Home >> Japan Travel >> Trip with Japan Rail Pass (Day 7): Tokyo (Imperial Palace)
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Supposed to be a stay-home mom, but hates staying home. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world her husband can afford to pay for.


  1. Sc says:

    Hi Bumblebeemum

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful and informative blog. My husband, daughter of 22 years n I will be travelling to Japan this Dec 29 till the 6 of Jan 2016.
    We were last there only in Tokyo in 2004

    You did the 7 day trip in 2004, 2007 n 2009. Would love to follow the trip you took. Appreciate if you could recommend the one you think most suitable for that period we will be there.

    Places to stay if you could suggest, mode of transportation would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Your period of travel is a tough one, since it coincides with new year. I recommend reading this post regarding spending new year in Japan:

      If you don’t mind the crowd and want to soak in the atmosphere, then you can visit the festivals and events mentioned in the above post. I think it will be fun. 🙂

      The use of rail during this time may be challenging, because of the large number of locals who are expecting to be on the rails during the period. As mentioned in the above article, “the travel peak is expected to take place between December 29 and 31 with people leaving the big cities, and between January 2 and 4 (especially January 3) in the opposite direction.” So if I were you, I would stay in the big city (Tokyo) at the start of the trip, enjoy the festivities, and move out on Jan 2 to other regions. With only a few days from jan 2 to 6, I would recommend perhaps a visit of the Hakone / Mount Fuji area. You can read more about my visits to the region on the posts below:

      > Hakone + Fuji Five Lakes (Nov 2008)
      > Hakone + Fuji Five Lakes (Nov 2013)

      • Sc says:

        Thanks for your suggestion. We were at Hakone during our last trip.
        What do you think of visits to Osaka n Kyoto. Will the JR pass be useful for our entire stay there?

        • bumblebeemum says:

          If you are flying in and out from Tokyo and visiting Osaka and Kyoto, then yes, JR Pass will be useful. But I am not sure if you will have difficulty getting reserved seats on the shinkansen because of the new year travel. I have never visited during this period of time so I am not sure how bad the situation is. Maybe you can pop into Japan-Guide.com forum to ask whether it is very difficult to get reserved seats on the shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka / Kyoto during New Year period.

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