We are Swiss couple planning to do our honeymoon (max. 34 days) in Japan and China. We are mostly into the beauty of nature and animals, but we also like cultural sights. We have never been in China nor Japan before. It's not that I haven't done any online research to put together an interesting trip, but when it comes to traveling, experience is worth a lot. So if you have been to any of these beautiful places, I would like to ask you kindly to share your opinion with us. Is the time frame reasonable? (it shouldn't be too hectic, we do not want to rush from one point to another..) Shall we spend more time at some of these places? Are some nice spots missing which are near to these? Any experiences with these airlines? We are thankful for any comment!
Day 1 - Day 2: Flight from Frankfurt to Tokyo with Qatar Airlines
Day 2 - Day 7: Tokyo
Train from Tokyo to Harone
Day 7 - Day 9: Harone
Train from Harone to Kyoto
Day 9 - Day 13: Kyoto
Flight from Osaka to Beijing with China Eastern Airlines
Day 13 - Day 18: Beijing
Flight from Beijing to Zhangjiajie with Air China
Day 18 - Day 20: Zhangjiajie
Train/Bus from Zhangjiajie to Fenghuang or Dehang (over Huaihua)
Day 20 - Day 22 Fenghuang & Dehang
Train from Fenghuang to Guilin (over Huaihua)
Day 22 - Day 26 Guilin & Yuangshuo
Flight from Guilin to Lijiang with Beijing Capital Airlines
Day 26 - Day 29 Lijiang
Train from Lijiang to Dali
Day 29 - Day 31 Dali
Flight from Dali to Chengdu with China Eastern Airlines
Day 31 - Day 34 Chengdu & Mount Qingcheng
Flight from Chengdu to Frankfurt with Qatar Airlines
Thanks a lot!
I have not been to Japan as an adult, but have lived in China for several years, so feel I can comment on the Chinese leg of your trip...
Firstly I noticed that you missed Shanghai - that's where I lived, I love it there, but it is 'just another big city'.
From Beijing, you must make sure you get out to the Great Wall. From where you are staying you will be able to hire a car and driver to take you out. While this is more expensive than going on a bus tour, it is more convenient as you are on your own time. Best Beijing Duck is at the Park Hyatt in their restaurant called "Made In China" - it's your honeymoon - splash out!!
Similarly from Chengdu if you are planning to go out to the Leshan Buddha or the Panda Conservation Site, taxis are hard to catch back, so you may end up stranded, so best bet is to organise a car and driver. The Buddha is about 2 hours drive from Chengdu.
Personally I would skip Guilin, and spend the whole time in Yangshuo, which is just gorgeous. Bamboo rafting, caving, cycling tours, boat trips - all amazing in the Karst landscape.
Yunnan is a fabulous province. Dali is an amazing town, lots of Western comforts available - eg easy food, tourist info speak English, we stayed just outside the wall of the old town (check my blog on here, I started it when we did a trip to Yunnan.) Lijiang was lovely, but we unfortunately had terrible weather, so cut our visit short. We got the train from Kunming to Dali which was an experience but fine. Trains generally are fine, especially day hops.
I think your itinerary looks pretty good. Can't see everything anyway, but happy to offer more advice if you need later...
PS Congratulations on your wedding!!
Many thanks for your comment, really appreciated! Unfortunately we do have to go in autumn now and only have 18 days which we are planning to spend only in Japan.. But we will definitely go to China another time, so thanks again!
I have been to both places but not that many times.
This are what I feel: (be sure to buy the rail pass before you go. That would save you a lot of money)
1) Tokyo is great but I feel that 5 days may be a little too much if you are not planning to do much shopping and don't like crowded places.
2) Hakone - 2 days is great. There are many lovely Ryokan (amazing bed and breakfast with hot spring bath) make sure you have that in your itinerary
3) I don't quite understand why you are going to Kyoto and flying off from Osaka airport.
4) For honeymoon couples you really want to consider squeezing in hokkaido. Great for self drive but it will take up quite a lot of time.
4) Your china itinerary looks pretty good. I second yangsuo and lijiang. Love bambooing rafting so be sure you do that.
5) if you can only pick between Shanghai and Beijing. I will put my vote for Beijing. Shanghai is a beautiful city but beijing for me has more interesting sites for tourist. Great wall, forbidden city, houhai (pub areas).
This is just some of my thoughts. Hope that helps.