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Japan Itinerary!

Old Sep 13th, 2017, 10:40 AM
  #41  
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Join Date: May 2016
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Thanks @mrwunrfl! Bummer about Miyajima but I will start looking from now. I figure Miyajima is the best place during this trip to stay in a traditional ryokan so I will look for those. Definitely would like to include that experience as part of my trip and think doing it for 5 nights in Kyoto would be too much. Already set up in Tokyo. Hoping I can stay in Miyajima and not Hiroshima.

This trip now is 4 nights in Tokyo, 5 nights in Kyoto (with 2 days of day trips), and 2 nights in Miyajima. Seems like the 14 day JR pass makes sense. Is the Narita express the rail option you mentioned with transfers? We each will have a large suitcase and a carry on. We are staying in Shinjuku area in Tokyo so ideally the JR pass would cover something that would get us to and from there. Does the JR pass cover the limo bus?
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 12:01 PM
  #42  
 
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No, the JR Pass does not cover the limo bus.

Which hotel in Shinjuku?

The Narita Express goes to Shinjuku station. It is the busiest rail station in the world. Getting from the station to your hotel could be tricky. Heck, getting out of the station to the correct exit can be tricky.

There is an average of 3.5 million people that go through Shinjuku station every day. I took the N'Ex to there on my first trip to Japan. My joke is that it seemed like all 3.5 million people were there when I arrived. I was lost. Couldn't find the stop for the Hilton shuttle.

I used the limo bus the last time, directly from my Shinjuku hotel to the airport. It is worth the ¥3,000 to me even if I had a JR Pass.

You can ship your luggage from NRT to your Kyoto lodging. Carry only what you need for the overnight in Tokyo and what you need for the next day when you go to Kyoto.

>>doing it for 5 nights in Kyoto would be too much

Then stay 1 night in Kyoto ryokan if that is what you want.

You can, for example, stay at a hotel for two nights, then a ryokan for one night, and then back to the same hotel for two nights. You can leave your luggage at the hotel and just take a clean pair of undies or whatever you have to have overnight or in the morning at the ryokan.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 12:15 PM
  #43  
 
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Despite my warnings about Shinjuku, the Narita Express is a good option for you. It will work out, but you need to look into getting from the station to the hotel.

That train is more comfortable than riding the bus and is not subject to traffic.

Forgot to mention: you won't have to change trains if you take the N'Ex to Shinjuku. Just be sure to sit in your reserved seat (they are all reserved).
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 12:34 PM
  #44  
 
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You could stay overnight in a ryokan in Nara. It could be as easy as staying in Kyoto, given that you are traveling to Nara anyway.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 12:50 PM
  #45  
 
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>>Just be sure to sit in your reserved seat

Because the train from the airport might split at Tokyo station. Get in the correct car at Narita that is shown on your ticket to Shinjuku.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 03:42 PM
  #46  
kja
 
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I also stayed at Momijiso on Miyajima, and was very happy with my stay, so do keep an eye on it -- and good luck!
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 03:45 PM
  #47  
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@mrwunrfl We are staying at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo which is a 14 minute walk from the station. Given the crowds you mentioned, that sounds hectic with large luggage. Perhaps we can cab it from the station. Should only be 9 minutes if the cab driver doesn't take advantage. The Nara suggestion is a good one! The limo bus is also a viable option.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 08:45 PM
  #48  
 
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That hotel has a shuttle to Shinjuku station "from the Shinjuku L-Tower Building" wherever that is. Please click here for details. https://tokyo.park.hyatt.com/en/hote...irections.html

The trick is to find that building and the stop. You would need a detailed map, directions, to be able to find it. The best way to find the stop is to take the shuttle from the hotel.

It is taxi distance. I think it is far enough that the taxi driver shouldn't get pissed off. You don't want to walk to the hotel. You will get lost.

I suggest you get the best info you can about the shuttle stop at the station and give it a half-hearted try and then bail into a taxi.

>>hectic with large luggage

You won't have large luggage at Shinjuku station if you can take the tip I gave about shipping that stuff from NRT to your Kyoto hotel.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 08:51 PM
  #49  
kja
 
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You won't have large luggage at Shinjuku station if you can take the tip I several of us gave about shipping that stuff from NRT to your Kyoto hotel
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 09:13 PM
  #50  
 
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The airport limo bus timetable looks really good for you to the PH. Pretty frequent departures until 10PM.

Here it is: http://www.limousinebus.co.jp/en/pla...hes/index/2/21

I think this is your no-brainer option, given that you are staying at the Park Hyatt. This is not the time or place to save a few bucks by taking a train (I'm spending about $27 per person of your money by saying that)


BUT, you don't want to take large luggage on the shinkansen the next day, so shipping it from NRT to Kyoto is still a good idea.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 09:21 PM
  #51  
 
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>> The Nara suggestion is a good one!

Yes, it is. I saw kja, or maybe it was Kavey, make that suggestion on another thread, so I passed it on. You could go from Nara to Hiroshima.
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 09:12 AM
  #52  
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Thanks, guys. I thought the luggage fwding service is only from hotel to hotel. Forwarding from NRT direct to Kyoto and have one overnight bag is a good option to consider. Thank you! Where can I do this at the airport? Also I feel much more comfortable now with traveling from the airport.

I contacted Momijiso and will await their reply. I also contacted another ryokayn in Miyajima so hopefully I can find something nice for a decent price. Am looking for Kyoto hotels and Miyajima ryokans but if that is unavailable, I can try the Nara route or perhaps a ryokan in Hiroshima? Was hoping to really enjoy Miyajima and stay there so we will see. Thanks!
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 10:45 AM
  #53  
 
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>>I thought the luggage fwding service is only from hotel to hotel.

That is not the case. Read this: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html

>>Where can I do this at the airport?

As soon as you leave the secure side of the airport. Go just pass the people who are waiting for arriving passengers and look around. You should see it.

If you don't then find the info counter or otherwise and ask "ta q bean?" though "luggage delivery?" would probably work

Have the name, address, and phone number of where you want it to go to give to the shipper. But, if you were to just say/write "Hyatt Regency, Kyoto" they would figure it out.

Yes, you could find a ryokan in Hiroshima. Hope to get two nights in a Miyajima ryokan, but settle for one night there and one in Hiroshima (if willing to make that compromise).
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 05:08 PM
  #54  
kja
 
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If you haven't already done so, you can look for ryokan on booking.com or japaneseguesthouses.com

Good luck!
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Old Sep 19th, 2017, 11:56 AM
  #55  
 
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I can also recommend Auberge Watanabe in Miyajima, we stayed in 2012 but friends have been on our recommendation last year and year before and all loved it too. (Despite the name, it's a traditional Japanese ryokan, not an auberge, though the traditional dinner is served in a dining room area, not in the bedrooms).
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Old Sep 19th, 2017, 01:26 PM
  #56  
 
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It is a minshuku.
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Old Sep 19th, 2017, 11:20 PM
  #57  
 
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Yes, Auberge Watanabe could be described as a minshuku, as it's very much a small family-run place... But their rooms and meals are, from my understanding of the typical minshuku, more akin to ryokan standards - our room was large and with hinoki-wood tub in the en-suite bathroom. I think (not 100% sure) that all their rooms have private bathrooms...
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Old Sep 20th, 2017, 07:31 AM
  #58  
 
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It looks much nicer than the couple of minshuku that I have stayed at. "Each room has a bath and a toilet made of Japanese cypresses." I assume the toilet is actually made of porcelain.
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Old Sep 20th, 2017, 03:02 PM
  #59  
kja
 
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Hmmm... I might have to return to Japan just to experience that toilet! ;-)
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Old Sep 20th, 2017, 08:55 PM
  #60  
 
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kea, I have experienced that toilet. It was, however, outside the place we were staying and had a little half moon over the door.
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