Japan- 10 days Itinerary

Jun 17th, 2008, 09:27 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 17
Japan- 10 days Itinerary

Hi, I am planning a 10 days/9 nights trip to Japan at the end of August. Here is my itinerary:

D1-5 Tokyo with day trips to Nikko and Kamakura
D6 Hakone/Kyoto
D7-9 Kyoto with side trips to Arashiyama and Nara. On day 9 will travel to Osaka and then fly to Nerita and then home.

Do you have any recommendation or suggestion to changes to my itinerary? Can I go to Hakone on the way to Kyoto? If I buy JR pass, can I travel by train to all above destinations? Can JR pass be used for Nerita Express? In Tokyo, I plan to stay in Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. Is Shinjuku a convenient location? In Kyoto I will stay at Kyoto Hotel Okura or Granvia Hotel. Thanks for any suggestions.
hpfish10 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 12:35 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 263
You "can" travel to destination you stated using the JR pass, including the NArita express. Keep in mind, however, that Nikko and Hakone are also served by private rails not covered by the JR pass.

Since you are traveling during the festival season, you might want to synchronize visits to match the firework displays:

http://www.infomapjapan.com/hstore/2...feature2.phtml

I can't seem to find the 2008 schedule covering the Western Japan, such as Miyajima, but you can follow the 2006 link to find the approximate dates to find the 2008 dates.
nickn is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 03:45 AM
  #3  
g29
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Hi Hpfish,

Japan is a lovely country and I am sure you will have a great time there.

However I would suggest that if it is possible then maybe you should extend your time in Kyoto and do a day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima as well.

5 days in Tokyo with day trips to Hakone/Kamukura and Nikko I think will be too rushed. All three are interesting places, however if it were me I would choose 1 or two...you will already be seeing a lot of shrines in Kyoto. I would cut down a day from Tokyo and add it to Kyoto or for Hiroshima/Miyajima.

However it depends on what you are interested in seeing in Tokyo. Shinjuku is a very good base. Very well connected and central.

The food in Tokyo and Kyoto is great...






g29 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 06:59 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 152
I personally would get OUT of Tokyo and spend more time in Hakone/Kyoto (and I thought Osaka was supposed to have the best Onsen's in all of Japan??) The heat is unbelieveably oppressive in the summer in Japan (all that humidity). As a New Yorker, I find it hard to be in the city in August and would rush to the country. Just my two cents on what might make your time more pleasant.
emmagus is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 07:33 AM
  #5  
 
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If you include a day-trip to Nara and Day 10 is really for transfer, you are leaving only 2 net days in Kyoto. (Arashiyama is just a western suburb of Kyoto--quite lovely, bamboo forest walk strongly recommended). I would add additional whole-day there, as you'll need 3 days there.

Needless to say, it will be hot and humid--more so in Kyoto.

You can use Narita Express on JR pass. You won't be able to use Nozomi, the fastest bullet trains but the next fastest Hikari trains are ok. Though you really are doing Narita-Tokyo and Tokyo-Kyoto both one-way, so you might want to see if it is cheaper to buy separate tickets.

Shinjuku is a quite busy terminal, good connection hubs for both JR and metro. Another advantage is that you get direct access to Hakone (albeit on non-JR line). I would suggest you send the luggage a head to Kyoto from your hotel in Tokyo (should take 1 -2days), just travel with an overnight bag. Less schlepping to do on transit that way.

I stayed at a different hotel but very close to Okura. The area is well served by both metro and bus. You'll need bus +metro passes to get around, as most attractions are spread around the town.

Have you figured out a flight connection on Day 9? From Itami (Osaka) airport, there are more frequent flights to Haneda, but several flights to Narita directly.
W9London is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 09:41 AM
  #6  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Hi, hpfish10 -

I agree with others that it would make sense to add time to Kyoto - there is SO much to see there! As a specific example, I enjoyed Kamakura, but would not give up time in Kyoto to see it.

I'm also not sure I understand your logistics - on day 6 you plan to travel from Tokyo to Hakone and then on to Kyoto? I didn't visit Hakone, but that doesn't sound like it would leave you much time to explore that area. And have you considered flying out of Kansai instead of Narita?

Hope that helps. . . .
kja is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 09:41 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
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Posts: 17
Hi all, thanks for your quick responses.

As to flight from Osaka to Narita, I wil book a direct flight, then will fly back to SFO from Narita.
How do I figure out individual JR segment would cost? I know 7 day JR pass is about $300/person. From my itinerary, what city/destination is NOT covered by JR?
To ship luggage, will the shipping company pick up luggage from a hotel in Tokyo and ship to another hotel in Kyoto?
hpfish10 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 07:41 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,344
check this site for the pricing on your rail portions. use the english site

www.hyperdia.com

this site will explain the takuhaibin(delivery service) better than I. You would want to send the bags from Tokyo to Kyoto and maybe Kyoto to Narita and maybe even from Narita to your hotel when you arrive....just another option

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html

Aloha!

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 09:16 AM
  #9  
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I am thinking to change my itinerary as follows:
- 4 nights Tokyo, take 1 day excursion to either Nikko or Yakamura
- day 5 will travel to Kyoto, but stop in Hakone if the weather is nice, visit some sites, may try Onsen, but will not sleep in Hakone
- 5 nights in Kyoto, with side trips to Nara and Himeji and may be Kobe.
- Day 10 travel to Osaka early like 6AM to catch 8:10AM flight from Osaka to Nerita and then on to SFO. I don't khow what is best way from Kyoto to Osaka domestic airport (the old one) not Kansai.
Any suggestions with this plan? Thanks
hpfish10 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 09:33 AM
  #10  
 
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We spent the first 2 weeks of June in Japan. We had a wonderful time. For our return trip we will skip Tokyo and spend much more time in Hakone and Kyoto. We stayed at the Granvia in Kyoto and loved everything about it. The location (at central station) is perfect. The room was large, spotless and very well supplied. Can't wait now to go back!!
TravMimi is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 11:25 AM
  #11  
 
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On last day are you leaving from Itami(ITM) or Kansai(KIX)? More flights from ITM to NRT.

Makes a difference in recommendations. See here, look at the Kyoto/Itami key

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2433.html

Probably easiest would be the airport limosine bus service or MK Taxi service

http://www.okkbus.co.jp/eng/

http://www.mk-group.co.jp/english/shuttle/index.html

Aloha!

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 11:14 AM
  #12  
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I have revised my itinerary:
- add 1 more night, so will stay 4 nights in Tokyo and 6 nights in Kyoto.
Day 1-4, Tokyo, stay in a Shinjuku hotel. Plan to visit temple, fish market, and take a one day excursion to Nikko or Kamamura.
Day 5- travel to Kyoto, may stop and visit Hakone. Check in to Granvia Kyoto hotel.
Day 6- take 1 day Kyoto tours
Day 7- visit other sites in Kyoto, may visit Kobe
Day 8- Nara
Day 9- take a day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima, may take a tours to visit both places due to limited time
Day 10- rest in Kyoto before going home
Day 11- leave early for Itami airport to fly to Nerita then on to SFO.

Do you have any suggestions? thanks
hpfish10 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 11:41 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Your itinerary looks great. It will be hot at the end of August....be ready for it.

Get to the train stations a little early so you can get on the right track in time.

If you have a chance and like French cooking while in Shinjuku try the

Restaurant Le Coupe Chou
1-15-7 Nishishinjuku Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
Tel (03)3348-1610

Ask for Sugitasan, the owner/manager, and tell him Peter Gomes from Hawaii sent you. The restaurant is a small Japanese version of a French bistro. The food is great and very reasonable. Ask him to explain the house specials and set meals for the evening.

If you visit Kobe during the day and want to try Kobe steak but not pay 10,000 yen to do so see this excerpt from my recent trip report:

"We were looking to have Kobe steak and found a really good place on Sakita Street right behind the Sannomiya Hankyu train station. Not the JR station. As we were walking by we noticed a lot of the Kobe business men were lining up outside of this restaurant with a big red sign that was all in Japanese. As we were passing by the line started moving so we followed and were the last couple let in before they stopped as they ran out of room I could not believe the picture menu sign as it said complete Kobe beef lunch 2900 yen per person. When you enter they do have an English menu and the cooks (teppanyaki style with 8 people per table sitting around a large grill ala Misono or Bennihana). The menu consists of sirloin steak for 900 yen all the way up to the Kobe beef for 2980 yen per person. The meal consists of a lettuce salad with a oriental dressing, fried garlic chips, a vegetable dish of bean spouts and other veggies, the steak, rice, miso soup and you can have coffee, tea or orange juice after your lunch. The place is a real bargain and the steak was divine. You could cut the meat with you fork and the steak just melted in your mouth. I have had real Kobe beef before in Japan at Misono’s in Kyoto and this one was just as good for about 25% of the price. The restaurant is located right across the Lumine store and next door to the Slot Spazio(pachinko parlor) on Sakita Dori with no English name outside, just look for the big red sign over the door with a picture of a chef cooking steak on a grill. It is worth looking for believe me."

Last of all don't worry and have a fun time!

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jul 24th, 2008, 10:20 AM
  #14  
 
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Statia is offline  
Aug 28th, 2008, 05:43 PM
  #15  
 
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hpfish10- I'll be staying at Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku also (in October)... can you let me know how the stay is over there when you get back from your trip?
travlr67 is offline  
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