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Japan trip

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Mar 29th, 2014, 03:10 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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Japan trip

Hi, I am visiting Japan in October with my mum and would be really grateful of any help that I can get with my itinerary.

Here's my thoughts...
Arrive Haneda Saturday stay in Tokyo for 3 nights.
Travel early to Kyoto and stay 2 nights (Tues/Wed)
Leave Kyoto early and stop at Hakone for 1 night (Thurs)
Return Tokyo Friday evening after day in Hakone
Depart Haneda on Sunday

All sounds ok in theory! But I am looking for advice about place to stay, travelling, JR pass etc.

I am also struggling with the stop off at Hakone.... Is it worthwhile? I think I would like to experience ryokan/onsen. But seems difficult with baggage.

Any advice would be so appreciated.
Thanks.
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Mar 29th, 2014, 10:07 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,915
You are trying to do too much in such a short time. I don't know what your interests are, but if you are like me and enjoy temples, gardens, museums, etc., then my suggestion would be to head straight to Kyoto after you arrive at Haneda, stay in Kyoto for 5 nights, and then go to Tokyo and stay for 2 nights before flying out. I enjoyed my time in Hakone and think it's a nice break from the big cities, but it doesn't seem like you have the time for it.

Alternatively, you could save Kyoto for another trip and spend your entire time in the Tokyo area, with overnights in Hakone and / or Nikko and perhaps a day trip to Kamakura.

Either way, you won't be travelling around the country enough for a JR pass.

As for accommodations, what's your budget?
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Mar 29th, 2014, 10:44 AM
  #3
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,168
I agree that you are trying to do too much in too little time.

Also, you have tagged your trip for "japan", lower case first letter. Unfortunately, a glitch in Fodor's system allows you to tag it that way, but no one will be able to find it. Your best bet is to repost with the tag "Japan" (capitalized).

Good luck!
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Mar 31st, 2014, 10:10 PM
  #4
 
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No JR Pass is needed. Consider this: http://www.japanican.com/en/special/...px#tokyo_kyoto

You have two nights in Tokyo at the end (Fri and Sat). I suggest changing that to 1 night in Yokohama. Then take the Keikyu Airport Express to HND on Sunday.

Take that extra night from Tokyo at the end and add it to Kyoto.

That would mean:
Arrive Haneda Saturday stay in Tokyo for 3 nights.
Travel early to Kyoto and stay 2 3 nights (Tues/Wed/Thu
Leave Kyoto early and stop at Hakone for 1 night (FriThurs
Return Yokohama Tokyo Saturday Friday evening or afternoon after day in Hakone
Depart Haneda on Sunday

Better might be to go to Hakone before Kyoto. Consider this as Hakone will probably not be as busy on a Tues/Wed as it would be on a Fri/Sat. That is, go Tokyo- Hakone- Kyoto- Yokohama (or Tokyo) for one night- Haneda.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 10:18 PM
  #5
 
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>>I am also struggling with the stop off at Hakone.... Is it worthwhile? I think I would like to experience ryokan/onsen. But seems difficult with baggage.<<

It is worthwhile to experience an onsen and a ryokan. Best way is an onsen ryokan and Hakone would be a good place. You would ship luggage from Kyoto to Haneda Airport using the takkyubin service.

Am not sure what day you would want to ship it from Kyoto (Fri or maybe Thu, I think) for a Sunday arrival at Haneda. Doing this will minimize what you need to carry to Hakone and Yokohama.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 10:20 PM
  #6
 
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How old is your mum?
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 01:27 PM
  #7
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Well I have spent ages on the internet looking at different options and tripplanner001 I agree we are trying to do a lot and that Kyoto needs more time. But we have waited a long time for this trip and I am pretty sure that it is a one time only experience. Mum is 68 but is quite nimble. So I am thinking to spend~
2 nights in Tokyo
1 night Hakone (drop bag at hotel then sightseeing)
3 nights Kyoto
2 nights Tokyo

mrwunrfl, I looked at the Japanican website and found that if you buy the cheaper 7day Kyoto pass, you cannot stop at stations between Tokyo and Kyoto so I wouldn't be able to make the Hakone stop unless I bought a separate ticket to Odawara? And the Tokyo-Hakone-Kyoto trip is only 3 day long? I can't help but think that I am missing something! A JRP seems to be 29100 yen and a return ticket to Kyoto is 27200 yen. Will I not spend the difference (1900) on travel to and from Haneda, around Tokyo etc?

Further info greatly appreciated you have all made me think it greater detail!

Oh and we need to return to Tokyo because we have an invite for tea (Dinner, not Japanese tea ceremony!)
Thanks
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 01:49 PM
  #8
 
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I understand your dilemma here, and there are tradeoffs with every trip. I always find that no matter how much planning I do, there are things that I would have wanted to do differently. Looking at your itinerary, the suggestion I would make would be to swap your 2 nights in Tokyo in the beginning of your trip for 2 extra nights in Kyoto and do:

5 nights in Kyoto
1 night in Hakone
2 nights in Tokyo

It would give you more time to actually enjoy Kyoto and linger among its many beautiful temples and gardens and perhaps take a day trip. If you prefer Tokyo to Kyoto, I suppose you can take one night out of Kyoto and add it to Tokyo.
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 05:27 PM
  #9
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,168
I agree that it makes sense to put ALL your time in Tokyo at one end of your trip. And if you haven't already purchased your airline tickets, check into flying into Kansai and out of Narita -- no reason to backtrack to Tokyo unnecessarily!

I would definitely move at least 1 night from Tokyo to Kyoto. Whether to go with 4 nights Kyoto and 3 nights in Tokyo or 5/2 will depend on your preferences and interests and how many days you end up with in each city.

For your 1-night in Hakone, consider taking just an overnight bag and using Japan's excellent baggage forwarding option:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html
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