Lots of Novice Japan Questions

Jan 12th, 2008, 02:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 73
Lots of Novice Japan Questions

My husband and I are traveling to Japan in mid March and will be meeting our daughter in Tokyo for 3 weeks of travel. I have a lot of questions, and would greatly appreciate some advice. For a number of reasons, we plan to travel to Kyoto first, leaving Tokyo for later in the trip, so my first question is:
1.) Should we spend the first night at Narita (jet lag is the worst) or venture into Tokyo proper since the morning train to Kyoto leaves from the city (we arrive around 4pm)

2.) Please comment on this itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo
2: To Kyoto
3-5: Kyoto
6: Overnight Nara
7: Back to Kyoto
8: Kyoto to
Himeji to
9: Myajima to Okayama
10: To Matsue
11: To Kurashiki
12: To Tokyo
13-15: Tokyo (with side trip to
16: To Sendai
17: To Sapporo
18-20: Sapporo (this is where
our daughter has been
living or 2 years)
21: Home

3. If we overnight in Nara as planned, is it reasonable to ask the Kyoto hotel to keep some of our luggage until we return the next day?

Lots more questions to come, but in the interest of not abusing the kindness of the board, we'll start here. Thanks in advance. Joanne
joannecam is offline  
Jan 12th, 2008, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 246
You do not indicate from where you will be starting your journey. If from North America, you will probably not suffer much in the way of jet lag. You will likely be somewhat tired, but you'll be ready to go, so to speak, the moment your plane lands. Enjoy the land of the rising sun; it's marvelous!
easywalker is offline  
Jan 12th, 2008, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,332
Just a few thoughts. I would continue on to Tokyo on your arrival and stay downtown close to one of the train stations from which you can take the Shinkansen. The next morning you can start fresh for a relatively short train ride to Kyoto. I would stay in Kyoto and do day trips to Nara and Himeji. I assume you will be using a 2 week JR pass. May want to take one day from Kyoto and add it to Tokyo as you only have two days for Tokyo. Will think a bit about the rest of your itinerary.

mjs is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 05:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 73
Yes, we will be flying from Boston, about 20 hours of travel time with stops so exhaustion is inevitable especially since I do not sleep well, if at all, on airplanes. I appreciate all advice. Joanne
joannecam is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,942
i live in boston too and believe me you will be very tired and jet-lagued upon arrival....i mostly go on to thailand which is another 6 hours, but the trans-pacific flight is a killer....

what airline will you use?
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 07:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 73
United for the domestic portion and Japan Airlines for the international.
joannecam is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,836

Another vote for spending the first night in Tokyo proper. Limousine bus or Narita Express are quite efficient. Plus if you're really going to be jet lagged, you have an option of getting up early for Tsukiji Fish Market if you stay in Tokyo.

Not sure how this may work logistically, but you may want to skip Sendai, fly domestically (from Hiroshima or Okayama?) to Sapporo on Day11 instead of taking the train from Kurashiki-Tokyo-then up north.

I don't think hotels keep the luggage overnight if you have already checked out. You can try forwarding the bags via "takkyubin", or use coin lockers at the station.
W9London is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,126
Hi, joannecam -

You might consider re-ordering your stops a bit: Kurashiki is between Himeji and Miyajima, just minutes by train west of Okayama.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Jan 14th, 2008, 07:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 73
Thanks for the advice. I particularly like the idea about seeing the fish market that first morning if we are going to be jet lagged anyway. Any advice regarding an economical hotel for just that first night near the train station we will need to leave from to get to Kyoto?

On another note, I had planned to take the train to Sapporo in the interest of seeing as much of the country as possible. Is this a good idea or not? I imagine it will be a long, long time before we are in Japan again, if ever (so many places to see!)
joannecam is offline  
Jan 14th, 2008, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,529
A couple of general comments: don't overnight at the airport, and take W9London's advice to fly to Sapporo.

Here are some specific suggestions, assuming the order of your visits is flexible:

Day 1: Fly from Narita Airport to Osaka. I didn't look at the schedule but I am sure that JAL will have a NRT-KIX or NRT-ITM flight that connects with your international flight. You can get a ticket for only 10,000 yen, see:

Day 6: Activate a 7-day JR Pass. Day trip to Nara, overnight in Kyoto. Yes, it is absolutely reasonable for you to ask the Kyoto hotel to hold your luggage for a few days. They will do it for no charge (and no tip, of course).

Day 9: Your routing is good. I think I'd go to Kurashiki on this day because it is a shorter traveling day. You'll take a shinkansen from Hiroshima to Shin Kurashiki and then a connection a Sanyo Line local to get to Kurashiki station. The bonus is that there are limited express trains from Kurashiki station to Matsue.

Day 11: to Okayama. Tomorrow is your long travel day, to Tokyo. Unlike Kurashiki, Okayama is a shinkansen station so it is a better origin for your shinkansen trip. There are Hikari shinkansen thru trains from Okayama to Tokyo that you can use with your JR Pass.

Day 12. Looks like the thru trains depart at around half-past the hour. Otherwise there would be a short stop at Shin Osaka. You can use your JR Pass in Tokyo but it expires at midnight.

Day 16 Tokyo or Yokohama or fly to Sapporo for 10,000 yen or less (with special fare ticket you bought before).

Visit Kurashiki and Okayama back to back.

You can fly on JAL from Izumo to Sapporo via connecting flights, or from Okayama to Sapporo via connecting flights, or from Hiroshima to Sapporo nonstop.

mrwunrfl is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Aug 8th, 2016 07:40 AM
Feb 27th, 2015 01:24 PM
Mar 26th, 2012 12:03 AM
Mar 28th, 2007 10:57 AM
Aug 11th, 2003 05:51 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:11 AM.