12 days Japan 2019- Itinerary Help

Jan 29th, 2019, 12:52 PM
  #41  
tt7
 
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
@ tt7: You do an admirable job of capturing details ....
Thank you for your kind words. I'll try to be more succinct in future....
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Jan 29th, 2019, 02:00 PM
  #42  
tt7
 
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Day 7- Nara. Depart in the morning to stay at ryokan overnight.
Day 8- Nara for the day: Kasuga Taisha, Todaiji Temple, Deer park, then head to Kyoto.


Shinkansen to Kyoto then the JR Nara line to Nara - 225 minutes, get you there in time for lunch.

Are you wedded to a ryokan in Nara, as opposed to Kyoto? The logistics would perhaps be simpler if you stayed at a ryokan in Kyoto on day 7 and then just did a day trip to Nara on day 8, sans luggage.

If you want somewhere simple for lunch in Nara, not far from Kasuga Taisha, try Mizutani Chaya (Google maps link)

..... and on the subject of food, lots of restaurants at Kyoto Station. The ramen places are on the 10th floor (try the Tan Tan noodles at Menya Iroha). In the Eat Paradise restaurants on the 11th floor, we've been to Mimiu a number of times.
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Jan 29th, 2019, 03:37 PM
  #43  
kja
 
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I'm one who thinks Nara holds too much to be a good day trip destination, though I know that many people see it that way. I had two full days there, and could easily have used more time.

Originally Posted by tt7 View Post
I'll try to be more succinct in future....
No need or reason to change your style!
I do think people would enjoy reading a trip report, were you to write one.
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Jan 30th, 2019, 05:01 AM
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by tt7 View Post
Thank you for your kind words. I'll try to be more succinct in future....
No no please don't; the detail is utterly wonderful! ❤️
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Jan 30th, 2019, 05:03 AM
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
I'm one who thinks Nara holds too much to be a good day trip destination, though I know that many people see it that way. I had two full days there, and could easily have used more time.
I agree that Nara is worthy of an overnight, but perhaps I'm biased by how much we adorea our ryokan there.
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Jan 30th, 2019, 08:20 PM
  #46  
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I wanted to let you all know how incredibly grateful I am for all the responses, tips, detailed help I received from this forum. Wow! I know this trip will be so much better than originally thought because of your help. I am traveling tomorrow somewhere else for a few days so I will be fine tuning this to the best I can. And when I return from Japan, I hope to come back with a great trip report to share. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
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Jan 31st, 2019, 03:00 AM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Our three trips have been sooooo enriched by the thoughts and suggestions and experiences shared here that it's a privilege to be able to help others in return. Plus it's great to enjoy Japan vicariously through other travellers during the times I can't go! 🤣
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Feb 1st, 2019, 09:51 PM
  #48  
 
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Day 11: do you mean Osaka Castle or do you really mean Himeji (different city)
A) I like the Tokyo Hilton. Best way from the airport is by limo bus that drops you at the front door.
There is a subway station across the street under the Hyatt Regency. I think ht mentioned an underground walkway from the Hilton to that station.

The Hilton has a shuttle from/to the west side of Shinjuku station. If you use the N'Ex from the airport then you will need to have a map/directions to locate the shuttle stop. Get the map anyway, to find the shuttle stop and to find your way if you choose to walk from the station - it can be tricky.

I went to Shinjuku Gyoen for cherry blossoms and it was wonderful. You can use a city bus. From the hotel shuttle stop go north and you will find the bus stop just past the smokers. I was there on April 11 and it was pretty spectacular, one of my favorite sites in Japan. I read that they have quite a variety of cherry trees so that there are trees blooming over several weeks, so there might be blossoms at the end of March.

I think it is worth it for you to consider leaving Kyoto the evening before you fly home. Taxi over to Shinjuku Gyoen and spend a few hours there, then taxi back to the hotel and get the limo bus to the airport.

Yes, 7-day JR Pass valid for travel on the day you go to Nara.
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Feb 1st, 2019, 09:57 PM
  #49  
 
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kja, about that saying. I am certain that you never heard it before. I just made it up.
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Feb 1st, 2019, 10:08 PM
  #50  
kja
 
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@ mrwunrfl: I thought it a good "taste test" and a very interesting and thought provoking thread. Thanks for posting it!

@ marcast: Sorry for that digression.
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Feb 3rd, 2019, 08:27 AM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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which ryokan did you stay at Kavey?
Originally Posted by Kavey View Post
It's an ambitious itinerary for so short a visit, and even with Japan's incredible punctual and easy-to-use transport system, you will be losing a fair bit of time travelling.
Personally, with just 12 days, I would have only two bases - Tokyo and Kyoto.
Perhaps one more for Nara, though it's easy to visit from Kyoto, perhaps because we adored our ryokan there so much...
And do your day trips from those cities.
This also gives you the advantage that you can alter your plans if you realise you want more time in Tokyo and Kyoto themselves, as you can simply skip a day trip as you wish.
As Flygirl says, many of us always tell people to give Kyoto more time because it really is the most wonderful city and there's a lot to enjoy there, not to mention many day trips you can do in the region as well.
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Feb 4th, 2019, 03:08 AM
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by Claudina View Post
which ryokan did you stay at Kavey?
We stayed at Ryokan Kankaso, that's my full review with photos. We booked via Japanese guest houses who booked us the room with ensuite cypress wood bath.
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Feb 4th, 2019, 03:58 AM
  #53  
 
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I have never been to Japan, but I consider their culture to be fabulous and very unusual. My dream is to visit the country and dive briefly in to be and lifestyle
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Feb 6th, 2019, 01:56 AM
  #54  
 
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So glad tt7 said what I was shouting at the screen: No! We don’t know best! Each of us brings our own biases and idiosyncrasies and you can pick and choose what strikes your fancy. I hope you do check out the Ginza – it is not ‘just a fancy shopping area’. Skipping it would be a bit like someone coming to London and never seeing Picadilly Circus or NYC and missing Times Square. . Not that there’s anything special to see in any of these places but they’ve become emblematic of their cities. The Ginza is very central so easily viewed combined with visiting other places: eg an easy walk from Tsukiji (the outer market is still in the old site), past the Kabukiza takes you to the Ginza. I am a big fan of the Imperial East Palace Gardens – another easy walk from there to the Ginza especially nice on Sundays when the main roads around the Palace and through the Ginza are closed and filled with strollers, many dressed to their nines.

Some more points: the Ginza is still the place for some serious fine dining – and going at night is a special treat with all the lights. I have a particular interest in urban design and architecture and the Ginza is unmissable on this account . I am especially fond of some of the roof gardens. Lastly, a visit to one of the grand old department stores is a must – not for shopping but for the cultural insight offered. The larger stores include museums (paid admission), galleries showcasing the best of art and design, the incomparable food basements etc. Check out the kimono department and see all the underlayers necessary to achieve the final splendid affect. Top floors with their ‘event spaces’ often boast regional fairs and are worth a look. Nihonbashi – site of the Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya flagship stores – is the best place but if these are still under renovation, the Ginza branch of Mitsukoshi is a good substitute.

The Ginza is not my favourite place in Tokyo but I well understand why travel articles and programmes deem it ‘unmissable.’
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Feb 17th, 2019, 08:19 PM
  #55  
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I apologize, but I am not sure how to use the "quote" feature. I am going to have to study it.
But for now, tt7:
-you recommend to go to Nijo Castle on my way back from Arashiyama. Isn't it better to go to Nijo Castle first and end at Bamboo Grove since it doesn't close? This way I don't have to rush to get to the castle. Or did you recommend it the other way around due to crowds?
-You said you took the Kameoka train to Arashiyama and the scenic railway back. This saved you time? I don't care to ride the scenic train twice either.
  • When it comes to Sumo wrestling, I don't know how I'll fit it in. Is there a way I can I just see them practice at least?
  • And have any of you experienced a traditional tea ceremony? What are your thoughts?
  • Any tips when it comes to washing clothes? I know I will need to do so midway through my travels because I'm only taking a carry on.

mrwinrft, I meant to say Himeji Castle, not the city.
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Feb 17th, 2019, 09:24 PM
  #56  
kja
 
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I generally don’t respond to comments directed to a particular poster using the quote function, so I’ll leave it to you to decide whether it was a good or bad thing to have posted without it. ;-)

FWIW, and with all due respect to tt7:

· I would decide when to do what as you propose – taking closing hours into account. From what I can tell, no Fodorites have wanted to see exactly the same set of sights (we are, after all, unique) and we want to see them based on our own personal timelines (some people like starting their days at the crack of dawn, others don’t, etc.) and with our own personal priorities for this or that. So, for example, I put Nijo-jo near the middle of one of my days in Kyoto because that’s where it suited my itinerary best.

· I took the regular train from Arashiyama to Kameoka and then the scenic train back. And I enjoyed it. But I had only 4 full days in Kyoto (not counting my 2 full days in Nara and not counting my time in Himeji or anywhere else outside of Kyoto other than Ohara), and in retrospect, I don’t think that I would have made time for that little train. It was pleasant enough, and different than anything else I did / experienced while in Japan, but with so little time in Kyoto, I gave up the chance to do / see things that I think I would have greatly preferred. YMMV. if you do go, I would encourage you to decide which way to go by which option based on YOUR plans and other itinerary constraints.

· For sumo schedules, including training schedules, see:
· https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2080.html

· I did experience a traditional tea ceremony – in Kanazawa – and am very glad I did! But I chose the one in Kanazawa specifically because it was more affordable than any other I could find. I can’t say what you would find worthwhile or at what cost in the places you plan to visit. You might find some useful information here:
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2096.html

· I always tend to my laundry by nightly handwash. There are, of course, coin laundromats in Japan. Please search japan-guide.com

Hope that helps!
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Feb 18th, 2019, 12:23 AM
  #57  
tt7
 
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Originally Posted by marcast View Post
I apologize, but I am not sure how to use the "quote" feature. I am going to have to study it.

-you recommend to go to Nijo Castle on my way back from Arashiyama. Isn't it better to go to Nijo Castle first and end at Bamboo Grove since it doesn't close? This way I don't have to rush to get to the castle. Or did you recommend it the other way around due to crowds?

-You said you took the Kameoka train to Arashiyama and the scenic railway back. This saved you time? I don't care to ride the scenic train twice either.
  • When it comes to Sumo wrestling, I don't know how I'll fit it in. Is there a way I can I just see them practice at least?
  • And have any of you experienced a traditional tea ceremony? What are your thoughts?
  • Any tips when it comes to washing clothes? I know I will need to do so midway through my travels because I'm only taking a carry on.

Clicking the "quote" button at the bottom of a post will quote it all in a new post for you. You can edit the quoted text (delete unnecessary parts) as needed. Just make sure to leave the [QUOTE ...] parts in square brackets at the beginning and end.

If you want any hope of seeing the Bamboo Grove the way you see it in any of the photos, you need to go early (or perhaps very late).... otherwise it will be overrun with selfie-stick wielding tourists desperate to get that selfie to put on Instagram in the hope it will be 'liked' by lots of people they don't know.... [which probably tells you what I think of Instagram...].

We've been to Arashiyama probably half a dozen times. This last time (three months ago) was the first time we'd done the Scenic Railway. We enjoyed it but I didn't feel we'd been remiss in not doing it before. I wouldn't consider it a 'must do' by any means (even one way). On the other hand, we really, really like Okochi-Sanso.

Sumo - the March tournament in Osaka is sold out. You can get general admission tickets on the day but you have to be there pretty early - they go on sale at 7.45 am but you'd probably need to be there at perhaps 6 am. The tournament is March 10 - 24 so they probably won't be at their training stables/practicing during that time.

Tea ceremony - never been.... which perhaps says it all. Have seen various iterations of it plenty of times on NHK TV but, much as we like all things matcha, it strikes me as right up there with watching paint dry or grass grow. Yes, very elaborate with a lot of ritual and meaning involved but, for us, much more enjoyable things to do and see.

Washing clothes - depends on where you're staying. Hotel may have a self-serve laundry you can use or they can probably point you to a local one ... or as kja says, in the the sink each evening ....
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Feb 18th, 2019, 12:33 AM
  #58  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by tt7 View Post
Tea ceremony - never been.... which perhaps says it all. Have seen various iterations of it plenty of times on NHK TV but, much as we like all things matcha, it strikes me as right up there with watching paint dry or grass grow. Yes, very elaborate with a lot of ritual and meaning involved but, for us, much more enjoyable things to do and see..
The tea ceremony I attended was just me and a delightful woman -- the server -- who spoke English exceedingly well and who was kind enough to explain all the rituals and engage in delightful conversation. We were in a beautiful tea room that opened onto a stunning once-private garden in Kanazawa, and it was raining (gently), so we could see the drops falling on leaves and water and petals, and leaves and petals falling into water, and shifting light as the density of clouds changed. It was, for me, a highlight of a highlight filled trip and I feel very fortunate to have experienced it.
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Feb 18th, 2019, 01:26 AM
  #59  
kja
 
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BTW, I thoroughly enjoyed Okochi-Sanso. In contrast, I was not particularly impressed by Arashiyama’s bamboo forest – and I visited it before it was thronged in the way tt7 describes. (I had it more or less to myself!) When I was in the area, there was a small patch of bamboo “forest” at Kodai-ji that I found more pleasant. Maybe it’s no longer there? Or just as over-crowded now?
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