Filling gaps in Japan itinerary

Old Mar 14th, 2005, 07:05 PM
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Filling gaps in Japan itinerary

Hello dear Fodorites,

I'm glad to be posting for the first time after weeks and weeks of being a message board lurker, and absorbing all the wonderful advice you've offered on Japan! I have to admit that thanks to your posts, I've been able to put together a nearly complete itinerary, and have decided on where to stay, what to see etc. So cheers!

So far, I'm spending 4 nights in Tokyo, 1 night in Hakone, and have set aside 7 nights for Kyoto- during that time (which correspond to 6 full days), Iím planning side-trips to the Miho Museum and to Nara. But I'd like to include more. Now here's my question- should I remove one night from Kyoto and spend it instead in Hiroshima/Miyajima? What about Kanazawa? Also, is a side day-trip to Nara really sufficient, or should I consider spending the night? I've also read a bit about Kurashiki and it sounds really lovely.

If you have any other town to recommend, please do so! I'd really appreciate your input! I leave from Kaisai, so whatever town would permit me to easily access the airport would be great.

cheers,
mimi

ps- I'll be traveling mostly by train, and on my own with backpack, if that should be considered in the destination choice.
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 07:36 PM
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Mimi
I am also planning a trip to Kyoto and have six full days plus most of a seventh there. I am thinking of day trips to Himeji/Osaka, Nara and Miho Museum. But on the other hand, as there is so much to see in Kyoto and the sights are in different parts of the city, I am wondering if the three out of town trips are too much.
Whatever, have a wonderful trip,
Mara
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 07:43 PM
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Hi Mara,
I do agree with you- there is a LOT to see in Kyoto, and I'm also wondering if I should just limit my side trips. But it's my first time in Japan and I guess i'm just trying to get in as much as I can. Plus I feel like Tokyo and Kyoto are big cities, and I would like to see something a bit different...
in any case, I hope you have a great time in Kyoto et al.! Nara is supposed to be lovely, so is the Miho museum! (I'm very excited about visiting it)
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 07:50 PM
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A day trip to visit Nara is sufficient. I do recommend visiting Hiroshima and Miyajima. Stop at Himeji and Kurashiki. You could use a 7-day JR Pass and activate it so that day 7 is for the limited express train from Kyoto to Kansai airport.
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Old Mar 17th, 2005, 04:14 AM
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hi, mimi17. Depending on what you plan to see in Kyoto, 6 full days may not be enough. But if you want variety, Hiroshima/Miyajima is a good choice for a day trip; so is Nara. I did not make it to the other places you mentioned. You did not say what time of the year you are going, there may be festivals in the areas you already plan to visit. Festivals are very interesting. In Osaka, if you can catch a Bunraku performance, it is fascinating, particularly if you can get an English summary of the stories being covered.
For a first trip, I like to concentrate on a few areas so that I don't have to do a lot of moving about.
Train trips in Japan is an experience in itself; you get a taste of their culture, and what an admirable one.
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Old Mar 17th, 2005, 10:18 PM
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JR rail pass is golden. 2 years ago a 7 day pass was around US$200 and a single ticket cost that much from Kyoto to Hiroshima. mrwunrfl had a good suggestion with Hiroshima and stops in between, well worth a day trip. What a trip, have fun.
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Old Mar 18th, 2005, 06:28 AM
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I think the price of the pass was about the same two years ago as it is today: about 28,300 yen. The dollar has fallen against the yen. Two springs ago, the rate was, at best, around 120y/dollar and now it is about 105. So, the pass was more around $235 to $245 than $200. Today it would cost about $270.

My point being that the cost has increased about 13%, a significant amount, but not the disastrous %35 percent that is the difference between $200 and $270. As jimdrew mentioned, it still is a good deal.
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Old Mar 18th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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I love Kanazawa but I would NOT reduce your time in Kyoto. Even if you don't take any other day trips from there you will not begin to scratch the surface within Kyoto itself. Make sure you go to Ohara which is off the beaten bath in Kyoto but a definite highlight. If you want to take another day trip you can go to Himeji Castle and/or Uji. I spent 2 weeks in Kyoto and was frustrated because there was so much I didn't have time to see.
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Old Mar 19th, 2005, 06:07 AM
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My mistake! I'd like to remember that is was that cheap, but in any event I did a lot of travel in a very short amount of time so it was worth it to me. Personally, I like to change up scenery instead of staying in the city the entire time. Train rides to another city is perfect for that, but it depends on your tastes!
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