Itinerary Help

Jun 24th, 2003, 02:05 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 29
Itinerary Help

I have been browsing the advice that others have received and found it very useful. So I thought I would seek comments on our itinerary. Any comments about the choice of hotel/ryokan chose would be appreciated.

We are a family of four from Australia with 2 girls 14 and 11 travelling in September/October.

Night 1 Narita Holiday Inn
Night 2,3 Tokyo
Night 4 (Sunday) Hakone Elegance

Night 5,6,7,8,9 Tour Club Kyoto
incl sidetrip to Nara and Himeji possibly

Night 10,11,12 Matunoki Ryokan Okayama
incl trip to Hiroshima, Miyajama, Kurashiki

Night 13 Nagoya
incl trip to Gifu to watch cormorant fishing

Night 14 Holiday Inn Nagano (stopping at Matsumoto on way)

Night 15 Holiday Inn Narita
Day 16 Travel Home

Does anyone know Hakone Elegance, Tour Club or Matunoki Ryokan? And any other comments would be appreciated.
fdKen is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 08:19 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 556
Hi fdKen - I just made my first trip to Japan in April. So I can't comment on all the places you are targeting. But, we did take our children ages 14 and 12, so I would suggest you look into staying in Japanese style rooms which we found to be not only a more authentic experience, but generally less expensive than booking two twin-bedded rooms. We could not find affordable nor particularly available western-style rooms for 4 people.

Also, why stay in Narita? Its very easy to get into Tokyo from Narita (particularly on the Kesei Skyliner)..so I don't see the value of spending your first and last nights there, as opposed to spending a bit more time in Tokyo.

My only other comment is that, from what I saw of Nagoya while training through, this is a very industrial and unattractive city - not one I'd choose to stay in for an overnight. Also, if this is just to see cormorant fishing, I think this can be done in/near Kyoto which you might find easier.
LeslieC is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 09:39 PM
  #3  
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Thanks Leslie

We decided to stay at Narita the first night as we arrive late in the evening. And the hotel we booked is very cheap.

I'll take on board your comments about Nagoya.
fdKen is offline  
Jun 26th, 2003, 09:44 PM
  #4  
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Mrwunrfl, I also appreciate the advice about the baseball and am looking into it.
fdKen is offline  
Jun 27th, 2003, 04:21 AM
  #5  
 
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The September grand sumo tournament in Tokyo probably ends on the 21st.

You will be able to rack up a few Priority Club points at your HI stays.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 03:18 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 9
Sounds like a good itinery, I'm jealous!

If I could make a couple of comments - I also would not stay at Narita because I would be too keen to get to Tokyo, if the trains were still running. On the way back I would feel like I had wasted my last evening. As mentioned above the Skyliner is a wonderful train which does not take long to get into places in the city like Ueno. Incidentally do not think of the city of Tokyo as one central point. There are a number of centres in the city, each of which has it's own character. It's a pity you are not staying longer in Tokyo. There is so much to do there and in the surrounding areas. My paticular favourites were Nikko, Kamakura, and Asakusa. There is also this park (sorry name forgotten) where the kids hang out at weekend, they are an absolute scream, you will never see such an assortment of interesting people. We stayed in a suburban area called Ichinowari (which is part of Kasukabe, which is part of greater Tokyo) and we loved the local experience. It was like living a busy "village" life - best part of our trip.

Also do not miss the free samples they give you in the foodhalls of the major stores. I got "stranded" for an hour in the confectionery section of a large store at the Ginza, sampled so many chocolate and sweets, could not drag myself away - weak willed person that I am. Most large stores are just the same, and they are so polite about it.

Whatever you do don't let the journey from the airport to Tokyo dampen your enthusiasm. I found it quite a depressing trip. The tracks look out over power lines, roof tops, industrial sites etc. But once off the train and at ground level, down below the tracks things certainly improve. This particular journey may well be best taken at night. Japanese railways, including local trains, are superb - except that they stop running at midnight. You may wonder why I concentrate on railways? In Tokyo trains rule, pedestrians second, bicycles third, cars a distant last. Do not consider a taxi from the airport to the city unless you have substantial life savings, or own a bank, or own a pharmacy!!

Hiroshima is a must do and can have a major impact on a sensitive person.

I find Japanese history and culture to be extraordinary.

One area of tourism I believe that they have not got right is the Theme Park concept; they are cheesey (is that spelt right?), expensive and you have endless queues.

By the way, my daughter went to school in Kurashiki for a year and loved it
Samwise is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 03:39 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Sorry, just recalled the name of the park where the kids hang out - it is Yoyogi. When you get to my age your memory slows down a bit!!
Samwise is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 09:54 PM
  #8  
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Samwise, I imagine that you picked up on the email adress. Even though I own half a pharmacy I won't try the taxi from the airport.

Thanks for the advice though.
Ken
fdKen is offline  

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