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check out my new travel plans for Nov 2009

check out my new travel plans for Nov 2009

May 10th, 2009, 02:08 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 36
check out my new travel plans for Nov 2009

Ok after making alot of changes I think I have it down. I hope to catch some of the gorgeous autumn leaves near their peak. We are flying in/out of NRT, it was our only option of having a nonstop from EWR. I only want to purchase a 7 day JR pass so will use that when traveling south & back. I don't want to overload the itinerary because it's a vacation which is suppose to be relaxing, I really want to explore most of Tokyo. The reason we're staying 3 nights in Himeji is because it's more of a base in between Hiro/Kyoto. Still need a hotel for the last night but have plenty of time to explore that. I orig was going to stay in Tokyo 1 night before heading south but I figure the leaves will change later in the south. Any day trips will be decided when we get there so that the weather is the best. Here it goes, tell me what you think.

9th - arrive NRT @ 3pm / staying at Hyatt Regency
10 - Tokyo / maybe daytrip to Hakone?
11 - Tokyo
12 - daytrip? Nikko
13 - daytip? Kamakura
14 - Tokyo
15 - train to Kyoto early / staying at Hearton Hotel for 3 nights
16 - Kyoto sightsee
17 - daytrip to Nara / Kyoto
18 - Kyoto / train to Himeji late - staying at Comfort Hotel for 3 nights
19 - Himeji castle / Mt Shosha?
20 - leave early for daytrip to Hiroshima / Miyajima
21 - train back to Tokyo for last day & overnight stay...still need a hotel
22 - Tokyo AM / flight home NRT @ 6pm
262runr is offline  
May 10th, 2009, 04:50 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,281
Too much transit time with your numerous daytrips. I made this mistake in Thailand recently. Seemed we were in transit 50% of the time the 1st half of the trip. It was too much. I'd say condense to only a couple top choice daytrips to increase your quality of time..
Mango7 is offline  
May 10th, 2009, 06:58 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,094
I agree with Mango7 - have you already been to Tokyo and Kyoto as it seems you will be spending a lot of your time there doing day trips? I would reconsider the three nights in Himeji - it is less than an hour from Kyoto and is actually an easy day trip. Then possibly you could instead spend two nights in Miyajima. I spent one night there and it was really not enough to see everything. Plus you could stop at Hiroshima on the way there.
Mara is offline  
May 10th, 2009, 07:28 PM
  #4  
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Posts: 36
Thanks, I'll have to change some things up. I think it might be wise for the 14 day pass. Can you get around Tokyo by using the JR trains only? Does it include the Narita Express?
262runr is offline  
May 10th, 2009, 08:16 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
I like your itinerary

At that time of year I would aim to spend one night on Miyajima Island to experience the island and the colorful momiji. Maybe take away the first night from Himeji?

The last night I would spend in Narita, lots to do and less commute for your early flight out of NRT

If you do day trips from Tokyo to Hakone or Nikko you might consider using the Hakone Free Pass or the Tobu Nikko Pass for transport.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_002.html

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_008.html

I think by your day trips from Tokyo you are trying to see the koyo in Nikko and Hakone and looks like your timing might be good for those areas.

No,with the JR Pass you can only ride the JR trains through Tokyo, no subways. You can use the pass on the NEX but then you would need the 14 day one. Buy the NEX/Suica deal for your airport transfer into Tokyo and get transport using the Tokyo Metro or buses as an added bonus.

http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/suica-nex/index.html
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 09:06 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,094
I don't see any reason to stay in Narita the last night - my plane left at 6 pm as well and there is plenty of time to sightsee in the am....
Mara is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 09:12 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
sorry, Mara is right, I had replied to another thread earlier and I was thinking that you were leaving at 10:00am
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 01:43 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 393
For your last night in Tokyo you may want to consider the Marunouchi Hotel which sits atop Tokyo station. Very nice hotel, reasonable prices and you can take the train direct from their to Narita. There are lots of reasonable restaurants right in the train station and some of the adjacent buildings. We took the train from Narita straight to Tokyo station and walked underground a short distance to the hotel lobby. Very easy. So you could do the reverse. It's also a short walk to the Imperial Palace and gardens. Keio Plaza near Shinjuku is also a good choice. Marunouchi is a bit quieter than Shinjuku where you will find a plethora of shops and restaurants but both are great choices imo.
Paulo59 is offline  
May 11th, 2009, 01:54 PM
  #9  
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Ok, I'm going to cut out a night in Himeji & add it to Tokyo. I really want to minimize the hotels though. I'd rather not stay at a Ryoken and sleep on a mat/ground so that leaves out Miyajima. I really think we can do Hiro/Miyajima in one full day.

I'm now thinking of the Prince Park Hotel the first week because I found a great deal online and seems much nicer than the Hyatt Regency however I'm not sure if there is a Metro (not the other) subway nearby? I'm thinking about taking the limo bus which gives 2 metro day passes for free + other 2 day passes (980) are really cheap if bought at the airport. I really only want to get 7 day JR passes. Yes, the $50 Hakone free pass is great from Tokyo. I want to go on a clear day so rather not attempt to choose a day and stay overnight there when it's raining. Mango is right about the daytrips so thinking about not doing Nikko, but thank you very much for posting that link Hawaiian for Nikko free pass, its a huge savings. I was looking at individual tickets and was like, maybe NOT!
262runr is offline  
May 16th, 2009, 05:52 AM
  #10  
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Ok, I've made some changes & booked the hotels. I changed to the Park Tower. 5 nights incl taxes for $1401 seems fair to me for this nice hotel + I'm saving $400 over the Hyatt Regency. With great reviews on tripadvisor, I'll stick with the other 2 as well. I just need another hotel in Tokyo for the last 3 nights, definitely a different area than the first. Maybe somewhere near the palace/Tokyo St such as the Marunouchi someone suggested.

Definitely taking the airport bus, I don't want to deal with the trains first time with luggage & possible rush hour arrving at NRT around 3pm.

7 day JR pass + Hakone Free pass + Nikko world heritage pass + kamakura pass + 2 way airport bus would still be cheaper than a 14 day JR pass by almost $100 so definitely not getting a 14 day JR, I will use that money saved on subway fares in Tokyo and/or Kyoto subway/buses not covered by JR.

9-14, Prince Park Tower Tokyo
14-16, Comfort Hotel Himeji
16-19, Hearton Hotel Kyoto
19-22, ?

Now that I finally have hotels and a timeline figured out, It's time to figure out individual day stuff. Just a few quick Qs if anyone wants to chime in please....

Anyone have suggestions on hotel last night?
Is Kamakura a whole day trip?
Can you get to the theme parks in Nikko with the buses you have access to when you buy the world heritage pass and vice versa with the theme park pass?

Thanks!
262runr is offline  
May 16th, 2009, 10:24 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
If you taking the limo bus to and from Narita(great idea) you probably know about the Bus/Metro deal where you can get a day pass on the Tokyo subways when buying a bus ticket, two when buying a round trip.

http://www.limousinebus.co.jp/discou.../en/index.html

Since you are staying at the Prince, have you joined their Prince Club International? It is free and you can get special online rates and free breakfast. Might be worth you while. See here

http://www.princeclubinternational.com/

Yes Nikko bus pass will take you to parks, don't know about the Theme Park Pass.....

Kamakura can fill your whole day if your interested.

I am one who loves the Hyatt Regency especially in the Regency club rooms which you can use points to upgrade to if you are a Regency Club member(which is free, just sign up).

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
May 16th, 2009, 12:58 PM
  #12  
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 36
Thanks hawaiian, yes I saw that deal with the metro passes. You can't say you get nothing for free in Tokyo!

Yes I joined the prince club but I booked through expedia as the rates through the hotel site were higher. Yes, I do enjoy Hyatt however this is an anniversary trip so the Prince seemed a bit nicer esp if there is a view of the tower and again the savings.

I'll have to look more into the Nikko passes. WH pass says train/bus/shrines & Theme park pass says train/bus/park ticket...the theme park seems like the better deal since you can get a pass for shrines for Y1,000
262runr is offline  
May 19th, 2009, 08:27 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4
Your screen name suggests that you will want to put in some runs on this trip. If you are coming across numerous time zones you may find yourself awake at quiet hours for a nice run. One thing to remember; cars approach the intersection from the right. So if you copy me and enter an intersection looking to your left, you may be in for a rude surprise.
taginmich is offline  
May 19th, 2009, 10:59 AM
  #14  
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Thanks for the heads up & yes I will be doing some running. I love to plan a vacation around a race but not this time.
262runr is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 08:15 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,120
ht, all these years, i've been buying only a one-way ticket on the limo bus, got one day pass on the metro. now i find out i should be buying a round trip ticket so i can get two metro passes.

boy, you learn something new everyday. just in time for my next visit. mahalo.
kuranosuke is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 12:56 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
kuranosuke, the two day pass just started April 1 this year so you haven't missed much. good deal though....
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
May 31st, 2009, 09:37 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,001
Could you perhaps reconsider Miyajima? We splurged and spent two nights at the Iwaso ryokan on the advice of a friend and Hawaiian Traveler last November and it was utterly spectacular, perhaps the best part of our trip. The Iwaso is right next to the park.

Buon viaggio!
cmstraf is offline  

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