Basic advice for 1st Japan trip

Old Jul 1st, 2004, 09:39 AM
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Basic advice for 1st Japan trip

My husband and I have decided to go to Japan in October for about 10 days (5 days Tokyo and 5 days Kyoto). Should we fly into one airport and out of another? How far is Kyoto from Tokyo by train? Which day trips should we take from each city?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 1st, 2004, 12:31 PM
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If it's possible (i.e. cost-wise) then you'll save a trip back to Tokyo if you fly into Tokyo and out of Kansai. But this may not be possible with your airline situation. It's not a big deal to fly in and out of Tokyo.

Kyoto is about 2hr 38mins from Tokyo by bullet train (Shinkansen).

Day trips from Tokyo: Kamakura (to see the Great Buddha); Nikko; Hakone (obviously you can't do all of these if you only have 5 days in Tokyo).

Day trips from Kyoto: Nara/Horyuji (definitely try to do this daytrip).

Feel free to post more questions!
jaydreb5 is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2004, 01:00 PM
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Thanks! Can I do a day trip to Mt.Fuji from Tokyo? What about the shrine of Shogun Tokugawa? Is that closer to Tokyo or Kyoto? Is Hiroshima/Mijima also a good day trip from Tokyo and is it worth it? Ok, one last question (for now) since I need to take the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto and back (United airlines), should I still get a JP pass? THANK YOU
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Old Jul 1st, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Yes, you can day trip to Fuji-san from Tokyo (that is what jaydreb5 meant by Hakone). Search the www for Hakone Free Pass and Odakyu Romance Car.

I think the shrine you are referring to is in Nikko. Nikko is north of Tokyo.

IMO, it is worth taking a day from Tokyo to stay over in Miyajima or Hiroshima. Those places are not far from Kyoto, but it would still be a 2 or 3 hour trip each way. Tokyo to Hiroshima is about 5 hours and Kyoto is half way, roughly.

United Airlines started flying into the Osaka airport (Kansai airport, KIX) on/about June 10. Osaka is next to Kyoto. It would make a lot of sense to fly into Tokyo Narita and out of Osaka Kansai after visiting Kyoto (or into KIX and out of NRT).

If you go to Hiroshima, you should try to plan in a stop at Himeji to visit the castle there.

IMO, you should get a JR Pass if you are returning to Tokyo from Kyoto. If you use two airports then the JR Pass might not be necessary.
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Old Jul 1st, 2004, 09:11 PM
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Cost of a JR ordinary pass is 28300yen(7day) or 45100(14days) The cost of a shinkansen trip from Tokyo to Kyoto and then a return trip from Kyoto to Hiroshima is 36300(assuming reserved seats).
So depending on your day trips the 14 day pass may or may not be worth it. If you get the 7 day pass you will need to plan your trip well.

you can use this web site http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi-english/
to check out the train timetables and costs of all the trips you want to make and then consider whether to get the 7 or 14 day pass. You don't need the green car pass, which is more expensive. Ordinary is enough.

I would recommend you try to get to Hiroshima and Miyajima in particular. Miyajima is a nice day trip to walk through the woods, see the famous floating shrine (visit only at high tide) and try teh delicious food.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2004, 04:52 PM
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I agree with mrwunrfl, it gives you the most time for sight seeing instead of having to drudge everthing back to one place. I am going to be there in October as well and that is what I am doing, I am taking NW into NRT and flying out of KIX.
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