Japan and China

Old Sep 17th, 2018, 09:11 AM
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Japan and China

I am planning my first trip to Asia. We have 2 weeks. We decided we definitely want to do Japan and were thinking about spending a few days in China (Hong Kong and/or Beijing). Is this doable or it is too much? We are not planning on going back to Asia soon and wanted to get a taste for both countries.
Thanks, Claudina
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Old Sep 17th, 2018, 10:43 AM
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I'd highly recommend that you choose one. Two weeks is a relatively short time for Japan alone. If you add in even a few days in Hong Kong or China, you will be detracting from your trip to Japan.

Logistically, you could do it, but it isn't the best way to start your Asian travels.
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Old Sep 17th, 2018, 06:41 PM
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I agree with Kathie. There is so much to see in Japan, and in China, and so much variety that you would be short-changing both..
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Old Sep 17th, 2018, 06:46 PM
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I agree with Kathie and thursdaysd.

If you are definitely interested in Japan, I would urge you to spend lots of time with japan-guide.com
Hope that helps!
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Old Sep 18th, 2018, 07:31 AM
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I would only do this if this is to be your only trip ever in this part of the world.
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Old Sep 18th, 2018, 12:17 PM
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Yes, if you don't ever see yourself returning in the foreseeable future, then maybe you could get away with a few days in Hong Kong and most in Japan - but in my view it is not ideal.
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Old Sep 19th, 2018, 09:20 AM
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If you want to get a taste of both countries then, yes, you can surely do it. I did what you are considering, as my first trip to Asia, and loved it. It was worthwhile to experience the differences between the two places, back-to-back. I was so surpirised

I flew on an award ticket to Tokyo, which was a free enroute stopover, then Beijing, then home. So there was no additional cost in airfare. I did have to get a visa and pay that fee for just three days in Beijing. The other cost is time: about 4 hours of flying plus airport transfer and wait times, so the trip from Tokyo hotel to Beijing hotel is 7 or 8 hours, but you do gain an hour on the clock.

Hong Kong would be an excellent option, maybe better than Beijing.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2018, 04:36 PM
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I think you should research Japan thoroughly first. I was surprised by how large it isóI mean, geographically, I knew it wasnít a small country, but I didnít quite grasp variety of regions and distance.

If after that, you still really want a few days in HK, Iíd say go for it, but I think youíll quickly discover that two weeks isnít nearly enough time for just Japan.

You might not want to think of ďAsiaĒ as a single destination, and think of China and Japan as two entirely different destinations. If you shortchange both, youíll need to go back to both.

Last edited by marvelousmouse; Sep 23rd, 2018 at 04:41 PM.
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Old Oct 8th, 2018, 06:26 AM
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I would stick with one. I don't even thin 2 weeks is enough for Japan alone, so definitely focus on there
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Old Oct 8th, 2018, 04:11 PM
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If you've only got 14 dyas and really want to hit China and Japan, nine days in Japan and 3 or 4 days in one city in mainland China or Hong Kong would be doable. You aren't going to have a lot of time in either, but in 9 days, you can visit Tokyo, Kyoto and one other quick place such as Hiroshima or Kanazawa. If I was doing this, i'd visit the Chinese city first, as I find that any hustle bustle city is a hard second act after the ease of traveling in Japan.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Claudina View Post
I am planning my first trip to Asia. We have 2 weeks. We decided we definitely want to do Japan and were thinking about spending a few days in China (Hong Kong and/or Beijing). Is this doable or it is too much? We are not planning on going back to Asia soon and wanted to get a taste for both countries.
Thanks, Claudina
You have stated to "definitely" want to do Japan, but are only "thinking about" spending a few days in China (Hong Kong or Beijing). I haven't been to Beijing, but was in Hong Kong in Jan 2017, I think it was, as I tagged 5 nights in Hong Kong onto my annual, 6-week trip in which I spend the majority of my time in S.E. Asia. It was my first time in Hong Kong which I didn't jell with at all. But, I'm glad I gave it a go. Been there done that now.

You only have two weeks and if I were you, I would spend them all in Japan. I was there in Summer 2017 and spent 2 weeks and then this past Summer 2018 was there again, in July/August, and spent 3 weeks as I needed more time. I already have my plane ticket for Summer 2019 and have added nearly an extra week onto the 2019 itinerary.

Personally, I wouldn't split my time between Japan and China and only have 2 weeks. I'd select Japan hands down. Plus, there's the situation of flights possibly being canceled or flight schedules changed which wastes more time or possibly ending up with lost luggage.

I just got an e-mail yesterday that my January 2019 flight between Bangkok and Penang, Malaysia has now been changed and will leave Bangkok 4 hours and 10 minutes past the original flight departure time and for this upcoming 6-week trip, I took 2 nights off of my usual 4 nights in Penang as to give 2 nights to be back in Kuala Lumpur. Now, I won't arrive into Penang until around 7PM and will now only have 2 nights and one, full day. It's good that I have had the same, private driver for years now and can zip around and get done what I want to get done in one, full day now.

My situation is different from yours as I've been vacationing in Asia for 20 years and have been to a lot of these places over and over and year after year. It's not like it's my first trip that can be screwed up with flight situations. So, I'll just go with the flow during my 6 weeks.

On my Dec 2017-Feb 2018 trip, my flight from Penang to Singapore was totally canceled at the 11th hour and I ended up having to cut Penang short to be on an early-morning flight to Singapore as that's what the airline rescheduled me to take. And in Jan 2016, I got to the airport in Kuala Lumpur to take my flight to Singapore and was assigned to an earlier flight since I got to the airport quite early. But, then after going through the security checkpoint and going to the gate and waiting for that earlier flight, was told that it had been canceled and that eveyone would be on the later flight which was the one that I had originally booked. The passengers who had booked the earlier flight were not happy campers when told that they would have to take the later flight. So, why chance it all to add on a few days in either Hong Kong or Bejing when you could be in orderly Japan and kicking back on the Shinkansen train and traveling between destinations? Plus, in Japan one can have luggage sent from one hotel to the other and all around Japan and it doesn't cost that much. I sent my luggage from my hotel in Tokyo to my hotel in Kyoto and then later back to my hotel in Tokyo, where I both began and ended my trip, and my luggage always arrived before I arrived to the hotel and was sitting in my room at check in. To me, that's a vacation.

Happy Travels!

Last edited by Guenmai; Oct 9th, 2018 at 09:06 AM.
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