Feedback--First Time in Japan, 3 weeks

Jun 28th, 2016, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,725
Hi Kavey- Did you do Nikko as a daytrip from Tokyo? By Tobu Rail or by Jr train? Did you find it worthwhile despite the scaffolding? I am planning a one day visit in Nov?
shelleyk is offline  
Jun 28th, 2016, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 599
Shelly, we did Nikko as a day trip and found it well worth while, even with the scaffolding, as that impacted only a small percentage of everything there is to see in the temple area. Certainly one can (and many do) spend several nights there, but I would not let doing it as a day trip stop you. The JR and Tobu stations are 100m apart from each other, so it doesn't matter which you take, unless you have a JR pass, which we did, so we took JR.
russ_in_LA is offline  
Jun 28th, 2016, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,228
While in Nikko, I was also very glad to have visited Kegon-no-Taki and and a bit of Lake Chuzenji, walked a bit of the Kanmangafuchi Abyss, and admired the extraordinary collection of screens and sliding doors at the Tōshō-gū Museum of Art. To see those things in the same day trip that included a visit to the main temples and shrines of Nikko would, I think, be well nigh impossible. That's why I spent a night there. As with so many things, the decision really depends on one's priorities.
kja is offline  
Jun 28th, 2016, 06:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 19
Wow, lots to process--thanks to all you experienced advisors. I do want to get in one of the festivals, but it is challenging with the timing and route. I'll look at scheduling options again. I do think we will try to allow some flexibility in our itinerary, and do try to use cancel-able (and sometimes overlapping) reservations to allow for that. I appreciate all the specifics on smaller towns and less-visited sites, but since this is our first trip and time is limited, I feel torn about leaving out "classic" sites. All food for thought...Again, thanks.
elizhd is offline  
Jun 28th, 2016, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,228
If it helps, you can't see it all -- even all the "classics" -- in 3 weeks: Not possible! You WILL be leaving out some things. Although decisions about what to skip are the ones I dislike MOST when planning a trip, once I face the fact they are inevitable, I find some freedom in the realization. I hope that proves true for you, too.
kja is offline  
Jun 29th, 2016, 09:07 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 875
Hi Kathy,
Have been doing Australia and Eastern Europe for the last few years. Very happy to be back here and so nice to see that you are still posting. Are you coming to the GTG in September?

Thank you mrwunrflr for your great advice. I have not bought my Railpass yet can I still book the train?
Nywoman is offline  
Jun 29th, 2016, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,107
No, you will do that when you get to Japan. Get the reserved seat after your JR Pass is issued and you won't pay the fee.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jun 29th, 2016, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,107 is telling me that a reserved seat for Gero to Takayama on Oct 29 is ¥620. I was expecting more like ¥320.

That is per trip - one-way, so ¥2480 if you go up and back on both days.

The trip is about 45 minutes on the limited express or 90 minutes on a regular train with no reserved seats.

If you absolutely need seats then I think there is a Japanese language site where they can be booked. They can also be booked by phone, but in Japanese. It might be possible to use the website with a webpage translator. Maybe a Japanese travel agent in the USA can book it for you.

JR East has an English webpage but Gero and Takayama are in JR Central.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jun 30th, 2016, 05:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,213
Thursday, it was Kankaso. Was a wonderful location and a wonderful experience.

I recommend the en-suite garden room which I think is the top room in the ryokan. Japanese Guest Houses booked for me.

Here's my post:

Note that the first bathroom shown is one of the public ones, can't recall if it's the mens or womens one. As we were the only guests we were invited to use it together. The second bathroom photo (at the very end) is the ensuite.
Kavey is offline  
Jun 30th, 2016, 07:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,356
Thanks kavey - it looks lovely!

I'll try Japanese Guest Houses, but I discovered last time that solo foreign travelers are not very welcome at ryokans - even with KimJapan looking for me.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 30th, 2016, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,213
Aah, that would be a shame. You can always ask them if they would accept solo travellers if you paid a supplement? I don't think the concept exists in Japan yet they may well be willing if it were offered.
Kavey is offline  
Jun 30th, 2016, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,084
I haven't stayed there but I just checked on japanese guest houses website and they list Kankaso and say they accept single guests - also Kankaso has a website but only in Japanese but it indicates the price for a single guest....of two types of rooms one says further discussion needed for single guest, the other lists a single guest price:
Mara is offline  

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