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Japanese Alps, JR option, Kamakura - more advice gratefully accepted!

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Jul 14th, 2017, 10:43 AM
  #1
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Japanese Alps, JR option, Kamakura - more advice gratefully accepted!

Hello again,
Having completed most of our accommodation bookings in Japan, I have been neglecting my plans for there - but my thoughts are now returning to planning our 3 week trip in Japan October/ Novemberbr /> 1) From Tokyo we are catching a bus to Matsumoto where we shall spend a night - with the bus being cheaper and taking about the same amount of time as the train. Any thoughts on that decision re the bus? We shall spend the rest of the day at the wooden castle and the 2 art galleries.
2)With having booked 2 nights in Takayama at a ryokan, the next day we want to stop over in Kamikochi spending time there going for a walk, taking in the sights. Later we shall catch a bus on to Takayama where we shall arrive in the evening - my question is - is it easy enough, without taking a tour, to get a bus to Kamikochi and then catch a bus onward later in the afternoon to Takayama? Where do I look for this? Also where is a good place to eat this Takayama beef?
3)We are spending about 6 - 7 nights in Kyoto: we shall take in Nara from there and maybe some villages to the east of the lake to the south of Kyoto. Then we travel to Hiroshima and Miyajima for 2 nights (stopping over at the Himeji Castle on the way) - this is when we are considering getting a 7-day JR pass using it for a day in travelling to Nara from Kyoto (so we shall visit Nara at the end of our stay in Kyoto before setting off on our trip to Hiroshima etc), also using it to get to Hiroshima, then after 2 nights in Hiroshima using it to travel from Hiroshima to Tokyo - would this be a good idea?
4) We have one spare night that we haven't yet booked accommodation - our last 2 nights we are staying in an hotel near Shinjuku, Tokyo - my next question is for the day after our night in Hiroshima and the 2 nights before we fly out of Tokyo, what about a night in Kamakura: I realise it will be a long train trip (4 hours?) from Hiroshima to Tokyo and then I believe Kamakura is an hour south of Tokyo - if so, any recommendations for accommodation there?
Thanks for all advice.
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Jul 14th, 2017, 11:50 AM
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Are you staying in a ryokan the same day you take the bus from Kamikochi? The reason I ask is that you say you'll arrive in the evening. Usually dinner is served pretty early in Ryokans, and if you get there late, you don't get dinner.

I'd be sure to check with your ryokan in advance, as the meals are a large part of staying at a ryokan.
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Jul 14th, 2017, 11:58 AM
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yes, that Kamikochi plan is easy to DIY. Just get the bus seat reservation for Takayama on arrival in Kamikochi or sooner.

You could get a JR Pass. It will save some, but not a lot - depending on what you do with it, if anything, after you get back to Tokyo. I think about 3000 JPY savings pp. At that difference in price, I would consider just buying tickets and using the Nozomi shinkansen.

>>long train trip (4 hours?)

No, not 4 hours.

Hiroshima to Kamakura would be more like 5.5 hours using a JR Pass. It would be about 40 to 45 minutes faster if you took the Nozomi shinkansen.
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Jul 14th, 2017, 12:00 PM
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Kyoto to Nara is very cheap. Take the Kintetsu line rather than JR rail.

I gave up on finding accommodation in Kamakura itself and slept in Ofuna instead at the Sotetsu Fresa. I flew to Narita from Fukuoka and then took the N'Ex to Ofuna. Then I took it back to Narita and stayed in Narita town my last night.
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Jul 14th, 2017, 05:20 PM
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In Takayama, I had an excellent meal of HIDA beef and mountain vegetables at Suzuya, which still gets very good reviews.
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Jul 14th, 2017, 11:58 PM
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Here is where we enjoyed a dinner of Hida beef: https://www.kaveyeats.com/2012/12/hi...ama-japan.html
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Jul 18th, 2017, 09:13 AM
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Thanks thursdaysd, I'm looking at that hotel, the rooms sound very small!
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Jul 18th, 2017, 10:45 AM
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Patricia - actually, I thought my room was a reasonable size. But I mostly stay in Toyoko and Dormy Inns, which have REALLY small rooms. And it is Japan...
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Jul 19th, 2017, 07:52 AM
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Thanks, thursdaysd yes I was interested but I've now looked for a twin, as we are 2 females travelling together, and they don't seem to have them. I'm very sorry about that.
Any other suggestions?
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Jul 19th, 2017, 08:03 AM
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Hmm, I see a terrace twin, undoubtedly more expensive, though. (I booked directly with the hotel.)

https://fresa-inn.jp/eng/ofuna/room.html

You can try booking.com for Kamakura proper, or down on the coast, but Ofuna is more convenient for the N'Ex, and I couldn't find a good option in Kamakura.
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Jul 19th, 2017, 12:01 PM
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Thanks thursdaysd, thanks for that link - no vacancy for my date! I may try and ring them tomorrow on skype. Phew, it has been extremely time consuming finding reasonable accommodation for our 3 week holiday in Japan!
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Jul 19th, 2017, 01:29 PM
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Why don't you just book two single rooms? There's some kind of special rate that's only 8,000 yen.
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Jul 19th, 2017, 07:08 PM
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I also had trouble finding a reasonable place to stay in Kamakura when I went and ended up giving up. Fortunately, it's a very easy day trip from Tokyo.
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Jul 20th, 2017, 12:58 AM
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Would it be worth it trying to stay in Yokohama - is that reasonably accessible to Kamakura?
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Jul 20th, 2017, 01:07 AM
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kja
 
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I'm sorry, but I don't understand why you aren't able to answer this question yourself, and since it depends on what YOU want to do in Kamakura and where else YOU plan to visit, I would think you can get all the information you need on the resource to which we have already directed you -- japan-guide.com.

What am I missing?
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Jul 20th, 2017, 01:24 AM
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kja, you are snappy - did you travel in Mexico recently, I think I came across your comments there too!
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Jul 20th, 2017, 01:33 AM
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kja
 
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I haven't been there recently, but yes, I've traveled to Mexico. I don't know why that would be relevant here....

More to the point of THIS thread, I don't know enough about what you need to respond to your question in a meaningful way, and really, you should be able to find MUCH more valuable and more comprehensive information from japan-guide.com.....

At least, that's how I see it, but again, maybe I'm missing something.....
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Jul 20th, 2017, 01:53 AM
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Thanks kja, with now 17 posts on this thread my comment above was a continuation of a conversation while desperately looking at hotels - believe me, I am an experienced traveller and, besides using these sites - after all what are they for! - do a lot of research.

The reason I mentioned Mexico was I noticed the selfsame tone there from you.
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Jul 20th, 2017, 01:56 AM
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BTW, are you aware that "snappy" can be considered quite a derogatory term in the U.S.? I'm going to assume that was NOT your intention, since I have, over the years, responded to your posts about any number of topics (including your questions about the Yucatan -- and yes, I just checked on that) with my best effort to be helpful.

Do, please, let us know if you did, in fact, use the word "snappy" as a criticism. I, for one, would like to know if that's how you thank those who try to help you.
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Jul 20th, 2017, 02:01 AM
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OK, messages crossed in hyperspace, and I STILL do not understand what you want. So either I'm dense (completely possible) or you aren't being clear, and either way, it would seem to me to be on YOU to make your question clear.
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