Itinerary,  Japan,  Travel

WESN Epic Hana Chase Places Visited & Transport

I was officially in Japan for 90 days/89 nights (13 weeks) for my WESN Epic Hana Chase which took me across all 8 regions and a total of 33 prefectures. Including day of departure from and day of arrival in Singapore, the whole trip was 92 days. If I had kept it at 90 days total, my travel insurance would have been a lot cheaper and I could have bought an annual plan. But I just had to max out the days allowable on visa free travel (found out later the 90 days visa is counted by the number of nights).

WESN Epic Hana Chase places visited

WESN Epic Hana Chase Places Visited

A quick summary of the prefectures and places visited on this trip, grouped by region. I’ve also indicated the number of days I spent in each region.

Kyushu – 23 days
  • Okinawa Prefecture – Yaeyama Islands (Ishigaki, Yonaguni, Iriomote, Taketomi, Hateruma), Okinawa Main Island (Naha, Nago)
  • Kagoshima Prefecture – Kagoshima, Yakushima
  • Kumamoto Prefecture – Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto
  • Saga Prefecture – Saga, Imari
  • Nagasaki Prefecture – Sasebo (just to get the Sasebo Burger)
  • Fukuoka Prefecture – Fukuoka
Chugoku – 11 days
  • Yamaguchi Prefecture – Yamaguchi, Hagi, Akiyoshidai Lime Stone Caves, Hofu, Tokuyama, Iwakuni
  • Hiroshima Prefecture – Hiroshima, Fukuyama, Tomonoura
  • Okayama Prefecture – Okayama, Kurashiki, Takahashi
  • Shimane Prefecture – Matsue, Izumo, Adachi Museum of Art
  • Tottori Prefecture – Tottori
Shikoku – about 1-2 hours just for lunch
  • Kagawa Prefecture – Utazu (just for Sanuki Udon and Honetsuki Tori 😋)
Kansai – 4 days
  • Kyoto Prefecture – Kinosaki, Amanohashidate, Ine, Uji
  • Shiga Prefecture – Hikone
Chubu – 6 days
  • Fukui Prefecture – Fukui, Tojinbo, Eiheiji Temple, Fukui Dinosaur Museum
  • Ishikawa Prefecture – Kanazawa, Noto Peninsula, Wajima
  • Toyama Prefecture – Takaoka
  • Yamanashi Prefecture – Kawaguchiko
Tohoku – 14days
  • Ibaraki Prefecture – Hitachi Flower Park
  • Fukushima Prefecture – Fukushima, Kawageta
  • Yamagata Prefecture – Shinjo, Yonezawa
  • Miyagi Prefecture – Sendai, Yamadera
  • Iwate Prefecture – Morioka
  • Akita Prefecture – Tazawako Kogen Onsen, Akita, Kakunodate, Oga Peninsular
  • Aomori Prefecture – Hirosaki Castle, Aomori, Hachinohe
Hokkaido – 18 days
  • Sapporo, Otaru
  • North Hokkaido – Rebun Island, Rishiri Island, Wakkanai
  • Central Hokkaido – Asahikawa, Biei, Furano, Sounkyo Onsen
  • East Hokkaido – Shari, Utoro, Rausu, Nemuro, Kushiro
Kanto – 14 days
  • Gunma Prefecture – Takasaki
  • Saitama Prefecture – Chichibu
  • Tochigi Prefecture – Nikko, Lake Chuzenji
  • Tokyo Prefecture – Ikebukuro, Yanesan, Odaiba, Shinagawa, Ginza


Original Castles

I wanted to visit 6 castles during this WESN Epic Hana Chase to complete my visit of all 12 original castles. However, I had to leave out Inuyama Castle as I didn’t have enough time. The 5 castles that I managed to visit were Bichu Matsuyama Castle, Matsue Castle, Hikone Castle, Maruoka Castle and Hirosaki Castle.

WESN Epic Hana Chase places visited
Matsue Castle

Together with Himeji Castle, Kochi Castle, Marugame Castle, Matsumoto Castle, Matsuyama Castle and Uwajima Castle which I had previously visited, they made up the 12 Original Castles in Japan. These castles were termed “Original” as their main keep/towers were built before or during the Edo period.

I also considered myself lucky to have visited Shuri Castle in Okinawa on this trip before it burnt down in 2019.

Next: Transport Modes

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