31 Jul 12 day Japan itinerary: Kyoto, Gero, Tokyo
This trip itinerary was similar to our first although, this was a Multigenerational trip. My parents joined us on their first international holiday and had left the planning up to me. We wanted to show them an overview of Japan with the old and the new. As we loved Kyoto so much, we were happy to return to show them some of the many fabulous sights. We had two kids now so wanted to avoid over planning. As we were a larger group we decided against hiring a car, like we have done previously.
The time was split between Kyoto and Tokyo with one night in the middle. We chose Gero Onsen as an over night stop to experience a different area than the typical cities and to stay in a ryokan. As we were relying on public transport we wanted somewhere that was easy to get to with minimal transfers.
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Our 12 day Japan itinerary looked like this:
We Landed at Narita Airport in the evening and got a shuttle to Narita Tobu hotel.
We took a bus to Nijojo and then onto Kinkakuji. After getting a bus to Kyoto Station, we walked to The Kyoto Railway Museum. In the evening we walked along The Kamo River and back up through Kiyamachi Dori, a popular nightlife spot.
In the morning we took a shinkansen to Himeji. We stopped in a Hello Kitty cafe before walking to Himeji Castle. After the castle we went to Osaka where we visited Shitennoji Temple and the Dotonbori area.
My parents visited Fushimi Inari while we wandered around. From there we took a train to Uji where we walked to Byodo-In Temple.
From our hotel we walked to Higashi Honganji and went to the Yodabashi store to buy baby food and nappies. After collecting our luggage we took a train from Kyoto to Gero Onsen. In Gero we checked in to our accommodation then walked to Gero Onsen Gassho Mura, an open air museum with traditional thatched-roof houses.
We had a traditional breakfast in our ryokan, then spent time walking around Gero Onsen in the rain. After taking the shuttle to the station, we got a train from Gero to Tokyo. Once in Tokyo we made our way to our Airbnb house.
This was a walking day where we saw Asakusa, Sensoji Temple and Tokyo Skytree. We spent time in Tokyo Station and saw the city from above at The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Read our Tokyo with kids guide here.
We strolled through Ueno Park and Fletcher had fun in the small amusement park. Ryogoku is known as Sumo town but unfortunately when we visited, the museum was closed and we didn’t spot any Sumo during our walk around. Fletcher had been wanting to see a garden so we went to Shinjuku Gyoen, by the time we got there it was almost closing time.
The worst weather day, we had tickets for Disneyland. We spent the day there and left soaked. It was the only day the four year old didn’t complain about something.
We walked around Shibuya and had drinks in Starbucks, over looking the famous scramble crossing. We shopped in Harajuku and had a convenience store lunch in a park after walking through Meiji Shrine. It was meant to be in Yoyogi Park but we went the wrong way.
In the morning we walked from our Airbnb house to Shinjuku Station. From there we got the Narita Express to the airport for our flight home.