Kyoto versus Beijing for an 8 day trip

Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 04:26 AM
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Kyoto versus Beijing for an 8 day trip

Our set-in-stone yearly vacation is in mid September. We're taking advantage of some award miles and are flying over to asia. We've toured south asia (Thai., Siem Reap) last year. Our typical trips involve just hitting the highlights, 2-3 days in the major places then on to the next, then figuring out where to come back to.

We're trying to decide the most culturally interesting place for 8 days. We enjoy overall ambiance, history, and just wander. We are not foodies, but do like nicer hotels. The hotels I can figure out, it's just where to narrow our search! Our favorite activity is to see "must see sights" then wander streets and see something new (to us!). Again, we'd like to hit the highlights with the thought to returning in later years.

We're trying to decide between flying into PEK and spending 3-4 days, then venturing out for 3-4 days. Or flying straight to KIX, touring Kyoto for 4 days, then training to Tokyo for 4 days. Or (my favorite, but more hectic) combining 4 days in PEK and 4 days in Tokyo...

For the experienced travelers, any thoughts on what would be the best use of time for a first time trip to north asia?

cooper0717 is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 03:10 PM
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It's definitely a matter of personal taste, but I think staying in just one of these countries makes most sense, rather than trying to combine Beijing and Tokyo. Just my opinion....

I thought Beijing worth far more than 3 or 4 days for a first visit. I spent about 7 days, which was enough for me to see most of my highest priorities for the area. Depending on your interests, a visit of say 5 days in Beijing might work, with 2 or 3 days somewhere else in China. You might find some useful information in my very long (but searchable) trip report; the sections on Beijing are near the beginning and end. Just click on my name to find it.

I think that splitting 7 or 8 days between Kyoto and Tokyo makes a lot of sense for a first visit to Japan. If you haven't already seen it, check out

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2013, 06:12 PM
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I second kja on visiting one country only in 8 days. If you just want to see the cultural highlights, spend 4 to 5 days in Beijing and then head to Xian. I'm not sure if you can squeeze in another city.
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