Japan Travel Itinerary - Help?!?

Reply

Mar 5th, 2005, 07:09 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 78
Japan Travel Itinerary - Help?!?

Hi - I am traveling to Japan on 4/8 for 8 nights. I am arriving at the new airport in Nagoya, and thus far, I've only booked two rooms in Nagoya at Cypress Garden. Does anyone know anything about this hotel? It was the only room I could find.

I plan to go to the following, in this order:

1. Nagoya
2. Nagoya
3. Kyoto
4. Kyoto
5. Mt. Koya
6. Hakone
7. Ise Shima Nat'l Park Area
8. Nagoya (departing next morning)

I am interested in exploring as much natural beauty as I can during my time in Japan. If anyone has suggestions in this regard, I'd love to hear them. Also, I will be traveling solo, and do not speak Japanese.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a ryokan in Kyoto, maybe $150 max/night?

Are there suggestions re: a buddhist temple perhaps farther north which I would do after Hakone and skip Mt. Koya (I saw some earlier posts voting against Mt. Koya.) And, if there are suggestions, how would I go about reserving a room?

Does everyone agree that a night at the Fujiya Hotel is essential? They are quoting me 18630 yen/night, which is a bit more than I'd like to spend.

Lastly, I do not eat any meat or fish. Does anyone think this will pose a problem or have any tips for me?

I have already found lots of useful info. on this board. Thanks to everyone for any advice you may have!!
Linda05 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2005, 08:40 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 480
any reason why you are spending so much time in Nagoya - not much to see, just a reconstructed castle? I think you are better off heading straight to kyoto. and spend 4 nights there or 3 in kyoto and 2 in hakone.

Others on this board will help you find a royokan in Kyoto in that price range -I think there are several.

as far as food - no problem with the meat, but there is alot of fish. But here are also many vaegitarian dishes everywhere. Kaiseki is a type of formal japansse meal that is mostly vegiterian. Kyoto is especially known for vegitarian food. I had the opposite problem - always looking for meat ! But watch out for fish- japanese tend to put fish in many many things.
dgruzew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2005, 09:00 AM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 78
Hi - Thanks for the advice. I was planning Nagoya for 2 nights because I figured that's where I'm landing, so I should stay there at least one night and that I might go the the expo the next day, or perhaps I could take a train into ise-shima for part of my first day. I've actually never flown this far before, so thought I would go straight to the hotel upon arrival. I have no concept, at this point, re: how long it would take me from the new airport to the hotel in Nagoya vs. taking a train straight to Kyoto. Maybe I should go straight to Kyoto, and spend only my last day in Nagoya?
Linda05 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2005, 09:29 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 480
I have not flown straight into nagoya before, but I have taken the bullet train from Toyko to Kyoto, this train stops in nagoya- it is a little over an hour to kyoto from Nagoya.

I have also taken the train straight from kyoto to osaka airport. with is about an hour. Knowing the japanese they probably have a train that goes straight to kyoto from nagoya airport.

If you can handle I would recommend going to straight to kyoto. your going to be pretty baddly jetlagged - but sitting on a train for an hour really won't matter.

Try to stay on the east side of kyoto

Kyoto is fantasic - spend as much time there if you can. Also try to make it the Deer park in Nara ( 1 hr from kyoto) - 1000's wild deer run around an ancient park with old lanterns and the largest wooden temples in japan. Very bueatiful place.

Where are you coming from?
dgruzew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2005, 09:39 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 480
here is the new airport website
http://www.centrair.jp/en/access/ac-from/index.html

15 minutes to the tokaido line - that is the line that will take you to kyoto
dgruzew is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2005, 09:52 AM
  #6
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
Linda: Once you get your bags and clear customs I think it takes about an hour to get from the new Centrair airport in Nagoya to the train station (no JR train for this but there is another train), then you have to get to the hotel. There have been recent threads here on transportation to/from the new airport. And I think once you get to the train station in Nagoya it is about an hr to Kyoto by train, then get to your hotel. So not much difference really. Realize that when people land at Narita airport outside Tokyo, they have luggage and customs and then a one and a half hour ride into Tokyo by the limo bus or JR Narita express, and people do that all the time. So it seems yoou could certainly get to Kyoto right away. That is what I'd do. Then you could get comfy in Kyoto for a few days without having to travel again w/your stuff.
BTW- I posted a question recently asking about other Buddhist temples in Kyoto area besides Koya. I'm not sure I got any response here but I did find two right on outskirts of Kyoto. I'll try to dig up the info for you.
I am going to hike in Kibune/Kurama just outside of Kyoto for a half day- there is a nice trail that goes by several small shrines and through a forest, about two hours. And I am going to Ohara for half day from Kyoto, which is suppose to be very pretty also. I'll post on my trip by April 1st. Also going to Nara as described by dgruzew.
Someone on here (Meetshare? who was it? someone help me out) went to Japan and was a vegetarian and posted on his experience in last 8 months or so. Look for his posting. Maybe search for vegetarian in the search box above.
Of course I haven't been there yet, but I have done much research on hakone hotels and ryokans (I won't even tell you how much) and it doens't seem to me that a stay at Fujiya is a must. It isn't waht I woudl choose actually. There are many many nice places w/character to choose from, some right on Lake Ashi (in case you are blessed w/a clear day to see top of Mt Fuji from the far end of the lake). Lots of different kind of places w/different amenities. I found some pages that had 10-12 hotels/ryokan described on them- are you interested in the links for those pages?
Hi dgruzew! I have been rereading many of your posts surrounding your trip as I am getting ready to leave on mine.
emd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2005, 09:54 AM
  #7
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
It was Bigfeat (or bigfeet) who was the vegetarian in Japan- look for his posts
emd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2005, 01:30 PM
  #8
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
I foudn bigfeat's posting- I am topping it for you, it is called Konichiwa from Tokyo. Good info for a vegetarian in that post.
emd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2005, 01:35 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 78
Thanks for the tips. Yes, I'll take whatever websites you have and I'll search the listings here for more info.

I am flying out of Hartford, CT, on one of those incredibly cheap AA flights. It's really nice to be able to fly out of Hartford, too.

There's so much information. It's really overwhelming, and I have to say I am unimpressed with any travel groups who seem to want to sell only packages and could not go outside of their contracts to book accomodations of my choice. After having tried that route, I am now back to planning on my own.

Does anyone know how long it takes to get maps, etc. from the JNTO? I only found out about this recently and would love to look over some maps before I leave.

Emd - when are you leaving for your trip? are you traveling solo? I bought a hiking in Japan book on ebay, but haven't really spent much time thinking about that yet.

Just saw your vegetarian post. Thanks so much! This is great!
Linda05 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2005, 01:50 PM
  #10
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
Next Sat. at this time I will be 4 hrs into the flight to Narita. I am traveling w/my 14 yr old son for 2 wks, first trip.
Unfortunately I have not had luck getting JNTO's NYC office to send me maps when I call them on the phone. They say they will, but they never arrive. I was lucky enough to have a business trip to NYC in Oct. and I went to the JNTO office there then. That is when I got my maps. You can get maps at Borders and other good bookstores. A Kyoto map is not all that difficult. It is the Tokyo maps that are more detrimental as the subway and trains will confuse the nuts out of you if you don't have a good map. For Hakone, you can use the maps you'll find on the internet. And you'll get a good map when you buy your Hakone Free Pass at one of the stations to get around Hakone.
If you have time to get it, the JNTO book "New Japan Solo" has great maps in it of every section of every city and, and it is the best all around guide book I've found. Mrwunrfl on here turned me onto it and I thank him for that.
For Kyoto, I am taking Exploring Kyoto, On Foot in the Ancient Capital by Judith Clancey. Good guidebook but also good cultural and historical and myth info, which is such a big part of what you see in Kyoto. Both that book and JNTO's New Japan Solo are available on Amazon.com
I'll dig out those Hakone hotel/ryokan listings for you and post them.
emd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 5th, 2005, 02:10 PM
  #11
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
Hakone, see:
http://www.jtb.co.jp/japannow/PLANNI...nning16-2.html
That is a good list regarding what hotels and ryokan's have fuji views, is you are lucky enough to have a clear day. I liked the Hakone hotel (link is on the page I gave you, click the hotel name there), as it is on the end of the lake where you can actually get a Fuji view, their rates are good, and it was recommended to me from someone on here who stayed there. But they don't have an onsen to speak of there. There are some other good deals in Hakone. One I looked closely at was Hakone Elegance-- see http://hakone-elegance.com/

Also another really great list w/good summary info on many places to stay is:
http://www.japanhotel.net/list_all.asp?area=HAKONE
emd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2005, 05:57 AM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 78
emd - thanks for all of the information. I looked up the guesthouse that you recommended in Hakone, and it is all booked up during the time I plan to be there. But, I see what you mean, it looks very nice.

I've been reading through a lot of the older posts, and I'm a bit overwhelmed by all of the information. I don't even have a basic understanding of the train systems of different types of trains -- I was planning to get a jr rail pass, do I not need one with my previously suggested itinerary?

Also, if my plane does not leave Nagoya until 6 pm, do you think I'd be ok to take the train in from another city that morning and just skip Nagoya altogether or I could just get a room in Nagoya for that last night and spend the morning/early afternoon in Nagoya?

I do have one of the books that you suggested, Traveling Solo.

I'm thinking of taking the train into NYC some time next week just to get to the JNTO office to get all of my maps and a rail schedule. Can I buy a pass directly from the JR office? I think you said in an earlier post that the two offices are near each other.

I hope you have a great trip. You certainly do seem well-prepared for it!

Thanks again,
Linda
Linda05 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2005, 06:16 AM
  #13
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
oh goodness yes, you'd be able to take a train into Nagoya (from Kyoto or Hakone, either one) and leave that day. I am taking an early morning train from Kyoto to Tokyo the monring of the day I depart from Nartia (at 3 p.m.)! So you can certainly get from Kyoto or Hakone to Nagoya that day if your plane isn't leaving til 6 p.m. What would be difficult is to do much w/your luggage in tow- I'm not sure what the locker situation is at Nagoya station? I am sedning our luggage from Kyoto to Narita airport and we will pick it up there when we get to the airport- you can do this through your hotel concierge and i have been triply assured on here that it is safe to do that btwn hotels and airports.
Have you checked out reviews of the Aichi Expo? It doesn't sound all that interesting to me, but it might to you. Personally, I would get into and out of Nagoya to take advantage of the cheap fare, but there are so many more interesting places to go in 7 days.
Don't worry, it will all start to fall together when you get the train schedules (or even just go onto hyperdia.com) and the maps.
I don't see why you'd need a JR pass if you are just going from Nagoya to Kyoto, but throwing in Hakone may justify it. Go onto www.hyperdia.com, enter your city you are leaving from and going to and see what the fares are- example Nagoya to kyoto, kyoto to Odawara (the main hakone station), Odawara to Nagoya, or whatever your routing will be, and add up all the fares, then compare that to 7 day JR pass.
I think it is worth it to go to JNTO and JR office if you can without much hassle.
I have to say, if I was going into Nagoya (as I might be in May) I'd have to think about going to Takayama and Shirakawago instead of Hakone. Taka. and Shirak., then Kyoto, and just get into and out of Nagoya. But Hakone shoudl be nice too- it's going to be a great trip.
emd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2005, 07:40 AM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 78
Thanks again, emd. I looked at that site and will look up my fares after I've figured out an itinerary. I look up those two other locations that you suggested as well. Haven't even heard of them before.

I was wanting to go fairly far north when I first started my research, but then read about the bear park, near Sapporo, I think, and was horrified . . . maybe I'll look into going north again since I am after scenic and not so much touristy.

Did you say you were staying at a temple in Kyoto? How did you go about booking it? Just via e-mail?

thanks again!
Linda
Linda05 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2005, 07:44 AM
  #15
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
oh that's right, I was going to look into that info for you on those two temples- I'll do that later today. We scratched that idea- the free nights at Westin Miyako on hotel points were just too enticing and neither of us wants to sleep close to the floor...
emd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2005, 08:00 AM
  #16
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
ok, re temples closer to/in Kyoto:According to my notes, there are 3 there that have English speakers- Shoho-in, Hiden-in, and Shinnyo Sanso.
I found info on all of them on google, but I'm sorry I didn't write downt he web addresses. You shoudl be able to find the info though w/those names. I was unable to get any feedback from people who had stayed at them on any of them on this and two other forums though.
emd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2005, 12:22 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 218
Message: i,m travelling in japan in the last week
of march. and plan to do kyoto,hakone,
takayama and tokyo.landing in narita.I was told the JR pass for 7 days should take me to all these places.My doubts are would I be allowed to travel in the
shinkasen betw tokyo and kyoto.Can someone enlighten me about Ryokans reasonably priced in these areas and a probable tour plan for 7 days.Thnx


harsha is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2005, 04:53 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 574
Bonjour Harsha,

Yes, the JRpass is valid for the shinkansen, to the exception of the Nozomi. That leaves the Hikari and the Kodama shinkansens, which is more than enough for the plans you have.

As for lodging, you can do a search on this forum with the destinations you have in mind, or look at the Welcome Inn Reservation Center for reasonnably priced accomodation. They can even do the bookings for you once you're inside Japan should you want to wing it after a few days.

http://www.itcj.or.jp/indexwel.html
Florence is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2005, 06:12 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 218
Ha! Finally someone answered.Thanks a ton.managed to get info and stay in Kyoto.Still a little hazy as to where to stay in hakone ( five lakes,how is it?).Want a best possible view of Fuji.with access to onsen.Plan to stay there only for a day after takayama.How does it sound.
harsha is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2005, 06:31 AM
  #20
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 78
Hi - What do you all think if I take out Nagoya entirely and perhaps take out Ise Shima as well, and add in Nikko and Takayama? Does anyone have any suggestions for how I would best order my visits to each place? Also, what if I spent my first night at Ise Shima and then went to Kyoto, or where ever it would make sense to go next?

Thanks to all of you for your opinions.

Linda
Linda05 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


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:11 AM.