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bounini2000 Jul 31st, 2017 02:16 PM

Japan with kids
 
I will be traveling first time to Japan this October with my husband and my three little daughters (6,6,3), this is what I finally came up with, all your inputs and advices are really appropriated



Oct 11th arriving to Narita from USA ( direct flight), getting nex train tickets, pocket wifi and heading to shinjuku , we will be staying at two bedroom appartments hotel ( hundred stay ) next to Okubo station.



Oct 12 Tokyo



Oct 13 getting the all nikko pass and go to nikko ( was trying to avoid the weekends)



Oct 14th15th Tokyo



Oct 16 activate 7 days pass and go to Kyoto with a stop at hakone for the day.



Oct 17-18-19-20 Kyoto with day trips to Nara and maybe Osaka , we will staying at Ganvia hotel on top of Kyoto station.



Oct 21 Hiroshima ( trying to find a ryokan for the night)



October 22 back to Tokyo with a stop to see Himeji castle



Oct 23th Disney sea



Oct 24th ODAIBA in the morning ( we will be staying at grand nikko for the last two night)



Around noon back to Narita for our flight back to USA at 5:15 pm



1-What do you gots think? Is this durable?

2-When I calculate jr pass, if I add nikko and NEX ( round trip) i can get the 14 days pass and save around 3000 yen, is it easier to go to Nikko with JR lines to Tobu?

3- I'm still checking for a good ryokan in Hiroshima ($150-170) per person, I checked Japanese guest house but only found one in Hiroshima,any advice?

4- plz let me know your thoughts about my hotels selections?

5- do you guys think robot cafes and bunny cafes are suitable for my girls..



Thanks again

kja Jul 31st, 2017 04:54 PM

For the night you visit Hiroshima, you might see if the timing would work for you to spend the night at a ryokan on Miyajima. If you do that, your Oct. 22 would mean a fair amount of travel time, but the stop at Himeji would break it up. Just something to consider….

Adastra2200 Jul 31st, 2017 04:58 PM

Hi,
You know your kids' temperament and stamina best - it is certainly possible, but it also depends on what activities you do in the day.
I'd say 2 days in Nikko are better though. They'd likely love seeing Edo Wonderland.
http://edowonderland.net/en/

You would make a 14 day pass pay off by going to Hiroshima and back. If so, the more travel you can fit into that time, the more you save. That includes going to Nikko, as well as getting to/from Narita if possible.
It can only get you partway to Hakone though. From Odawara, you can get the Hakone Free Pass.
http://www.odakyu.jp/english/deels/
The Loop Course is a good way to get around.
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5210.html

For a Hiroshima ryokan, are you referring to Miyajima specifically? There are some upscale ones there. Seeing Itsukushima and Daishoin are easy; climbing Mt Misen for a 3 year old is likely too much.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KGUB-HPKNxP10Q

You might browse
www.japanhotel.net
www.ryokan.or.jp/
www.japaneseinngroup.com/
www.japaneseguesthouses.com/
http://selected-ryokan.com/ryokan

I haven't been to the robot cafe. The Ghibli Museum might be more their style.

bounini2000 Jul 31st, 2017 09:01 PM

Thank you KJa.
@ adastra so you think it is easy to get to Nikko using JR pass or through the Tobu line?
I would love to stay more in Nikko but don't want to change a lot of hotels, plus we will be going to Disney at the end plus couple of parks in Tokyo itself.

Also do you think Himeji castle is hard on kids?
They did Machu Picchu last year, wasn't easy but we did it :)

Thank you again

Adastra2200 Jul 31st, 2017 10:48 PM

It is not hard to get to Nikko. If by Tobu, board at Tobu Asakusa Stn, and for JR go to Ueno Stn (or Tokyo Stn if closer) to catch the bullet train. As I said, if you can fit it into your JR Pass travels, then fine. Otherwis, it's only about 20 minutes more on Tobu with a good connection.

I wouldn't say Himeji Castle is hard, though at their age I doubt they'll appreciate it. It's the best in the country, in fact. And don't miss the Kokoen Garden next door.

BigRuss Aug 1st, 2017 08:57 AM

I dunno if it's durable but this part is completely daft:

<<October 22 back to Tokyo with a stop to see Himeji castle>>

Nope. You're going the wrong way. Himeji is west, Tokyo is east. And there are few if any trains direct from Himeji to Tokyo (maybe there's a hikari at some time, but most hikari trains start and end at Osaka).

Stop at Himeji en route to Hiroshima. Then go back to Shin-Kobe and catch a Sakura shinkansen to Hiroshima.

<<[For Nikko] If by Tobu, board at Tobu Asakusa Stn, and for JR go to Ueno Stn (or Tokyo Stn if closer) to catch the bullet train.>>

Not necessary. JR has trains to Nikko from Shinjuku, which is right where your hotel will be. That said, if you use the Tobu, map out your route by metro to Asakusa (where the Tobu train departs) and do NOT use the Oeno to Asakusa line metro transfer at Kuramae - that makes you walk outside the station for about 6 blocks to transfer, which takes entirely too much time for convenience.

mrwunrfl Aug 1st, 2017 12:41 PM

>>2) ... is it easier to go to Nikko with JR lines to Tobu?

JR would be easier from Shinjuku to Nikko. There is a JR limited express from JR Shinjuku to Tobu Nikko station departing at 7:30.

From Okubo you would take a JR local to Shinjuku. hyperdia.com shows a 7:19 departure from Okubo to connect to the l'ex Nikko. That schedule gives enough time, 8 min, to make the transfer. But, those locals run every three minutes or so and I recommend getting an earlier train just to make the connection even easier.

If you plan on doing that then I recommend getting your seat reservations for the that limited express train (Nikko 1) as soon as possible. It sells out and does not have unreserved seats.

If you don't take that train then JR is still probably your best option from Okubo.

mrwunrfl Aug 1st, 2017 01:22 PM

>>Oct 21 Hiroshima ( trying to find a ryokan for the night)
>>October 22 back to Tokyo with a stop to see Himeji castle

That is doable but it makes for a long day on the 22nd.

There are several Hikari shinkansen in the afternoon from Himeji to Tokyo (or Shinagawa). Travel time is about 3.5 hours. You can add at least another half hour to get to a station near your Tokyo lodging (45 min for Shinjuku).

You can get a Sakura shinkansen from Hiroshima that will take about an hour to get to Himeji.

So there is 5 hours just in travel time that day.

If you visited Himeji on the way to Hiroshima then you would just plan on getting a Sakura shinkansen from Himeji to Hiroshima. There is no need to backtrack to Shin-Kobe.

The important thing is to plan to avoid using the much slower Kodama shinkansen to/from Himeji.

mrwunrfl Aug 1st, 2017 01:36 PM

>>If you don't take that train then JR is still probably your best option from Okubo.

Okubo- Shinjuku- Utsunomiya- Nikko(JR) for ¥2,590

That limited express train runs once a day and would get you to Nikko (Tobu) at 9:28 AM. The return l'ex (Nikko 8) is at 4:37 PM that day or next day.
¥4,000 each way.

Adastra2200 Aug 1st, 2017 03:40 PM

>>Not necessary. JR has trains to Nikko from Shinjuku, which is right where your hotel will be.

Not necessary, but if using the JR Pass they'd have to PAY MORE. Far better from Tokyo Stn if using the JR Pass - there is no bullet train from Shinjuku, and to get more value out of a JR Pass, taking the shinkansen to Utsunomiya makes more sense. If they take the limited express to Nikko from Shinjuku, on a JR Pass they'd have to pay extra for the Tobu railway portion. If paying cash or using a regional rail pass, then it would be covered.

bounini2000 Aug 1st, 2017 07:56 PM

Wow, I'm so overwhelmed with all your detailed responses, thank you very much.

So to make sure I understand, if I have JR pass , it is better to go to Nikko from Tokyo station

If I don't have the pass it will make more sense to go to Nikko from shinjuku.

So I just have to decide if I want to buy 7 days pass or 14 days pass.

I can't fit Himeji on my way to Hiroshima, so my only chance is on my way to Tokyo, and anyway, I wasn't planing to do anything in the 21nd other than traveling back to Tokyo and Himeji . When I arrive to shinagwa I will just take a taxi to my hotel in Odaiba( grand Nikko)

Is there a place to eat and relax in Himeji ? Or only castle?

I decided to spend the night in miyjima and found a room at kurayadi Iroha? Do you guys know the place ?

Thanks again

Adastra2200 Aug 1st, 2017 08:17 PM

>>So to make sure I understand, if I have JR pass, it is better to go to Nikko from Tokyo station

If you want to save money, *YES*. The details are all laid out here:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3805.html

>>Is there a place to eat and relax in Himeji ? Or only castle?

Of course you can eat and relax in Himeji. As I already mentioned, the Kokoen Garden next to the castle is quite nice too. If you want a real full day out of it, go up to Mt Shosha with the big temple complex (you'll recognize it if you saw the movie The Last Samurai).

mrwunrfl Aug 1st, 2017 09:22 PM

The detail that japan-guide doesn't give the the additional cost when using the JR Pass on the limited express Nikko trains. Taking that train does have extra value.

One option is to take the Chuo Line to Tokyo station transfer to the shinkansen, transfer to a JR local on the Nikko line.

Or are you willing to pay more to take your spouse and three little girls on one limited express train with reserved seats that goes all the way from Shinjuku to Nikko.

The question is how much much more does it cost.

Anyway, you have a lot of options, including going from Shinjuku to Omiya to catch a shinkansen instead of Tokyo.


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