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HELP WITH JAPAN ITINERARY FOR MARCH

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Dec 12th, 2017, 01:40 PM
  #1
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HELP WITH JAPAN ITINERARY FOR MARCH

Daughter and I are travelling to Japan in March. She has studied in Japan and returned once since. I am a first time visitor to Japan. Her itinerary would be:
Day 1 Arrive in Tokyo from LA/Stay 1 night (perhaps the Marriott Courtyard at Station)
Day 2 Train from Tokyo to Nagoya to Takayama (1 night)
Day 3 Possible Takayama with Day trip to Shirakawago
Day 4 Train from Takayama to Kyoto
Day 5 Kyoto (Ryokan and hotel-suggestions)
Day 6 Kyoto (Day trip to Nara)
Day 7 Kyoto
Day 8 Kyoto
Day 9 Train to Tokyo/Stay in Buddist Monestary
Day 10 Tokyo
Day 11 Tokyo-LA-Boston

Does this look doable and what would the weather conditions be like in Takayama? Stay at one of the farm houses? Any suggestions would be so appreciated. Just want to be certain I am not over extending ourselves and not enjoying each area. Daughter did want to go to the Takayama area though.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 04:23 PM
  #2
 
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It sounds like a wonderful trip. The only advice I can offer is to book your hotels/ryokans very soon. We booked a trip to Japan March and April a month or more ago and many hotels were full.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 05:45 PM
  #3
kja
 
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It depends on what you want to see and experience, but FWIW, I regret that I had only 1.5 days in Takayama. If you go, I strongly recommend a half-day at Hida no Sato (in which case Shirakawago might be redundant) and, if you have any interest in art nouveau glass or Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Hida Takayama Museum. For climate data, consult timeanddate.com

Just curious – what monastery have you identifed as a place to stay in Tokyo? Most people I know go to Koya-san for that….

If you haven’t already done so, I strongly recommend that you spend some time – LOTS of time – with japan-guide.com

Enjoy!
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Dec 12th, 2017, 06:43 PM
  #4
 
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In Takayama we stayed at the Rickshaw Inn and it was very nice and centrally located.
The Hida Folk Village could be a good substitute for Shirakawago if weather and time are and issue. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5901.html

March could be chilly up in the mountains but plum blossoms could be good.
I'd make reservations right away
Interesting about the Tokyo Monastery

Have a great time
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Dec 12th, 2017, 07:01 PM
  #5
kja
 
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I enjoyed the Rickshaw Inn, too. Nothing fancy, but comfortable and convenient, with very helpful English-speaking staff.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 12:03 AM
  #6
 
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It will be cold in Takayama in March, bare trees, maybe wet.

A 7-day JR Pass won't do any good because your travel from/to Tokyo is 8 days.

I would plan on going via Toyama to Takayama otherwise you would be backtracking to Nagoya on the way to Kyoto. The trip via Toyama may be quicker. You can search the route on hyperdia.com and just uncheck the "Ordinary Train" to get the shinkansen-to-L'ex options on either route.

Which Tokyo airport(s) would you use for the international trip? And what arrival time? You might be able to fly on to Nagoya or Toyama on Japan arrival day.

If you want a Marriott then the Nagoya Marriott Associa is nice and it is connected to the station. Fly to Nagoya or take a train.

I'd look into getting an open-jaw ticket LAX-TYO-BOS at a good price to avoid that LAX-BOS leg.

I like the Best Western in Takayama - comfortable and quite close to the rail & bus station. Sumiyoshi Ryokan can also be a nice stay, but farther from the station.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 12:10 AM
  #7
 
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The day trip to Shirakawago is something you won't have to decide until the day. Might be worth going if it is in snow (and if the bus is running at that time). But that is really squeezing your time in Takayama.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 08:02 AM
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I'd look into flying onward to Nagoya on arrival in Tokyo, otherwise your day 2-4 is going to be a blur.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 03:23 PM
  #9
 
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Here's an opportunity to investigate a multi-city ticket, using a multi-destination search function. Ask for a route into Osaka/Kyoto (KIX) and back to LA from Tokyo. (Or do it in reverse.) The price will be about the same as flying in and out of Tokyo. It will involve a plane change to or from KIX, included essentially free, and you avoid the extra time and cost of the ground transport back to Tokyo.
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Dec 21st, 2017, 10:25 AM
  #10
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Thanks you all for your input which has been invaluable in the planning stages. Our itinerary and hotels are booked (Marriott Nagoya and Courtyards, Takayama Ouan, Westin Miyako Kyotom Seikoro Ryokan, Enryakuji Kaikan) The JR pass is questionable so I am wondering if it is worth it for a 10 day pass. Itinerary in Japan:

Day 1: LA-Tokyo/Train to Nagoya (overnight)
Day 2: Nagoya to Takayama (train/spend afternoon/overnight)
Day 3: Shirakawa-go - am tour/return to Nagoya (weather permitting)
Day 4: Nagoya to Ise/Pearl Divers (train) Day Trip
Day 5: Train to Kyoto
Day 6: Kyoto
Day 7: Kyoto/Nara Day Trip (train)
Day 8: Kyoto to Mt. Hiei (train)
Day:9 Train to Tokyo
Day 10: Train to Narita

Any suggestions on some classes in Kyoto for calligraphy, fabric design? Is it worth buying pearls at Mikimoto? Any other suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thanks again to all.
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Dec 21st, 2017, 11:59 AM
  #11
 
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what's a 10-day pass? You don't need a 7-day or 14-day pass for this.

This is a rush. The only day you aren't traveling is Day 6. The Takayama time is too short. Your Shirakawago day will have schedule pressure at both ends. If you go on to Kyoto in the evening of Day 4 then it would make for a long day but give you a break in Kyoto. Consider flying from Osaka to Narita on Day 10, depending on your int'l departure time (and carrier).
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Dec 21st, 2017, 01:35 PM
  #12
 
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Your itinerary exhausts me...lol...but I guess you are a younger person....

If I only two full days in Kyoto I wouldn't spend one of them going to Mt. Hiei unless there is some special reason to do so. I went there for the first time this past spring after being in Kyoto quite a number of times. It was nice but not spectacular for a short time in Kyoto..imo at least...
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Dec 21st, 2017, 01:52 PM
  #13
 
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If I had only two full days in Kyoto, I'd arrange my trip to add another one or two.
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Dec 21st, 2017, 04:59 PM
  #14
kja
 
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I don't mind traveling hard and fast, but this plan is one that I would find terribly unsatisfying -- way too much time in transit for too little time in any of these places for my tastes. YMMV.
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