Japan In Depth - 2015: Itinerary

Our travel plan

Below is a table with the broad picture of our itinerary. Below that is a more detailed day-by-day description of the plan as of the date at the bottom of the page.

An itinerary is a plan as of a particular point in time of where to go, when, and how. But plans change, sometimes even from moment to moment. So our plans may change based on weather, surprise opportunities, changing interests, and factors beyond our control.

Nagano, Sado, Kanazawa, Takayama


Days, Dates, Cities and Notes
Day Date Itinerary
Thu 15 October Leave Denver in A.M. to your gateway city then to Narita
Fri 16 October Arrive Tokyo Narita (NRT); Narita Express to Shinagawa station; walk to Shinagawa Prince Hotel
Sat 17 October To Nagano by Hokuriku shinkansen (JR Pass); One night in Hotel Metropolitan Nagano
Sun 18 October Nagano Sightseeing in Nagano then picked up and taken to Yakimochia in mountains for a true ryokan experience
Mon 19 October To Sado shinkansen to Naoetsu Port (JR pass), ferry to Ogi port on Sado island, bus ride to Yahatakan ryokan
Tue 20 October To Kanazawa: bus to Ogi port, ferry to Naoetsu Port, shinkansen to Kanazawa (JR pass); staying at Sai no niwa hotel
Wed 21 October Kanazawa Sightseeing around Kanazawa
Thu 22 October To Takayama: Shinkansen to Toyama, local train to Takayama; (JR pass); staying at Open Heart Pension
Fri 23 October Takayama including * Party to celebrate 55th anniversary of Denver / Takayama connection
Sat 24 October To Tokyo Bus to Shinjuku bus station then to the brand new Tokyu Stay Hotel
Sun 25 October Morning free then airport limousine bus to Narita
Depart for Denver; arrive evening of same day(!)



Thu., October 15

We're taking off
* See the page Shopping for air travel for thoughts on getting to Japan

Fri., October 16

We arrive in Japan
* Arrive Narita International Airport on your flight of choice
* Quarantine, Immigration (passport)
* Pick up bags, Customs
* Exchange currency
* Set JR passes to activate immediately
* Narita Express (train) to Shinagawa Station (JR Pass)
* Walk or taxi to Shinagawa Prince Hotel
* Check in, explore neighborhood
* Dinner in local restaurant (or just crash!)

Sat., October 17

To Nagano
* Shinkansen Hikari 502 - depart Shinagawa 8:34, arrive Tokyo Station track 15 at 8:40
* Shinkansen Asama 605 - depart Tokyo Station 9:04 on track 20; arrive Nagano track 11 at 10:53
* Walk to Hotel Metropolitan Nagano
* Visit Jigokudani Yean-koen (snow monkey park)
* Dinner at Hanbey izakaya (included)

Sun., October 18

* Sightseeing in Nagano
* Ship bags ahead to Kanazawa hotel, from Hotel Metropolitan
* 3:30, picked up by ryokan staff, taken to Yakimochia in mountains for a true ryokan experience
* Dinner at the ryokan (included)

Mon., October 19

To Sado island:
* Breakfast at 6:15
* 7:15 ryokan staff takes group to Nagano Station
* Shinkansen Hakutaka 551 - board at 8:10 on track 12, arrive Joetsu-Myoko at 8:32
* Myoko Haneuma Line - board at 8:44, arrive Naoetsu at 9:00
* Taxi to Naoetsu Port to catch 9:30 ferry to Sado (Naoetsu Taxi reserved)
* Arrive Ogi Port 11:10    (Ferry schedule is here.)
* Site seeing in Ogi area; maybe tub-boats
* 40 minute bus ride to Yahatakan ryokan
   (Oki Line bound for Sawata Bus Station, get off at Yahata Onsen)
* Attend Aikawa festival (maybe) see this page for a little more detail

Tue., October 20

To Kanazawa:
* 40 minute bus ride to Ogi port
* Catch 11:50 ferry, arriving at Noetsu port at 1:30
* Local bus to Noetsu station
* LTD. EXP SHIRAYUKI 65 departs at 3:22, arrive Joetsu-Myoko at 3:37
* Shinkansen Hakutaka 565 - board at 3:45, arrive Kanazawa on track 13 at 4:48
* Hotel shuttle bus (17:35) or walk to Sai no niwa hotel

Wed., October 21

* Sightseeing around Kanazawa

Thu., October 22

To Takayama:
* Shinkansen Tsurugi 708, departs from track 11 at 12:06, arriving Toyama on track 11 at 12:29
* Ltd. Express Hida 14, departs from track 2 at 1:02, arriving Takayama at 2:32
* Itinerary by City of Takayama and Takayama Denver Friendship Association:
   Dress in kimono and stroll around town
* Staying at Open Heart Pension

Fri., October 23

* Itinerary by City of Takayama and Takayama Denver Friendship Association:
   Morning - Shin Hodaka Ropeway
   Noon: Lunch on the way to Takayama
   Afternoon: Visit to a Shunkei Craftman (Mr. Kumazaki)
   Afternoon: Hida Folk Village & Friendly Hill (City of Denver Park)
* Party to celebrate 55th anniversary of Denver / Takayama connection

Sat., October 24

To Tokyo:
* Bus from Takayama (8:00 a.m.) to Shinjuku station (1:30 p.m.)
* Walk to the brand new Tokyu Stay Hotel
* Last night in Japan!

Sun., October 25

Homeward bound (bus and airline ticket):
* Walk to Bus Stop #23 of Shinjuku Station West Exit (5 min.)
* 1:20 airport limousine bus to Narita, arrive 3:05