Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page > Japan Itinerary & JR Schedule Timetable Help

Japan Itinerary & JR Schedule Timetable Help

Reply

Mar 3rd, 2006, 11:30 PM
  #41
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 33
KimJapan, I'll be travelling from Nagoya to Takayama and then to S-go. It seems like it'll be easier as the buses are more frequent.

Mara, it is my very first trip to Asia. With my very full schedule I figure that I'll be moving around so much I won't have time for the language difficulties to catch up to me. Wish me luck, I'll probably need it.

I think I will be doing the Johnny Hillwalker Kyoto tour. Since I'm doing everything else solo it'll be nice to be able to have somebody else do all the navigating and explaining. So you _should_ see me there. I'm going the cheap route in Kyoto and staying at a hostel. For Y2500 a night there I figure I can justify the ryokans I'll be staying at afterwards.
phantasm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 12:24 AM
  #42
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 33
Just looked at the all the timetables for JR trains. It definately is not possible for me to get any farther than Nagoya on April 3 unless I want to reduce my Hiroshima Peace Park/Museum time and leave the city before 17:00 to catch the last trains to Tak (19:48)or Kanazawa (20:03). I'm already tired just thinking about that.

So staying overnite at Nagoya, assuming all the timetables stay the same for when I'm there; the earliest train leaves Nagoya at 8:43 and arrives at Tak 10:52. The bus leaves Tak at 11:05 arrives S-go at 12:55. I think that's gonna be cutting it way too close for comfort considering I'll have to stop at the bus ticket counter, agreed?

Next bus for S-go leaves Tak at 14:40 and arrives 16:38. The bus from Kanazawa also leaves at 14:40 and arrives at 15:55. So...I can sleep in a little bit and catch a train to arrive in Tak at 12:11, 13:18 or 14:19 or Kan at 11:48 or 12:47.

I'll get to S-go earlier by going through Kanazawa, but I'll lose the option of putting stuff in the Tak lockers. I'll also be losing out on the roundtrip busfare discount. Any good restaurants or interesting in the nearby vicinity of Tak or Kan train stations to help sway my decision? I want to stick close to the station (so I won't get lost) since I'll be catching a bus. I'm still leaning towards going through Tak. And yes, I do think way tooo much.
phantasm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 05:04 AM
  #43
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 203
Just read this thread and got worried about our plans. We expected to head for Tayakama from Kanazawa with a stop at Shirakawago on April 4th. I must be ignorant not to have considered that the buses may not be running. Since I already have reservations, is there any way to know if we can do this? When will they post the April bus schedule? And I don't read or speak Japanese, so I'll need English info. I am glad to know the proper etiquette for trains and buses, in terms of eating. Thanks for everyone's help.
debwhite is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 05:51 AM
  #44
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,052
debwhite - I put a link to some information from the Forum at Japan-guide concerning a similar question - if you need more info, japan-guide's
Forum is a good place to ask....
http://www.japan-guide.com/forum/que...y.html?0+23318
Mara is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 08:49 AM
  #45
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,034
The April schedule is the same, or at least it has been in the past. Perhaps a call to a JTB office in the states would be a good idea if you want to plan for sure. Otherwise, bus reservations can be made day of travel or up to 30 days in advance. Your hotel in Japan can help you, as can tourist info counters.

debwhite...The Kanazawa-S-go buses say they are suspended until April 1, so an April 4 trip should be fine. Weren't you thinking of driving somewhere in a rental car? Kanazawa to S-go with a stop in Gokayama as well would be an ideal day trip from Kanazawa, and the added dfreedom of a car would enable you to take your time and get off of the main roads. We've done the trip to S-go from Kanazawa by car lots of times, but before the new road. With the new road, it should be a breeze. Go there the old road, come back the new road...or spend the night in a minshuku there. Minshuku in S-go are set price, 7000 - 8000 yen/person/night dinner and bfast included. The tourist info office can set you up when you arrive there, or you can have Kanazawa tourist info call them for you. They willk need some time, like 30 mintues, to find you a place. Ask for hinoki bath and irori. Travel agents do not deal with the S-go minshuku.



KimJapan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 09:14 AM
  #46
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,858
You have 13 minutes to connect from the train to the bus at Takayama. That is enough time.

When you come out of Takayama station turn left. You'll see the lockers on the left. The bus stops and ticket windows are less than a minute away. If those lockers are full then go back past the station entrance and there is another place with lockers, with an attendant. If going to both locker places and making your way over to the bus station takes more than 5 minutes then you are moving slowly. If you don't have time to get a ticket then just get on the bus.

You are going to need to get you body out of bed if you want to see any of Shirakawago, especially if you go via Kanazawa. You won't have that much sunlight left when you get to S-go at 4PM, find your way to your lodging and check-in and drop off and go out. It is in a mountain valley, so I suppose the shadows will make it dark that much earlier. And then sleeping in the next day
mrwunrfl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 09:26 AM
  #47
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,858
<accidentally posted before finishing>

And then sleeping in the next day?

I just re-read what you wrote and maybe you weren't saying you were going to sleep in at S-go. Sorry about the comment! It will be a long previous day, so it might be tought to get the morning bus from Kanazawa.

The schedule for the Tak- S-go was probably set that way so that the train pax could make the connection.

The info I gave about Takayama station is from May 2004, though I doubt very much that the station has changed.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 10:06 AM
  #48
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,858
The baggage delivery service really is excellent.

Storing a large duffle in a locker will probably cost about 500 yen per day. The day ends at midnight, so you will have to pay for two days.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 01:04 PM
  #49
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 33
mrwunrfl, No worries about any comments. I meant sleeping in only if it wouldn't be possible to make the
connection in Tak for the 11:05 bus to S-go. Now that you've made me realize that the station is small and the connection time is not only possible but intentional I will definately not be sleeping in. I wasn't planning on sleeping in at S-go as I'd miss out on an already paid for breakfast. Thanks for the directions for the lockers and buses. That helps a LOT.

Speaking of sleeping...are the train conductors as proactive as to wake you up before your stop should you fall asleep?

debwhite, if you have a Japanese speaking friend or call a tourist bureua you can phone and make a reservation here (maybe no English speaker available): 0577-32-1688
Or make an online reservation (in Japanese):
http://secure.j-bus.co.jp/new_module...cd=0002&mode=1
Now that I know what my plans are I'm going to do that.

Lockers are easy, I don't think they'll misunderstand my non-existant Japanese as a luggage service might. They're also cheaper. The lockers are coin-operated and not some futuristic talking machines, right?
phantasm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 01:21 PM
  #50
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 33
debwhite, I just realized that you'll be in S-go the same night I'll be there. Did you get the last room at Koemon before I could? Sorry mrwunrfl, it's all her fault I'm not staying there.
phantasm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 02:44 PM
  #51
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,858
No, the conductor will not wake you up. There's likely to be enough commotion on arrival at Takayama that it will wake you up. Just about everybody will be getting off there.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 03:05 PM
  #52
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 203
Phantasm, don't blame me. I didn't reserve anything in s-go. In fact I'm reserved in Kanazawa for 3 nights, but I may change it. I did think of renting a car, KimJapan, but hadn't thought of using it to go to S-go since it seemed that was right on my way to Takayama. I am wondering about whether to drive to S-go and continue to drive to Takayama...or drop the car off in S-go. Anyone know if the charges for a one way rental are prohibitive? It may be worth it since we're 3 people and the cost of transportation may equal the extra charge! KimJapan, thanks, as always for the advice. Don't know how I'd plan my trip without you! Hope you're enjoying NYC or Florida, if you're still in the states. Phantasm, I may see you on the Johnny Hillwalker tour in Kyoto. Am also thinking of the Geisha tour...anyone do that one? And do I need a tour for Nijo Castle or will we be fine on our own?
debwhite is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 04:58 PM
  #53
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
phantasm: No, the train conductors will not be waking you up. If you are a deep sleeper, try this, if you haven't already: take a watch w/an alarm clock function (even cheap digital ones have this now); wear a baseball hat, or even better, a knit hat, on the train, and put your watch inside of your hat with the alarm set. If you really need the wake up call and are a deep sleeper, pin the watch inside the knit hat right next to your ear. That does it every time for my son when he really has to get up; he sleeps w/his Nike tight knit hat on and that alarm watch next to his ear.

I can't sleep at all in planes, trains, or automobiles, but I thought I'd pass that along since it seems to concern you.
emd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 11:49 PM
  #54
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 33
debwhite, just teasing...we both seemed to have picked a very popular time to visit. Hope to see you at the Johnnie Hillwalker tour. Were you looking at the Peter MacIntosh geisha tour? http://www.kyotosightsandnights.com/tours.htm I thought about the evening one...I'm still considering it, but as my daylight exploration time is very limited I might pass on it in order to go to a shrine or temple.
phantasm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 4th, 2006, 11:54 PM
  #55
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 33
I don't plan on falling asleep on the trains, but my trip might get the better of me. I do have a travel alarm, just in case.

Does anybody know about the night lighting of the varied temples during sakura season? Curious to know if the Kyoto temples will be doing that when I'm there at the end of March.

phantasm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2006, 12:15 AM
  #56
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,858
I wouldn't count on dropping off a rental car in Shirakawago. It's a village in the mountains.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2006, 06:32 AM
  #57
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,052
phantasm - link to night time lighting in Kyoto -
http://raku.city.kyoto.jp/data/cssys...night06_e.html
Mara is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2006, 12:24 PM
  #58
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
That's a nice sight, thanks Mara.

Anyone who is going to be in Kyoto btwn. MArch 11 and 21 should be sure to make it to the "Kyoto Lantern and Flower path" described on that website under "Events" (click there and it takes you to the page on the Lantern and Flower path, also known as Hana Touro). It is amazing, esp. the lighted sculptures in Maruyama park and the giant lighted ikibana in the park and in front of the lit up temples. Also the Rickshaw procession and the live performance stage, with traditional music (the koto music last year was wonderful) and dancing. This was a highlight of our trip last spring.
emd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2006, 05:42 AM
  #59
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 50
Hi,
Just spent a couple of hours going through the thread and its great - both in terms of the responses and the wealth of information and I was wondering if I could get some comments on my proposed itinerary as well. We're planning on being in Japan from the 18th of March to the 3rd of April and while the first bit is a structured tour we're planning on doing the following from the 27th to the 2nd. We were wondering if this would be too much travel especially on the Kyoto-Shirakawago-Mt Fuji trail so any comments would be greatly appreciated. Also while you have recommended places to stay for a few of the destinations, I was wondering if recommendations existed for the others. As we're a bunch of students doing a reasonably long trip - budget places would be nice.
Thanks a lot,
Alok.

Day 1 (27th) - Himeji - head early from Osaka to Himeji - see castle and by evening head to Hiroshima - night in Hiroshima
Day 2 (28th) - see Hiroshima, head to Kyoto in the evening, spend night in Kyoto
Day 3 (29th) - See Kyoto, night in Kyoto
Day 4 (30th) - Kyoto - morning leave for Shirakawago, night there
Day 5 (31st) - See the place and afternoon leave for Lake at Mt Fuji
Day 6 (1st) - Spend day at Mt Fuji and leave in the evening for Tokyo
Day 7 (2nd) - Day in Tokyo
Day 8 (3rd) - flight at noon from Narita
AlokG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2006, 08:18 AM
  #60
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
Alok, I see this is your first posting on this baord. I suggest that you start a new thread asking for help w/your itinerary instead of tacking it onto this existing thread.
emd is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:04 AM.