JAPAN VISIT FROM LAX AREA???

May 3rd, 2013, 11:31 AM
  #1  
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JAPAN VISIT FROM LAX AREA???

Two of us from NYC have a wedding in early October of this year. Suggested hotel is the Four Seasons in Westlake Village where rooms have been blocked.

i hae made a few trips to Japan (mostly travel related work) but not since the early 90s and parntner has never been.

I was thinking of flying to LAx and after the wedding, getting on a plane to Narita and spending 5-6 days in Tokyo, then taking a fast train to Kyoto for another 5- days. Would also like to fit in a night or two at a hot spring resort. Flying home from Osaka is an option.

How feasiable is all of this? We culd both get the Hyatt credit card that allows two nights each at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, where I've always wanted to stay. Focus of trip would be wandering around and eating various styles of Ja[panese food. Neither of us speak Japanese but are open to wandering around and would epecially like to see Kyoto gardens and folk art workshops; open to buying vintage kimono, too.

How feaslble is this? Budget is generous but not unlimited. Thinking total time in Japan could be 2--plus weeks. This could be a big birthday present for partner. Should I cotact Virtuoso even though I pan to take out the Hyatt card?

What are recommeded hotels in Kyoto; we would love to hve indoor lap swimming daily.

Please recommend guidebooks, tour guides wiiling to work for the day that have interest in food.
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Eks, virtuoso got me an amazing deal at thechytatt regency in Kyoto, so yes contact them. FYI Ii thought you may appreciate I have reservations at el cellar de can roca and tickets in a couple of weeks time.......
Smeagol is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 02:58 PM
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Warm greetings again eks, from an early Saturday Seoul morning, and advance congratulations on what appears to be a most celebratory time for you. (And you'll be pleased to know one of your favourite Bangkok hotels, the Four Seasons, remains most special - along with that fine lap pool for dawn exertions. The BKK FS remains full-on BKK business travel heaven for yours truly; such great staff.)

I was in Tokyo late last month for a long overdue business trip, followed by a joyous Easter weekend with the loved one and one of my beloved sisters. Hotels were the Park Hyatt for work (convenient and refined as ever) and the Four Seasons at Marunouchi with the mrs. for Easter (quite the boutique treat, that FS). If so inclined, my updated review of the Park Hyatt can be found on my profile page, along with my recent review of the FS at Marunouchi. Hard to go wrong at either place; for a first-time choice, I'd probably go with the PH (and nothing against that fabulous FS; will most likely return, as we're presently partial to smaller venues.)

Re: Kyoto lodging, will leave that to other esteemed Fodorites, as 1) it has been some time since my last visit and 2) my Kyoto stays were almost always handled by the wondrous Kita family that my olde MacKintosh family, ancestors and others have mutually hosted and entertained for numerous decades. I so love Kyoto and our respective personal connections over the years. That Kita / MacKintosh connection lives on in our Singapore home.

Now, flying LAX-NRT, can't resist giving a little promotion for Singapore Airlines, flight number 11, presently operated via those serene A380s. I've yet to fly SQ11 via 'Whale Jet' (SFO is my main N. American business port), but did have the privilege earlier this year of flying some of SQ's A380s in business class for work: SFO-HKG, via SQ1. Sweet and serene on those upper decks. (At present, that sector has reverted back to B77Ws; a more than acceptable Boeing aeroplane in my estimation - particularly the way SQ has spread out her business class seating - and one I'll be flying later today, SQ16, ICN-SFO.) So, eks, something for you and your beloved to consider, flying ex-LAX to Narita... (I just know those sensational Singapore Girls will take fine care of you).

Much more to add, but some Seoul exercise and errands await. Savour your planning, eks; I am enormously happy for you. Warm weekend wishes to you and all,

macintosh (robert)


... Singapore Girl, You're a Great Way to Fly ...
AskOksena is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 03:06 PM
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>>>I was in Tokyo late last month<<<

(That should be late March, 2013; still a bit early here in Seoul. All the best, eks.)

robert
AskOksena is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 05:14 PM
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Unfortunately, pools and Kyoto are not exactly synonymous. The Westin Miyako has a pool, but I prefer the Hyatt Regency by a huge margin. I can recommend and arrange a guide for you if you want. Cost is not inexpensive. Volunteer guides are an option but they are a crapshoot - some very good and some not so much. Same with paid ones, but we've carefully chosen the ones we like. How about Kanazawa?
KimJapan is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 12:54 AM
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Kim - I would be interested in a guide, would this be something we could discuss?
Smeagol is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 02:58 AM
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Sure. Teaghanmackenzie at Mac dot com
Identify yourself in the subject line as fodors please.
KimJapan is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 05:28 AM
  #8  
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Robert a special greeting to you,and all who have responded to my somewhat vague and unformulated post.

Have ordered a few basic guidebooks and am seeking further recommendations.


First of many sets of questions:

1. Thinking 5 nights in Tokyo, which will include time to get over the dreaded jet lag.

2. How many nights in Kyoto...5 as well? (We have relative by marriage in Nara so that may come into play.....worth a visit to Nara)

3. Would like to experience a hot sproing resort....where would be recommended locale easily acessible by public transport from Tokyo or Kyoto? (I spent a few nights in one in Kyushu years ago and would love to repeat similar experience closer to our intended area of thie brief visit)

4. More on the delights of Kanazawa?



Obviously, I need to purchase maps and get serious about planning. Again, I apologize about these unresearched queries.


Anyone have expereience signing up for the Hyatt card and using it at Park Hyatt Tokyo? Any dfrawbacks to this plan? We hope to each sign up for a card, therefore giving us a total of 4 free nights....any foreseeable problem with this strategy?
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 07:53 AM
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Fanny, Jeane and I did it recently but for the Hyatt Regency in Kyoto - 4 of our 5 nights are "free". Make sure that the promotion you respond to is for ANY Hyatt and then follow the instructions very carefully. You both need to apply (on line) for Hyatt Gold Passport membership before you apply for the card, if you haven't already done so. You will both need to charge $1,000 on your cards before you see the 2 night stay credit in your Hyatt account. Once you've done all of that, booking over the phone with Hyatt is easy. Just have both of your account info in hand when you call. Feel free to send me an e-mail if you have further questions.
Craig is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 08:12 AM
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eks, I've also gone the Hyatt card route. We are going to use ours in Kyoto. For an onsen, we are spending two nights at the end of our trip at the Hyatt Hakone.
Kathie is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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Smeagol: Forgot to mention the strange green color that my face has taken on. Can Roca and Tickets in the same trip? Take me straight to Spain, particularly Catalonia, for my last meals on earth. Will be waiting with baited breath to read reports!

Ok, so apply for Hyatt Gold online first and then they will send me the invite for the Hyatt credit card with the free nights offer??
ekscrunchy is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 10:25 AM
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Apply for the Hyatt Gold Passport membership online, then online you can apply for the credit card at the Hyatt site.
Kathie is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 11:16 AM
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Just "Google" Hyatt Credit Card to bring up the offer after you have applied for the Hyatt Gold...

or go here:
https://creditcards.chase.com/lp/hyatt/naep/?CELL=626Q
Craig is offline  
May 4th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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Kanazawa - small city, fabulous garden, lots and lots of artists and traditional artisans/crraftspeople. Lacquer, gold, ceramic, glass, silk, wood, even fishing fly accessories....walkable, temples, the best sushi and freshest fish, abundance of great restaurants, geisha districts (3 of them, all preserved and operating), samurai district, fish market with a "fisherman's lunch house" that is the best deal in town for fish meals of all sorts, Architecturally and historically significant, tourist friendly.

Nearby Yamanaka Onsen is beautiful. Many ryokan, Kayotei is one good choice. Nearby Yamashiro Onsen is home to Beniya Mukayu, a welcoming, modern, lovely ryokan, with English speaking hosts and serving outstanding meals.

Also nearby is World Heritage Shirakawa-go. But I have preference for Hida Furukawa and Gokayama, also nearby. Smaller places, fewer tourists. Need your own transportation.

Smaller towns are a different Japan.
KimJapan is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 03:15 AM
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By the way, Hyatt R Kyoto is offering a ' stay anytime till September 2013 and get a free night' on its website - so if it's not too late, can you get in on that deal Craig? (can't remember when you said you were going, for the OP of course the deal will end. I suspect it's one of those 'off-season' things.)
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 03:21 AM
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Sue - we are going in late October...
Craig is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 06:45 AM
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Hyatts always has specials of some sort. HT told me to watch for them. During the timeframe we are going they have a special where you can get free nights if you stay at Hyatts in both Tokyo and Kyoto. It;s a pre-pay deal, so we'll wait until closer to our trip to see if that is a better deal than what we have reserved with no pre-payment.
Kathie is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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1. Five nights in Tokyo is a great start. I do love Tokyo and you will fill your time easily there. Also see the Japan Guide and JNTO sites for ideas on what to do and what to see.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2164.html

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/

2. 5,6 or seven if you can. There is so much to see there and if you have someone in Nara to visit then being able to add time there is a plus.

3. Several thoughts on this question but notice you are thinking of doing the Hyatt card thing with its free nights. The Hyatt Regency Hakone in Gora has a beautiful property complete with an onsen/spa. The Hyatt deal Kathie mentions above is for the some Hyatt properties in Tokyo and Kyoto and is explained more in detail here.

http://www.kyoto.regency.hyatt.com/e...offerId=100982

There are many ryokan in the Hakone area with many that stand out but with a generous budget there are a few that stand out above the rest. Here are a couple:

http://japaneseguesthouses.com/db/ha...akoneginyu.htm

http://www.gorakadan.com/index_english.html

The Izu Peninsula is also nearby with many ryokan and lush scenery.

http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/db/shizuoka/arai.htm

http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/d...yagyunosho.htm

We stayed at a more modest ryokan a couple of years back but the hiking and surrounding areas were astounding.

http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/d...ka/amagiso.htm

4. We are making our first trip to Kanazawa this fall in late October so I bow to the resident advice of KimJapan as always.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2167.html

We love the Park Hyatt in Tokyo and should be no problem getting the Hyatt free nights there at your time of travel.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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This is an older ryokan hotel we stayed at in Kawaguchiko with the lake and park across the tiny street and a killer view of Fujisan in the mornings if she feels like gracing you with her presence that day.

http://japaneseguesthouses.com/db/fuji/konanso.htm

Just a 2 hour lazy train ride out of Kyoto through rural countryside, mountains, rice fields and finally down to the ocean you come upon the onsen town of Kinosaki Onsen famous for its seafood dishes and especially kani(crab). We stayed here:

http://japaneseguesthouses.com/db/kinosaki/yutouya.htm

but there are many other options

http://japaneseguesthouses.com/db/kinosaki/index.htm

Have you thought about or does a temple stay overnight at Koyasan interest you?

http://eng.shukubo.net/

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4900.html

If your a foodie there is Osaka and what is referred to as Japan's kitchen both in the past and now.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4001.html

You can go with glitz and glamour or small town and serene. As KimJapan so rightly states "smaller towns are a different Japan". Try a selection of each.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 07:29 AM
  #20  
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You are all the best! Just signed up for the Gold Passport for two of us...will they now send me invites for the credit card or do I have to inquire?

How in early-mid October, in general, for traveling? We have a wedding the first week, in the LA area, and then are free to travel to Japan...

Cannot think of renting our own car on this trip, so am limited to train and bus transport.....or private driver for a day trip if not out of the question prohibitive....

Am awaiting delivery of ordered handbooks/guides, and will welcome further ideas for which ones to order outsdde of the basics.......keep in mind that fellow traveler is not the adventurous type and will not be up for long hikes, etc. Food is a major interest, although he hates raw fish (I know, I know, but we can find him SOMETHING TO EAT...JApanese food is far from only sushi, and I remember adoring sukiyaki on previous trips, although have not been since the 80s)

Over the moon on this but feeling overwhelmed as this is an area of the world I know so little about...
ekscrunchy is offline  

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