Just back from Tokyo and loved it!

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Jan 4th, 2006, 07:56 AM
  #1
aj
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Just back from Tokyo and loved it!

Greetings to all fellow travelers. I am a "die hard" Europe fan but must confess to someone that I loved Japan! I did not think I would but since I had committed to visit my daughter and her husband at Yakota Air Base I took the long trip from Atlanta. Wow, what a shock to find such a beautiful country and gracious people. I can't wait to return to see more of the "real" Japan on my own. Now the world has really gotten too big and I don't have enough time to see it all!
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Jan 4th, 2006, 09:59 AM
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Glad to hear that there is another convert in this world. Our second trip is in a few weeks, and I couldn't be more excited.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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We would like to be converts also but each time I look at the prices in Japan for how we like to vacation we put it back down on the list.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 01:09 PM
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emd
 
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I am going back for my second trip this spring. Back to Tokyo (and Nikko and Hakone for first time) and Kyoto (and a short trip to Shikoku for first time) because I enjoyed Tokyo and Kyoto so much and did not scratch the surface on what I want to experience in either place the first time. Plus I want my daughter to experience both Tokyo and Kyoto, like my son got to when he accompanied me last year. I know already that I'll be going back again to experience some other areas.
I loved it also. I am indebted to my son for suggesting the first trip - I don't think I ever would have gone if it had not been for him.

amachen, where are you going on your second trip?
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Jan 4th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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We totally adored the sushi at Midori in Tokyo. True, you have to wait on line (no reservations) but we had an amazing amount of delicious sushi and stuff we'd never had for a total of $60 for two of us, including 4 beers.
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Jan 4th, 2006, 07:20 PM
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Our trip is for 8 days, and looks like this:

days 1,2,3 - Tokyo, cheap hotel in shinjuku (shinjuku prince) for 3 nights.

day 4 - shinkansen to Hiroshima (transfer in Osaka). Stay at comfort inn.

day 5 - shinkansen to Kyoto. Stay at Ryokan.

day 6,7 - shinkansen back to Tokyo. Stay at Shiba Park.

day 8 - fly back to US

Our group has 5 people, including my wife, brother and wife, and best friend. BillT, so you know, the trip cost comes to about $1500 per person, including airfare from chicago,hotel, and rail pass. I planned this trip for over a year, and scoured travelocity and other sites for the best rates. We could have gone for cheaper, but we didn't want to stay in hostel-class places. I probably could have gotten the price down several hundred dollars if I would have, but it doesn't sound like you want to do that either.

emd, my thoughts exactly on Kyoto. We kind of got a "deer in the headlights" experience out there last time with the busses - not this time. We should have done more. I'm saving Nikko for my next trip, as I know I'll be back several times.

sybilny, can you give me an idea of where your sushi restaurant is located?
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Jan 4th, 2006, 11:15 PM
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Hi aj, glad to hear you enjoyed Japan so much and you found things are not that expensive (that you said on another thread, I think.). My brother lived near Yokota Base long time ago.
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Jan 5th, 2006, 04:12 AM
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amachen- that price sounds great- but I don't think I can get that price for what we usually do on vacation- 5 star hotels and my wife loves to shop. Shopping and 5 star hotels would eat up all of that $1500 and then some and then I would still have to add airfare and food and transportation. I would probably drop about $5,000 in a Japan trip.
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Jan 5th, 2006, 05:47 AM
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You're right, BillT - $5k is the real cost of the trip for me when you factor in spending money.

On my last trip I bought 5 nights of Hyatt points from a consultant I worked with for $1000, and got 5 nights at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. Wow - what a nice place. No such luck this trip, though.
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Jan 5th, 2006, 06:17 AM
  #10
emd
 
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I stayed at the Westin Tokyo on Starwood hotel points last time and am doing so again this time. Good deal, as under that program you spend the points for 4 nights and get the 5th night completely free without spending any points at all. I get the points through my Starwood AmEx card. Last time I had enough points for the Westin Miyako in Kyoto also, but this time am paying for a different Kyoto hotel.
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Jan 5th, 2006, 06:43 AM
  #11
aj
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kappa,
Yes, I did say on another post that I did not find it all that expensive compared to Europe and the exchange rate $ to euro. We always try to travel on a budget and shoppig for food a the local grocery stores is a trip highlight for us. I can not believe how beautiful all the food is displayed, even at Seiyu (Walmart to us).Everything very clean also. Don't get me started on the bathroom (best hand dryers in the world and musical toilets). Of course there is luxury everywhere if you want to pay for it. It makes me think one can go to Tokyo and stay outside the expensive part and travel into Tokyo by train and save? We were lucky to lodge with our kids on base.
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Jan 5th, 2006, 07:01 AM
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I agree with the Japan-philes. It's a lovely and wonderful place.

Kyoto is a particularly magical city, with streets and neighborhoods (Ponto-cho, Gion) that are incredible for strolling and exploring. Although English is less widely spoken in big cities compared to places like Bangkok and (especially) Hong Kong, the helpfulness and courtesy of the Japanese people is unmatched.

While it can be easy to spend an enormous amount, it's also possible to live well on a budget while still enjoying the elegance and simplicity of the food and culture.
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