5 Days in Japan - Tokyo & What Else?

May 6th, 2005, 02:24 PM
  #1  
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5 Days in Japan - Tokyo & What Else?

Hello!

I will be in Japan in mid-June for 5 days. I have 2 and a half days allotted for Tokyo, and am trying to determine where would be best for the rest of the time. Is it worth it to go all the way to Kyoto for a couple days? Or should I try a town near Tokyo? If so, where would you recommend?

Thanks in advance for your help! It's much appreciated - so much to see, so little vacation time!
debbfrog is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 02:44 PM
  #2  
 
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I don't know the area just outside Tokyo but one idea is to take the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto to minimize travel time. The train ride is a pleasure and Kyoto is a very lovely city.

In wandering Kyoto's Gion district, you'll experience charming architecture and ambiance very different from Tokyo's. The temples in Kyoto are wonderful -- we spent the better part of a day luxuriating in Ryoanji Temple, also enjoying a soothing lunch at the dofu restaurant on the grounds. Nijo Castle was also very interesting.

We loved the 5 days that we spent in Kyoto last summer.

Others can advise you about areas closer to Tokyo. Good luck.
marya_ is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 02:45 PM
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emd
 
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A few ?s:
Do you think you might go back to Japan in the future, or is this your one shot?
Will you be on the way to/from somewhere else in Asia?
Flying in and out of Narita, is that right?
emd is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 04:43 PM
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Kyoto is the (traditional) cultural heart of Japan. It will cost you about $250 and 6 hours to get there and back from Tokyo.

Closer to Tokyo, but not by much, is Nagoya. You could go to the World Expo that is being held there now.

For both Kyoto and Nagoya, JR and JTB have packages that include shinkansen tickets and hotel at what look like good prices. I'm not referring to tours, but hotel/train packages, though tours are also available. But you can make the arrangements yourself, just as easily.

Closer to Tokyo, you could visit Hakone, Nikko, and/or Kamakura.

With two and a half days, you could fly to just about anywhere in Japan roundtrip for about $220. A weekend getaway to Hokkaido, for example.
mrwunrfl is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 04:57 PM
  #5  
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emd -

I don't think this will be my only trip to Japan - it's part of a mini-tour of Asia I'm doing with my mom, my husband and his business partner. We're mixing business with pleasure, so our schedule is somewhat restricted by business meetings. Japan is our first stop, followed by Taiwan, S. Korea & Thailand.

And yes, we'll be flying into and out of Narita.

Thanks for all your help!
debbfrog is offline  
May 7th, 2005, 06:43 AM
  #6  
emd
 
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You have a varied group w/you- Mom and business partner. Don't know if your Mom will ever get back to Japan? If it was me, without considering Mom and business partner, I'd probably stay in Tokyo two days and on day 3 and 4 do day trips to Hakone or Nikko, and Kamakura, as mrwunrfl mentioned. if you are leaving on day 5, you'll want to be in Tokyo that day (is that your "half day"?) I would not try to do two days Tokyo and then get to Kyoto and back and to Narita to leave. That is rushed and expensive for the rush. And Kyoto transportation is not as well-meshed as Tokyo- you sort of have to piece it together w/trains, subway (network not as extensive as Tokyo), cabs, and mayb even buses, so it takes a little getting used to the drill of how to get where (at least it did for us).

If I was going to do Kyoto I'd go straight there first as soon as I could gt there (probably morning of first full day in Japan) and stay 4 days, then get back to Tokyo to leave. But getting from Kyoto to Narita is a 4 hr 45 min. trip by train (you have to get Kyoto to Tokyo, either Tokyo Station or Shinagawa, which is better IMO, and then catch the Narita Express to Narita- this requires planning the timing if you do it on departure day).

I'll repeat, I really would not try to squish a Tokyo/Kyoto split into a 5 day trip.
emd is offline  
May 7th, 2005, 08:02 AM
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If you have 5 days for Japan, 2 and a half days for Tokyo (not bad) then you need to jump on the shinkansen and head straight to Kyoto, no question. Don't bother with Nikko, certainly, or Kamakura, just head straight to Kyoto. There are few places in the world (just about nowhere actually) that I can think of that are as unique and magical as Kyoto.
Spygirl is offline  
May 7th, 2005, 08:31 AM
  #8  
emd
 
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If debbfrog spends 2 days in Tokyo, then on day 3 she checks out of her hotel, gets to Tokyo Station, gets the 3 hr shinkansen to Kyoto, it will liklley be araound noon by time she gets to Kyoto station. If she has sent her luggage ahead w/luggage delivery service, she can start sightseeing right away from the station. That is a half day in Kyoto on day 3. Then she'd have day 4 in Kyoto. If she is leaving japan on day 5 then she needs to get back to Narita to depart that day. If she is leaving Japan early (before 2 pm) on day 6, she still needs to go back to Tokyo or Narita town on day 5 to be there to depart on day 6. Kyoto station to Narita is 4 hrs 45 min, wihe change at eighter Tokyo station or Shinigawa to the Narita Express. In the morning, THE EARLIEST you can get to Narita from Kyoto is noon (taking the 7:20 a.m. shinkansen Kyoto to Shinigawa and cahnging to the 11 am Narita express, arriving Narita at noon.
That's a really quick trip to Kyoto. You'll have to decide if it is worth the rush and $$.
emd is offline  
May 7th, 2005, 11:55 AM
  #9  
mjs
 
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I am in agreement with EMD on this question
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May 7th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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This a good site for short overall of various areas. http://english.itp.ne.jp/content/dis...kyo/index.html
Highly suggest Hakone but plan for two days - there is so much to do there. The open air art museum is fantastic ! Yokohama and Kamakura are good day trips out of Tokyo also. Mt Takoe is a great day trip also - nice hiking and great view once you get to the top ! Beautiful area. Be sure to visit the fish market in Tokyo too... quite interesting and great sushi ! I found a great book "Fodor's Citypack Tokyo's Best". Probably THE best book I have ever had. It had tons of good info and the "Top 25" things to do in Tokyo were actually wonderful - the only one I didn't do nor care for was Disney ! Great book with a map and both will fit in your back pocket ! Have a great trip !
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