Our japan Itinerary, feedback welcome

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Dec 6th, 2012, 11:28 AM
  #1
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Our japan Itinerary, feedback welcome

Per mr wunrfl's suggestion, here is our itinerary.

Night 1-5. Kyoto. Flying via Haneda to Osaka airport, thence commute Kyoto.
Night 6 TBA - somewhere near or in Hiroshima. 7-day JR pass starts today. I have some ideas, but accommodation choice might be a factor. I'm thinking of using takhubin (sp) service and sending onward main bags to Nagoya, so as to be light on our feet during this brief detour.
Night 7-8. Hiroshima/area to Nagoya (base for the Nagasendo hike from Magome to Tsumago).
Night 9-10. Nagoya to Takayama (Spring Festival on days 10, 11)
Mrwunrfl points out that transport may be tight to Takayama as it is spring festival. I anticipated this which is one reason why we moved up our stay to the night before the festival begins. This will give us more leeway in booking, I hope.
Night 11. Takayama to Nagoya. Again, I may need some leeway in coming back from Takayama due to heavy traffic.
At some point I'd like to see Toyota Museum of Industry and Technology. I wouldn't have minded a Toyota plant tour, but it is a pain to get to the plant by public transit (3 hours round trip minimum) so along with the plant tour and lunch, this would be almost a full day outing which I'm not prepared to do.
Night 12 TBA. Maybe Tokyo, maybe Hakone, maybe Odawara....or as I said, maybe Tokyo and do daytrip from Tokyo. Last day of 7 day pass.
Night 13 and 14 Tokyo.
Flight leaves very late from Haneda, so we essentially get a bonus day in Tokyo as we won't need to leave for airport until around 8 p.m.
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Dec 6th, 2012, 11:58 AM
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Looks fine - only comments - what about staying over in Miyajima instead of Hiroshima and are you going to do a day trip for the Nakasendo hike or stay over in Tsumago - which is very enjoyable and what I did - and go on to Takayama from there - although that is not too easy but doable if you like local train rides?
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Dec 6th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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Don't think Nagoya is the ideal location to base for the Nakasendo hike as Mara mentions. Tsumago would be much more enjoyable and right there not more than 2 1/2 hours away by train like Nagoya is.

I like her Miyajima suggestion too. Staying overnight in Miyajima after the hordes of tourist are gone for the day is a whole different ball game. Hakone looks good to me on night 12 too. I like the town of Gora in the Hakone area. Looks like a nice trip.

Aloha!
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Dec 6th, 2012, 04:30 PM
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thanks for the replies. You both can correct this if I'm wrong, but I got this info from japan-guide.com and hyperdia.

Hawaiian, according to hyperdia, if we take the wide view shinano, we can be in nakatsugawa in around 50 minutes. (74 minutes by the slow train). Then it's around a 20 minute wait for a 25 minute bus to Magome. So that's just over 1.5 hours. Not great, but not quite as bad as over 2.5 hours.

On the return from Tsumago, it's a shorter bus ride - 10 minutes - to Nagiso station, and then a 10 minute wait for an 80 minute journey back to Nagoya, or again just over 1.5 hours.

That I admit is the longest commute I'd want to do for a day trip.

Mara, if I've understood japan-guide correctly, the closest train station to Tsumago is Nagiso, and hyperdia shows all journeys going via Nagoya. So I'm going back there anyway.

I'm actually thinking of Onomichi, not Hiroshima, since we'd like to hop over and do a tiny bit of the Shimanamikaido bike trail. Or even just have a view of the inland sea from Onomichi, which looks like a pleasant small seaside city. As in, a tiny loop, say outward from Setoda and return. But I'm having trouble booking a hotel there (I may be too early as it's still over four months out.)
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Dec 6th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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I also think the idea of staying in Miyajima is a good one.
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Dec 6th, 2012, 08:23 PM
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There is a way to go from Nagiso to Takayama without going through Nagoya but it involves many changes and does not run often at all - so I have re-thought it and my new idea is going on the train from Nagiso to Matsumoto and then by bus to Takayama....just a thought....

Onomichi is a nice little town - I did the temple walk and some other sights there - I didn't bike ride. There is a cable car up to the park whose name I have forgotten - it is a nice sakura spot and has a lovely little art museum. It is famous for the movie Tokyo Story and has a museum about that also. There are some hotels near the station I think, business type hotels....
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Dec 6th, 2012, 09:43 PM
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On day 1 or 2 you can do the exchange at Kyoto station to get your JR Pass and have it validated to start on Day 6. Pick up the Takayama seat reservations immediately after getting your pass.

As you found out from hyperdia, you can visit Kiso Valley in a day trip from Nagoya. That would certainly make it easy to get to Takayama the next day. And no luggage issue at all on a day trip.

I mentioned the Marriott Associa hotel in Nagoya on your other thread. It is on top of Nagoya station, so it might be a good choice for you. There are others nearby, of course. I stayed at the Nagoya Hilton which is nice and nearby - it has a shuttle but the taxi to the station is very quick and not expensive.

When leaving Takayama, I would consider going north to Toyama because Japan By Rail called that one of the most scenic rail routes in Japan. From there, the Alpine Route:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7550.html
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Dec 6th, 2012, 09:56 PM
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The route: Nagiso - Nakatsugawa - Tajimi - Minoota - Takayama could save a bit of time, maybe, versus just going back to Nagoya to connect. I have to believe that making those connections would be really easy. But it is three locals plus the Hida LEX

That is Route1 in the link below. Route2 is just one 27-min connection and both are LEX trains.

http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi/en/searc...d&sum_target=7
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Dec 6th, 2012, 10:16 PM
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You will be in Kyoto during the Miyako Odori. It is wonderful. You should go.

http://www.pref.kyoto.jp/visitkyoto/...kyoto_city/20/

http://www.miyako-odori.jp/odori_en.html
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Dec 7th, 2012, 05:18 AM
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mrwunrfl

Thank you for your replies. I have spoken to our Kyoto hotel and they have indicated that a little closer to the event, they can help us with reservations for the Miyako Odori.

You and Mara are correct, there IS a way to Takayama that doesn't involve Nagoya. However, I think I'll stick to the daytrip idea - no luggage worries, plus it shortens the trip to Takayama. And we will have the morning of the day of our departure to go to go to the Toyota museum, or failing that, the morning of our departure from Nagoya to Tokyo.

On the other hand your idea of the scenic trip from Takayama via Toyama sounds enticing. I must study this, thanks.
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Dec 7th, 2012, 05:33 AM
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oops, when I said , "it shortens the trip to Takayama"...I meant the leg of the journey completed on that day, not overall. You are right, via Minoota as a single journey saves about 15 to 30 minutes... overall. But I think going via Nagoya adds flexibility - at least on the outbound. But as I said, I really must consider your idea for the return trip.
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Dec 7th, 2012, 06:39 AM
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The trip mrwunrfl posted in the one I originally had in mind - but it is a bit complicated although fun with the little local trains....

The Alpine Route should be opening just around the time you are there....
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Dec 7th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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I am a tad worried that I booked us into Itami instead of KIX, because that apparently means we will have to clear customs etc at Haneda. I hope 3 hours time between flights is enough....
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Dec 7th, 2012, 08:19 PM
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No problem. Plenty of time.
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Dec 9th, 2012, 03:13 AM
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Thanks Kim, I thought it was, but you know how it is once one starts planning - every bug in the woodwork seems to want to appear, even only theoretical bugs!
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Dec 21st, 2012, 10:33 AM
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Hello, I'm doing some refinements to our itinerary.

First: I have been mapping out our transportation on hyperdia.com. The JR Yamamote (inner loop) line in Tokyo,seems to be a circular line, going counterclockwise (?) and beginning and ending in Osaki. Here's my question: going from Ebisu to Shinagawa, say, hyperdia shows a double down arrow at Osaki.

Does that double arrow mean that one must change trains at Osaki for a different train, since technically one is now at the 'end of the line', or does one just wait for the train to loop through again?
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Dec 21st, 2012, 10:39 AM
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Next: I'm hoping to go to the Ghibli museum (long story), for which I understand one must make ticket reservations in advance, preferably before one leaves home.

Can one specify a time as well as a date, or are the times pre-assigned by the museum for one's date of choice? It's a bit confusing; the site for my country only talks about vouchers, which are then exchanged for a 'film ticket' and then one enters the museum. No mention of time slots - and yet elsewhere I've read that there are time slots.

I realize this is a specialty museum, so only real diehard fans might know the answer to this one, but I would be most grateful for any help.
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Dec 21st, 2012, 11:44 AM
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On the Yamamote line trains run clockwise. I will answer your question in detail when I get to a computer

Aloha!
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Dec 21st, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Oops didn't see inner circle which runs counter clockwise
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Dec 21st, 2012, 12:20 PM
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http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/ticket-information/

According to above as well as:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3041.html

You can use it any time throughout the day....don't know this from personal experience though.....
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