In 2019, we visited Japan and travelled to the central and southern parts of Honshu. From Tokyo to Hiroshima, we tried to balance the city and sightseeing with nature and sports activities like hiking or biking. Here are the detailed itinerary and budget.

Fushimi Inari Shrines aka one of the top Instagramable spots in Japan. The trick is to come reaaaally early and no people in sight!
Woke up by Motosu lake, it was a perfect jumpstart on a beautiful day. With Mt. Fuji, serving the breakfast…

Frankly, our timeline was planned for minutes. Sometimes it was a little tense. For example, when we were sprinting to see Chureito Pagoda in the Fuji area, one of the typical postcard views from Japan. After waking up for a stunning sunrise and Fuji view at Motosuko lake on the other side of the Fuji base, we biked 40 km and all over the city and climbed the 2 hundred steps or something to reach the pagoda, click a shot, catch a breath and back on the bike. All this, just to catch our bus to our next destination in the afternoon. Uff….

One of the many many many temples in Tokyo. If you don’t join the main touristy corridors, you can get sacred places for yourself.

But you can always relax when you are back home!! Go for it and don’t forget to balance the busy itinerary with a great onsen somewhere on the way! 🙂

Link to the detailed spreadsheet including all itineraries, accommodation links, bus connections, and ticket prices, timelines at the bottom of this article.

After we climbed Fuji and caught up with some sleep, protein and carbs are the right choices!

Itinerary

Here are the details. If you have any questions, you can always contact us for some tips and tricks! We visited Japan from 30/8/2019 to 14/9/2019. It all started in Tokyo and we flew back to Hong Kong from Hiroshima.

DayAreaDetails
0Flight to Tokyo 23:40
1TokyoArrival Tokyo 4:50, Sensoji temple, Ueno Onshi Park, Yanaka Ginza
2Tokyo Imperial Palace (outside), Nippon Budokan, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo Tower
3Tokyo (Fuji)Toyosu tuna auction, Tsukiji sushi tasting, Sumo training at Ryokogu, Shibuya crossing, Transfer to Fuji
4FujiRelax by Fuji, easy bike to Kawaguchi lake, At 5 pm transfer to Fuji 5th Station
5FujiSummiting Fuji and decending back to 5th Station, cooked breakfast and slept
6FujiBiking trip (1/2) to 4 of 5 Fuji Lakes – Kawaguchi, Saiko, Shojiko, Motosu – camping by Motosu
7Fuji – Hirayu OnsenBiking trip (2/2), back to Fuji Kawaguchiko, Chureito Pagoda, afternoon transfer to Hirayu Onsen
8Shinhotaka onsen and hike, camp on the mountainBus to Shinhotaka ropeway and whole day trek to Nishihotaka (overnight camp at Nishiho Hut)
9Kamikochi – TakayamaMorning decent to Kamikochi, easy walk around and afternoon transfer to Takayama trhough Hirayu Onsen with hot springs
10Takayama-KyotoTakayama whole day, afternoon transfer to Kyoto
11Kyoto/OsakaMorning Fushimi Inari Shrine, Nijo Castle, Yasaka Shrine and Komizu temple (red pagoda with view)
12Kyoto/OsakaBamboo Grove in Arashiyama, Golden Pavilion Kinkayuji, Gion and Nishiki market
13Kyoto/Osaka – HiroshimaBiwa lake and Osaka day trip – Osaka castle, Nambu district
14HiroshimaDay in Hiroshima, Peace Memorial Museum, A-bomb dome, etc.
15HiroshimaMiyajima (O’Tori + hike) by Hirosima, Flight back to HK 18:25
We took overnight bus from Osaka. In the morning, the bus stopped right next to Hiroshima Castle‘s morning glory.
When in Japan, do as the Japanese do.

Japan trip on Budget

Japan is not overly expensive and it can be done on a pretty low budget. Although we stayed in some beautiful more expensive Japanese ryokans, we also camped in nature (3 nights) and stayed in shared bedrooms. The whole 2 weeks including the flight from Hong Kong – Tokyo and Hiroshima – Hong Kong were surprisingly almost similar to costs in Hong Kong but the quality of everything (food, service, accommodation, transport, etc.) is considerably better in the country of the rising sun. Even the shared rooms are always super clean, people are very polite and respect each other’s privacy, etc.

Card Spending¥103,377HKD7,735.8
Cash Exchanged¥60,000HKD4,489.9
Cash Withdrawn¥20,000HKD1,496.6
Flight 2pax¥40,090HKD3,000.0
TOTAL SPENDING (2pax)¥223,467HKD16,722.3
Total Trip Per PersonHKD8,361.1
Exchange Rate JPY-HKD0.074831

How come so cheap?

  • Kept avg price per night around 300 HKD
  • We took buses instead of trains – you can save tons on this decision! Buses are comfortable too
  • Eating locally not fine dining. It’s the best way to see the culture
Not eating in fancy places is a one-trick to keep your holidays on a budget. But of course, sometimes you have to try the local specialities no matter what.

For our Czech readers, the total trip was around 25 000 CZK per person. For two weeks in such a beautiful country??? PRICELESS! Great backpacking experience on a budget. Countless memories and natural adventures. Definitely worth it!

You can see all the detailed itinerary and copy it for your own use here.

Chilling in public foot baths. Priceless with zero price tag.