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One free day in Tokyo area - what to do?

One free day in Tokyo area - what to do?

Old Apr 19th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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One free day in Tokyo area - what to do?

I'm going to Japan in June as part of the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program. In the past, participants were given two days with nothing scheduled so they could explore Tokyo more thoroughly - or other parts of Japan. This year, we are being given only one free day. Mind you, I'm very appreciative of the opportunity to go and am not complaining. However, I had been planning on doing a Hakone/Mt. Fuji tour one day and going to Kamakura the other. Is it worth going to Kamakura for an evening and spending 4 or 5 hours there? I don't know what to do! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 05:24 PM
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When I saw the title of your thread I thought "go to Hakone" but thought that would not be appropriate, that you would want info on Tokyo. So, good choice! Kamakura is not far from there and I think it is worth going.

In June you will have lots of daylight with the longest days of the year around the 20th.

Search the web for Odakyu rail company. They have a couple of passes that would be useful to you. I think that they have a pass that covers Hakone and Kamakura.

What do you intend to do in Hakone? Go to an onsen? There is a tourist route by bus, boat, ropeway, cable car, train, that you can ride through the region (search for info on Hakone Free Pass). Or do you want to go up Fuji-san?
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 05:28 PM
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The following pdf link has the JNTO guide "Hakone and Kamakura":

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/RTG/PTG/pdf/pg-307.pdf
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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I'd go to Kamakura
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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Don't most of the temples and shrines in Kamakura close by around 4 or 5 pm? I know I missed a couple when I was there two years ago as it was after 4....
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Old Apr 19th, 2006, 10:48 PM
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i'd use the world heritage pass and go to nikko. kamakura would be my second choice.
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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kuranosuke:

What's in nikko? Anything special?
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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ebflo, I reread your post and now realize that your plan for Hakone was to take a day tour. I checked out the tour offered by Sunrise Tours. Bus up to Fuji 5th Station, boat on Lake Ashi, and ropeway up/down Komagatake-yama. Then a shinkansen ride from Odawara, returning to Tokyo at 8PM.

Besides enjoying the natural beauty of Fuji-Hakone National Park, a Hakone day trip ought to include a soak in an onsen. But the tours that include an onsen visit require an overnight stay.

The day-long bus tour would preclude a visit to Kamakura because, as Mara pointed out, the sights would be closed by the time you got there. This would mean going to Kamakura first and Hakone second and that would be better done (maybe only done) on your own.
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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Do you think that Kamakura/Hakone would be too much in one day? Is it doable? Or would Nikko be a better choice?

Too much to see in too little a time frame!

Thanks for the replies so far...
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Old Apr 20th, 2006, 03:32 PM
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It is a lot for one day, considering the fact that each of those destinations can be a day trip in itself. Depends on what you want to get out of it. Some people try to see as many places as they can and others like to visit one place to a greater depth. If you can't find a tour that covers both in the same day then you would have to do it yourself. This would require self-navigating your way through a couple of train stations, street car, etc. and finding the sites. So, it is a bit more work than a tour bus would offer. It also more rewarding, IMO, since you get to interact with the Japanese more (instead of taking a tour bus from site to site).
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