Back at the start of October, I mentioned that nakanit and I are hitting up Japan in 2017. I briefly talked about the plans for my trip – Bman and I are hitting up the northern regions of Japan, Kanazawa and Tokyo. Having undergone a little more research and planning, I now want to update you with more details.

When and where

JAPAN. Two and half weeks. Late January to mid February 2017.

Tokyo → Kanazawa → Takayama → Shibu-Onsen → Niseko → Sapporo → Tokyo.

Takayama, Japan
From my trip to Takayama, Japan, back in 2009! It will be awesome to see Takayama in the winter this time around!

What we’re doing

While none of this is set in stone and we haven’t exactly done all the research we want to do yet, this is a rough idea of what we have in mind for our trip:


  • Eating at and visiting the Tsukiji fish market
  • Strolling and checking out different districts – Harajuku, Akihabara, Shinjuku, Shibuya
  • Visiting the Meiji Jingu shrine
  • Watching Taiko (traditional Japanese drumming) demos/taking Taiko lessons
  • Maybe take up a cooking lesson


  • Walking through the Kenrokuen garden (supposedly one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens – I know what you’re thinking, “you’re going in winter… what is there to see in a garden, everything is dead” – and my answer to that is just you wait and see…. :P)
  • Visiting Toyama Bay and enjoying fresh seafood


  • Trying out Hida beef
  • Strolling the streets of the Sanmachi Suji historical district (with wooden merchant houses from the Edo Period)
  • Visiting Shirakawa-go and Gokayama (traditional thatched roof farmhouse villages – UNESCO world heritage sites)
  • Maybe enjoy a traditional tea ceremony


  • Staying in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese accommodation where you sleep on the floor with tatami mats and a futon)
  • Going onsen (hot spring bath house) hopping (that’s the thing to do in this town)
  • Checking out the snow monkey park!! (crazy excited for this!)
  • Having a kaiseki (traditional 11 course dinner) in our ryokan


  • Skiing and snowboarding in some of the deepest, driest pow in the world!!!
  • Relaxing in onsens and eating delicious Japanese food when not snowboarding/skiing


  • Filling our tummies at the ramen alley (where ramen originated from)!!
  • Having abundances of fresh seafood again – Hokkaido is known for its seafood as well
  • Trying the famed Hokkaido milk
  • Checking out the snow and ice festival!!
Hida Beef from Takayama, Japan
Delectable Hida Beef from Takayama, Japan!

What else?

That pretty much sums up what we’ve got planned thus far. We still need to nail down a few more accommodation spots and maybe book a car rental for a portion of our trip (we might give driving in Japan a try! :O). Then, we’ll be done all of the major things that need pre-departure planning. We’ll probably look further into specific activities and events over the Christmas break, and book those then if necessary. Just a little over two more months to go until we leave for our trip!!! 😀

The more I research and plan, the more excited I am getting for this trip! Trip planning is definitely a part of the whole travel experience and a part that I actually really enjoy. Anyone else out there enjoy planning trips too?

Tell us what you think!

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