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Trip Report First time trip to Japan - Fall 2013

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DH and I spent 3 weeks in Japan from Nov.1-Noiv. 22. By way of introduction, we are both retired, and have traveled extensively over the past 40 years, sometimes on tours and sometimes on our own. With the encouragement and help in planning of many Fodorites, especially mrwunrful, hawaian traveller, don topaz, as well as mara, kja, and Kavey, we decided to do this trip on our own. We booked JAL seats on the Dreamliner direct flight from Boston using American Airlines frequent flier miles.

We flew into Narita and out of Osaka, which was time efficient (no backtracking by train to get to Narita for a flight home). We used a one week Japan Rail Pass, which needs to be purchased before entering Japan. I booked all of our hotels on booking. com where I guarantee my reservations with a credit card, but I did not actually pay for them in full until I arrived at the hotel. All of the reservations were cancellable and i took full advantage of this in tweaking our itinerary just before leaving for Japan

Our itinerary was as follows: 6 nightsin Tokyo, 2 nights in Matsumoto, 2 nights in Takayama 2 nights in Kanazawa, 2 nights in Hiroshima and 7 nights in Kyoto. .

Our Dreamliner flight to Narita was smooth and non eventful. The food was mediocre at best. ( On the way home it was excellent) Economy seats were comfortable and since the plane was not full, the flight attendant invited us to spread out in the 4 middle bulkhead seats, which was very comfortable. The service on board was excellent. I would use JAL again if/when returning to Japan.

We went through customs and immigration quickly, changed some currency, bought our NEX/Suica combination ticket and arrived at our Tokyo hotel at about 7 o'clock, after a 10 minute taxi ride from the station.

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