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Family of 4, 18 days in Japan in lat Sept/early Oct

Family of 4, 18 days in Japan in lat Sept/early Oct

Old Mar 11th, 2023, 06:33 PM
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Family of 4, 18 days in Japan in lat Sept/early Oct

Hi, I'm planning a trip for my family (2 adults, children aged 15, 13) and interested in feedback on the current itinerary and accommodation suggestions for 4 people. Thanks

Draft itinerary:
Day 1 - arrive in Tokyo
Days 2 - 5 - Tokyo incl 1 day at Disney Sea and day trip to Nikko
Day 6 - Hiroshima (travel from Tokyo, afternoon Peace park etc)
Day 7 - Hiroshima - day trip to Miyajima
Day 8 - Osaka
Day 9 - Osaka - day trip to Himeji
Day 10 - Koya-San, stay the night
Days 11 - 15 Kyoto, incl day trip to Nara
Day 16 - Kyoto to Tokyo, stop at Hakone
Days 17 - Tokyo - day trip to Kamakura
Day 18 Tokyo, fly out about 6pm
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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 03:34 PM
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Your trip plan is very well paced. Congratulations!

As for lodgings for a family of four with two teenagers, you'll have to email the hotel you have in mind to ask if they have a family room for 4, or if they have inter-connecting rooms. Once they tell you in what type of rooms they can be inter-connecting, you may book two of this type of rooms on booking.com or directly with the hotel, and request that they be inter-connecting. Pay attention to the square footage of the room size, because you don't want to choose something that turns out too small for comfort.

For Kyoto, "Hotel Granvia Kyoto", sitting on top of the Kyoto station, has family rooms for 4 (667 ft², see photo at https://www.granviakyoto.com/rooms/family.html ). It cannot be booked online. You'll have to email the hotel with your dates, they will give you a rate quote, and if you want it, book with the hotel directly via email. Call them afterwards to give them your credit card info to secure your booking. However, if you prefer to stay closer to where "downtown" Kyoto is, then email the hotel you have in mind to ask the same question.

"Hotel Okura Kyoto" is a very elegant hotel that I have stayed in, but I do not know if they have family rooms or inter-connecting rooms.

Good luck in planning.


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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 03:53 PM
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Days 2 - 5 - Tokyo incl 1 day at Disney Sea and day trip to Nikko
ok, Nikko, weather and energy permitting

Day 6 - Hiroshima (travel from Tokyo, afternoon Peace park etc)
Day 7 - Hiroshima - day trip to Miyajima
those two days are a bit ambitious, as you won't get to Hiroshima before noon, checked in and out about at 1PM. Bur ir ia doable

Day 8 - Osaka
you don't need that day - unless you have a specific interest there that you didn;t mention

Day 9 - Osaka - day trip to Himeji
you could go from Hiroshima to Osaka and stop at Himeji on the way. The Osaka stay being a positioning for going to Koya-san

Day 10 - Koya-San, stay the night
Days 11 - 15 Kyoto, incl day trip to Nara
ok, this is good

Day 16 - Kyoto to Tokyo, stop at Hakone
I don't think you really want to do that. But you can if you leave Kyoto early enough. You would need/want to take a Hikari shinkansen from Kyoto that stops in Odawara. Otherwise you would go up to Shin Yokohama, change trains, and backtrack to Odawara. This is another one of the things you can decide at the last minute (get reserved seats to Tokyo on a Hikari that stops in Odawara and decide to get off or not when they announce arrival at Odawara)

Days 17 - Tokyo - day trip to Kamakura
ok, to have that as the plan
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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 03:58 PM
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get to know japan-guide.com, if you haven't already
i like to use japanican.com and agoda.com for lodging
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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 04:08 PM
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Great, thanks
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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 04:16 PM
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Thanks mrwunfl for the specific feedback, particularly about Hakone.
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Old Mar 12th, 2023, 04:51 PM
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I assume that you would be going to Hakone to see Fujisan as the main attraction. If you plan it as above then you would be taking the Hakone Loop from Odawara. There could be rain, clouds, fog on that day and you could enjoy the loop even if you don't see Fujisan.

If you are prepared and willing/able then you could wake up one of those early days in Tokyo and find out the conditions around Fujisan and decide to go that day.

You didn't ask about how to manage the luggage with all those stops and four people. Maybe you already have a plan.
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Old Mar 13th, 2023, 07:50 PM
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Mrwunrfl has good ideas. Some other ideas that come to my mind:
On day 6 or 7, you might consider spending the night in Miyajima - rather than doing it as a day trip from Hiroshima - then taking the train the next day to Himeji as it is on the way to Osaka. You could either stay in Himeji or continue on to Osaka late in the day.
On day 17, after you finish up in Kamakura, I'd be tempted to head straight to Narita town, unless you have specific plans for your last half day in Tokyo. Either send your luggage to Narita, or store it in the train lockers before you go to Kamakura. Spend the night in Narita town, then in the morning take one of the airport free tours (if they are doing them again) or you can do these tours on your own (check out https://www.narita-transit-program.jp for ideas). The town of Sawara is fun (take a canal boat), or go to the museum town of Bosu no Mura (You might be able to take cooking and craft classes here, in addition to the historic buildings). You could also just explore Narita town, and buy any souvenirs along the way to the temple or at the AEON mall.
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Old Mar 19th, 2023, 11:30 PM
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Thanks. The Narita info looked interesting. The walking tours aren't yet up and running after Covid, but that may change before we go so I'll keep having a look.

I haven't looked into managing our luggage yet. I had read that trains are crowded, there are often stairs and accommodation can be a walk so we were thinking to pack light and carry medium sized backpacks, with shopping limited to the last part of our stay. I'm assuming business hotels let you store luggage during the day. Any thoughts and info would be appreciated.

I also haven't looked into transport much yet and need to work through what the JR options are and what will be the most worthwhile for the 4 of us.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2023, 11:58 AM
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A medium size back would, as I understand it, hold two changes of clothing and some other stuff. If you mean something larger then maybe think about using rollaboard luggage. I've seen people with big backpacks having to take them off when they get to the platform to wait - because the backpacks are heavy. And then put them on again to board the train and bump other people because of that pack on their back.

An option would be to fly between Tokyo and Hiroshima. Am not sure how economical that would be for four people, though.
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Old Apr 5th, 2023, 04:29 PM
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best places in hokyo

Some of the best places to visit in Hakone include:
  1. Lake Ashi (Ashinoko): This is a scenic lake that offers breathtaking views of Mount Fuji and the surrounding mountains. You can take a boat cruise across the lake or hike around the trails for some amazing views.
  2. Hakone Open-Air Museum: This outdoor art museum is a unique attraction that features sculptures and installations set amidst natural surroundings. It's a great place to appreciate art and nature together.
  3. Owakudani: This is a volcanic valley with hot springs, geysers, and bubbling pools of water. You can take a cable car to the top of the mountain for some amazing views and try the black eggs boiled in the hot springs, which are said to add seven years to your life!
  4. Hakone Shrine: This is a beautiful Shinto shrine located at the foot of Mount Hakone. It's a great place to see traditional Japanese architecture and culture.
  5. Hakone Ropeway: This cable car ride offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and takes you to various attractions in the area, including Owakudani and Lake Ashi.
  6. Gora Park: This is a beautiful park with a French-style garden and tea house. It's a great place to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
  7. Yunessun: This is a hot spring theme park that offers a variety of baths and pools, including wine baths and coffee baths. It's a fun and unique experience.

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