that helped make this adventure possible, as well as the specific trips I planned for each day of our visit to Japan.
The Japan Rail Pass, or JR Pass, is a ticket that grants tourists unlimited travel on Japan Rail trains. Traveling around Japan by rail is extremely efficient and quick, with trains canvassing the entire country. In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the JR Pass and hopefully convince you to get one before traveling to Japan.
On our final day in Japan, we woke up early for a visit to Nijo Castle before our flight home. Nijo Castle was built as the residence of the first shogun of the Edo period in 1603. The castle is divided into three sections, with a primary circle of defense, a secondary circle of defense, and a circle of gardens that encapsulate both.
Nara is a 45 minute train ride from Kyoto, and its a JR train that’s included with the JR Rail Pass. Nara was the first official capital of Japan having been established in the year 710. Back then, the city was called Heijo. Nara has some of Japan’s oldest and most historic temples, making it a must see site.
Kamakura is a short one hour train ride from Tokyo and makes for a great day trip. Kamakura was the political capital of Japan under the Minamoto shogun in 1192 and remained the center of Japanese politics until things moved to Kyoto in the 14th century. Nowadays, Kamakura is known for it’s giant Bhudda, shrines, temples, and beaches.