Japan Itinerary -- Please Help

May 3rd, 2004, 11:18 PM
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Japan Itinerary -- Please Help


I'm going to Japan the last week of May for about 7 days, and I need some help w/ the itinerary so I can book my hotels. I'll mainly focus on Tokyo and Kyoto areas.

This is a bit of a rush, so I haven't done my research yet, but I'd really appreciate your help!

1) Fri ~ 5 p.m. -- Fly into Narita from U.S. Need to go to Yokohama to meet up w/ my husband there. Is there a safe, convenient train from Narita to Yokohama? Ok. to carry luggage around?

2) Sat -- Should we go to Mt. Fuji from Yokohama? Or wait til I come back to Tokyo?
Is there a way to go to Mt. Fuji on your own -- easy to get around once there? Or should I join a day trip tour? Please advise and recommend any tours.

3) Sun -- Thurs(?) Go to Kyoto. By train? Which type? Should I buy my train tix there or from here? How about a train pass? Must-sees/do's/eats? How much time should I spend in Kyoto? I've been to Tokyo before and would like to see more of Kyoto.

4) Thurs - Mon. Back to Tokyo and back to U.S.

Please let me know if this itinerary is ok or I should move things around a bit. Are there really interesting things I should see out there between Tokyo and Kyoto?

Thanks much!
JC98 is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 05:58 AM
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1) Yes & yes. There is a Narita Express (N'Ex) train that goes from Narita airport to Yokohama station. It departs at approximately 15 minutes before the hour, (according to www.hyperdia.com) e.g. at 17:44 and 18:46. There is a N'Ex train at about 13 minutes after the hour to Tokyo station where you would catch a JR Tokaido Line train to Yokohama station. It is safe. The N'Ex is an airport train so you might feel out of place if you DIDN'T have luggage. You can manage on the JR train ok if you don't take the N'Ex to Yokohama. The N'Ex to Yokohama costs 4180 JPY.

2) You can take the JR Tokaido Line train from Yokohama to Odawara station (950 JPY). At Odawara, buy a Hakone Freepass at the Odakyu rail station for transport around the Fuji-Hakone area.

3) You ought to get a 7-day JR Pass. Buy a voucher in the US and exchange for the pass in Japan. You can activate it on the day you arrive and it will cover the N'Ex trip from the airport. It would also cover the tix to Odawara. It does not cover any part of the Hakone Freepass.

On Saturday, when you go to Yokohama station to get the JR train to Odawara, you should get your reserved seat(s) for a Hikari shinkansen to Kyoto the next day, Sunday.

On Sunday, with reserved seat tix in hand, you would take the Yokohama subway from Yokohama station to Shin Yokohama station to catch the shinkansen to Kyoto. I am suggesting that you get those seats in advance since it might be that the reserved seats might fill up with passengers from Tokyo (but then again, it is Sunday). Be sure to get a Hikari shinkansen (not Nozomi which is not allowed with the JR Pass, and not Kodama which makes lots of stops).

Your JR Pass would be good through Thursday. Good that your itinerary has you travelling from Kyoto to Tokyo that day. See www.japanrail.com about the JR pass.

You should visit Nara from Kyoto.
mrwunrfl is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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Thanks for your detailed response!

How many trips does it take to make up for the JR pass? Need to know whether my husband needs to get one too.

Where can I buy the pass in the U.S.? AAA?

Any other info about lodging in Kyoto / Tokyo would be appreciated!
JC98 is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 05:27 PM
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The 7-day JR Pass costs 28,300 JPY.

A reserved seat on a Hikari shinkansen from Shin Yokohama to Kyoto costs 12,790 JPY one way. That is 25580 roundtrip to Kyoto plus 1900 for the Yokohama - Odawara round trip. That's 27480, only 820 yen less than the pass. For you, the pass makes sense since it would also cover the 4180 yen cost of the N'Ex to Yokohama.

IF YOUR HUSBAND IS ELIGIBLE to get a pass, it might be worthwhile to him also. If you decide to make a roundtrip from Kyoto to Nara at a cost of 1480 yen, then his rail travel would cost the 27480+1480, more than the cost of the pass.

On the following web page, click on "North America" to get the list of places where the exchange order is sold:

Then you should follow all of the links on that page under "About ...", "How to obtain", and "Information".
mrwunrfl is offline  
May 6th, 2004, 07:19 AM
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Bonjour JC,

Mrwunfrl has given valuable informations.

One point I would like to emphasize is that you should check whether your husband qualifies for the JR pass, as it is specifically designed for tourists with a temporary visa, and many other short term visitors are not eligible (business trips, artists, etc.).

OTOH, do get one for yourself, it is good value even if you don't make much of a $ profit on it. It will save you time and hassle in getting tickets for daytrips from Kyoto and Tokyo, etc.
Florence is offline  
May 7th, 2004, 11:41 AM
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Thanks for the info on the rail pass.

Someone mentioned to me that the more direct route from the Narita airport to Yokohama is by a limousine bus. Can anyone comment on that? I'd rather not haul my luggage around on the train. And I don't want to get lost on the first day there.

Since I'll be in Japan for like 9 days, I'll save the rail pass for later days.

JC98 is offline  
May 7th, 2004, 02:12 PM
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Yes, there is direct bus service from Narita to the Yokohama City Air Terminal 2-3 times an hour, with occasional connection to a few Yokohama hotels.

Check this website for timetable. Fare is 3,500 yen.

rkkwan is offline  
May 7th, 2004, 03:28 PM
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When we travelled around Japan we purchased a pass from the Japanese tourist office in Sydney Australia.It was for train and hotels and was excellent..made our trip much easier. maybe it is available in the States too?
Peteralan is offline  
May 7th, 2004, 05:43 PM
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Do you recall the name of the pass Peteralan?
mrwunrfl is offline  
May 7th, 2004, 09:48 PM
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Sorry I don't..I think it was something mundane like Japan transport & Hotel pass. The hotels belonged to a general group and the passes were aimed specifically to an English speaking (I think) clientele. When you arrived at one hotel, they would phone through for you to the next one and book you in.
Peteralan is offline  

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