Spring 2017 Japan Trip Itinerary

Spring 2017 Japan Trip

Welcome to the Mushingo Japan Travel Blog!

This series of posts will cover our April 2017 trip to Japan!

Although we had been to Japan many times before we still had yet to see the cherry blossoms, so that was the main motivation this time. The other main themes of this trip were hiking, Takayama festival, theme parks, rabbits, ryokan, heavy industry, fine dining, festivals, castles and sumo.

As with last trip I made a detailed itinerary in excel (click to embiggen).

The part on the right in pink is the cherry blossom predictions. I actually had to make quite a few last minute changes, after the accommodation was booked, as the cherry blossoms were predicted to bloom around a week later than I was expecting!

Here is the text summary:

Thursday 06 April 
Arrive by myself and hopefully get off the plane and train in time to see the cherry blossom illuminations at Chidorigafuchi.

Friday 07 – Monday 10 April
Spend some time in Tokyo, stay at some home-stay style AirBnB's. Go to Yomiuriland and ride the Bandit roller coaster. See cherry blossoms in Shinjuku park. Drive a go-cart around the streets of Tokyo. Visit the Tokyo national museum. Go to Toshimaen. Ride a bike around the Showa Memorial Park. See May'n concert.

Tuesday 11 – Thursday 13 April 
Skiing for three days at the Kagura Ski field, with Kate arriving on the 13 April !

Friday 14 April
Catch an early morning shinkansen to Toyama to see the cherry blossoms. Then get a train to Takayama for the evening spring festival.

Saturday 15 April
Leave Takayama early in order to spend some viewing the Hikone Castle cherry blossoms. Stay at an AirBnB in Maibara.

Sunday 16 April
Hike up Mt Ibuki-san which is one of Japan's 100 famous mountains (#89). Catch evening train down to Himeji.

Monday 17 April
Day trip to Hiroshima. Catch an early morning train to Hiroshima city to the Mazda car factory tour. Spend the afternoon at rabbit island (Ōkunoshima) before returning to Himeji.

Tuesday 18 April
See Himeji castle in the morning, then stop at Shin-Kobe for some Kobe Steak at Wakkoqu on the way back to Tokyo.

Wednesday 19 April
Tokyo Disney Sea theme park.

Thursday 20 April
Wake up early in order to travel to Fukushima for a stroll around Hanamiyama which is known for flowers and cherry blossoms. In the afternoon return to Tokyo and visit the Ghibli Museum, then continue to Kawaguchiko in the evening.

Friday 21 April
Fujikyuu Highland theme park.

Saturday 22 April
Hire a car and spend the day visiting the sights around Kawaguchiko, hopefully see some cherry blossoms and visit the Fuji Shibazakura Festival. In the afternoon drive to Chichibu and stay in an AirBnB.

Sunday 23 April
Climb Mt. Ryokami-san which is one of Japan's 100 famous mountains (#65). In the afternoon check into Hananoya ryokan in Chichibu.

Monday 24 April
Watch sumo wresting at the Fukaya Spring tournament, perhaps visit Nagatoro Machi or Iwadatami on the drive there. In the evening travel back to Tokyo via train and have dinner at Jumbo Yakiniku.

Tuesday 25 April
Participate in a tour of the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel or G-Cans, which is a huge storm drain. Then maybe visit Tobu Zoo or Kawagoe before returning back to Australia.

Unlike other trips I did not make a Japan Travel book and instead just crammed everything into the excel document.

Also, as always, this was just the plan! Even though I like to plan, travelling doesn't always go as expected and I can tell you right now that we didn't do things on the list and did things not on the list!

Now, in other news...

You may have noticed the new name and domain for this blog: www.mushingo.com

This is a word I made up.

I was trying for some word that is compatible with Japanese, easy to say in English, not too long and not already taken. It is possible to write it in Japanese as 無信号, which means "no traffic lights" or "no signal", which is open to the readers interpretation.


Kate and I are officially moving to Japan!

We both applied to the JET programme last year and have been accepted!

This means that from August this year we will be helping to teach English at Japanese primary, middle or high schools. We can stay for 1-5 years, and will probably stay for 2-3 years.

Although we have both been accepted we don't find out the general location until late May.

So all I know at this stage is "Japan".

Exciting times!


  1. Hi Eric,
    Good to read that you've been in Japan again. So pleased that you've been accepted for JET. My son had two wonderful years on JET based in a set of rural schools near to Kagoshima. We visited in 2015.
    He came back after two years to study for a MSc and now he is doing further study into global higher education with Japan as his focus so will be based in Hiroshima University for a year in 2018. You can bet that we will visit again.
    Anyway good luck to you and Kate with your JET work, and I look forward to reading more about your travels. Best wishes, Gaynor

    1. Hi Gaynor,
      It's great to hear your son had a wonderful time!
      Sounds like he really got a lot out of the program too, in terms of direction in life, which is fantastic.

      As always, thank you for reading!