Intrepid Trip

Old Jul 2nd, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Intrepid Trip

Hi from Ireland,

I have been reading the posts here and they are very useful so hopefully you can helap advise me.

I am booked on an intrepid trip leaving September 24th...the schedule is as follows
23rd...leave Ireland
24th 0740 arrive in Tokyo...meet up with tour at 6pm...so first question how can I make the most of this little time in Tokyo.
25th- 26th Nikko
27- 28th Hakone
29- 30th Takayama
1-3 Hiroshima
4- 6 Kyoto
So I have 7th and 8th to play with before I fly home from Tokyo on 9th...what does anyone suggest..should I go back to Tokyo, or stay on in Kyoto? Do I need to decide now and pre-book accommodation...or could I do it at the last minute?

I booked this on the spur of the moment, so excuse my ignorance...I know Japan has a reputation for being expensive...so as a guide how much does a McD's meal cost there...not that I intend to have one, you understand, just as a guide.

Are alcoholic drinks expensive...how much would a gin and tonic be?

What will the weather be like end of Sept/beginning of Oct?

Lots of questions...thanks in advance,
Mary
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Old Jul 2nd, 2005, 05:06 PM
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Prices...can be reasonable or high, depending on where you go.

McDonald's set meal (cheeseburger, fries, drink) 500 yen last I knew...don't go there often at all.

Lunch set in a sushi shop, noodle shop, cafe, casual restaurant...1000 yen or less...easy to find. You can spend much more, but you don't have to at all.

Dinner...can be had for the same 1000 yen, or more. Last night, my husband and I ate Vietnamese food. We had a huge bowl of noodle soup, Vietnamese spring rolls, Vietnamese omelet with shrimp and pork, 2 beers, Jasmine tea, Vietnamese iced coffee...cost was 4500 yen.

Beer...draft Japanese...300 yen average. Bottle or import 500 - 600 yen average

Cocktail 500 yen average

Anything in a hotel will be more.

Weather will be warm to hot with little chance of cool weather. Since your last 2 days are on a weekend I'd book ahead.

You might want to spend more time in Kyoto, or you might want to consider getting out of the cities a bit. Your itinerary is good in that it hits all the big tourist spots, but is missing rural Japan, which is just lovely, and very different from the urban areas. Even Takayama is a small city. Shirakawa-go south of Takayama is a favorite of mine, but is a bit of a hassle to get to Narita from. Magome and Tsumago is another place that is on our list to visit, and those that have gone have loved...and easier access to Narita.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2005, 05:08 PM
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Our 4500 yen dinner also included 2 more vegetable dishes that I forgot to include...sauteed greens in garlic, and salad.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2005, 01:55 AM
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Thanks for the information...sounds like it is similar in price to Ireland, so that is reassuring.

No doubt I will have lots more questions.

Mary
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Old Jul 3rd, 2005, 02:42 AM
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ATMs

Is there easy access to ATMs throughout the country?

Is there an ATM in the arrivals hall in Tokyo airport?

Thanks
M
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Old Jul 3rd, 2005, 03:10 AM
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Yes. ATM's abound. The Post Office ATM machines mostly all take international cards. There are a scattered few Citibank machines and other machines that take international cards, but the post office is the way to go. There are post office machines everywhere...not just the post office...in supermarkets, department stores, some convenience stores. Here's a link to the post office pages so you can become familiar with the symbol to look for. The airport has machines too...no problem.

Do pay attention to the time...ATM machines are seldom open round the clock, but are only open during regular business hours. Get your money during the day. Many machines are also closed on weekends and holidays, so plan accordingly.

http://www.yu-cho.japanpost.jp/e_a0000000/aa200000.htm
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Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:38 AM
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Thanks for the link, it seems that at my arrival time of 8am there will be ATMs open.

Also is there a maximum amount you can withdraw in one day?

Mary
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Old Jul 4th, 2005, 02:35 PM
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There is a maximum amount for Japanese accounts of 200,000 yen or 300,000 yen per transaction, not per day. You may have a limit on your account set by your bank. Best to check.
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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 10:18 AM
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Thanks,
That is most helpful

Mary
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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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Mary- I hope when you return you'll post about your experiences with Intrepid.I've booked an India trip with them leaving late October.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 08:06 AM
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last year I travelled to China with Intrepid and in March I went to Vienam with them. Bothe trips were really excellent, you meet great people and really get to see allot in a short time, with time to relax built into the trips also.

So fingers crosssed for my next adventure with them.

Mary
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 08:34 PM
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thanks,Mary,that's great to hear.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 05:16 AM
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Irish, I suggest to spend last free days in Kyoto. It has not distroyed in the war, so it has more charming old houses, streets, temples, palaces.

All big shopping centers have at the basement a food court and some deli shops. You can find there products from all over the old. All very clean, fresh and looking nice.

We found the Japanese to be the most polite and kind people in the world, even more than Irish and Scotish people.

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Old Oct 13th, 2005, 05:54 PM
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Mary - am considering Intrepid for either Vietnam or China. Did you post a trip report on your Vietnam trip? Or could you give us a little bit more info on it? (See my thread on Mother-Daughter First trip to Asia)...
tks!
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Old Oct 14th, 2005, 01:19 PM
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I posted about Intrepid to Thailand on Question # 48, mother and daughter trip.
Has anyone done a Thailand intrepid trip that includes trekking to the hill tribe villages with overnight stays in simple village accommodations that may be open porches? I'm concerned about just how cold it will be sleeping in latter Dec. I'm also mildly concerned about carrying a lightweight pack plus sleeping bag while trekking. I don't backpack. I'm reasonably fit but will be 61 when I do the trip.

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Old Oct 14th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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oops...question # 49. THIS is # 48.
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Old Oct 16th, 2005, 05:54 AM
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Hi,
Just back a week now from my Intrepid Land of the Rising Sun trip...it was fabulous.

Intrepid only have 2 or 3 leaders in Japan and we had an Aussie called Kat...she really was the best guide I have ever had and the trip was superb and the other travellers really made the trip so memorable. It was great to share the trip with so many great people from across the globe...our ages ranged from 19 to 60 and England, Ireland, Scotland,Canada, Leichtenstein, and Australia.

We had a mother and daughter on our trip and I they fit right in.

You can see the itinerary on their website at www.intrepidtravel.com

Can't speak highly enough about the trip.

Go for it!
Mary
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Old Oct 16th, 2005, 06:49 AM
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That's great ,Mary. I'd love to hear more...maybe you'll post a trip report? I leave for my Intrepid Spirit of India trip in ten days.I'm getting pretty excited.
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Old Oct 16th, 2005, 07:25 AM
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Mary, I have a question for you. Would you mind sharing how you decided to tip your group leader? I'm fairly unsure how to approach this.I know the Intrepid group leaders receive a very small salary.
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 07:23 PM
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ttt
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