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How to split time between Tokyo and Kyoto with 9 full tourist days

How to split time between Tokyo and Kyoto with 9 full tourist days

Old Jan 28th, 2013, 09:04 AM
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How to split time between Tokyo and Kyoto with 9 full tourist days

We will be going to Japan in mid-October, flying in and out of Haneda. Since we arrive late, our first night will be near JR Shinagawa station The next morning we plan on going to Kyoto by train. I already booked 3 nights there at Ryokan Shimizu . If we stay an additional night I'll probably book a regular hotel.

This arrangement gives us 3 days to tour Kyoto, and the remaining 6 for Tokyo (including a couple of day trips, and visiting with a friend living there). We can probably squeeze in an additional 1/2 day with the current schedule. Should we spend another day in Kyoto?

I was in Tokyo 25+ years ago for business, my husband has never been. I did some day trips at that time (Hakone, Nikko), but don't really remember much.
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Old Jan 28th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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we are doing just the opposite of you with twice the number of days in kyoto to the number in tokyo... this was based on suggestions from regular japan visitors
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Old Jan 28th, 2013, 10:02 AM
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We also are spending more time in Kyoto than in Tokyo 5 days vs. three days.
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Old Jan 28th, 2013, 11:29 AM
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I went there in 2007 and like you I had six days in Tokyo and three in Kyoto. The days in Tokyo include two day trips, one to Nikko and one to Hakone.

What surprised me about Tokyo is the sheer volume of things to see. Really amazing, Tokyo is huge. Kyoto is much smaller.

But ultimately it depends on what you want to do and see. The main attraction of Kyoto are the temples, while Tokyo has some temples but is more multifaceted. But check here what I saw in Tokyo and Kyoto:
http://www.molon.de/galleries/Japan/Tokyo/
http://www.molon.de/galleries/Japan/Kyoto/
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Old Jan 28th, 2013, 04:40 PM
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Nice photos Amin!
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Old Jan 28th, 2013, 06:23 PM
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kja
 
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What are your interests? Kyoto and Tokyo are so different that it would be difficult to suggest a reasonable division of time without knowing something about what you want to see and experience.
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Old Jan 29th, 2013, 06:49 AM
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These are two very different cities and agree with kja in asking what are your interests?

Aloha!
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Old Jan 29th, 2013, 07:01 AM
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As far as interests, it's pretty much a mixed bag. I like to do the usual sight-seeing and experience the culture, but also like to wander around neighborhoods, looking for those little hidden treasures. I also love to take photos, so I'm pretty snap happy when on vacation. I'm figuring on doing some museums while in Tokyo.

I am not a big shopper, but love food markets. Wherever I go I always check out a grocery store and pick up a few things to try (usually snack type food). If I do any shopping in general, I would be looking for more artisan, local kinds of things that I may not otherwise find at home.

I am a big walker. I live in NYC and walk almost everywhere. I like the hustle and bustle of the city, but also enjoy the tranquility of quieter places. I am less of an organized tour kind of person, but a good walking tour, I would consider, especially if it touches on the history of the area.
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Old Jan 29th, 2013, 12:30 PM
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Since you have been to Tokyo before though the changes will amaze you, I would think a 5 day Tokyo and 4 day Kyoto might suite you well. You like the big cities and Tokyo will not disappoint you there. There are many walks on the web for both cities but I have done and do enjoy these:

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/rtg/pdf/pg-305.pdf

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/rtg/pdf/pg-503.pdf

Aloha!
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Old Jan 29th, 2013, 06:13 PM
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kja
 
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You might find some helpful information at japan-guide.com:
For Tokyo: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2164.html
For Kyoto: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2158.html
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Old Jan 29th, 2013, 06:42 PM
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Great websites, thanks!
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Old Jan 31st, 2013, 10:35 AM
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We also gave more time to Kyoto than to Tokyo, as we felt there was more we wanted to explore there. But we could easily have spent two weeks in each and not been bored!

As well as 5 nights in Kyoto we also had overnights in Nara, Koyasan and Osaka, so 8 nights in the region. And one in Miyajima, a little further West.

We had 6 nights in Tokyo but one was after an evening arrival from the airport and one was before a morning departure. So a little less time than it sounds.

Both have modern and traditional attractions, but Kyoto probably has more on the traditional side, I found it more charming but that's a personal thing.
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