Analyze my itinerary

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Oct 8th, 2004, 11:51 AM
  #1
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Analyze my itinerary

what do you think of this? We have 14-day rail passes to get around

day 1: arrive tokyo, relax at westin
day 2: tokyo fish market & sites
day 3: more tokyo sites
day 4: tokyo
day 5: kamakura
day 6: travel to just north of takayama to ryokan
day 7: takayama and back to ryokan
day 8: travel to kyoto westin, relax
day 9: kyoto (it is a festival day)
day 10: kyoto
day 11: day trip to miyajima and hiroshima
day 12: half-day himeji, half-day kyoto
day 13: day trip in Nara, then travel to Tokyo
day 14: half-day tokyo then to airport for flight home
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Oct 8th, 2004, 12:33 PM
  #2
 
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I have to preface this by saying that I am only planning for my first trip now, but I have been through the info on getting to Hiroshima and then on to Miyajima and it seems like alot for a day trip. We are also staying in Kyoto (same hotel as you actually) and are going to go to Hiroshima very early in the a.m. to go to the Peace Park, and then on way back to Kyoto are going to stop in afternoon at Kurashiki. We decided that Hiroshima and then getting the ferry to Miyajima (there are a limited number of ferries a day) was too long/too much of a day trip for us. Do you have the timing of that day worked out re the ferries? I am curious about that...
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Oct 8th, 2004, 05:12 PM
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Looks like fun, and I generally don't linger long at one place, but I agree with emd that your day trip on day 11 is a bit ambitious. Doable, but Hiroshima is worth an overnight stay. Combining it with Miyajima, which I recommend, would require at least an overnight, IMO. You certainly can do it in a day if you must.

Here are a few suggestions:
1) Go to Hiroshima in the morning and stop at Himeji on the way back.
2) Go to Hiroshima in the morning. Visit the Peace Park and museum. Go to a ryokan around 3 or 4 PM (e.g. the Momiji-so Ryokan). When you arrive at the Miyajima port, the info person can call the ryokan and they will send a van to pick you up. Check in and go out and about. Enjoy the ryokan. On next day, day 12, stop at Himeji on your return to Kyoto.

Where are you staying "just north of Takayama"?
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Oct 8th, 2004, 09:20 PM
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We're staying in Hida-Furukawa north of Takayama.

Can we go to Hiroshima and skip Miyajima? I've gotten the impression that Miyajima is worth seeing but is it overrated and we'd do less traveling that day and have a better time just going to Hiroshima?

I have hotels booked with points so staying in Hiroshima or that area would cost me more money that I don't want to spend since Japan is expensive to begin with.
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Oct 9th, 2004, 06:41 AM
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Ok, then, a day trip it is.

Instead of waiting for a shinkansen from Kyoto, you can take a train to Osaka and catch one there so that you can arrive Hiroshima station at 7:33 or 8:44.

Please go to http://www.billk.org where you will see a map of Hiroshima.

If you leave Kyoto at 5:05, you can get to Hiroshima at 7:33. That will give you a good bit of time to get the streetcar, stroll through the park, and be at the museum when it opens (my ASSUMPTION being that it opens at 9AM.

You could then be back to Hiroshima station by 12:30 or 1PM. Take the train to Miyajima Guchi and you'll have a few hours to see the sights on Miyajima (the torii is a short walk from the pier).

It just occurred to me to try entering the streetcar stop at Genbakudome into hyperdia and it gave me routing from there to Miyajimaguchi. That might be more efficient that going back to Hiroshima station.
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Oct 9th, 2004, 03:50 PM
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My wife would never get up that early but I appreciate the thought. there is a 7:44am shinkansen we'll probably take
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Oct 10th, 2004, 06:55 AM
  #7
emd
 
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There is also a 6:21 am JR Kyoto line train to ShinOsaka, switch to Sinkansen Hikari, arrive Hiroshima at 8:44 am. That is what we are doing. Yawn, where is my coffee?
I am doing Starwood points too, the whole trip except in Hakone. Are you staying on the club level at the Miyako? It costs and extra 1500 points a night, but then you get free breakfast in the club lounge and early evening appetizers and drinks. I am also staying on the club level at Yokohama Sheraton to get the same deal w/bfast, etc. It's worth the extra points if you can get it- food is $$$ at the Miyako.
Also, when are you going? The tori shrine on Miyajima is currently closed due to damage from a typhoon, but they hope to open it later in Oct. I have the website for that info if you want it.
BTW- have you seen the good straitforward pages on Kamakura, Takayama, Kyoto, Hiroshima/Miyajima, Nara on the JNTO site (under "regional guides")? Very user friendly tourist info, esp. how to get from one place to another, to the ferry, etc. I printed many of those pages to take w/us.
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Oct 10th, 2004, 05:42 PM
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Emd,

I heard the Torii shrine was damaged and would love the web site that updates its repair progress. we are planning to go there around Oct. 24th.

As far as your other questions/suggestions go, I don't think we are staying at the club level at the Westin in Kyoto though I'll see whether that is possible. My wife and I aren't big breakfast eaters so it won't be much of a loss if we can't get a club level room. Also, I believe the room selection was limited when I booked it in early summer so it probably can't be changed.

I am taking another look at the JNTO site at the pages you recommended. The site is hard to navigate.. I have found pages I liked in the past which I didn't bookmark and couldn't figure out how to return to them later. I'm trying to plan less for this trip. My wife does zero planning which drives me nuts since it falls on me. But then, she'll want to see how things go once we travel somewhere and undo some of the plans I have made. I'm trying not to bank on going on any of the day trips because I know some of them may not happen. On our honeymoon, she decided she didn't want to travel to a place we had planned to spend a night so I had to scramble to extend our stay in another city and hope someone would rent our room where we canceled so we didn't end up paying for it. Luckily, it worked out but it taught me not to get too excited at the thought of going anywhere. the honeymoon stop that we canceled.. Caceres, Spain was a place I had really wanted to see. She said we'd get back there someday but I'm not convinced.
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Oct 10th, 2004, 06:20 PM
  #9
emd
 
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Spike, here is the address to get to the pages on JNTO that I was describing, in case you can't find it:
www.jnto.go.jp/eng/RTG/PTG/index.html
Click on the places you are going and you get a handy useful piece.
Regarding your different travel styles: I always feel that fluidity and options are a good thing when traveling. I don't like to lock myself into a set agenda each day either, just have an idea of where we really want go in a certain area, where we want to go if there is time and we feel like it, the info on how to get there, and see how it goes day to day. Maybe we will also just decide to stay in Kyoto and skip some of the day trips, and that will be fine too. There is always the next trip, which it seems I am already planning.
I have to smile, because I am the trip planner in my family and I can't imagine having a husband who plans. But then he is always happy w/what I plan, or maybe half of it is that he is glad he doesn't have to do the planning, and the other half is the enjoyment of what I have planned. On this Japan trip I am going w/my 14 yr old son, who normally doesn't like to plan which of his 5 pairs of jean shorts to wear (they are all identical so he doesn't have to choose), much less anything else. But somehow he's gotten interested in planning this trip, and the planning has become the most joyous experience we've ever shared.
The Miyajima site is at:
www.miyajima.or.jp/miyakan2
I just checked it and it says that part of the shrine reopened on Oct. 9, and rest is due to open, so you will be ok assuming no more typhoons. Apparently another one hit further northeast yesterday, closer to Tokyo. yesterday.
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