Help needed to plan Japan Trip

Old Aug 26th, 2002, 10:36 AM
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Help needed to plan Japan Trip

Hi. I've read my Japan Solo book and would like some advice.
My itinerary is as follows:
1. Fly into Osaka on Sept 14th, stay 1 or 2 nights. daytrip to Nara.
2. Onto to Kyoto for 4-5 nights. Any suggestion for a well located affordable (<US$100 a night) place to stay at?
3. Here's the tricky part. My husband and I have to be in Fukushima to visit friends on Sept 28. Heading north makes the most sense, Takayama is a must, and Matsumoto too. Is Kanazawa worth the slight detour? Would like to get away from the cities and crowds, know any nice places in the Japanese Alps where one can hike?
Is it worth buying a JR 7 day pass for the latter part of my trip? The local fares don't seem so much (but my book was published in 1998)
Would love to experience a real ryokan but can't afford it in Kyoto. Know any place in the region I'll be at to have that experience for about US$200 a night?
Thanks in advance.

Old Aug 26th, 2002, 11:02 AM
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there are lots of affordable RYOKAN in kyoto and throughout japan!!!

check out the listing:

i used to live in kyoto and visited back there in feb. of this year. i stayed stayed at Matsubaya Ryokan just north of Kyoto Station. (be sure to rent a bicycle when you are in kyoto!!)
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 11:18 AM
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Hi Jenny,

I'm also planning a trip to Japan for mid-September. I've been researching ryokans in Kyoto and Takayama on the internet and the following sites may be useful to you:

I'll be staying at the Sumiyoshi ryokan in Takayama for 10,000 yen per person per night (including breakfast and dinner). This ryokan has gotten good reviews and the price is really good. I booked it through; they were very helpful and can help you find a place in Kyoto as well. In Kyoto we are considering the Sawaya Honten which is east of the Imperial Palace near Kyoto University--the rate there is about 12,000 yen per person per night with two meals. Another nice looking place (I didn't want to stay in a concrete building) is the Takadaya, where the rates start at 11,000 per person per night with 2 meals.

We'll be in Kyoto September 17th-21st--I wonder if our visits will coincide?
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 01:21 PM
don buri
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I suggest staying in a ryokan in either or both Takayama and Matsumoto. In Takayama, the Rickshaw Inn ( seems to be a favorite with foreigners (I haven't stayed there myself since they don't offer meal service). In Matsumoto, I've stayed at and can recommend Enjyo Bekkan. It is located in Utsukushigahara Onsen, a quiet residential area about 20 minutes by bus from Matsumoto station. It is also a member of both the Welcome Inn and Japanese Inn Groups, so you'll have no problems making reservations.

As for hiking in the Japan Alps, you really must go to Kamikochi. There is bus service to Kamikochi from Takayama via Shin Hirayu Onsen, and a bus from Kamikochi to Matsumoto via Shinshimajima.
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 04:32 PM
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Thanks y'all for the helpful replies.
Kathy, I should be in Kyoto Sept 16-20th. Is this your first trip to Japan? I was there 9 years ago backpacking for a month, but it's my husband's first visit. I stayed at youth hostels back then.
I love donburi especially katsudon. Haven't had a good Japanese meal since moving to North Carolina from Singapore.
Great idea to rent a bicycle in Kyoto. I hope the traffic is kind to cyclists.
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 06:48 PM
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Hi Kathy, this website is quite interesting and I think the writer's comments about some places are spot on.
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 10:51 AM
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Yes, this will be my first trip to Japan. We'll be in Kyoto Sept. 17-21, followed by Takayama for 2 nights.

If you see a small Asian woman and her husband (who has been mistaken for Middle Eastern, Spanish, half-black--he's really Jewish/Filipino) then do say hello. Thanks for the website. I thought the advice on how to cheat the JR trains were hilarious, if somewhat complicated. I also found another website that had a good travelogue:

I'm really looking forward to eating some new Japanese dishes! You can email me directly if you come across anything interesting.
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