A Few Osaka & Kyoto Questions Kudasai!

Old Jul 29th, 2014, 08:15 PM
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A Few Osaka & Kyoto Questions Kudasai!

We will be in Osaka part of the first week in September because my husband has a one day business meeting there. My adult son will be with us. On the day my husband is busy, my son and I will entertain ourselves in Osaka. Then the two or three days we have before we fly from Osaka to Korea to continue our trip we will probably go to Kyoto and maybe Nara. We can stay for free in Osaka using reward points at the new Marriott and it looks like it is only a short train ride to Kyoto, so I am thinking we should just stay in Osaka and make day trips. We are already hopping around quite a bit on this trip due to mixing business with pleasure and I don't really want to change hotels to stay in Kyoto although I know it is more charming than Osaka. Does this make sense?

The second half of my question involves the flight I still need to book from Osaka to Seoul. I know there are two airports in Osaka but when I check flights, Kansai is the only airport that is coming up, nothing from Osaka International? I can fly into either ICN or Gimpo. Is Osaka International now just a domestic airport? I used a few search engines but nothing comes up.

And, if anyone has a suggestion for a music venue that my 27 year old singer-songwriter son would like or a jazz club we could all enjoy let me know! Is there any area where there are street performers? I have read it is frowned upon in Japan. He had a great time on his last trip to Korea because he was able to play his guitar and busked to make some cash!
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 08:20 PM
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Kyoto is old school and gives you a lot more culture. Osaka is more like a busy modern city anywhere with a japanese flavour. Nara is ok for daytrip.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 08:52 PM
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My husband and I stayed in Kyoto almost twenty years ago and loved it but our son has never been. I know that Kyoto is the preferable place to stay but I am weighing not having to pay for a hotel if we stay in Osaka along with another move of baggage etc. We are already flying into Narita and staying in Yokohama for a couple of nights (more business) before taking the train to Osaka.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 09:30 PM
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Hi, SeeHag -

Are you sure that Osaka's international airport isn't Kansai? I thought it was, but I could easily be mistaken....
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2034.html

BTW, the japan-guide website is awesome (although I think it underestimates the time required for various walks in the Kyoto area). And the out-of-date Japan Solo still seems to me among the best guidebooks for Japan.

I adored Nara and thought it worth 2 full days. I know you won't have that much time, but do consider visiting some of its sites, perhaps including some in Ikaruga, just outside Nara. (There's a Buddha at Chuguji that is, IMO, truly exquisite.) Too, the small treasure house at Kufukuji in Nara itself has some of the finest Japanese sculptures one can ever hope to, and the National Museum in Nara has some very well signed and impressive statues and other treasures.

Oh, and are you familiar with Japan's fantastic luggage forwarding option (takuhaibin)? If you do decide to change locations, it can make it SO much easier to do so!
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html

Hope that helps!
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 10:34 PM
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Hi kja!

We will use the luggage service when we take the train from Yokohama to Osaka. I hate dragging a suitcase through train stations if there is an alternative!

I just answered my own question when I went to check the airport code for Osaka International. It is now used only for domestic flights contrary to its name! We flew into that airport the first trip we made to Japan because Kansai was still under construction.

I wish we had had more time in Japan but I already feel a bit guilty we are spending time there rather than more with our son and daughter in law in Seoul. When we started planning, this business meeting came up and it made sense to combine them. I'm still working out the days in each spot.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 11:11 PM
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Hi SeeHag
Will your Marriott points not cover a Marriott hotel in Kyoto, or does it have to be Osaka on that front?
It's certainly not a long journey to go to Kyoto from Osaka, it's an easy enough train trip. So it's the toss up you've already established - free hotel and lack of moving about versus staying in the more charming of the two places.
I'm not familiar with the location of the Osaka Marriott - I'd usually suggest Namba station area as a good location to stay, right by Dotonbouri, the busy restaurant area. The Marriott looks like quite a long way out from that. I don't know that it's particularly convenient a location... ?
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 11:12 PM
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Itami (ITM) is still officially called Osaka International Airport. But to avoid confusion, people just call it Itami (ITM) vs Kansai (KIX) and I suggest we all do the same here.

Most international flights use Kansai while Itami is mostly for domestic.

Same for the Tokyo region. Haneda (HND) is officially Tokyo International Airport, while Narita (NRT) is simply Narita International Airport. It used to be called New Tokyo International Airport, but it's simply Narita now.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 02:06 AM
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Kavey,

The only Marriott property in Kyoto is the Ritz Carlton and while we can use points to stay there it takes quite a few more points. The Marriott in Osaka just opened a few months ago. It is connected to Tennoji station. It is on the top floors of the tallest building in Osaka. The hotel webdite claims it is close to several attractions. If the train ride to Kyoto is reasonable I am leaning towards staying in Osaka.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 03:43 AM
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I just returned from two weeks in Japan, including Osaka area, Kyoto and day trips to Nara and Hiroshima.

Regarding KIX, there are different ways to get there. There are a lot of international flights connecting through Hawaii. I opted to fly AA direct to Narita, then transfer to Haneda and catch a domestic JAL flight to KIX.

I stayed about 30 minutes south of Osaka. The only thing I did in Osaka per se was attend an Osaka Buffaloes baseball game.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 03:57 AM
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If you're talking about the Marriott Miyako in Osaka, then it sits right at the Tennoji station, which has direct JR Haruka Limited Express train to Kyoto's main JR station about every hour and takes 40 minutes, so it is indeed feasible. Though JR's Kyoto station is south of city centre and its main sites.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 05:22 AM
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Seeing temples and other attractions can take a day or 2 at least. I would stay at least 2 nights in Kyoto.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 05:50 AM
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If it were me I would stay in Osaka and take day trips to Kyoto and Nara. Too much hassle changing hotels. Good train services. Get taxis from the station to whichever temples/shrines you want to go to.
We flew from KIX to Incheon on Asiana. Lovely flight, lovely airline, good prices and only an hour.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 05:59 AM
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Staying in Osaka and taking day trips makes sense for you, SeeHag. If you were staying in Kyoto, you'd have to take some sort of transport to the sites you want to visit, anyway. Biggest downside to staying in Osaka (compared to Kyoto) is that you wouldn't be able to return to your hotel and refresh during the day. One (small) advantage of Osaka is that it's a bit faster to reach KIX from Osaka than from Kyoto.
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Old Jul 30th, 2014, 10:52 PM
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It's right by a park, a zoo and the Municipal Museum of Fine Art.
And of course, public transport is super in Japan, very efficient, on time and a pleasure to use -- part of the fun, actually!
As RK said, it's about 40-45 minutes to Kyoto station, so it's definitely doable. You can always make use of the locker service at Kyoto station, if you feel you want to store anything that you may want to come and grab during the day.
From Kyoto station, getting around Kyoto isn't too difficult, by both metro or bus or taxi. It can take time though but again, the travel is a pleasure, I find.
Hope you have a wonderful trip!
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Old Jul 31st, 2014, 06:41 PM
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Woohoo! I am so excited! In addition to this part of the trip we were just invited to be taken to see Hakone and Mt Fuji and then stay at a resort in Atami where my husband gets to go golfing!
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Old Aug 1st, 2014, 12:00 AM
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That sounds wonderful!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 09:37 PM
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If you are invited to a private guesthouse in Hakone (as we were), please be sure to take an appropriate (and sizable) gift. The Hakone outdoor sculpture museum is beautiful.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 10:23 AM
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We will just be taking a drive from Yokohama to Hakone. We will stay at a resort hotel in Atami. Our friends recently bought a home on the Uzi peninsula where they will retire and we will bring a gift for their home. I need to find something great!
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