Japan - time of year and tour guides

Oct 7th, 2008, 08:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 566
Japan - time of year and tour guides

We are planning on visiting Japan in 2011. I know a long way off but I like to research and get an idea of what we would like to do, especially for a country I have never visited.

My first question has to do with the time of year to visit. We will be traveling with teens age 14 & 17. We will probably have a total of 10 days not including travel days.

We do not want to pull the children out of school so our times will be limited from mid June until mid August. We can also go the first full week of November but that would probably cut the trip down to about an 8 day stay.

Giving the time we can travel what would be everyone's advice on when to go?

Also we would like to hire a tour guide for a day or two, not do a full fledge tour with a company. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance
ga9497 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 01:05 PM
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Every season has pros and cons.

You probably want to synchronize with fall leaves season and a possible festival.

June-mid August:
Hot AND humid. Depending on where you are from. Looks like you are from NJ? So the July-Aug is more the same. The attraction here is a chance to see festivals especially the ones with grand fireworks.

June is hot, humid, and wet. I would not travel to Japan by choice in June.

I took my family in late March during the spring break. Got 7 days out and caught leading edge of the cherry blossom season in Hiroshima and Kyoto.

Try hard to avoid traveling during Japanese National holidays unless it is your objective.
nickn is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 01:50 PM
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Take them out of school for a couple of days during Nov. Any school will give them extra credit for Japan Intl travel.

See here for answers to some of your questions


Do some research on this board of trip reports on Japan and Japan in general. You have to be more specific in your questions if you want any useful information


hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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Yes, beginning of November for 10 days there.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Oct 8th, 2008, 05:39 AM
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If you click on or search for my screen name, you'll find a series of posts I wrote about my visit to Tokyo and Kyoto this past July. The heat and humidity were oppressive and definitely limited my zeal for tourism -- especially around the many lovely outdoor sites (temples, gardens) in Kyoto. Given the choice, I might opt for a shorter visit in better weather.
tahl is offline  
Oct 8th, 2008, 06:41 AM
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While NJ and Tokyo would be similarly hot in summer, I think Tokyo is MUCH worse on several grounds.

1) Tokyo seems to be much more humid. For me, the better comparison is Washington DC summer.

2) You're more likely to be spending outside while travelling (as opposed to driving thru NJ Turnpike or Route 1, or going to shopping malls). You'll feel literally DRENCHED. Often you'll feel you need to take a shower and change shirts mid-day.

Mid-June is not that hot, though the weather can be hit or miss with the rainy season.
W9London is offline  
Oct 13th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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Thank you for the replies

Hawaiiantraveler - sorry I thought I was being specific in asking which would be the better time to travel during the times we can go. I don't have specific questions on sights, etc yet as I need to first narrow down the time of year we will visit. My DD will be a senior in high school at that time and they really frown upon taking any days off for travel other then the days they are alloted. Even if we wanted to I don't think missing days during senior year would be the best thing for her but we will keep that in mind, thank you

Nickn - thank you, as much as I would love to travel during their spring break my husband cannot take the time off then and the reason I didn't list that option.

To everyone elese - thank you for your suggestions and information
ga9497 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2008, 03:59 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 6,342
I reread my post an can see where the grouch in me may have slipped out in my post....sorry

By your original post I can see that you can only travel between mid June and mid August which is probably the worst time to travel to Japan if you read the link I provided above. That is why most of us went with your other only option which was Nov. I suggested taking the children out of school part in jest. I am reminded that my arcane humor can be seen as sarcasm at times over the internet, again apologies

What I meant by being more specific is we need to know your budget and a little about how you like to travel in order to really help you. What kind of hotels do you like?
Do you like temples, museums or maybe your a shopper? Where would you like to do a tour? Do you like to see beautiful nature settings or are you a city person? We just need to know a few things about you to then make meaningful suggestions and not just the canned spam.

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Oct 13th, 2008, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I visited Japan in late July a few years ago. While I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, I decided I'd like to visit the next time in a different season. It was very hot, humid and rainy.

We had a similar dilemma for our trip to Japan next year with high school-aged daughter. We could visit mid-June to mid-August or during our spring break (end March, first week of April). We chose the latter, even though it means a shorter trip--we're planning 4 nights in Tokyo and 5 nights in Kyoto. We don't have a fall break, otherwise we would have considered that. Our school considers vacation absences as "unexcused," so I understand your concern. We're taking our daughter out for one extra day, but not without a lot of consideration.

Good luck with your planning.
ms_go is offline  

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